The wicked Titus entered the Holy of Holies, his sword drawn in his hand, and slashed the two veils. He brought two whores and performed sex on them on the altar, and his sword came out full of blood. There are those who say that it was from the blood of the sacrifices, and there are others who say that it was from the blood of the he-goat of Yom Kippur.

He cursed and blasphemed and took all the Temple vessels and made them like a single net and began to curse and blaspheme Heaven, saying: “One who makes war with a king in the desert and vanquishes him cannot be compared with one who makes war against a king in his own palace and vanquishes him.”

He then embarked on a ship. As soon as he had embarked, a storm smote the sea. Said he: “It appears that the power of the God of this nation is only on the sea. He punished the Generation of Enosh by water. He only exacted retribution from the generation of Enosh through water. He only exacted retribution from the generation of the Flood through water. He exacted retribution from Pharaoh and his army through water. When I was in His house and His own domain he could not stand against me, but now I am beginning to think that he will kill me with water.”

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: “Villain! By your life, I will inflict punishment upon this villain using the most insignificant creature that I created during the six days of creation.”

Immediately the Holy One, blessed be He, beckoned to his guardian angel of the sea and he ceased from his fury.

When he [Titus] reached Rome all the dignitaries of Rome came out and lauded him. When he arrived in Rome, he entered to the bath house, and when he left they brought him a vial of spiced wine to drink.

A mosquito entered his nose and gnawed his brain until it became as big as a two-pound dove. He screamed, saying: “Let them (the doctors) split open the brain of that man (that is, his own brain).”

Immediately the doctors were called.

They split his brain and removed it, being the size of a two-pound dove.

Rabbi Eleazar son of Rabbi Jose said: I saw it in Rome. There were two pounds on one side [of the scale] and the dove on the other, and the one weighed exactly the same as the other.

They took it [the pigeon] and placed it in one bowl. As the bird changed so did he [Titus] change, and when the mosquito fled, the soul of the wicked Titus fled.

Genesis Rabbah, 10, 7