The Temple of Jerusalem and the Colosseum

One of the readers of my blog commented on an interesting connection between the Colosseum and the Temple of Jerusalem, mentioning that Prof. Louis Feldman had discovered an interesting inscription in the Colosseum in Rome. This is the stone with the inscription:

I met Prof. Feldman when I was in New York earlier this year. He did not claim to have discovered or deciphered the “ghost” inscription, for that was done by the renowned scholar Gezah Alfoldy. Feldman wrote an interesting article for BAR (July/August 2001), in which he explained how Alfoldy arrived at his conclusion. The inscription in question was carved in Latin on a stone, which is displayed in one of the entrances to the theater. This stone once carried an earlier inscription. That inscription was made of metal (probably bronze) letters which were fastened to the stone with pegs. The holes for the pegs are still visible on that stone. Alfoldy used the location of the peg holes to reconstruct the inscription and came to the conclusion that it commemorated the building of the Colosseum by Titus from the spoils of war. Feldman then suggested that the war in question might have been the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, which resulted in the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.

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One Response to The Temple of Jerusalem and the Colosseum

  1. Nathan Lamm says:

    Sorry for getting some details wrong…

    If it was built with spoils from the Temple, I suppose that means that nothing much likely survives from the Temple. I recall Prof. Steven Fine pointing out that very little gold or other precious metal (apart from burial sites) survives from ancient times, as it’s very easy to melt down and reshape, and they didn’t care much for antiquities’ value as such back then- so no more Menorah, etc. (He also pointed out that while there are records of a scroll of Torah being brought with the spoils, scrolls don’t survive except in very dry climates.)

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