Many people visit the Colosseum, but few take the time to take a look at the Arch of Constantine which sits quietly beside the Colosseum. It is definitely in the shadow compared to many of Rome’s attractions. I’ve always wondered if it were in a different location, the Arch of Constantine would definitely standout on it’s own.
In Roman times, triumphal arches were common and were raised as monuments to mark triumphal victories. The Arch of Constantine was actually the last arch to be built in the Roman Forum. It was built in 315 AD by Emperor Constantine I to mark the victory over his rival Maxentius at Milvian Bridge just before the shift of political power from Rome to Byzantium.
This magnificent example of Roman architecture stand 21 meters (68 feet) high and 26 meters (85 feet) wide. The magnificently carved relief scenes were probably taken off other nearby monuments, a common practice in those days. These battle scenes actually show Trajan at war with the Dascians while another depicts a boar hunt and sacrifice to Apollo, carved in 2 AD and nothing at all to do with the Battle at Milvian Bridge!