Arch of Janus - History and Facts | History Hit

Arch of Janus

Rome, Lazio, Italy

The Arch of Janus is an Ancient Roman triumphal arch in Rome.

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About Arch of Janus

The Arch of Janus in Rome is an ancient Roman monument which is exceptional for being the only remaining triumphal arch in the city to have four faces, a design feature known as Quadrifrons.

History of Arch of Janus

Constructed in the early 4th century AD, the Arch of Janus was located at the periphery of the Forum Boarium, once Rome’s cattle market. Built of brick and marble, the arch has alcoves which would have originally contained statues and other decorative items, though these have unfortunately not survived.

Little is known about this arch and, despite its name, the Arch of Janus was probably built in honour of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. As such, it is often known as Arcus Constantini.

As Constantine himself converted to Christianity after his victory in the civil wars, there is much debate as to whether such a triumphal arch would have been dedicated to a pagan deity by Constantine, further compelling the mystery surrounding this monument.

Arch of Janus Today

This ancient arch can be found in the centre of Rome, near other Roman sites such as the Roman Forum and Colosseum. As such, it’s certainly worth a quick detour to view it as it’s a pretty impressive site.

Getting to Arch of Janus

From the centre of Rome, the Arch of Janus is reachable in around 15 minutes by car via Via del Teatro di Marcello. A number of bus and metro transport options are also available which take around 25 minutes. By foot, it’s a scenic 30 minute stroll via Via Nazionale.

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