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Orange: The Roman Arch

Orange (Roman Aurasio), located at the confluence of the Rhône and Aygues Rivers, was founded in 35 BC by soldiers from Caesar's Second Gallic Legion. The famous triumphal arch was placed along the main street or cardo during the reign of Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). It commemorates the town's beginnings as a colonia, or settlement for veterans of the Gallic wars.

The arch is inscribed with the original name of Orange (Colonia Firma Julia Secundanorum Arausio), and also has a later (AD 27) inscription to the emperor Tiberius. On both sides of the arch flanking the main gate are various reliefs of military themes, including legionary shields and trophy standards.

[Fig.1: The Arch at Orange (photo: Athena Review]

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