A little of history of the Roman Forum
At the end of the 7th century BC, the Roman Forum was built in the center of public life in Rome for more than a millennium. Throughout the centuries several buildings were built for political, religious and economic activities, and in the second century civil or basilica buildings where judicial activities took place. At the end of the Republican age the old Roman Forum was inadequate and not functional as a civil and administrative center of the city.
The emperors and their dynasties added only monuments of prestige: The Temple of Vespasian and Titus and the one of Antoninus Pius and Faustina dedicated to the memory of the emperors, the monumental arch of Septimius Severus, built at the west end of the square in 203 AD to celebrate its military victories. In the IV century AD under the Emperor Massenzio a temple dedicated to the memory of his son Romulus was built and the imposing Basilica in the Velia was restructured. The last monument that rose in the Roman Forum was the Column of the year 608 AD in honor of the Byzantine Emperor Phocas.
What is the Roman Forum nowadays?
With the end of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little buried. Although in the sixteenth century it was known its existence was only until the twentieth century that the excavations were made. Currently the Roman Forum is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in Rome, walking the Via Sacra you can imagine how it was more than 20 centuries ago, when Julius Caesar walked around. With a little imagination you can see how the basilicas stand again, as the temples are filled with offerings and how the voices of the Senate and the footsteps of soldiers who parade along the Via Sacra echo.
The vestiges that are in the Roman Forum are impressive, especially if we see them from the near hills like the one of the Palatine.
Curiosities of the Roman Forum
Did you know that the area where the Roman Forum is was originally a swampy area? This entire area was drained in the 6th century BC. with the Cloaca Maxima, one of the first sewage systems in the world.
Did you know that the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Palatine are the three most visited archaeological sites in the city of Rome? The Coliseum for its majesty and for its state of conservation does not need much interpretation, once inside it is possible to understand the organization of its spaces. The Palatine is a bit more confusing however knowing that it was the residential area of the emperors solves many doubts. The Roman Forum is a little more difficult as it was the symbol of the Roman power and the advanced social, religious and political life of its society. However, we can imagine its temples, arches, basilicas, columns and give life to the Rome of more than 2000 years.
Why visit the Roman Forum?
The Roman Forum is a true sanctuary of the Ancient Rome, a valuable source of information if you are interested in the history of the Roman Empire. It is also the place where the life of citizens was developed: politics, justice, commerce, social life and worship of the gods, this was the heart of the city of Rome.
After this wonderful walk through the ancient history of this city, we await a solemn final. From the exit of the Roman Forum we can admire the silhouette of the great Roman Colosseum, the soul of Rome and the splendor of his empire.
Other attractions in the area
On a short distance from the Roman Forum is the Palatine with a museum that contains pieces of great interest that will help you better understand the ruins of the hill. Here are the following:
- The remains of the Romulan huts belonging to the 8th century BC.
- The House of Augustus which was opened to the public in March 2008
- The Cryptoporticus of Nero that evokes the intrigues of the first successors of Augustus
In your visit to Rome you can’t miss the Catacombs. The Catacombs have always captivated the imagination of the visitor but beyond legends and beliefs, they are nothing other than underground cemeteries, mostly Christian. In the 19th century, Juan Bautista de Rossi discovered the Catacombs of San Calixto, however today there are more than 60 catacombs with hundreds of km. of galleries and dozens of thousands of tombs.
Certainly, you can not miss the Colosseum in Rome that is included in the same entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatine