Monday, April 03, 2006

Postscript to "Day Leave in Rome"


One of the stories that I posted on the BBC WW2 site was entitled
Day Leave in Rome and I beg your indulgence while I add a ‘postscript’ to that tale.

In the story, I mention visiting the Forum and I certainly remember being fascinated by the Arch of Titus with its unique frieze portraying Roman soldiers carrying the loot that they took from the Temple in Jerusalem.
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In May 2005, I took advantage of the “Hero’s Return’ scheme to re-visit Rome and Monte Cassino and Nita took the above snap of me back at the Forum.

Since then I have carried out some further research concerning the Arch and learned that because it was a such terrible reminder of the destruction of the Temple and the massacre of the Jewish population it had been a Jewish custom since the Roman times that no Jew should walk under the Arch.

I was delighted to learn that this convention was broken for the first time in 1948 (when the State of Israel was first created) because the Jews of Rome actually paraded under the Arch to demonstrate their solidarity with the newly found State.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tomcann said...

Ron -
as I recall in your initial posting of that story - that same day I was visiting the Vatican. This was not my first visit and on having a conversation with one of the Janitors - he mentioned that the Golden ball near the top of the spire of St.Peter's could hold six men - this of course was not believed and so the challenge was taken up.
After a very long hot climb, with the stairs tapering to less than eighteen inches - eight of us - all fully dressed "squaddies"
jammed ourselves into the Golden ball.
From the piazza - it doesn't look all that big - but eight of us inside - it's big !

Monday, 03 April, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

Ron,
There were two arches, one was destroyed, see below.

In front of one of Rome's Jewish quarters an arch was erected to honor Titus. Another arch was built on the Forum Romanum, where it can still be seen. The first arch was destroyed in the Middle Ages; its inscription, however, was copied by an anonymous monk from Einsiedeln (Switzerland) who visited Rome in the eighth century.
Senate and People of Rome to thir princeps, Imperator Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, son of the divine Vespasian, high priest, in the tenth year of his tribunal powers, seventeen times Imperator, eight times consul, father of the fatherland, because he (on his father's orders and auspices and using his advice) subdued the Jewish people and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, something which none of the leaders, kings and armies before him failed to do.

Monday, 03 April, 2006  

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