Pictures from Rome

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This view at the far eastern end of the Via Sacra, seen from the Colosseum, shows the Arch of Constantine (left), the Palatine Hill (center), and the Temple of Venus and Rome (right). In the background is the Arch of Titus.

• The Arch of Constantine was erected by the Senate to honor the emperor after his victory over Maxentius in 312 A.D. It is the largest and best preserved of the Roman triumphal arches.
• The Palatine, one of the seven hills of Rome, is the site of the imperial apartments, the Lupercal cave, and various temples. It is the origin of the word palace.
• The temple of Venus and Rome --a palindrome in Italian: Amore e Roma-- was built by Hadrian between 121 and 136 A.D. It is unique in that it is two shrines built back-to-back, making it the largest of the Roman temples.
• The Arch of Titus was erected by Domitian to honor his predecessor for the defeat of the Jewish people in Palestine in 70 A.D. It is the oldest of the Roman triumphal arches.

This view shows the elliptical Circus Maximus in the foreground and the Palatine hill in the background.

• Legend has it that the Circus Maximus was constructed by Tarquinius Priscus on the site of the rape of the Sabine women.
• In fact, the stadium was completed in its final form by Trajan in the 2nd century A.D. It consisted of two tracks for chariot races and could seat 300,000 spectators.
• The palaces of Tiberius, Domitian, and Septimius Severus rise in the background on the Palatine hill.

The next view shows a part of the Claudian aqueduct, arches of which form the city gate known as Porta Maggiore. The Porta Maggiore was one of the most imposing structures in ancient Rome, and it stood at the point where two important roads left the city.

• The Porta Maggiore was built by the Emperor Claudius in 52 A.D.
• The Via Praenestina, road to present-day Palestrina, and the Via Casaline, road to Labici, passed under the arches of two aqueducts.
• The Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus were later incorporated into the Aurelian wall.
• The Aurelian wall was built around Rome to protect it from invaders in 270 A.D. by Lucius Domitius Aurelianus.

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