Lepcis Magna, Colonnaded Street

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 (r.193-211).

Colonnaded Street

The 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.

The Colonnaded Street was constructed by Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) and passed along the Severan Forum and the Severan Basilica. In was 20½ meters wide (42 meters with the sideways included) and 400 m long. On the first photo, you can see an old house to the left that was later converted into a Byzantine Church. In the distance, the Severan Forum can be seen.The little railroad on the photo above was used by the excavators.

The second photo on the row at the bottom of this page shows an inscription, now in the museum of Lepcis Magna, that was discovered in the Colonnaded Street. It is written in Punic, can be dated to 60 CE, and tells that

Remains of the lighthouse at the end of the Colonnaded Street
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.

There were 125 arches on both sides of the Colonnaded Streets, made of cipollino marble that had been imported from Euboea. Similar streets are known mainly from Syria, where Severus' empress Julia Domna was born and which Severus himself had visited on several occasions. At the end of the street was the port with its lighthouse, which dominated the road.