Marvels

Archus of Augustus

The Roman Forum

In the central area of the Forum, between the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Caesar, a slightly raised paved foundation is still visible, bearing the scant remains of a arch built by Augustus in 19 BC to celebrate the recovery of the standards lost by Crassus to the Parthians in 53 BC. Portions of the monument, including pillar foundations and travertine paving, but especially parts of columns, capitals and cornices, were discovered during excavations carried out first in the sixteenth century and once again in the nineteenth century. Thanks to a coin representing the arch, scholars believe that the monument was composed of three archways and that only the central one of these was covered by a vaulted underside; the lateral passages had flat soffits crowned by triangular tympana. The monument’s dedicatory inscription was most likely located above the central archway, beneath a depiction of Augustus riding in his quadriga.