Marcus Aurelius Arch, Tarabulus, Libya 

The only monument in Oea that is still visible, is the so-called Arch of Marcus Aurelius. It actually commemorates the victories of Marcus’ brother Lucius Verus. In 161, the Parthian king Vologases IV had unexpectedly attacked the Roman empire and annihilated a legion, probably the Ninth Hispana. Lucius Verus led the counter-attack, which lasted several years, but culminated in the sack of the Parthian capital Ctesiphon.

There were many monuments to commemorate this victory, like the Parthian Monument in Ephesus. That the arch in Oea was erected in 165, can be deduced from the emperors’ style of titles, which calls them Armeniacus, a name they had accepted in the preceding year; the titles Medicus and Parthicus, which were added in 166, are still absent.

Epic Libya Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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