Arch of Septimus Severus

Arch of Septimus Severus

This magnificent arch was constructed in 203 CE honoring the Roman victory of Emperor Septimus Severus over the Parthians (modern Iran) in the 2nd century. Emperor Septimus Severus was responsible for the creation of the Roman province Mesopotamia in 199CE. Today this arch still stands on the Via Sacra in the Forum Romanum of Rome. This consists of three central archways and is composed of travertine whilst and marble. In Roman times this arch contained a functional inner stairway and access to the roof of the arch though a hollow attic. One interesting feature of this arch is what was inscribed after the death of Emeror Septimus Severus. His two sons Geta and Caracalla were said to be very close in public, but in reality hated each other. After the death of their father, the two brothers became joint rulers of Rome. Tension built between the two during this time and eventually Caracalla had Geta killed! (talk about brotherly love….) The arch originally had inscriptions of both Geta and Caracalla, but Caracalla had his brother’s face removed after he orchestrated his murder. (talk about brotherly love….)

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