Arches of Rome – Arches of Constantine, Septimus Severus, and Titus
The arch, built as a memorial or to celebrate a triumph, is one of the great inventions of Roman architecture; Rome has many of them.
The most recent, majestic, and well preserved is the Arch of Constantine near the Coliseum. It was inaugurated in 315 AD in celebration of the Emperor’s victories over Maxentius.
However, there are few traces of the Christian Emperor: no signs of his religion, for example, and few references to his life and deeds. The arch depicts primarily events from the life of Emperor Marcus Aurelius ( 161-180 ), soldier and philosopher because late Imperial artists used sculptural fragments and friezes from older Roman monuments.
Some of the reliefs come from the frieze of a monument celebrating Trajan’s victory over the Dacians. The seven medallions two meters in diameter on the north and south facades belonged to a pre-existent Arch dedicated to Hadrian. The statues of the eight Dacian prisoners were taken from the Trajan Forum.
In the Roman Forum is the Arch of the Emperor Septimius Severus, built-in 203 AD.. and also dedicated to his children Caracalla and Geta ( the name of the last was erased after Caracalla had killed him ).
The Arch of Titus is simpler but more elegant; famous is the splendid internal relief showing the triumphal procession bringing the spoils of defeated Jerusalem, which include the altar of the holy temple and the seven-branched golden candlestick. The arch was built in 81 AD.
Arch of Septimus Severus
Arch of Constantine
Arch of Titus