Arch of Severus
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Architect unknown
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Location Rome, Italy   map
Date 205   timeline
Building Type triumphal arch, monument
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Ancient Roman, Classical, Corinthian
Notes A classic example of the triumphal arch type.


Photo, overview with contextual ruins.

Photo, exterior, historical overview





Section Drawing

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3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion Arch of Severus Commentary

"The Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome, commemorating the emperor's Parthian campaigns, was built of white marble in traditional triple-arched form, but shows a new freedom in the style of its relief decorations."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p259.

One of Severus' principal monuments in Rome "was the great arch he built over the Via Sacra near the slopes of the Capitoline hill. In scale it is gigantic—20.88 metres high and 23.27 metres wide. It has three passages flanked on each side by lofty Composite columns on high plinths. The inscription in the attic dates it to AD 203. Above the attic was a bronze quadriga containing the Emperor and his sons. The position of the arch on steeply sloping ground adds to its imposing effect."

— Frank Sear. Roman Architecture. p256.


In the western section of the Roman Forum.

Sources on Arch of Severus

Robert Adam. Classical Architecture. London: Penguin Books, 1990. ISBN 0-670-82613-8. NA260.A26 1990. elevation drawing, fig c, p101. Derek Brentnall.

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. elevation, p148.   A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1841.072.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. section drawing, fig d, p245.   The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Frank Sear. Roman Architecture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8014-1591-8. LC 82-48715. NA310.S44 1983. discussion p256.

Alene Stickles, University of Oregon. Slide from photographer's collection, August 1993. PCD.3189.1011.1916.056

Doreen Yarwood. The Architecture of Europe. New York: Hastings House, 1974. ISBN 0-8038-0364-8. LC 73-11105. NA950.Y37. elevation drawing, f159, p71.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Arch of Severus


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