Arch of Constantine

Brief History

The triumphal Arch of Constantine was built in AD315 in honour of Emperor Constantine who defeated Maxentius in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD312. The 21m high arch has three portals and is decorated with reliefs that depict Constantine's life. Many of the sculptures on the arch were taken from earlier monuments and were recut to look like Emperor Constantine. The statues at the top of the arch were believed to have been taken from the Forum of Trajan.Emperor Constantine ruled the Roman Empire from AD 324-37. It was during his reign that the capital of the empire was moved from Rome to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in AD 325 . It was also during his reign that the persecution of Christians ended.

Emperor Constantine

Emperor Constantine believed that the Battle of the Milvian Bridge was won as a result of Christian intervention via a dream and a vision . In his dream he was delivered a message " In hoc signo vinces" (In this sign thou shalt conquer) which was later followed by a sign of a cross in the sky that was witnessed by himself and his soldiers. As a result Constantine led his soldiers into battle with the Christian symbol XP (chi rho) marked on their shields. After the battle a victorious Constantine converted to Christianity and ordered the persecution of Christians to cease.

 

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