The Arch of Septimius Severus, advertising in marble

April 5, 2023
The Arch of Septimius Severus, advertising in marble

Estimated Reading Time: 4 min 17 sec

The arch of Septimius Severus is a way to advertise using marble.  Have you ever wondered how the Roman emperors advertised their deeds? How could they share with the simple people of Rome, their military victories? Well… thy used Triumphal Arches. The Arch of Septimius Severus (or Settimio Severo) at the Roman Forum, is only one of the three magnificent triumphal arches of the Eternal City. Together with the Arch of Costantine and the partly reconstructed Arch of Titus, it is a wonder of ancient Rome’s art and architecture. Come and take one of our Tours. We’ll show you this incredible example of advertising in marble!!


The Arch of Septimus Severus in the Roman Forum

The Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum

How the Arch of Septimius Severus came about…

The Arch of Septimius Severus was erected in the 3rd century a.D..  The arch represents a perfect example of Roman celebratory art . It conveys very precise messages to those who observe it. The numerous and refined marble reliefs, which decorate the surface between the pillars represent codified war scenes. It represents the chronicle of the Parthian campaign, fought by Rome. It narrates the events of this battle step by step and it depicts the preparation of the siege, the construction of the camp and the roads. In addition, it shows the building of the fortifications and the battles with the defeated enemies and it ends with the representation of the speech of the emperor after the victory.

Why do we consider it “advertising in marble”?

We consider the Arch of Septimius Severus as an example of  “advertising in marble” because the reliefs can be “read” by those observing the arch. The reliefs follow a specific order, from the departure of the army to the victorious return. In short, the Arch is a real summary of the victorious campaigns of Septimius Severus. An example of Roman propaganda, easily understandable even to the simple Roman citizens.

The triumphal Arch celebrates the eternal victories of Septimius Severus, and of all Rome. In short, the of Arch of Septimius Severus is an incredible example of  “advertising in marble”!