The Arch of Septimius Severus stands at the west end of the Roman forum. The inscriptions that appears on both sides of the arch remind us of how individuals can be erased from history. The original text would have been in bronze letters attached to the marble.
The inscription refers to the emperor Septimius Severus (in line 1) and his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla) in line 3. The titles of Severus as well as his son allow the inscription to be dated to AD 203.
The fourth line currently reads: Optimis Fortissimisque Principibus (‘excellent and strongest princes’). The holes on line 4 show that the inscription originally read (Claridge): P. Septimio L. fil. Getae Nobiliss(imo) Caesari. Line 4 was preceded at the end of line 3 with et (as line 3 is preceded by an et at the end of line 2).
The arch was originally dedicated to Septimius Severus, Caracalla (M. Aurelius Antoninus) as Augustus and P. Septimius Geta as Caesar. In AD 212 Geta was murdered by his brother Caracalla: and Caracalla then proceeded to erase the memory of Geta from public monuments.
The Hadrianeum in Rome lay in the Campus Martius on the west side of the Via Lata, to the south of the Ara Pacis. Parts of the temple can be seen along one side of the Piazza di Pietra. Eleven Corinthian columns, made of Proconnesian marble, as well as the north side of the cella are incorporated into the Borsa.
There is no epigraphic evidence to confirm the identity of the temple although Antoninus Pius dedicated one to him in this area in AD 145; this is the most likely interpretation for this structure.
A series of 24 reliefs cut from Proconnesian marble have been associated with the temple. They were probably incorporated on the cella. The figure shown here, holding a vexillum, probably represents the province of Mauretania. The relief showing shields and an axe probably represent trophies.
Journal summary: Archeostorie Journal of Public Archaeology (AJPA) is the open access peer-reviewed scientific journal that provides Italy with an arena to discuss issues such as the management and communication of heritage and the role of archaeology into contemporary society. It produces insightful analyses on significant initiatives aimed at involving the public in archaeological and heritage issues, and bridging the gap between our past and modernity. Furthermore, AJPA wants to encourage scientific debate on Public Archaeology as a discipline, and promote and coordinate related activities. It also aims to promote debate on the future of the profession, and specifically on whether public engagement in archaeological research can contribute to grant archaeologists a different, and hopefully more relevant, role in contemporary society.
AJPA is published once a year, in Spring. Each issue has a Topic of the year session with papers that analyze a specific subject from several points of view, and a Satura Lanx session with papers beyond the main theme.
Publisher: Centre for Public Archaeology Studies ‘Archeostorie’ – cultural association
I was intrigued by this image of ‘Gunner Smith’ of the (British) Royal Artillery and a colleague taking leave in Rome in June 1944 (shortly after the city’s capture earlier that same month). The photograph was taken by the official war photographer, Captain Tanner.
The J. Paul Getty Museum is to hand over a terracotta head to Italian authorities tomorrow (details on Looting Matters). It will then be put on display in the museum at Aidone, alongside other objects returned from North American collections.
The head’s return raises wider questions about how the Getty acquired material from private collections in the 1980s in spite of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
My colleague Eddie Duggan has drawn my attention to the 3D model of the Etruscan Tomba dei Rilievi at Cerveteri, Italy. We had been working on sympotic equipment that features in the decoration of the tomb.