Triumphal Roman Archs

Essay by frogger1010College, Undergraduate April 2004

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A Triumphal Parade Through the Arch of Titus in Rome.

The Splendor, Design and Construction of the Roman Triumphal Arches

Triumphal Roman Arches; we have all seen them in our history and literature books, in the movies, often in the imaginations of men in their youth while playing gladiator and some of us have been lucky enough to visit them in person. We may look at them and momentarily appreciate them as another old monumental relic honoring someone or something long forgotten, but rarely is there a second thought given to the hero's and events for which these grand monuments were constructed and dedicated, not to mention the creativity, the skills, materials and tools needed to design and construct these arches and allow us to view them some two thousand plus years later.

Unlike most Americans, I have had the opportunity and privilege, though only for a brief time, to be able to visit and personally experience all that went into these magnificent works of art in person, courtesy of the United States Navy (USN).

Triumphal arch, monumental structure embodying one or more arched passages, frequently built to span a road and designed to honor a king or general or to commemorate a military triumph. This form of monument was probably invented by the Romans, who built them throughout the empire. Examples exist in Italy, France, Spain, Asia Minor, and North Africa, dating from the empire.

Let's start our exploration of these mighty Roman arches by taking a mental journey back in time to when courage, honor and bravery had true meaning.

If you'll close your eyes for a moment and imagine you're part of the masses that have closed their shops or put aside their daily duties to join in the festivities. They gather along side of the...