The Arch of Septimius Severus at Leptis Magna

The Arch of Septimius Severus at Leptis Magna

The Arch of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (reign: 193-211 AD) at Leptis Magna, which is located in present-day Libya in Africa. The arch served as a symbol of imperial power and military prowess, while also commemorating the Severan dynasty’s rule.

The arch was constructed to commemorate the military victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. The arch was built in 203 AD after Severus’ successful campaigns in Parthia (modern-day Iraq and Iran).

It stands approximately 23 meters high and consists of three arched openings, with decorative reliefs depicting scenes from the military campaigns of Septimius Severus. It depicts a chariot being driven by a quadriga, with four horses.Within the chariot, three prominent figures are depicted: Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Geta. This composition symbolizes the concept of dynastic succession, showcasing the passing of power from Septimius Severus to his sons, Caracalla and Geta.

Basically, the reliefs on the arch, whcih depict scenes such as battles, sieges, and the emperor’s triumphant return to Rome, praise the emperor and his achievements.

Despite the passage of time and weathering, the Arch of Septimius Severus remains largely intact and is an important architectural and historical monument in Rome. It attracts numerous visitors who are interested in Roman history and architecture, offering them a glimpse into the grandeur and achievements of the Severan era.

In 1982, the triumphal arch was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.