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Forum Boarium – animal market

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Arch of Janus
Arch of Janus - 4th century CE, located between the Forum Boarium and Velabrum, Rome

In ancient Rome, one of the oldest forums was the Forum Boarium. The Forum Boarium together with Forum Holitorium1 were located at a strategic point on the Tiber at the first crossing of the river.

The Forum Boarium was a vast square surrounded by columns where animals were sold, mainly cattle, but you could also buy fish and poultry2. There were solid roofs here and there, but most of them were tents and makeshift stalls. In the central part there was a bronze statue of a bull, which was a good orientation point amid the hustle and bustle there.

The Boarium Forum was divided into sectors. In one you could buy goats and sheep, in another you could buy quartered meat not only of farm animals, but also of, among others, roe deer, hares and wild boars. In yet another sector it was possible to buy cattle. While the quartered meat and sheep and goat sectors were quite tight, the cattle sector looked different. It was a large square without stalls, surrounded by a fence where animals stood.

Author: Piotr Szuba (translated from Polish: Jakub Jasiński)
  1. Forum Holitorium was a vegetable market located next to the Boarium Forum.
  2. Apart from them, you could also buy exotic animals such as parrots, flamingos and porcupines.
  • Alberto Angela, Jeden dzień w starożytnym Rzymie, Warszawa 2021

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