The Arch of Constantine (Italian: Arco di Costantino) is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine I‘s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the latest of the existing triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by spolia, the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.
As we entered the grounds, I looked up to see this building. It looks like an old temple and is a good example of what happens if the building is not maintained.
Unlike the Coliseum, we went into the grounds with no guide – only a book. I have to admit, this approach means that you miss a lot. You don’t get the stories, the verbal history or the depth of learning and I don’t like the audio sets. But we did our best, good thing I had a pack full of guides (smile):
According to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf that kept them alive. According to this legend, the shepherd Faustulus found the infants, and with his wife Acca Larentia raised the children. When they were older, the boys killed their great-uncle (who seized the throne from their father), and they both decided to build a new city of their own on the banks of the River Tiber. Suddenly, they had a violent argument with each other and in the end Romulus killed his twin brother Remus. This is how “Rome” got its name – from Romulus. Another legend to occur on the Palatine is Hercules’ defeat of Cacus after the monster had stolen some cattle. Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed.
As you climb the hill, you get another great view of the Coliseum.
In the middle of the grounds is a church surrounded by beautiful trees. It was spring, the sun was shining and the trees were in full bloom.
A beautiful afternoon walk. You see that everywhere in Rome, where the old Roman society is overlaid with the Catholic church (literally). The grounds are huge and as you wander among the ruins of old emperor’s homes, you are slowly lead to The Forum.