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The Urban Legacy of Ancient Rome Photographs from the Ernest Nash Fototeca Unione Collection


Quadriga Arcadii et Honorii

Fragments of an inscription in honour of Arcadius and Honorius stand in front of the north end of the Augustan Rostra. They belong to the base of a monument to both rulers, which was probably a Victory Quadriga. The inscription was excavated in 1549 and 1563 in front of the Arch of Septimius Severus, and was copied. It commemorated the victory over Gildo, the rebellious governor of Africa, in 398 A.D. (CIL VI, 1187). The six marble tablets bearing the inscription have been lost, with the exception of two fragments; the larger of these reappeared in the Naples Museum (EphEpigr IV, 1881, No. 805) and was returned to the Forum in the autumn of 1908; the smaller one was found in the Forum. The insertion of the preserved fragments into the 16th century copy of the complete text, shows that the inscription must originally have measured some 5 m. in length and 1.70 m. in height. The site of the Quadriga Arcadii et Honorii may be identified with a concrete foundation, surrounded by marble steps, which lies to the north of the inscribed fragments. This foundation, which measures 8.30 m. in length and 3.60 m. in width, has had the Decennalian Base of Diocletian's Tetrarchy mounted on it in modern times.

Quadriga of Arcadius and Honorius, the concrete foundation, east of the "Rostra Vandalica," on which the marble base of the quadriga probably stood
Quadriga of Arcadius and Honorius, fragments of the dedicatory inscription
Quadriga of Arcadius and Honorius, fragments of the dedicatory inscription