Arch of Constantine, Rome

South Face
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A prominent sight between the Colosseum and Roman Forum, this elegant triumphal arch was erected in 315 to celebrate Emperor Constantine's victory over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

Go Historic ID
318254
Short URL
gohist.co/318254
Names
Arch of Constantine
Categories
Materials
Periods
Address
Piazza del Colosseo
Rome, Italy
Coordinates
41.889771° N, 12.490645° E
Date Published
October 8, 2013
Last Updated
April 11, 2015

Description of the Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine occupies a prominent position on the flat ground between the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Measuring almost 21 m high and 25.6 m wide, it has three arches and a heavy main entablature. Its overall design is similar to the Arch of Septimus Severus, though its use of materials is much less consistent than its model. The triumphal arch is covered in reliefs, some new but most recycled from older monuments. It is therefore important not only as a historical monument but as a survey of Roman art in the later empire.

Timeline

  • Battle of Milvian Bridge

    Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on the northern outskirts of Rome. Maxentius drowns in the Tiber with his men and Constantine becomes sole emperor of the West. He attributes his victory to Christ and begins to officially favor Christianity over Roman religions...

  • Construction of the Arch of Constantine

    The Senate and People of Rome (Senatus Populus Que Romanus) erect the Arch of Constantine to commemorate Constantine the Great's victory over Maxentius in 312, which made him sole Roman emperor in the West.

  • Construction of the Arch of Constantine

    Construction of the Arch of Constantine

Resources

  1. Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, 2nd ed.
  2. Blue Guide Rome, 10th ed.