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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Publication details for Dr Edmund Thomas

Thomas, Edmund (2007). Metaphor and identity in Severan architecture: the Septizodium between reality and fantasy. In Severan Culture. Swain, Simon, Harrison, Stephen & Elsner, Jas Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 327-367.

Author(s) from Durham


The Septizodium in Rome is here interpreted metaphorically as a statement of Septimius Severus’s African identity, designed to greet his return from Africa in 203. A re-interpretation of sixteenth-century drawings and the Severan marble plan suggests that the building was longer than is usually supposed, extending over seven bays with a central entranceway leading to the imperial palace.