Exploring Rome — Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine (in Italian: Arco di Costantino) is a triumphal arch located adjacent to the Colosseum.

The arch was built to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, a battle fought to determine who would rule Rome. If you want to learn more of the historical particulars of the battle, there is a fairly decent article on Wikipedia which gives some fairly decent background information on the conflict.

The archway is unique in that it borrowed artwork and materials from other ancient monuments. Whether this was done to facilitate the speed of construction or lack of skill, it is anyone’s guess, but the former hypothesis seems the most plausible. It is well preserved, and any visitor to the Colosseum should take a few moments to gaze at this magnificent monument.

The arch spans the ancient Via Triumphalis, the rode that emperors would travel when they were returning in triumph (as the name implies). Having this triumphal arch in this specific location says much about Constantine’s intentions, and the size and grandeur of the monument sends a weighty message to not only Constantine’s rivals but also leave a clear historical message to present day observers.

The arch is pretty easy to find since it sits so close the Colosseum. You can easy take the Metro to the Colosseum or simply wander there as you explore the ancient ruins of Rome – of which there are plenty in that part of the city.

If you’re still in doubt, check out the location below: