Arch of Constantine, Rome

Spanning the Via Triumphalis, the route taken by Emperors entering the city of Rome in Triumph, stands the Arch of Constantine. Built in 315, three years after his victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, the arch commemmorates more than Constantine’s victory, it was also the his conversion to Christianity by which Christian persecution ended and the development of Christendom Situated next to the Colosseum, the Arch stands 21m high, 25.9m wide and 7.4m deep. There are three archways within the arch. It is said that the basic design of the Arch is copied from the Arch of Septimus Severus on the Roman Forum. Although impressive, closer inspection of the arch reveals that many of the sculptures had been taken from earlier monuments. The coulombs and some of the other architectural features also date back to earlier times. Above the side arches are hunting scenes and scenes of sacrifices which originally included a portrait of Hadrian which was replaced with a portrait of Constantine. Over the top of the central arch, identical on both sides, are the words

imp · caes · fl · constantino · maximo · p · f · avgusto · s · p · q · r · qvod · instinctv · divinitatis · mentis · magnitvdine · cvm · exercitv · svo · tam · de · tyranno · qvam · de · omni · eivs · factione · vno · tempore · ivstis · rem-pvblicam · vltvs · est · armis · arcvm · trivmphis · insignem · dicavit

To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.

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