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Site Report Essay, Research Paper

Roma: Profile of a City

June 18, 2001

Site Report

Name of Site/Monument:

Arch of Septimius Severus

Name of Student finishing this signifier:

Anne O & # 8217 ; Connor

Date Form filled out:

June 18, 2001

Location of Memorial:

a. Region

Northwest corner of the Roman Forum near the Capitoline Hill.

B. Location in Modern Rome

Roman Forum

Date ( s ) of chief building stage ( s ) :

In 203 AD, the Arch of Septimius Severus became the first memorial on the northwesterly side of the Roman Forum. & # 8220 ; This arch destroyed the symmetricalness of the Roman Forum. Originally the degree of the land on the side toward the Forum was so high that the paving of the cardinal arch was reached by four or five stairss. The stairss to the side arches were cut at a ulterior day of the month. About the center of the 4th century, the degree in forepart of the arch was lowered, contrary to the general regulation, as is shown by the monolithic concrete base on which is set the base of the equestrian statue of Constantius & # 8221 ; ( Platner 244 ) .

Earlier/Alternative Designation:



The Arch of Septimius Severus was technically a triumphal arch, but harmonizing to Giuseppe Lugli, in his book, The Roman Forum and the Palatine, & # 8220 ; the memorial was truly more commemorating than triumphal & # 8221 ; ( 32 ) . It was raised to Septimius Severus, who ruled for 18 old ages, and his two boies, Caracalla and Geta in memorialization of the triumphs they had gained over the Arabs and Parthians in Mesopotamia. It celebrated the extension of the boundaries of the imperium ( Lanciani 42 ) .

Commissioned/vowed/dedicated by:

Commissioned by Septimius Severus, but non finished until after his decease, during Caracalla & # 8217 ; s reign.

Designed by:


Dimensions of the memorial:

Harmonizing to Platner, & # 8220 ; : the arch is 23 metres high, 25 metres broad and 11.85 metres deep, the cardinal archway is 12 metres high and 7 metres broad, and the side archways are 7.80 high and 3 metres broad. On each face of the arch are four fluted Corinthian columns, 8.78 metres high and 0.90 metres in diameter at the base. These columns stand free from the arch on projecting bases, and behind them are matching pilasters. An entablature surrounds the arch, and above it is the exalted Attic, 5.60 metres in tallness, within which are four Chamberss & # 8221 ; ( 245 ) .

Constructing techniques:


Constructing manner:

& # 8220 ; The arch three transitions connected by a transverse one, a distinctive feature which does non happen in any other construction of the sort. There are four composite columns on each forepart & # 8221 ; ( Lanciani 42 ) . & # 8220 ; It was at first raised above the degree of the Comitium by agencies of a broad flight of stairss, and merely subsequently was it crossed by a route that joined the Clivus Capitolinus & # 8221 ; ( Lugli 31 ) . It was non until the Middle Ages that the route went through the centre of the arch.

Building stuffs:

The arch is ternary, of Pentelic marble, and stands on foundations of travertine, the upper portion of which was covered with marble facing. Originally the degree of the land on the side toward the Forum was so high that the paving of the cardinal arch was reached by four or five stairss & # 8221 ; ( Platner 244 ) .

Decoration of edifice:

& # 8220 ; The wars fought against the Arabs are depicted in four great images above the smaller transitions, while lunettes on either side of the arches are filled with winged triumphs are personific

ations of rivers ( among others, the Tigris and Euphrates ) . Over the top of the cosmetic columns are reliefs picturing Arab captives dragged in ironss by the Romans. These alleviations already show artistic degeneracy. The creative person, alternatively of put to deathing great composings like those of other Arches, has composed a series of images on a lesser graduated table, filled with smaller figures, so that the restrictions of his ability might be less noticeable. Representations of the arch on coins and decorations show it to hold been surmounted by a great six-horsed chariot, bearing the images of the Emperor and his two boies, while the holes to be seen on the sides seem to hold supported shields and other decorations in bronze. The ornament of the overleaping under the arches is really interesting, with its rich and carefully sculptured coffering ( Lugli 32 ) .




To the Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius ( boy of Marcus ) Severus, Pius Pertinax Augustus, Father of his state, vanquisher of Parthian lieges in Arabia and Adiabene, head Pontiff, tribunician powers for the 11th clip, hailed Imperator 11 times, consul four times, proconsul: and to the Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius ( boy of Lucius ) Antoninus Augustus Pius Felix, tribunician power for the 6th clip, consul, proconsul, most first-class and valiant princes, because the commonwealth was restored and the imperium of the Roman People enlarged by their outstanding virtuousnesss at place and abroad: set up by Senate and People of Rome & # 8221 ; ( Dudley 84 ) . This lettering is on the Attic. The name Geta in the 4th line has been erased because he was killed by his brother. Honorary rubrics have been substituted. This procedure is called domnatio memoriae. & # 8220 ; The lettering is repeated on both sides of the Attic & # 8221 ; ( Platner 244 ) .

Ancient Events on Site:


Fortunes and day of the months of devastation:

The Arch of Septimius Severus is one of the most good preserved memorials of Ancient Rome. As depicted in the exposure, it still stands about complete. & # 8220 ; Its first-class saving is due to the fact that during the Middle Ages it was enclosed by the Church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus to the South and by munitions to the North & # 8221 ; ( Lugli 34 ) . Harmonizing to Claridge, at some point in clip, a sculpturer set up store in the cardinal passageway, etching profiles on the walls. This accounts for some of the harm.

Re-uses in modern times:


During the Middle Ages, it enclosed the Church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. Besides, during the Middle Ages, it was used as a munition for the metropolis. In the exposure, you can see balls of the Attic missing. This was a good manner to protect the metropolis because you could acquire soldiers into the Attic, and they could hit arrows out of the holes in the Attic, while having protection from the Arch.

Archaelogical intercessions:


Ancient beginnings:


Medieval and ulterior beginnings:


Plants Cited

Claridge, Amanda. Rome: Oxford Archaelogical Guides. Oxford University

Imperativeness: New York. 1998.

Dudley, Donald. Urbs Roma: A Source Book of Classical Texts on the City and its

Memorials. Phaidon Press: Aberdeen. 1967.

Lanciani, Rodolfo. The Roman Forvm. Frank & A ; Co. : Rome. 1910.

Lugli, Giuseppe. The Roman Forum and the Palatine. Giovanni Bardi: Rome. 1959.

Platner, Samuel Ball. The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome.

Norwood Press: Boston. 1904. kkoskim/rooma/pages/MAIN.HTM

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