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Lego Fun, Vol. XXIII: The Arch of Caracalla

Julius Germanicus

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Located at the entrance to the Severan Forum at Djemila in Algeria, the antique city of Cuicul, this arch was erected in 216 AD in honour of the Emperor Caracalla, his mother Julia Domna, and his deceased father Septimius Severus.


My custom model, designed in 1:50 scale and made of 100 % Lego, depicts the arch in it´s original form with the three remaining bases on top of the attic supporting statues of the members of the Imperial family (with the exception of Caracalla murdered brother Geta, for obvious reasons). 


The arch is 12,5 meters high, 11,6 meters wide, ans 3,9 meters deep. On both sides of the span on the pylons are niches, each framed by a pair of Corinthian columns on pedestals, with smooth drums, detached from the wall. Each pair of columns supports an entablature, which is surmounted in turn by a small eadicula, with a pediment, reaching to the top of the attic.


The arch, together with the rest of the archaeological site of Djémila, has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1982, after plan to have it moved to and re-erected in Paris and dedicate it with an inscription to "L'Armée d'Afrique à la France" had been abandoned in 1842.

The original inscription (which I still need to print in Roman font) reads:

Imp(eratori) Ca[es(ari)] M(arco) Aurelio Severo Antonino Pio Felici Aug(usto) /
Parth[ic]o maximo Britannico max(imo) Germanico max(imo) /
pontif(ici) [m]ax(imo) trib(unicia) pot(estate) XVIIII co(n)s(uli) IIII imp(eratori) III p(atri) p(atriae) proco(n)s(uli) /
et Iuli[ae] Domnae Piae Felici Aug(ustae) matri eius et senatus et pa/
triae et [cas]trorum et divo Severo Aug(usto) Pio patri Imp(eratoris) Caes(aris) M(arci) Aureli Se/
veri Ant[onini] Pii [Felic]is Aug(usti) arcum triumphalem a solo d(ecreto) d(ecurionum) res p(ublica) fecit


To keep this coin related, here is a Sestertius of Caracalla who might have felt some regret for his earlier misdeeds, for in 215 he found time to visit the famous shrine of Asklepios in the city of Pergamum in the hope of finding cures for his numerous ailments, as his physical and mental health had begun to deteriorate. Ancient historians state that the reason for this visit was because he sought healing and relief from dreams in which he was being chased by his father Septimus Severus and brother Geta, whom he had murdered:


M AVREL ANTONINUS PIVS AVG GERM - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Caracalla right, seen from behind /

P M TR P XVIII IMP III COS IIII P P S C - Asclepius, nude to waist, standing facing, head left, holding snake-entwined staff, Telesphorus at his feet to left, globe to right

Sestertius, Rome 215 A.D.

30 mm / 22,22 gr

RIC 538b, BMCRE 280, CSS 1449 var., Sear 6933 var.

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Great bit of construction @Julius Germanicus your work with Lego is always superb, and a nice orichalcum-colored coin. Indeed in the old days North Africa was a breadbasket for the empire, not only in wheat but also olive oil and wine production. Hence, some of the wealthiest aristocrats hailed from the region.

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