"The Grim African" Top 5 Page for this destination Libya Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Libya Things to Do: 206 reviews and 690 photos

  Septimus Severus - the Grim African
by TheWanderingCamel
  • Septimus Severus - the Grim African - Libya
      Septimus Severus - the Grim African
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Septimus Severus' triumphal arch - Libya
      Septimus Severus' triumphal arch
    by TheWanderingCamel

Why all this splendour in what was an major city but still not of an importance to warrant such grandeur? Leptis Magna was the birthplace of Lucius Septimus Severus, Emperor from 193-211AD, and on his being proclaimed Emperor ( a process that involved being tossed skywards on the shields of his army) and in a period of relative peace, he returned to his birthplace and set about a programme of enhancement designed to turn Leptis into a second Rome. Under his direction the harbour was expanded, the new Forum, with its fabulous Gorgon heads - some 75 of which remain - and the civil basilica (later to be turned into a church by the Christian Emperor, Justinian) were built, the Cardo Maximus was extended and widened and the city began to take on the shape we see now in its ruins.
The jewel in all this building is undoubtedly the great Triumphal Arch that tells the story of Septimus' victories and achievements, his family and his place within the might of Rome. Spanning the entry into the site, it's the first thing you see as you walk down into the city and it sets the scene perfectly for the marvels to come.

The bronze statue of Septimus Severan ( the Grim African) outside the museum is a modern reproduction, the somewhat more weathered original is inside along with a positive treasure trove of artifacts from the ruins.

Address: Leptis Magna lies 125 km east of Tripoli
Directions: The main site is open 8-6 every day, the museum is closed on Mondays. Seperate entry fees apply and there is a camera charge for the museum.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 30, 2006
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