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The Arch of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius II is a lost triumphal arch that scholars have traditionally identified as having stood on the Transtiberim side of the Pons Neronianus, whose pier foundations remains are visible in the Tiber River beneath the modern Ponte Vittore Emanuele II. The tie to the Neronian bridge is problematic, as the bridge may have been out of use with the construction of the Aurelianic Walls, if not by the 4C. 

A description of the marble-inlaid arch is recorded in the dedicatory inscription (CIL VI.1196) which describes statuary fo the three emperors atop the arch with trophies.  The triumph was for a victory over the Goths, between 402 and 405, definitely before Arcadius’ death in 408. The arch is first attested in the 8-9C Einsiedlen Itinerary. Other sources refer to an Arch of Alexander, which some scholars assert was an original Alexander Severus Arch later reused in the early 5C, also possibly in conjunction with Honorius’ extensive work on the Aurelianic Wall circuit.  The arch, stripped to its brick core was described as standing until the 15C. No trace of the arch has even preserved. 

LTUR I.79-80

Richardson 23

De Maria, S. Gli archi onorari di Roma e dell’Italia romana. Rome 1988 323 n.103

From Platner & Ashby’s (1929) Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome:

Arcus Arcadii Honorii et Theodosii:  a marble arch erected by the senate after the victory of Stilicho at Pollentia in 405 A.D. in honour of three emperors and to commemorate their victories over the Goths (CIL VI.1196; HJ 598). It stood at the west end of the Pona Neronianus and probably spanned its approach. In the Mirabilia (ch. 5) it is called arcus aureus Alexandri, and erroneously located near the church of S. Celso instead of S. Urso. It was standing in the fifteenth century, but had been stripped of its marble facing.

Where in Rome was the Arch of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius II?

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Arch of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius II” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 11/11/2019.


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