Saturday, 23 May 2009

The arch of Titus and the seven-branched candelabrum

The arch of Titus is situated not far from the Colosseum and it was built after Titus' death in 81 A.D. In 70 A.D., Titus, as general of the roman army and son of the emperor Vespasian (the emperor who started the construction of the Colosseum in 72 A.D.), suppressed a rebellion in Jerusalem and contributed to the famous Jewish diaspora. During this rebellion, he destroyed the temple of Solomon. Today only a wall still remains of that temple, the famous Wailing Wall. A memory of the destruction of the temple of Solomon can be found as well in the internal fornix of the arch where it is shown the looting of the famous Menorah, the seven branches golden candelabrum.

The golden candelabrum

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Column of Trajan

The Column of Trajan was inaugurated in 113 A.D. and shows the deeds which have been led by the emperor Trajan in the battles against the Dacians, a population living in the area where Romania is today. The column is realised in white marble from Carrara, it is nearly 40 meters high (including the basement) and includes roughly 2500 characters. The frieze which "goes around" the column 23 times is 200 meters long and the emperor is represented in 60 different scenes. If you look attentively at the column you will notice that it is full of small windows: this is because inside there a spiral staircase which allows to walk up from the basement till the top through a way of 185 steps! The small windows were (and still are) there to guarantee air and light to the people who wanted to walk up. Today the access is not allowed.