Standing just outside the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, one of the last monuments built by Imperial Rome, just before the capital was moved to Byzantium. This arch, built in AD 315 commemorates Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge, which is a bridge located in northern Rome that was an important route into the city. Constantine’s victory paved the way for him to become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. (NOTE: This battle is depicted on a massive fresco in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican Museum.)
What surprised me most about the Arch was that it is not entirely an original work, but rather it recycled other older Roman sculptures and reliefs (probably a sign of the declining Roman Empire and the arts associated with it). The arch is perfectly proportioned into three smaller arches with a large top over all three.
When looking at the front of the Arch (with the Colosseum in the background), you can see the following decorations:
Central Arch: From Constantine’s era, the spandrels at the top of the arch show his victories and the reliefs inside the arch come from Trajan’s era and depict Trajan’s victories over the Dacians.
Side Arches: The large round medallions above the arches are from the time of Antonines and depict hunting scenes. It is unclear where these came from but are believed to be from Hadrian.
Attic: The large top portion above the three arch ways has reliefs and sculptures in it. The reliefs come from a monument to Marcus Aurelius, representing sacrifice, his speeches to his troops, and his triumphal entry back to Rome.
The Arch is open to the public and there is no fee to look at it, although a fence keeps people from getting too close to the structure. It is located on the southwest side of the Colosseum.
Both the triumphal arches outside the Forum were dedicated to the Emperor Constantine, though one is now known as the Arch of Janus - a name given to it in the Middle Ages for its double-faced arch (A god with two faces who could see both comings and goings, Janus was the protector of doors, gates, bridges and arches). Known as a quadrifrons arch, the Arch of Janus has 4 arches as it was built across a crossroads. The Arch of Marcus Aurelius in Tripoli is a similar construction though somewhat older.
By the time the Arch of Janus was built, Rome itself was no longer the centre of the Empire. Constantine had moved his capital to Constantinople, far to the east, some years before, and it seems most likely that this arch, dedicated as it was to the "Divine Constantines" was erected in the time of Constantine II, perhaps for an occasion such as his visiting the city. Monumental as it is, and the only example of a four-sided arch remaining in the city, it was actually built of "spolia" - masonry reclaimed from older buildings and ruins. Used as an trading area in the early Middle Ages, it owes much of its survival to its subsequent conversion and use right up to the early 19th century as a fortress.
The Arch of Constantine, adjacent to the Colosseum, was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over the rebel forces of Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD that ended years of civil war. Although the Republican tradition decreed that triumphs were only to be awarded after victory over a foreign enemy, times had changed and emperors were ever accorded honours over and above mere men.
As with the Arch of Janus, a lot of recycled material went into the building of this arch - not only basic materials but also statues and reliefs, some of which were re-worked to more closely resemble the emperor. This arch is certainly the best-preserved of Rome's triumphal arches. Like that of Titus and Janus it was used for many years as part of a private family's fortifications.
Just as the Arch of Titus has huge - and tragic - significance for Jews, marking as it does the beginning of the Diaspora, the Arch of Constantine is of major significance to Christianity as it celebrates the victory that led Constantine to declare Christianity the official religion of the empire. Although not a Christian himself, the night before the battle Constantine had a vision of the Cross and the words, "By this sign, conquer." He obeyed the sign, the battle was won and the western world was changed forever.
Although in generally better condtion than the Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus, much the sculpture on Constantine's Arch is not of the same fine quality as these earlier works, yet another example of the decline of the city by this time. The Arch of Janus has lost all its sculptures as well as its attic and top.
This arch is right next to the Colosseum, and commemorates Constantine I's 312 AD victory over his co-ruler, Maxentius, at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Keep an eye out as you read through my pages as these two fellas will pop up in several other reviews.
The structure spans the Via Triumphalis - a thoroughfare that was used for triumphal processions - and was largely created from borrowed/reworked bits of other buildings. Constantine claimed that his military achievement was predicted in a vision he'd had of the Christian God but while he legalized and promoted the faith, many of the decorative symbols and figures on his arch reflect Roman mythology. The main inscription credits the victory to his "greatness of mind" with a vague mention of divine inspiration which could be applied to many deities. I've read that this may have been a deliberate act of diplomacy at a time when much of Rome still practiced old beliefs. Among other decorations are some statues that came from Trajan's forum, and reliefs depicting scenes from the battle.
This arch is erected in 315AD in honour of Constantine, to celebrate the victory over Maxentius in the battle of Ponte Milvio (312 A.D.).
It is the largest triumphal arch preserved in Rome (almost 25 meters). It is an example of the practice of stripping ancient monuments for materials to build new ones. There are original Constantinian elements, reused sculptures and architectural elements coming from monuments of Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. The arch was completed with precious pictorial and metal decorations. The dominating colours were gold and purple, the colours of the Empire. The arch itself was also victim of the stripping...
In the middle ages it was transformed into a fortification tower by the monks of St. Gregory and later incorporated into the Frangipane fortress, the arch was restored several times and finally brought out into the open in 1804.
It stands freely next to the Coloseum.
