Early Accounts of the Temple of Jerusalem – Sources     HomeSourcesTopicsViews


In 70 C.E. Titus, son of Roman Emperor Vespasian, plundered and destroyed first the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and then the Holy City, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Jews. The treasures of the Temple were enormous, including (1) the treasury of the Temple, always compounded yearly through tithes paid by faithful Jews in Jerusalem, Judea, and all parts of the world where Jews had settled through dispersions, (2) the gold furniture of the Temple, and the large number of gold vessels and utensils, (3) the enormous thick sheets of gold that covered the walls and doors of the Temple, and (4) the treasures of the wealthy that were safekept in the Temple. To celebrate this victory over the Jews, the great Triumphal Arch of Titus was constructed in the Forum of Rome, where it stands today. Its relief depicts Titus's army carrying the treasures of Jerusalem into Rome. As can be seen above, the focus of the procession is the large, solid gold Temple Menorah, whose capture was symbolic of the total subjugation of the Jews. The Temple plunder and slaughter, and the many tens of thousands of Jews also enslaved by Titus, provided Vespasian and Titus with the funds and labor required to build at this time the Great Colosseum of Rome.

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