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Arch of Caracalla

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Anna Wilson, Alisa MacDonald Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Feb 28, 2023 06:00 PM History
The Arch of Caracalla at Volubilis was constructed in 217 CE by the governor Marcus Aurelius Sebastenus in honor of the emperor Caracalla and his mother Domna Julia.

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The Triumphal Arch of Caracalla in Volubilis was erected in 217 CE at the intersection of the Decumanus Maximus (east) and the Porte à trios baies (west) which led to the forum. The arch was constructed with compact limestone from the nearby Mount Zerhoun. The front of the monument consists of a single arch, framed by two massive piers each of which is adorned with two pairs of pedestals that originally supported Corinthian columns. Between the columns are niches that functioned as fountains that poured water into basins below. Above the alcoves are tondos, within which there are figures that are hotly contested; some propose that the figures are members of the imperial family personified as the seasons while others propose that they are nymphs. An inscription lies on the eastern facade of the arch which is the main source of information for the construction and claims that the arch was topped with a chariot drawn by six horses in bronze. The Lisbon earthquake of 1775 nearly destroyed the arch, but in the 1930s the French reconstructed it by utilizing drawings from the English travelers Henry Boyde and John Windus thirty years prior to the seismic event.

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Anna Wilson, Alisa MacDonald, Thomas Landvatter, and Tom Elliott, 'Arch of Caracalla: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2023 <> [accessed: 04 December 2023]

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