Beside the magnificent Colosseum is the amost as ancient Arch of Constantine. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine 1’s victory over Maxentius in 312 AD.
I have deliberately left out the bottom of the arch as the traffic and crowds of people ruin the effect somewhat.
It was dedicated in 315 AD and is the latest of the existing triumphal arches in Rome. It is decorated with reliefs re-used from 2nd century imperial monuments.
The inscription at the top praises Constantine, perhaps he wote it himself…
To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the Greatest,
pious, fortunate, the Senate and people of Rome,
by inspiration of divinity and his own great mind
with his righteous arms
on both the tyrant and his faction
in one instant in rightful battle he avenged the republic,
dedicated this arch as a memorial to his military victory.
The arch spans the Via Triumphalis, the way taken by emporors when they entered Rome in triumph…and now we can stand under it and pretend we are in a chariot heading home to celebrate a victory…or just think about where we are going for lunch.