The Arch of Constantine sits between the Coliseum and the entrance to the Roman Forums.
To our eyes, Arch of Constantine is yet another impressive Roman Structure that has you wondering how on earth they managed to create it. However, I have read that the Arch of Constantine apparently shows, and I quote "the deterioration of the arts during the late stages of the Roman Empire".
Looking at it, you find this hard to believe, but the Arch of Constantine is apparently built using parts taken from other monuments and structures from around the city, because Rome was apparently running out of good sculptors who could come up with original ideas!
It supposedly contains parts taken, for example, from the Forum of Trajan and a temple dedicated to Emporer hadrians lover!
Neverthess, the Arch of Constantine is still impressive, and worth a walk around if you are in the area.
between the south end of the forum and the colosseum is the arch of constantine. it as erected in 315AD to celebrate constantine's victory over maxentius. the reliefs on this massive arch were scavenged from earlier monuments around the forum.
Just outside of the Coliseum is the Arch of Constantine which was erected in honor of Emperor Constantine, after battle to defeat Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 315 AD. This is one of the best preserved arches in Rome.
The Emperor Constantine (306-337 AD) took power in a bloody civil war. Following a vision of a cross in the sky, with the words "By this sign you shall conquer", he defeated his enemy Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. After that, he converted to Christianity.
His empire soon became Christian, too. He divided it into western and eastern parts, with their capitals in Rome and Constantinople, respectively. Hence the division of the Christian churches into western and eastern.
The Roman Senate had this arch built in 315, to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius. Of particular interest--something that most visitors probably miss--is a relief sculpture on the side, near the top. It shows Roman soldiers returning from a campaign in the Near East. They are carrying a Jewish menorah, the oldest known representation of this object.
This triumphal arch, one of only three left standing in Rome today, was dedicated in 315 A.D. It had been built to honour the emperor Constantine's victory over the previous emperor, Maxentius, at the Battle of Milvian Bridge three years before. It is said that prior to the battle Constantine had a dream or vision in which he saw the image of the cross and heard the words 'with this sign you will conquer.' Because of this he ordered the sign of the cross to be painted on the shields of all his soldiers. At that battle Maxentius drowned in the Tiber river, and Constantine became the first Christian emperor of Rome, subsequently legalised Christianity throughout the emperor, and changed the course of history.
Many of the friezes and other sculptural elements on the arch itself were pillaged from previous monuments erected in honour of some of the great emperors of the past like Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. The arch straddles the Via Triumphalis, the triumphal way which was the processional route used by victorious Roman armies returning from war. An ancient fountain called the Meta Sudans once stood in front of it, but the fascist dictator Mussolini had this bulldozed in the 1930s because he wanted to be able to march his own troops under the Arch of Constantine without impediment. When the Olympics were held in Rome in 1960 the athletes running the marathon passed under the arch just before crossing the finish line. Nowadays there is a metal fence which prohibits people from walking underneath it.
The Arch of Constantine was erected by the Senate in A.D. 315 to honor Constantine's defeat of the pagan Maxentius. The arch is full of pictures apparently all relating to victories of earlier rulers & lifted from other, memorials but nothing to do with Constantine himself!!
Interestingly, Constantine converted to Christianity after a vision on the battlefield. This ended centuries of christian persecution and culminated in Rome becoming the centre of Christian religion (until an English king wanted a divorce etc).
Situated very close to the Coliseum on the west side is the Arch of Constantine which was built to honour the Emperor for his victory over his rival Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312. It is the most famous Roman triumphal arch.There is no entry fee as it is in the middle of a road.
Emperor Constantine's triumphal arch was built in 315 AD to celebrate his victories. Most of the sculptures on the arch were transferred from older Roman monuments, including Trajan's Forum. The Arch of Constantine occupies a monumental position at the end of Via di San Gregorio and between the Colosseum and the southern entrance to the Roman Forum.
Emperor Constantin had a vision that he would defeat Maxentius in the battle of the Milvian Bridge under the sign of the cross. He won the battle and in 312 AD he became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
After the battle emperor Constantin (whose mother and sister were already Christian) legalized Christianity and ordered the arch to be built.
Right next to the Colisseum is this magnificient looking arch of Constantine. In my opinion it is the most beautiful arch of Rome. There are so many little details that you can really spend some time by looking at all of them. The arch was built for Constantine by the Senate since he defeated his rival Maxentius in 312. Since there was little time to complete the immense structure the Senate reused parts of earlier monuments of the reigns of Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Trajan.
After having defeated Maxentius, Constantine moved to Trier in Germany. Three years later he came back to Rome to celebrate his tenth anniversary of his ascent to power, and to inaugurate the arch.
This magnificent arch was built, most probably, to a previous Emperor od the 3rd century but then was renovated and dedicated to Emperor Constantine to celebrate his visit to Rome in 315 and his victory at Ponte Milvio.
The major decorations of the arch comes from previous monuments to Emperor Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. There were two major fires in Rome in 3rd and 4th centuries and its possible that these monuments were badly affected by them. The fame of Trajan is associated with his military successes, while Hadrian provided the empire with the long period of peace.