The Forum Romanum was the center of life in Imperial Rome, evidenced by the many remains of triumphal arches, temples and basilicas.
Nowadays this area is known as the Forum Romanum or Roman Forum and it looks like a disorderly collection of ruins. Remains of many buildings from different periods are visible here including temples, basilicas and triumphal arches. Three triumphal arches were built on the forum. They were used by emperors to commemorate their victories.
The Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus, built in 81 AD, commemorates the victory in the Jewish War. It is located at the Via Sacra on the eastern side of the forum. At the other end of the forum, near the Capitoline hill, stands the Arch of Septimius Severus. It was built in 203 AD to commemorate the victory over the Parthians.
The Curia was the location where the senate assembled. The rectangular brick building could seat up to two hundred senators. The original Curia was built by the third king of Rome (although at another location). It burnt down four times, first in 80 BC but it was rebuilt each time. After a fire in 53 BC Caesar moved the Curia to the Forum Romanum. The current building was constructed in 283 AD by Diocletian. In the seventh century the Curia was turned into a church, but fortunately the building was mostly kept intact.
The Rostra was a speaker’s platform, originally built in the fourth century BC at a nearby location. The name Rostra, which means “battering rams”, was derived from the iron-clad battering rams of Volscian war vessels captured at the battle of Antium in 338 BC. The platform was decorated with many of those battering rams.
The Temple of Saturn
The first Temple of Saturn was built during the last years of the Etruscan kingdom. It was inaugurated at the beginning of the republic in 497 BC. The current ruins date from 42 BC. The temple was used as the state treasury (Aerarium). It also housed the banners of the legions and the senatorial decrees.
In 20 BC a tall column, the Miliarium Aureum, was placed in front of the temple by Emperor Augustus. All distances to Rome were measured from this column.
Remains of several more structures can be found on the Forum Romanum, among them the Sacellum of Venus Cloacina, the Porticus Deorum Consentium, the arch of Actium, the Regia, the Temple of Divus Julius – built by Augustus in honor of Julius Caesar – and the Temple of Concord.
Location: Piazza Santa Maria Nova, 53, 00186 Rome
Nearby hotels: Hotel Pantheon, Appia Antica Resort, Portrait Roma
Nearby sights: Colosseum, Pantheon, Centro Storico
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