The Triumphal Way of Constantinople and the Golden Gate
Dumbarton Oaks Papers, No. 54: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C. (2000)
The title of this paper requires a few words of justification. To my knowledge the designation Via Triumphalis (or whatever its Greek equivalent may have been) does not occur with reference to Constantinople. Nor do we find there a gate or arch named Porta Triumphalis. Yet, as Michael McCormick has shown in detail, triumphs continued to be celebrated at Constantinople until the second half of the twelfth century, and it would be pedantic to argue that they should not be called triumphs because they differed in many significant respects from their Roman prototype and from one another. The question we wish to address is whether Byzantine triumphs followed a predetermined and specially designed route that may properly be called a “triumphal way.” If it is granted that they did, when and how was such a route established?