Not even a month after Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery of ballista and sling stones from the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE (link), the other side of the coin - on the other side of the Mediterranean - also will be newly exposed, with the archaeological area of the Circus Maximus racetrack in Rome open to the public from November 17, 2016. On this site, in the hemicycle of the circus, close to the modern traffic intersection of Piazza di Porta Capena, the SPQR dedicated a triumphal arch to the recently deceased Roman emperor Titus in 81 CE in memory of his military campaign against the Jews in Judaea and capture of Jerusalem a little over decade before. Recent work on the ancient and medieval walls in the circus stands have exposed pieces of the foundation of Titus' triple arch (a second monument, not the one in the Roman Forum), as well as pieces of revetment in white marble that might have been applied to its facade. While little remains of the arch's decorative features, what is certain is that it displayed a Latin inscription (CIL 6.944), now lost, but recorded in a Medieval text, remembering Titus as pulling off the impossible - conquering Judea and its people, a feat which all the generals and kings before him had not succeeded in doing or had not even tried to attempt: "Senatus populusque Romanus imp(eratori) Tito Ceasari divi Vespasiani f(ilio) Vespasiani Augusto pontif(ici) max(imo), trib(unicia) pot(estate) x, imp(eratori) XVII, [c]o(n)s(uli) VIII, p(atri) p(atriae), principi suo, quod praeceptis patri(is) consiliisq(ue) et auspiciis gentem Iudaeorum domuit et urbem Hierusolymam, omnibus ante se ducibus regibus gentibus aut frustra petitam aut omnino intem(p)tatam, delevit." A virtual reconstruction of the triple arch made by the Università di Roma 3 will be on exhibit in the site. For more information on the site and visiting hours, contact project coordinator: Zetema Progetto Cultura.
Schedule from November 17-December 11, 2016: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (final entry at 3 p.m.)
From December 12 on, the site is open weekends. To visit at other times, call to reserve at 060608 (phone line operated between 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.).
Ticket price: 4€