Leptis Magna, situated on the coast of Libya near Tripoli, is a Phoenician settlement but it reached its greatest splendour during the Roman Empire and, in particular, during the third century under the reign of Septimius Severus, who was born there. In effect, Severus lavished it with splendid new buildings, ordering the most beautiful construction materials to be brought from far-away places, until it became one of the most beautiful cities of the Mediterranean. However, its inhabitants were barely able to enjoy its delights for over a century as various natural catastrophes ruined the African Emperor’s dream, and by the end of the Low Empire the city had practically been abandoned. It was gradually covered by the nearby desert sands until it completely disappeared. It was rediscovered during the seventeenth century and since then it has attracted and captivated both visitors and scholars alike, as, despite its unlucky existence, it is one of the best-preserved archaelogical enclaves of the Roman world.