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Arch of Trajan

Timgad, Algeria

2nd century CE

12 m.  in height

The three vaulted arch composed the western gate of the city, at the beginning of the decumanus maximus and the end of the road coming from Lambaesis.

The arch reaches a height of 12 metres, with a central arch of 6 metres in height which permitted the passage of vehicles that have left deep ruts in the ground under the archway).

The lateral arches, each 3.75 metres high, were reserved for pedestrians. Above the lateral arches on both sides are deep rectangular niches, framed by aediculae with smooth-stemmed Corinthian columns of coloured marble supported by shelves. The niches were designed to hold statues which are now lost. The whole assemblage of each lateral arch and niche was framed by two red corinthian columns, detached from the walls and supported by pedestals. The entablature that runs across the wall above the lateral arches, protrudes above the columns and a curvilinear pediment rests on it in turn. The attic must have been surmounted with a group of monumental statues.

Other sculpture was added to the arch in later times. This includes a statue of Mars and one of Concordia erected under Emperor Septimius Severus by Lucius Licinius Optatianus, on the occasion of his election as flamen-for-life of the colonia.

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