In the very heart of Rome there is a monument, as ancient as the Eternal City itself - this is the Roman Forum (Latin Forum Romanum). The inconsistent series of antique columns and dilapidated arches of temples demonstrate the former greatness of the Roman Empire. The architecture, history and culture of ancient Rome collected on a plot of 500 m2.
Even during the heyday of the Roman state, a decent piece of land remained in the capital, which was not ennobled. The valley between the 6 hills in the city center was flooded by numerous springs.
Up to the VIII century BC marshland was used as a cemetery for residents of the capital.
The situation changed during the reign of Tarquius Priscus (lat. Tarquinius Priscus). The Roman ruler introduced a large-scale drainage system, which allowed to drain the lowland soil. Throughout the 7th-6th centuries BC
Rome acquired a system of compacted earth roads. The metropolitan plain has turned into a convenient area on which the shopping arcade and the platform for public speaking have grown. Thus, the social and economic status of the Romanum Forum began to take shape.
Temple of Venus the Purifier
The first significant building in the square was the Temple of Venus the Purifier (Venus Cloacina). This sanctuary has not survived to our days, however, ancient legends say that in the temple they performed a rite of purification of Roman warriors and captive Sabine virgins.
The Roman Forum has another legendary place - the marble obelisk "Black Stone" (Lapis Niger). Dated to the 6th century BC the monument, according to ancient manuscripts, marked the place of death of Romulus, one of the founders of Rome. Under the surface of the stone during excavations, plates with ancient letters were found that allow us to trace the formation of Latin, as a derivative of the Greek language.
Comitium and Tribune of Speakers
The forum map indicates the initial place for public debate - Comitium. The word "comitium" in translation from Latin means "meeting". The description of the comitia is preserved in ancient manuscripts - it was a rounded amphitheater, with several rows of stands. Erected in the 5th century BC bore the name "Tribune of speakers" (Rostra Vetera). The tribune finished with ship noses (rosters) successfully performed its functions until the advent of our era.
Navel of the city
During the tsarist era, a small temple was founded on Piazzale Roma, called the navel of the city (Umbilicus urbis). The rulers decided to emphasize the importance of the Roman Forum, to identify its key role in the life of the capital. The once ceremonial building, decorated with marble, has now turned into ruins.
From V to II century BC The Roman Empire managed to participate in various military conflicts, including three powerful wars with the Phoenicians, which left its mark on the appearance of the capital. Majestic Rome received money for glossing. One of the buildings of that period is the Temple of Dioscuros (Aedes Castoris), in which the sons of the god Jupiter - Castor and Pollux - were worshiped. The ancient sanctuary came to modern days in the form of antique columns, called the "Three Sisters".
In the 5th century BC the rulers of Rome were seriously puzzled by the strengthening of city roads. As part of land management, the Sacred Road (Via Sacra), leading inland to the Forum Romanum, was laid. Initially, by the 4th century, a wide tract was decorated with colonnades and paved with tufa.
Temple of Saturn
The map of the Roman Forum in the southwest is marked by another magnificent building - the Temple of Saturn (Templum Saturni). The columns of the ancient Roman sanctuary are still directed towards the blue sky of the capital. A grandiose temple was erected in honor of the victory of the Romans over the Etruscan ruler Tarquinius. The attraction had a difficult fate, it turned to ashes and resurrected, like a Phoenix bird. For a long time, the temple of Saturn served as the Treasury and the tax service, called Erarius from the Latin word "aerarium" - "salary, treasury".
Temple of Concordia and Temple of Vespasian
At the westernmost border of the Forum in the 4th century BC the Temple of Concordia (Tempio della Concordia), the goddess of consent, was built. The appearance of this temple symbolized reconciliation between the Roman nobility and people from the people. Just south of the Temple of Concordia, you can see the ruins of the temple of Vespasian. The few surviving columns are all that remain of the sanctuary dedicated to Emperor Vespasian (Templum divi Vespasiani) and his successor Titus.
Three oldest basilicas
In the II century BC The architecture and significance of the Forum Romanum have undergone significant changes. Three new temples were built on the estate of wealthy Romans. The Portia Basilica (Latin Basilica Porcia) appeared due to the efforts of politician Mark Portia Cato (Latin Marcus Porcius Cato), a well-known guardian of the law.
Portius turned the basilica into a courtroom, where administered justice over money-lovers and resolved financial disputes. The building was destroyed by fire in the 1st century. BC.
The Basilica of Emilia (Latin: Basilica Aemilia) also did not survive to the present. Gray floor slabs and the foundations of antique columns are all that remain of the once majestic building that served for debate and litigation. At the head of the basilica are the columns of the Temple of Dioscuros.
The Basilica of Sempronia (Latin Basilica Sempronia) could be considered the most ancient basilica of Rome, do not be destroyed by Julius Caesar (lat.Gaius Iulius Caesar) in the 50s BC
The great emperor built a temple in the south-west of the Roman Forum - the Basilica of Julius (Latin Basilica Iulia). Unlike the Basilica of Sempronius, the new building had an impressive size - 101 by 49 meters. Scientists suggest that the basilica had three floors. Inside, civil proceedings took place, including resolving property disputes. In the 3rd century A.D. the temple was destroyed by a strong fire.
