Arches of Trajan
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The Arches of Trajan were built in the manner of triumphal arches (although they do not celebrate military victories) in a number of places in the Roman Empire during the reign of Trajan, probably constructed by his chief architect, the engineer Apollodorus of Damascus. By contrast, when it came to commemorating his military achievements in Rome itself, he chose a column rather than the more standard arch.
The Arches of Trajan include the following:
- Ancona, Italy: the arch is built of marble and stands 18.5 m high. It was erected in 114/115 as an entrance to the causeway atop the harbour wall in honour of Trajan's creation of the harbour there. Most of its original bronze enrichments have disappeared. It stands on a high podium approached by a wide flight of steps. The archway, only 3 m wide, is flanked by pairs of fluted Corinthian columns on pedestals. An attic bears inscriptions. The format is that of the Arch of Titus in Rome, but made taller, so that the bronze figures surmounting it, of Trajan, his wife Plotina and sister Marciana, would be a landmark for ships approaching Rome's greatest Adriatic port.
- Arch of Trajan, Benevento, Italy. The arch was erected in honour of Trajan by the senate and people of Rome in 114. It has important reliefs relating to his civil and military deeds and virtues and the history of the Via Traiana (whose entrance into Beneventum it marked). It was enclosed in the walls on its construction but it is now free-standing at the end of a vista.
- Mérida, Spain. The arch gave access to the main square of the Provincial Forum
- Timgad, Algeria
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