Titus was the Roman Emperor from 79-81, the elder son of Vespasian and in spite of his short reign was one of the most popular of the emperors. He united clemency and moderation with almost oriental magnificence, in contrast with the parsimony of his father. In the short reign of two years Titus won the title of "the Friend and the Delight of Mankind." He was unwearied in acts of benevolence and in bestowal of favors.

The reign of Titus was signalized by two disasters. The first was a conflagration at Rome, which was almost as calamitous as the Great fire in the reign of Nero. The second was the destruction by an eruption of Vesuvius, of the Campanian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The cities were buried beneath showers of cinders, ashes, and streams of volcanic mud. Pliny the elder, venturing too near the mountain to investigate the phenomenon lost his life there. The first action of Titus after his accession was a sacrifice of his dearest affections to the popular will. His clemency was equally remarkable; he abolished the law of treason; and severely punished spies and informers.

As a Roman general Titus hoped, by destroying the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, to put an end to both Judaism and Christianity on the theory that if you cut the root, the plant will soon wither. In imitation of Nebuchadnezzar, Titus robbed the Temple of its sacred utensils and bore them away as trophies. Upon the triumphal arch at Rome that bears his name may be seen even to this day, the sculptured representation of the seven-branched golden candlestick, which was one of the memorials of the war.
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