Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine was built in 315 AD.  It was made to mark Constantine’s winning war over the old Emperor, Maxentius.

The arch was the biggest built to celebrate the battles that any Roman Emperor won.  The arch also had pictures of other past and great Emperors of Rome.

Who was Constantine

Constantine was called Constantine the Great.  He was the ruler of the Roman Empire from 306 to 337 AD.

Constantine was born into a wealthy family.  His mum was a noble lady, and his dad was a great soldier in the Roman Army.

As Constantine grew up, he became a well-liked member of the Senate.  The Senate made the rules that the people of the Roman Empire had to follow.

Constantine was also a good soldier and fought in many great battles.

The old Emperor, Maxentius, was not very well liked by the people of the Senate.  They thought he was a bad man and wanted a new Ruler.

Constantine was chosen to take over, but he needed to get rid of Maxentius.  Constantine started a fight with Maxentius and won.  After winning, Constantine was crowned as the new Emperor.


The Arch of Constantine was built on the old Emperor’s route into the city of Rome.  This was a special route that was taken when they returned winners.

The winning rulers would then go through the Trajan and Septimus arches.

Arch Design

Constantine’s arch is really three arches.  There is the main one in the middle, and this is the biggest arch.

Then there are two smaller arches on either side.  Above the arches is an attic space.  This space is hollow and doesn’t have anything inside it.

On the outside walls of the attic space is some Roman writing.  The writing tells people that the arch was built for Constantine.

Pictures and sculpture

The Arch of Constantine is very different to the other arches in Rome.  It’s different because it has lots of pictures of old Emperors on it.

There are pictures of the fights that Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Septimus won.  These pictures can be seen around the arch posts.

There are eight sculptures around the arch.  The sculptures have been made to look like the Dacians, the people that Trajan fought.

There are also eight coin-sculptures to show hunting scenes from Hadrian’s time.  There are a final eight pictures showing the scenes of the wars that Marcus Aurelius fought.

At the top of the biggest arch is a picture of Constantine and his fight with Maxentius.  This picture is the largest of all the other images.

There are also sculptures the goddess of victory on the arch.  Lots of Roman buildings and arches had sculptures of victory of them.  The goddess of victory was to show that the gods wanted them to win.

Facts about the Arch of Constantine

  • The Arch of Constantine does not just have pictures of the wars that Constantine won on it.   There are also pictures of the battles won by other great Emperors.
  • The arch is the biggest arch that was built.  It is 21 meters high and 26 meters wide.
  • The arch was used as a fortress during the middle ages
  • Constantine’s arch is near the Colosseum
  • The Arch of Constantine is still thought to be one of the best arches that was built by the Romans
  • It took three years to make the arch
  • The Arch was built to celebrate the ten years that Constantine had been the Emperor or ruler of Rome for
  • The Arch was a gift from the Senate to Constantine


  • How many arches does the Arch of Constantine have?
  • How many coin-statues for Hadrian are there?
  • The Arch of Constantine is the smallest arch that was built by the Romans.  True or False?
  • What year was the Arch built?  When did the work finish?
    315 AD
  • The Arch was used as a fortress in the middle ages.  True or False?