The Arch of Constantine was dedicated on July 25th, 315, to commemorate the victory of the emperor Constantine the Great (r. 306-337) over his co-emperor Maxentius (r. 306-312), at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (October 28th, 312).
The arch incorporates statues and reliefs recycled from other monuments, a practice known as spolia. We see sculptures taken from monuments to emperors Trajan (r. 98-117), Hadrian (r. 117-138) and Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-180).
The double inscription proclaims: IMP CAES FL CONSTANTINO MAXIMO P F AUGUSTO SPQR QUOD INSTINCTV DIVINITATIS MENTIS MAGNITVDINE CVM EXERCITV SVO TAM DE TYRANNO QUAM DE OMNI EIVS FACTIONE VNO TEMPORE IVSTIS REM PVBLICAM VLTVS EST ARMIS ARCVM TRIVMPHIS INSIGNEM DICAVIT
(The Senate and People of Rome dedicated this arch to the emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus Maximus Pius Felix Augustus for having with his army, by divine inspiration and his own great spirit, avenged the state with righteous arms against both the tyrant and his entire faction).
The Arch of Constantine, the largest triumphal arch to survive from classical antiquity, spans what was once theVia Triumphalis, the route taken by victorious generals when celebrating a triumph.