Occupying the valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum was the political, religious and commercial nucleus of ancient Rome

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Roman Forum, Rome

Occupying the valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum was the political, religious and commercial nucleus of ancient Rome.

Occupying the valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum was the political, religious and commercial nucleus of ancient Rome. The rectangular plaza is surrounded by the ruins of several important administrative buildings. Originally an Etruscan burial ground, it was first developed in the 7th century BC, and flourished until the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Along the north-eastern edge that runs parallel to Via dei Fori Imperiali are the Tempio di Antonino e Faustina which was converted into the Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda in the 8th century, Basilica Fulvia Aemilia, and the Curia Iulia, the original seat of the Roman Senate. In front of the Curia is the Lapis Niger of the old Comitium, a large black marble shrine with interesting inscriptions that is believed to mark the tomb of Romulus.

At the end of the Clivo Argentario stands the 23 metre tall Arch of Septimius Severus from 203 AD, which was dedicated to the eponymous emperor and his sons Caracalla and Geta in commemoration of their victory over the Parthians. In front of it are the ruins of the Rostra, a platform from which celebrated orators delivered their speeches. The 14 metre tall Colonna di Foca or Column of Phocus in front of it honors Eastern Roman Emperor Phocas.

Behind it at the north-west end are marble fragments of the Milliarium Aureum, and granite columns from the Tempio di Saturno, an important temple that doubled up as a bank. Around it are the ruins of the Tempio della Concordia, Tempio di Vespasiano e Tito, and the Portico degli Dei Consenti or Portico of the Harmonious Gods – a pagan shrine which was also the seat of the judicial clerks.

Along the Foro Romano road is the Basilica Julia ruins marked by stubs, and the columns of the Il Tempio dei Dioscuri or Temple of Castor and Pollux.

Next to it at the foot of the Palatine Hill is the Santa Maria Antiqua, the oldest Christian monument in the Roman Forum dating back to the 5th century. It is noted for its Byzantine frescoes from the 6th to 9th centuries.

The ruins of the circular building of the Tempio di Vesta, and the statues of the Vestal Virgins on the site of the House of the Vestals are nearby.

The Tempio di Giulio Cesare or Tempio del Divo Giulio marks the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated.

The largest building in the Forum is the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine which stands as a testament to the excellence of ancient Roman engineering.

At the end of the Via Sacra stands the Arch of Titus, built in 81 AD to commemorate Titus' victories.


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About Roman Forum

 Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma, Italy

 +39 06 0608

 www.turismoroma.it

Roman Forum and Nearby Sights on Map

Mamertine Prison

Leaders of Rome's defeated enemies were imprisoned here where they either died of starvation or strangulation

Tabularium

The remains of the ancient Roman archives, where Cicero and Seneca did research

Trajan's Markets

On the other side of the Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Roman Forum

Capitoline Hill

The Capitoline Hill may be the smallest of the Seven Hills of Rome, but it certainly was important to the ancient Romans who believed that it was indestructible, and adopted it as a symbol of eternity

Palazzo dei Conservatori

Also based on a Michelangelo architectural plan, this compact gallery is well endowed in classical sculpture and paintings

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill contains the ruins of several large villas that belonged to wealthy Roman families

St. Peter's Basilica

Towering over the skyline of the Vatican City, the Basilica of Saint Peter is one of the largest and most renowned churches in the world

Musei Capitolini

Piazza del Campidoglio

On top of the Capitol hill, the piazza was designed by Michelangelo

Altare della Patria

The Altare della Patria or Altar of the Father honors Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy and Father of the Fatherland