Larry F. Ball/Sopraintendenza Archeologica di Roma
After the fall of the republic in the first century B.C., the Forum evolved into an imperial showplace, cluttered with tributes to various emperors. The triumphal Arch of Titus (shown here) was erected by the emperor Domitian in 81 A.D. to commemorate his brother Titus’s conquest of Jerusalem. Dominating the eastern crest of the Via Sacra, the marble arch contains columns surmounted by the earliest-known examples of composite capitals, a combination of Corinthian and Ionic architectural styles. The sides and vault of the arch are decorated with a series of relief panels depicting Titus’s victory over his enemies and his triumphant return to Rome.