This is an Essay on triumphal arches, describing the the purpose of them and how this was achieved. Helpful for anyone studying history of Art AS.

Essay by nidalhajajHigh School, 11th gradeA-, November 2003

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What was the purpose of Triumphal arches and how did they fulfil this Purpose

Alongside with many other great buildings in Rome such as Statues, aedicular shrines and columns, triumphal arches were there to commemorate victories on the battle field or other important episodes in history. They were also used to maintain the memory of important men. Triumphal arches and columns to a certain extent were more special. They weren't used just in Rome, but in other provinces also, and there is still remaining evidence on this.

Triumphal arches were used for the reasons explained above, but how they achieved this is a lot bigger issue. I am going to first talk about the arches themselves and how they were pieced together. The arches would usually only have one arch for example the Arch of Titus or Trajan's arch, however, sometimes they would have three arches, such as the arch of Constantine, but there would be one main arch, and two smaller ones.

At the base of the arch was the Podium that was slightly thicker than the rest of the arch. This usually didn't have any carving or inscription, but again in the case of the arch of Constantine this was an exception. You would then normally have four sets of two semi columns running up the main part of the arch until the Entablature. These columns were either of the Ionic or Corinthian order and only gave slight structural support. You then came to the Entablature, which contained the inscription saying what the arch was commemorating. Then right at the top of the arch would be the attic. Depending on its importance there would be a varying degree of sculpture on the arch, from the Arch of Titus, which had very little sculpture on it, to the Arch...