Arch of Constantine

This grand triumphal arch is one of the latest existing monuments from imperial Rome and is coated with exquisite statues and lavish motifs.

The Arch of Constantine, a handsome reminder of a once-powerful civilization, stands proudly at the end of the historic Sacred Way. Marvel at the scale of the mighty arch from afar and get up-close to study the stunning carvings depicting of one of the great battles of ancient Rome.

This imposing arch was erected to commemorate Emperor Constantine’s victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Constantine defeated his rival and co-emperor Maxentius in 312 and the arch was completed three years later. It is among the most prominent and impressive ancient monuments in Rome.

Stand before the arch and examine the eight lifelike statues of Dacian prisoners that can be seen on top of the columns on either side of the main arch. Like many of the other elements on the arch, these statues were looted from older monuments, which had been created to honor previous emperors.

Other prominent features of the arch include the circular reliefs above the side entrances. These would once have adorned a now-lost monument to the Emperor Hadrian. Examine these reliefs closely and try to spot Emperor Constantine, who can be seen hunting a lion and a boar as well as making sacrifices to deities, such as Hercules and Apollo.

Check out the intricate frieze that lines part of the lower arch. One of the arch’s most impressive features, this frieze includes several carvings depicting Constantine’s road to victory over Maxentius. Marvel at the remarkable attention to detail that is evident in all eight images. Particular highlights include the carving of the siege of Verona and the panel portraying the emperor distributing money among the people.

Find the Arch of Constantine on the Sacred Road adjacent to the Colosseum. Ride the metro to Colosseo or walk from the city center.

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