Arch of Vespasian, 1775

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Even the ancients recycled their architecture. The Porta Maggiore was originally built as a decorated segment of two aqueducts (structures for channeling water) built in 52 CE. The aqueducts brought Romans fresh water from sources miles away. The loss of adjacent segments of stonework has revealed two openings on the left side of the upper section, showing where water passed through the Porta Maggiore. In addition, two major roads ran through its larger arches. Later planners filled in the arches to incorporate this structure into the walled fortification surrounding Rome, and it became the main gate on the city’s east side.

Arch of Vespasian
Artist Life
Italian, 1720–1778
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 119 i/iii
Curator Approved

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