The Triumphal Arch


The Arch of Triumph is situated according to the usual architectural layout. It is found in the decumanus maximus (the principle axis), at the junction of the northeast, central and western sectors of the city. It was erected sometime between December 216 and April 217 C.E. by the council of Volubilis in honour of the emperor Caracalla, who bestowed Roman citizenship on its inhabitants and exempted them from paying taxes.

Volubilis was visited in the XVIII century by the English travellers Boyd and J. Windus, and by the Austrian Von Augustin in 1830. They left drawings of the arch, which permitted its restoration between 1930 and 1934, although the restoration remains incomplete and there is some doubt about its details. At the start of the 1915 excavations the arch and the judiciary basilica were the only monuments still visible.

The two identical inscriptions found on its façades were reconstructed from fragments found scattered on the ground. The conception of the monument is typical of Roman triumphal arches of the third century. It is built in ashlars and has two rectangular pillars connected by a vault.