"Foro Romano, Part II, Arch of Septimius Severus" Top 5 Page for this destination Roman Forum - Arch of Septimius Severus Tip by von.otter
Roman Forum - Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome: 23 reviews and 47 photos
?Descending from the Capitol to the Forum, is the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus, less perfect than that of Constantine, though from its proportions and magnitude, a most impressive monument.?
From a letter from Percey Shelley to a friend, T.L.P., Esq. dated 23.March.1819, Rome
The dynasty of the Severi, that dominated Rome until AD 235, began with the military coup d?Útat of AD 193; it placed Septimius Severus (AD 193-211) on the throne. Settimius Severus reduced the real power of the Senate, imposed the importance of the army, whose officers took on privileges that a senator would enjoy. A skilled general, he devoted himself to the defense and strengthening of the empire?s borders, traveling from Africa to the Danube, from East Mesopotamia to Britain, where he died in AD 211, having led the army beyond Hadrian?s Wall.
Standing at the western end of the Foro Romano, the Arco di Settimio Severo (the Arch of Septimius Severus) was built in AD 203 on the 10th anniversary of the emperor?s ascent to the throne. The monument was dedicated to him and to his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, with whom he shared the glory of the military victories in Parthia, modern-day Iran and Iraq. Unlike other arches in and around the Forum this monument did not have a triumphal purpose, but rather commemorative one.
The arch is made up of three interconnected barrel-vaults, with four fluted columns of different orders on each side; it is a harmonious monument that is quite pleasing. From the coins of the time it is known that there originally there was a large chariot, drawn by six horses, and the symbols of the emperor topping the arch. The arch shows signs of conflict within the Severi dynasty. After Caracalla ordered that his brother Geta be killed in AD 211, Geta?s name was chipped away. Dejected figures of shackled barbarians can be on the pedestals of the columns (see photo #5).
During the Middle Ages, the 69-feet high, 75-feet wide arch, as often happened after Rome fell, was included as a gate to a building; consequently, it is still in good condition.
Address: The Roman Forum
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