Arch of the Argentari

Via del Velabro. (Open Map)


The arch leans on the Church of Giorgio al Velabro and was built in 204 AD by the guild of the "argentari" i.e. bankers exchange agents and by the cattle dealers in honor of the emperor Septimius Severus and of his family. The arch consists of two pillars covered with marble that support a marble architrave that bears an inscription. On the sides of the inscriptions two low reliefs depict Hercules on the left and a Genius on the right, perhaps the gods that protected the Forum Boarium. The inner sides of the pillars present figures in low relief, Victories with garlands of flowers, Septimius Severus with his wife Giulia Domna in the act of sacrificing. Down lower there is a seen of a solemn sacrifice of bulls.