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p44 Arcus Argentariorum

Article on p44 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Black-and‑white images are from Platner; any color photos are mine © William P. Thayer



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It's seen better days, and access isn't too good; but by good fortune the visitor can see the front of the monument at least.

Arcus Septimi Severi (in foro Boario), Arcus Argentariorum or Monumentum Argentariorum: modern names given to an arch, which probably served as an entrance to the Forum Boarium (q.v.), that stands at the south-west angle of the church of S. Giorgio in Velabro, the campanile resting partly upon one pier of the arch and concealing two of its sides. It was erected in 204 A.D. by the argentarii et negotiantes boarii huius loci qui invehent, in honour of Septimius Severus, his wife, his sons Caracalla and Geta, and Caracalla's wife Fulvia Plautilla, the daughter of Plautianus (CIL VI.1035; cf. 31232). The inscription seems to have been modified thrice — after the fall of Plautianus in 205, after the murder of Plautilla in 211, and after the murder of Geta in 212.


[image ALT: A Roman sculptural relief of man with a club and a lion skin. It is a depiction of Hercules on the Arch of the Argentarii in Rome.]
A small sample of the carving:
Hercules with the skin of the Nemean Lion, from the lintel.
(For other photo details of the arch, use the clickmap in the 1st photo, above.)

The arch is not a true arch, but a flat lintel resting on two piers, and is entirely of marble, except the base, which is of travertine. It is 6.15 metres in height and the archway is 3.30 metres wide. At the corners of the piers are pilasters with Corinthian capitals, and the whole exterior surface is adorned either with coarse decorative sculpture or reliefs representing sacrificial scenes. On the inside the figures of the imperial family are carved in relief (those of Plautilla and Geta have been removed); the ceiling is cut in soffits, and the inscription is on the lintel (Bull. d. Inst. 1867, 217; Jord. I.2.470; PAS II.70; LS III.42; Mél. 1924, 111‑150; Fiechter and Hülsen ap. Töbelmann I.88‑96; SScR 305; Reinach, Rép. des Reliefs, I.271‑272). 
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	An inactive area of this clickmap. If you click here, you will stay exactly where you are.


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Page updated: 18 Jun 09