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A type of monumental architecture peculiar to the Romans. They were erected as memorials in honour of victorious generals, and (in later times) in honour of individual emperors. In architectural design they united the Roman arch with the Greek column. In Rome (not to mention the remains of the Arch of Drusus) there are still extant, (1) the arch which the Senate and people erected after the death of TITUS, in memory of the conquest of Judaea (70 A.D.). This consists of two massive piers of Pentelic marble inclosed by pilasters and joined together by a vaulted arch, and of a lofty entablature, on which the dedication is inscribed. On the inner jambs of the arch are two fine reliefs, representing (i) the emperor on the triumphal car, and (ii)a group of soldiers bearing the spoils of the Jewish War. (See TRIUMPH, fig 1.) (2) The Arch of SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, with three entrances. This is of remarkable dimensions, but the decoration, though far richer, is overcharged; it was erected by the people in 203 A.D. in honour of the emperor after his victories over the Parthians. (3) The Arch of CONSTANTINE, also with three entrances. This was built after 311 A.D. (see cut), by using certain portions (viz. the reliefs on both the fronts and on the inner sides of the middle arch) of one of the triumphal arches of Trajan, which was destroyed for this purpose. Among those not in Rome must be mentioned that at Orange in the south of France. Arches of honour were also erected for other services. Such are that of Augustus at Ariminum. (Rimini) on the occasion of the completion of the road leading to that place from Rome; that of Trajan at Ancona, on the restoration of the harbour. In Rome itself, between the site of the Velabrum and the Forum Boarium, there is a richly decorated, but coarsely sculptured, gateway with a flat lintel, bearing an inscription recording its erection (in A.D. 204) in honour of Septimius Severus and other members of the imperial house by the silversmiths or bankers (argentarii) and other merchants of the Forum Boarium. The arch of the Sergii at Pola in Istria is a family memorial.
Type: Standard
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