Arch of Claudius

The Arch of Claudius was a triumphal arch in honour of the emperor Claudius's successful invasion of Britain. It is now lost, though its inscription is held at the Capitoline Museums and may be seen here.

The arch was dedicated in AD 51, although it was anticipated on the reverse of coins issued in AD 46-47 and AD 49. The coin shows it as surmounted by an equestrian statue between two trophies. It was a conversion of one of the arches of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct where it crossed the Via Flaminia, the main road to the north, just north of the Saepta.

The reconstructed inscription (also found on arches dedicated for the same reason at Boulogne-sur-Mer - Claudius's departure point for Britain - and at Cyzicus) reads:

It seems to have been in ruins as early as the eighth century, but in 1562, in 1641, and again in 1869 portions of the structure were found, including part of the principal inscription, inscriptions dedicated to other members of the imperial family, some of the foundations, and fragments of sculpture of which all traces have been lost.

  • Suet. Claud. 17
  • Dio LX.22
Secondary - coins
  • The Monuments of Ancient Rome as Coin Types (1989) by Philip V. Hill
  • Freeman & Sear Catalog No.12 (2005), item 536.
  • BM Claud. 29, 32‑35, 49‑50
  • Cohen, Claudius 16‑24
  • HJ 468‑9; LS III.125‑6
  • PBS III.220‑223
Secondary - inscriptions
  • CIL VI.920‑923 = 31203‑4
Secondary - other
  • For reliefs discovered in the 1920s which may belong to it, see NS 1925, 230‑233; Bocconi, Musei Capitolini, 292.9; 294.14; YW 1925‑6, 112.

Building Activity

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