Arch of AugustusTriumphal arch celebrating Augustus' victory at Actium Forum Romanum / Rome / Italy
The Arch of Augustus (Arcus Augusti) was dedicated to Augustus in 29 BCE to celebrate his victory over Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BCE. The arch is spanning the road between the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Caesar, near the Temple of Vesta.
A large inscription was found in the same location in 1546, with a dedication to Augustus from 29 BCE, so the identification of the arch is certain.
Very little remains of the arch, but its appearance can be deduced from coins from the period (see links below for an example). It was a tree way arch, but only the central archway was vaulted. The lateral passages had flat ceilings and gabled roof. The spandrels of the central passage were decorated with reliefs with representations of Victoria, as a surviving fragment shows. Other fragments of the decoration of the arch are in the Antiquarium.Fragment of a relief
On top of the central arch stood, still according to contemporary coins, a quadriga and above the lateral archways statues.
According to one theory the fasti, the marble tablets listing the consuls and generals who had been awarded triumphal processions, were mounted on the sides of the lateral arches.
The Arch of Augustus was the first three-way arch in Rome, and served as a model for the Arch of Septimius Severus, which again was the model of the Arch of Constantine.
Only parts of the foundation of the arch remain, so there is very little left in the forum to see. Fragments of the fasti are in the Capitoline Museums, other fragments of the arch in the Antiquarium, and a relief showing a Victoria are in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- LacusCurtius: Platner: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome
- LacusCurtius: Hülsen: Il Foro Romano - Storia e Monumenti
(Text in Italian)
(Image of coin with the arch)
Prints of the photographs are available — read more here.
The pictures above are taken in the following locations:
- Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy (5 photographs )
- Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark (1 photograph - prints not available )
- Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy (1 photograph )
- Augustus - Roman Emperor (27 BCE-14 CE) (Romans, Historical Persons)
- Capitoline Museums (Campidoglio, Rome, Italy)
- Fasti Consulares et Fasti Triumphales (Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums, Campidoglio, Rome, Italy)
- Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek - Collection of classical and modern art (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Temple of Caesar - Temple dedicated in 29 BC by Augustus to deified Julius Caesar (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Temple of Castor and Pollux - Temple vowed after the battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BCE (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Temple of Vesta - An ancient temple for Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, in the Roman Forum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Via Sacra - The sacred procession road through the Forum Romanum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Plutei of Trajan - Two reliefs showing Trajan doing acts of beneficence (Curia Julia, Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Triumphal Arches - The Romans used arches to celebrate military victory (Architecture, Lexicon)
- Victoria - Godess of victory (Roman Religion and Mythology, Lexicon)
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