Regarding Jerusalem’s 2nd Temple Menorah (depicted in the Arch of Titus), The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem published the following article in the summer of 2017:

“The seven-armed candelabrum, forged on the basis of the divine indications given to Moses, was taken by Roman troops from the Temple of Jerusalem. All traces of this object were definitively lost with the sack of Rome by the vandals led by Genseric.”


However in August of 2019, The National Geographic magazine described Genseric’s 455 Sack of Rome, but did not include the Jerusalem’s stolen Menorah in the Roman wealth stolen by the Vandals.

Gaiseric (also known as Genseric), the Vandals’ king, made Carthage the Vandals’ capital, and conquered more and more Roman territory as the years went on. Carthage’s strategic location on the Mediterranean gave the Vandals an advantage, and they became a formidable naval power.
But the Vandal king was a shrewd observer of Rome’s disintegrating empire. In 455 he saw his opening when Petronius Maximus murdered the current Roman Emperor, Valentinian III. Gaiseric declared the Vandals’ treaty with Rome invalid and marched on Rome.
The sack of the Roman capital made history books, but was not the violent event many assume. Though the Vandals were considered heretics by the early Church, they negotiated with Pope Leo I, who convinced them not to destroy Rome. They raided the city’s wealth, but left the buildings intact and went home.


Finally the Jewish Historian - Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin published additional details about Rome’s acquisition of the Menorah :

“A replica of the image of the menorah and other items being carried from Jerusalem, as it is displayed on the Arch of Titus (Beit Hatfutsot). | There is much controversy and misinformation surrounding this question, so let’s begin by clarifying the facts of the story. - After laying siege to Jerusalem, the Romans, led by Titus, finally breached the walls of Jerusalem, and on the 9th of the Jewish month of Av, in the year 69 CE, destroyed the Holy Temple and plundered it.”
“In the year 81 CE, shortly after the death of his older brother Titus, the emperor Domitian had an arch built depicting the triumphal procession after Titus’s victory over Jerusalem. The Arch of Titus, which stands in Rome to this very day, depicts the procession carrying a number of items plundered from the Jewish Temple, including the silver trumpets, the Table of the Showbread, and most prominently the golden Menorah.”
“The treasures plundered from Jerusalem were housed and displayed in the so-called “Peace Gardens” of Rome, which were built using the booty acquired through the sacking of Jerusalem. - The story is told in the Talmud of how Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yossi, together with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and other sages, went to Rome to try to rescind some of the harsh decrees against the Jews. While in Rome, they were miraculously given the opportunity to heal the caesar's daughter, who had fallen ill. After successfully healing her, they were given the opportunity to see some of Rome's treasures.”
“Based on these stories, one can understand why many claim that the Menorah, as well as other items plundered from the Temple, was taken to Rome and may be found there to this very day. - However, as we examine this theory, things get a bit murkier. | The Sacking of Rome : The so-called “Peace Gardens” of Rome were damaged or destroyed a number of times, including in a fire in the year 191 CE. While the garden was subsequently restored, it is not clear if the vessels remained there or perhaps were taken to some other place in Rome.”
“Additionally, Rome itself was sacked and plundered many times, including in 410 CE, by the Visigoths under Alaric I, and more significantly in 455 CE by the Vandals and Moors under King Genseric, who spent 14 days looting Rome of its treasures.”



  • So what happened to the Menorah?


Did the Vandal King Genseric obtain the 2nd Temple Menorah from Vatican in the 455 CE sack of Rome?

  • 5
    Unfortunately, we don't know what happened to it, which is what your first source says. The fact that your 2nd source fails to mention it doesn't necessarily mean anything, especially as it doesn't detail what that 'wealth' consisted of. Jul 23, 2021 at 14:10
  • 2
    All traces of this object were definitively lost with the sack of Rome by the vandals led by Genseric. - As you are probably aware, the fall of Rome ushered in the so-called Dark Ages, a period of Western European history almost entirely devoid of any written sources (hence its name), and roughly ending three centuries later, with the rise of the Carolingian Empire; this is, most likely, the meaning of the aforementioned quote; not necessarily that they took it.
    – Lucian
    Jul 23, 2021 at 15:59
  • 1
    See the definition of the word "loot". Would the Vandals have cared about the religious value of the thing, or just seen it as a nice chunk of gold to be melted down? (Or if not the Vandals themselves, anyone in a position to grab it?)
    – jamesqf
    Jul 23, 2021 at 19:08
  • 1
    Why do you ask whether Genseric took the Menorah from the Vatican in 455? Do you have any evidence that the peace gardens where on the Vatican hill? The Forum of Vespasian and Temple of Peace were in central Rome near the other foreums.
    – MAGolding
    Jul 23, 2021 at 21:06


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