arch of constantine

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arch of constantine


arch of constantine

The Roman triumphal arch, of which the arch of Constantine is a notable and extremely well preserved example, was probably the most singularly Roman architectural innovation (no pun meant).

Picture of a Roman Triumph paradeThe arch of Constantine is situated in the valley between the Caelius and Palatine hills, just by the Colosseum, across the Via Triumfalis: the street down which military triumphs were conducted. It was erected in 312AD by the Senate and people of Rome in honour of Emperor Constantine's victory over Maxentius.

As may be seen in the picture to the left the arch of Constantine is actually made up of three arches, like the arch of Septimius Severus in the nearby Forum. It's overall facade is almost square: 25m x 25.7m). It is 7.4m deep. It faces North-South.

The four columns and the variety of coloured marbles give the arch a degree of aesthetic depth as well as overall harmony. This unity of overall effect is all the more striking when we realise that many of the decorative elements have been "lifted" from other monuments which predate Constantine and this becomes more evident through the stylistic differences which are readily aparent on close inspection of the reliefs and sculptures.

This collage approach was rendered necessary because many of the sculptural and artistic knowhow required for such a large-scale monument had been migrated across to the new capital of the empire, Constantinople (Istanbul). The collage approach may also be viewed as an attempt to recall Rome's earlier power and glory.

The Sculptures and Reliefs on the Arch

Rome apartments all the way to the Colosseum!

Buildings of Ancient Rome:

Ancient Roman Pantheon | pantheon | Purpose of the Roman Pantheon | architecture of the pantheon | Ancient Roman amphitheaters | Structure of the Colosseum | arch of constantine | circus maximus | basilica | roman forum | hadrians wall |

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This page about the arch of constantine was written by Giovanni Milani-Santarpia for - Rome apartments