Arch of Septimus Servus By: Varun and Nathan

The Arch of Septimus Servus was erected in 203 CE and was dedicated to Septimus Servus and his sons, Caracella and Geta. The arch is located in the Roman Forum on top of the via sacra. It was a triumphal arch - it commemorated the Roman victory over the Parthians from Edessa.

One of the many panels that depicts the siege of Parthia
This picture shows Septimus Servus addressing his troops as they are leaving the camp wither their siege troops
Translation of inscription: "To the Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius, son of Marcus, Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus (Septimius Severus), father of his country, conqueror of the Parthians in Arabia and Assyria, Pontifex Maximus, with Tribunician powers 11 times, triumphing general 11 times, consul 3 times, and proconsul; and to the Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius, son of Lucius, Antoninus Augustus Pius Felix (Caracalla), with tribunician powers 6 times, consul, proconsul, father of his country—the best and bravest of princes—on account of the republic restored and the empire of the Roman people increased by their outstanding virtues at home and abroad, the Senate and the Roman people dedicate this arch."

It has three arches which were typical of triumphal arches. The center arch was used for traffic while the other two were blocked off by steps leading to the top of the arch. It is made with travertine whilst and marble. It had a hollow attic and a walkway at the top of the arch. The writing on the attic is a dedication to Septimus Servus.

Today it is badly worn but still has many details that are easily identified. The arch was never restored because the church protected it until the 18th century. It was excavated intact, but the workers did not pay attention to the natural bedding of the marble, causing some problems during the excavation.

The Arch of Septimus Servus changes over time

The arch was converted into a fortress. They added towers to it and was incorporated to surrounding buildings. Had a shop in the middle passage. Smaller arches were used for commerce.

Arcus motobaris in church

Populus qauesat ut arcum

An under view of the Arch of Septimus Servus


"The Arch of Septimus Severus by." Arts and Humanities Through the Eras, edited by Edward I. Bleiberg, et al., vol. 5: The Age of the Baroque and Enlightenment 1600-1800, Gale, 2005. World History in Context, Accessed 8 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by Andy Hay - "Arch of Septimius Severus, Forum, Rome" • triplejjj99 - "Arch of Septimus Severeus"

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