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Forum Romanum

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Forum Romanum
Forum Romanum | Photo: Marcel Roblin | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Forum Romanum literally means “Roman market” or Forum Magnum. It was the oldest square in Rome, at the foot of the Capitol and Palatine, which was the political and social center of Rome during the period of the republic. Its splendor was only eclipsed by the construction of the Augustus Forum and the entire imperial forum complex.
In the eighth century BCE the area of the later forum was covered with swamps and only drainage activities related to the construction of the drainage channel – Cloaca Maxima in the seventh century BCE. caused the Romans to look favorably on the lands obtained.

The first buildings stood here during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus. During the reign of Tullius Hostilius on the forum was created Curia, originally called Curia of Hostilius, rebuilt and also transferred by Julius Caesar. More or less from the same period come the first seeds of the Comitium, which were subjected to subsequent reconstructions. Even earlier, because during the rule of Numa, Regia was created. However,the last archaeological records date its creation only until the 5th century BCE.

One of the first historically certain buildings is the Temple of Saturn (Saturnian Aerarium or Aerospace Populi Romani). The building was erected on a high podium occupied the area of ​​a rectangle with an area of ​​20 by 40 m.
In 484 BCE a Dioscur temple was established, created after the battle of Lake Regiluus in 496 BCE. The rostrum – Rostra also comes from the beginnings of the republican Rome; more or less around 500 BCE. It comes with an inscription stele (Lapis Niger). According to the messages, the grave of the city’s founder, Romulus, was located in this place.

There is also a well on the forum called Lacus Curtius. According to one of the sources, in 362 BCE Marcus Curtius was about to throw himself into the cleft created suddenly in the middle of the Forum, after which the hole disappeared. Around this date, the Temple of Concord (Concordia Ordinum) was also created on the forum.
From the fourth century BCE there is also a prison (tulianum also known as a “Mamerton prison”). Initially there was a water reservoir in this place, but soon it already served the purpose of “rehabilitation”.

Another building was the Basilica Aemilia, which was created in 179 BCE on the initiative of consuls Marcus Emilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilor.
For the second century BCE there is also a setting indicating the center of the capital (Umblicus Romae). In addition, the distances between the main cities of the Empire were also determined on the disc.
In 121 BCE the first of the triumphal arches was erected on the forum. It was the Fabius arch erected by Quintus Fabius, after the victory over the Allobroges. Unfortunately, it has not survived to our times.

Forum Romanum, in the background Palatine Hill, on the left side, visible Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus.
Na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa - Na tych samych warunkach 3.0.

In 78 BCE a state archive (Tabularium) was built, in 29 BCE the temple of the Divine Julius was consecrated, dedicated to the memory of Julius Caesar, loved by the Senate. In the same year, Augustus’ Arch stood on the forum to celebrate the victory over Antonius. In 20 BCE Augustus Augustus erected a gilded mills (Milliarium Aureum), marking the beginning of all roads.
During the reign of Tiberius, another arch was erected – Tiberian Arch, to commemorate the restoration of the legionary characters lost in Teutoburg Forest.

For the years of Flavius’ reign, happened the erection of the Temple of Vespasian. In 85 CE on the forum square also stood the Titus’ arch.
In 141 CE Antoninus Pius built the temple of Faustina, dedicated to his recently departed wife. After his death in 161 CE the temple was renamed the temple of Antoninus and Faustina. After 30 years, after many centuries of reconstruction, its current form was given to Temple of Vesta. Next to the temple, the Atrium Vestae was located.
In 212 CE was created in the form of the Arch of Septimius Severus, which commemorates the victory of Septimius over the Parthians.

In 283 CE the fire almost completely consumed the Roman Forum, as a result of which the new buildings did not go to the forum until the fourth century CE. The magnificence of the place was restored by Diocletian, building near the arch of Septimius Severus, a monument to the tetrarchs, which has not survived to our times, except the small figures of tetrarchs.
In the years 308-313 CE, was founded Basilica of Maxentius. The initiator of the construction was still Maxentius, however, putting it to use was for Constantine, therefore, it is also often called the Aula Palatina. More or less from the same period comes the temple of Romulus, in memory of the deceased in 307 CE son of Maxentius.

The last building erected on the Forum’s plan was the column of Phocas set in 608 CE by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.

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