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Lepcis Magna: Colonnaded Street


Nymphaeum. Photo Marco Prins. Lepcis Magna: Phoenician colony, later part of the Carthaginian empire, the kingdom of Massinissa, and the Roman empire. Its most famous son was the emperor Septimius Severus (193-211).
 
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Colonnaded Street

East of the Palaestra, there is a Plaza on which the Colonnaded Street begins, the road that connected the Hadrianic Baths and the Palaestra to the Port of Lepcis Magna. The arch to the left on this photo marks the beginning of the Colonnaded Street. If you passed through it, you would be on the southeastern sidewalk.

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Colonnaded Street with Byzantine Church (left). Photo Marco Prins. The Colonnaded Street was constructed by Septimius Severus (193-211) and passed along the Severan Forum and the Severan Basilica. In was 20 m wide (42 with the sideways included) and 400 m long. On this photo, to the left, you can see an old house that was later converted into a Byzantine Church. In the distance, the Severan Forum can be seen.
An Honorific Decree from the Colonnaded Street. Museum of Lepcis Magna. Photo Marco Prins. The little railroad on the photo above was used by the excavators. The second photo shows an inscription that was found in the Colonnaded Street. It is written in Punic, can be dated to 60, and tells that "Ithymbal Sabinus, the son of Arish Tapapius, erected this for his maternal aunt Arisuth, the daughter of Yatonbal the Builder, in honorable memory of a beneficient deed". It is now in the museum of Lepcis Magna.

Decorations of the Colonnaded Street in Lepcis Magna. Photo Jona Lendering.
Decorations of the Colonnaded Street in Lepcis Magna. Photo Jona Lendering.

Lighthouse. Photo Marco Prins. There were 125 arches on both sides, made of Euboean cipollino marble. Similar streets are known mainly from Syria, where Severus' empress Julia Domna was born and which Severus himself visited on several occasions. At the end of the street was the port with its lighthouse, which dominated the road.

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Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 22 July 2012
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