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Bill Thayer

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p32 Arco di Druso

Article on p32 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Black-and‑white images are from Platner; any color photos are mine © William P. Thayer.

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The outer (S) face of the so‑called Arch of Drusus; the Porta Appia is 20 m offscreen right. Difficult to photograph because it's hemmed in on all sides by sun-obstructing walls; and to get a face-on shot, you need to stand in the middle of one of the busiest roads out of Rome.

Arco di Druso: the name that has been given since the sixteenth century to the arch on the via Appia just inside the Porta S. Sebastiano, perhaps the arcus Recordationis of the Einsiedeln Itinerary (11.3; 13.24), but see Arcus Drusi. Only the central part of this arch is now standing, but it was originally triple, or at least with projections on each side, and of somewhat elaborate construction, although never finished. It is built of travertine, which was faced with marble, and on each side of the archway are unfluted columns of Numidian marble with white marble bases and capitals of the Composite order. The archway is 7.21 metres high, 5.34 wide and 5.61 deep. The aqua Antoniniana, the branch of the Aqua Marcia (q.v.) built by Caracalla in 211‑216 A.D., ran over this arch, but the brick-faced concrete that is now visible on top of the arch seems to belong to a period later than that of Caracalla. This arch cannot be identified with that of Drusus, both because it is so far from the Vicus Drusianus (q.v.), and because its construction belongs to a later period, but it may possibly be the arch of Trajan in Region I (q.v.) (HJ 216; Curtis in PAS II.63‑64 (who identifies it on grounds of style with the Arcus Veri, q.v.); ZA 315, 316 (who holds that it was built for, and is contemporary with the aqueduct)).1 See Piranesi, Ant. Rom. I.XIX.1.

The Authors' Note:

1 This is undoubtedly the soundest theory.

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Page updated: 13 Mar 03