Arch of Constantine
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 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.