Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio

"Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 3rd July 2011

This is the largest and best conserved of all triumphal arches in Rome. It was built in 315 by Senate and Roman people in honour of emperor Constantine and his victory over Maxentius in the battle at Saxa Rubra on October 28, 312. The arch is compound of the elements taken from the other ancient monuments. The Corinthian columns of ancient yellow stone come from the monument to Domitian; two relives inside are from the Forum of Trajan; the statues of barbarians prisoners over the attic come from a monument of the epoch of Trajan or Marcus Aurelius; eight medallions on the two facades, with finely carved hunting scenes and pastoral sacrifices belong to an unknown monument set up by Hadrian; eight high-relives located near the inscriptions on the attic were taken from the arch of Marcus Aurelius.

Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio
The Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio is the largest of the three triumphal arches in a good state of preservation in Rome (69 feet in height). .It can probably be considered as the first example of the systematic reuse of spoliation material that will go on in Rome during all the Middle Ages. It however also represents a precious synthesis of more than two centuries of official Roman art.

Only the bases of the columns and the small bas-relieves of the frieze of the minor archways belong to the Constantine's epoch, all of them prove the degrade of artistic quality and change of the style.
architecture of Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino)
The arch consists of three fornices. The central fornix is the broadest and presents a rich bas-relief on all its sides. Constantine’s exploits in his campaign against Maxentius are depicted above the minor arches. Higher up scenes of hunting and sacrifices are depicted in the tondi. Eight statues of Dacians that come from the Forum of Trajan dominate the attic. The statues flank the long inscription and the large panels of the age of Marcus Aurelius that depict episodes of the Germanic war. The bases of the Corinthian columns are decorated with allegoric figures. The Arch was incorporated in the fortress of the Frangipane family in the 12th century and was restored starting from the15th century. Large integrations of the missing parts were performed in 1733 under Pope Clement XII.

In the Middle Ages the arch, as all the other monument of this zone, was incorporated in the fortifications of the Frangipane family. It was freed and restored only in the 18th century.

Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio
Via di San Gregorio
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano - Campidoglio - P.Venezia) (Roma centro)/ Rione Celio (Terme di Caracalla) (Roma centro))
Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) across Via di San Gregorio is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "61"

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