In the 1st century BC Julius Caesar decided to move the meeting place of the Roman Senate to Curia Iulia. A map of the square indicates that the new building is located just north of Komitsia. The original architecture of the curia has not been preserved, the remains of the reconstructed in the III century BC survived to our days. the buildings. In the 7th century, the curia was turned into a church. Antique floor slabs remind of the solid history of the building. Inside the church, decor elements of Curia Julia are kept - rostras covered with relief drawings.
The ancient forum includes a partially preserved building - the Tabularium building (Tabularium). It was built in the 1st century BC. and was a state archive, a repository of all kinds of acts. Obviously once Tabularium had a multi-story structureThe austere architecture is animated by arched vaults. At present, the foundation and the ground floor of the building, elements of the interior decor are well preserved.
Arch of Titus
The southeast entrance to the Roman Forum is adorned by the Arch of Titus, erected in the 1st century A.D. Emperor Domitian (lat. Flavius Domitianus) in honor of the deceased ruler Titus. A powerful snow-white portal was lined with marble from Attica. The archway is decorated with relief images of the victory goddess Victoria, as well as battle scenes of the battle of Jerusalem.
In 27 BC The Roman Republic was transformed into an empire. Its first emperor, Julius Caesar and his successor, Octavian Augustus, made every effort to turn the Roman Forum into the cultural, political and religious center of his state. Imperial victories were marked by the triumphal arch of Augustus, which is located next to the Caesar's Temple (Aedes Divi Iuli).
After death the body of the first emperor of Rome was put on fire. On the site of the burning, a temple was subsequently built in which Caesar was deified.
Ancient Roman coins demonstrate what the architecture of the temple was. The building itself came to us in the form of bulky ruins.
Temple of Vesta
The posthumous imperial halls are hidden from the eyes of visitors by an incomplete circle of snow-white columns, which in the past were the Temple of Vesta (Aedes Vestae). The patroness of the hearth received at her disposal a round temple. Day and night, a flame burned in the building, smoke from which ascended to heaven. Imperial daughters and priestesses-vestals watched the fire and performed rituals to appease the goddess.
Temple of Venus and Roma
In the 2nd century A.D. Emperor Hadrian (lat. Traianus Hadrianus) ordered the creation of a grand temple dedicated to the two patrons of Rome - the goddesses Venus and Roma (Tempio di Venere e Roma). The architecture of the large-scale building had an unusual appearance: two shrines (domes) of the sanctuary were built opposite each other. On the sides of the temple was limited by a series of antique columns.
This architectural composition connected the Colosseum and the Roman Forum (eastern region).
Subsequently, one of the cells was turned into the church of Santa Francesca Romana, so it is better preserved than all the other buildings.
Temple of Anthony and Faustina (Tempio di Antonino e Faustina)
Anthony Pius (Latin: Antoninus Pius) in 141 A.D. built a beautiful temple dedicated to the untimely departed wife, Faustina. After his death in 161, the sanctuary received its current name - the Temple of Anthony and Faustina. Ancient Roman buildings were used by Christians in the XI century to create the church of St. Lawrence (San Lorenzo in Miranda). Thanks to this fact, modern tourists can admire the Romanesque basilica, surrounded by the colonnade around the perimeter.
Septimius North Arch
At the dawn of the III century A.D. the ruler Septimius Severus (Latin: Septimius Severus) ordered the northern entrance to the square to be equipped with a triumphal arch (Arco di Settimio Severo). The great victories of the commander and his sons were immortalized with the help of a marble arch decorated with solemn decor. The relief drawings on the facing plates depict the heroic battles of the Romans with the inhabitants of Parthia.
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
The most impressive and large-scale structure of the Forum Romanum was and remains the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine (Basilica di Massenzio).
Start of construction in 308 A.D. put the emperor Maxentius, who was soon overthrown by Constantine.
Thus, in the east of the square, a huge three-nave temple grew in size 100 by 65 meters. The remains of an ancient building provide an idea of what the architecture of the basilica was. In the best of times the temple was decorated with a huge statue of Maxentius, which was later replaced by a sculpture of Constantine. Sheet gold and marble elegantly complemented the stone incarnation of the ruler.
How to get, working hours, tickets
Important tip: A 12 Euro ticket to the Roman Forum also includes a visit to the Coliseum and Palatine Hill. So once in Rome you don’t have to stand in a two-hour queue at the box office of the Coliseum, like all unfortunate touristsand just walk 100 meters to the side and buy the same ticket at the box office of the Forum. Especially advanced our readers can use the instructions and book your tickets to the Colosseum yourself on the Internet in advance.
- Ticket price: 12 euros, if you are under 17 years old then just show your passport and go for free.
- Address: Via Della Salara Vecchia 5/6 (located at the intersection of Via dei Fori Imperiali and Via Cavour). Entrance from the side of the Coliseum;
- On underground to the station "Colloseo", line B;
- On tram No. 3 or by buses No. 60, 75, 84, 85, 87, 117, 175, 271, 571, 810, 850; No. 3, to the "Colloseo" stop;
- Official site: www.archeoroma.beniculturali.it/siti-archeologici/foro-romano-palatino
- Telephone for information and reservations in Italian: ++39.06.39967700 ;
- Working hours: from 08:30 to 17-18 hours, depending on the time of year.