Janus Arch

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The Janus Arch today
Old engraving, on the right the portal of St. Giorgio di Velabro; the attic can still be seen here

The Janus Arch (also Arch of Janus , Italian: Arco di Giano ) is an ancient monument in Rome . It is a so-called Quadrifrons (or Greek Tetrapylon ), a four-sided building with a square floor plan, which was built from bricks and Roman concrete ( Opus caementicium ) and covered with marble .

In ancient Rome, the 16 meter high building stood in a prominent position at the northern end of the Forum Boarium in the area of ​​the Velabrum . At first, historians believed that they could see a temple of Janus here . Although this assumption has since turned out to be incorrect , the name Ianus Quadrifrons , which was probably derived from the Renaissance , was retained.

The building was later interpreted as an arch of honor , which was erected by Constantius II in the 4th century in honor of Emperor Constantine . A structural comparison with the Heidentor near Carnuntum showed that both quadrifrontes were built according to the same planning scheme.

Today it is believed that the monument was a covered intersection in the middle of the Via del Velabro above the Cloaca Maxima , from which streets led off on four sides. Like almost all public places in Rome, the building was a meeting point for traders who could also use it as a shelter.

The sculptural decoration of the Janus Arch consisted mainly of spolia . In each of the four 12-meter-wide facades , twelve wall niches for statues of honor are embedded. The keystones of the four arches were each decorated with a female deity: Roma , Minerva and probably Juno and Ceres .

In the Middle Ages, the Janus Arch was part of the Frangipani family castle . In 1830 the original shape was restored. The original attic was unintentionally destroyed. Fragments of the arch (e.g. parts of the dedicatory inscription on the attic) are preserved in the neighboring church of San Giorgio in Velabro .

Web links

Commons : Janusbogen  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Erwin Reidinger (Wilfried Greiner, Markus Jobst, Werner Jobst): The Heidentor in Carnuntum and the Janus Quadrifrons in Rome - structural analysis and comparison. In: Werner Jobst (Ed.): Carnuntum Yearbook 2007. Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-7001-4011-5 , pp. 121–174.

Coordinates: 41 ° 53 ′ 21.6 ″  N , 12 ° 28 ′ 57.9 ″  E