Our Namesake

Titus

Titus was emperor of Rome from AD 79-81. Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, making him the first Roman emperor to take the throne after his own father. A member of the Flavian Dynasty, Titus gained notoriety as a military commander during the first Jewish-Roman War. The Arch of Titus commemorates Titus’ victory over the city and Temple of Jerusalem in AD 70 and serves as the official deification of Titus by his brother Domitian, who erected the arch in AD 81. The arch has provided a general model for many triumphal arches, the most famous being the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. Among other great structures of the time is most notably, the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), the largest and most famous ancient Roman amphitheater. The Colosseum was completed and inaugurated by Titus in AD 80 and was used for public spectacles such as animal hunts, executions and re-enactments of famous battles but most notoriously for gladiatorial contests. Built of concrete and stone, it is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. 

Titus was also known for his generosity, most notably his prompt and efficient aid for two costly natural disasters of the time. The famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79, killing an estimated 16,000 people. Just a year later, a large fire broke out, lasting 3 days and destroying many areas of Rome. The fire caused extensive damage but the death from the coinciding plague outbreak was much more devastating. Titus was responsible for the relief efforts of both disasters, donating public and personal sums of money to aid the victims and begin the rebuilding process. Throughout his reign, Titus maintained a high degree of administrative and economic competence in Italy and the surrounding regions, and though his reign lasted only two years, his consistent acts of generosity towards the people and his efficient emperorship made Titus well loved by the population.
 

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