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The Dativius-Victor Arch honoring the Imperial House

Copy of the Dativius-Victor ArchIn the 3rd Century A.D., the Roman Empire’s control of the Rhine was slowly but surely well into its decline. The Limes fortification and defense system, extending from the southern and eastern parts of the country northwesterly to the eastern banks of the Rhine, was already seriously threatened by German tribes. The members of the upper classes residing in this area removed themselves and their families to the more secure areas on the left or western banks of the Rhine. Dativius-Victor, a district counselor from Nida,( now part of Frankfurt-Heddernheim,) did the same. Surely out of gratitude for the friendly reception accorded him by his new Mainz neighbors in this more peaceful area , this wealthy citizen donated the arch that still bears his name today, as well as a fine, column—supported hall.


Close to the Roman-Germanic Central Museum stands a replica of the arch built in 1962, while the original resides safely in the Landesmuseum. Located above the arch’s frieze displaying the symbols of the zodiac, sit the ancient reigning gods of antiquity, Jupiter and Juno, enthroned in the center. Later, as the Germanic incursions became an increasing threat even for Moguntiacum, a new city wall was erected in the middle of the 4th Century. In order to speed construction, existing buildings such as temples and walls and graveyard memorials were “re-cycled.” As a result of the cannibalization even stone blocks from the Dativius-Victor Arch were used, solidly implanted in the foundations of the city wall. These blocks were eventually excavated and reassembled between 1898 and 1911. Today the arch stands near the Fichteplatz where it assuredly once stood almost 2,000 years ago.

Location

The original is to be seen in the Stone Monument Hall of the Landesmuseum, and the replica is at the Ernst-Ludwig-Platz close to the Roman-Germanic Central Museum.
in www.mainz.de
 Landesmuseum Mainz