It’s probably very easy to say that Constantine appearance on the Roman landscape was a game changer. But it is true. From York to Constantinople, his legacy is felt and in between he left something of himself in Rome. After he defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine became master of Italy and Rome. It was while in Rome that Constantine took over many of Maxentius’ major building projects, which included the huge basilica (also known as the Basilica Nova) that Maxentius had begun in the forum.
Once Constantine got his hands on it, he extensively realigned, completed and reburbished the huge basilica, with all attention focused inside on the colossal statue of himself. It is said that it once stood fifteen metres high, but all that is left of it is fragments and his impressive head. It was here that these fragments of the statue were later found and removed by artist Michelangelo, in the sixteenth century, to the nearby Palazzo dei Conservatori. Today, Constantine’s statue is still found in the Capitoline Museum.
Photo credit: The images of the Colossus of Constantine are both used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.