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The Arch of Constantine -Introduction- Triumphal Arches existed very early in Roman world The first commemorative arches to be recorded date as early as 2nd century BC However after the principate of Augustus and his successors the triumphal arches became a convention of the Imperial scene or new-fangled invention as described by Pliny The Elder in 1st ct AD This essay is based on one of the greatest triumphal arches of the Roman Empire-The Arch of Constantine figure 1 In the first part we will introduce the battle of the Milvian Bridge whose outcome lead to the edifice of the arch In the later part we will examine the decorations that belonged to other emperors as well as the ones belonging to the time of Constantine Finally important questions about the change in the artistic style reuse of decorative elements and the originality of the arch will be assessed -The Battle- The battle figure 2 took place on October 28 312 between the Roman emperors Constantine also known as Constantine the Great and Maxentius The underlying cause of the battle was a 5-year long dispute between Constantine and Maxentius over control of the western half of the Roman Empire Constantine was the adopted son of the western emperor Constantius Chlorus Maxentius was the son of Constantius predecessor Maximian Maximian was forcibly retired from emperorship in 305 by Diocletian Still he schemed and double-crossed both his son and Constantine when trying to regain power he was executed in 310 Constantius died on July 25 306 and his troops proclaimed Constantine as Augustus Yet in Rome the favorite was Maxentius The system in place at that time the tetrarchy a system of government created by the Roman emperor Diocletian in order to resolve military and economic problems this involved dividing power over the empire into east and west sectors both of which had a Senior emperor and a Junior emperor did not necessarily provide
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