The Roman Forum

A journey to the past

The Roman Forum was once central to public life in Rome. It is located between the Palatine and Capitoline Hill. There used to be a swamp in this place, which the Romans deliberately drained. The main structures of the ancient city were located here. It was the center of trade, the judicial system, religion and everything else that moved society. Today, mostly columns and stone blocks are left of it, but we can also judge the importance of this place by them.

Three acres have been erected on the grounds of the forum. These arches were built by three emperors to commemorate their important victories. The first arch is that of the emperor Titus. However, Titus never passed under this arch. It was built by his brother Domitian after his death. It commemorates the victory over the Jews and the capture of Jerusalem. Under it runs the famous Sacred Way (Via Sacra), crossing the Forum lengthwise. Little remains of the Arch of Augustus, built in 29 AD. BC to commemorate the emperor’s victory over Cleopatra and Mark Antony. The impressiveness of the monument can be judged by found coins with its images. The arch of Septimius Severus was built last. It can be seen in the northeastern part of the Forum. It is made of marble. It was built in 204. in connection with the victory of the emperor and his sons Caracalla and Geta over the Parthian kingdom, which was the dominant power in Iran.


Description: the Arch of Septimius Severus /picture source: Shutterstock/;

The Curia Julia is where the Roman Senate met. Its construction began in 44. BC by order of Julius Caesar. The current building dates from the era of Diocletian, who reconstructed the building that had burned before it. Today it is well preserved thanks to the fact that during the early Christian period it was used as a church. The marble floor is intact from ancient times and is a great example of a Roman geometric floor made of different types of marble. The same cannot be said for the large bronze doors. In the 17th century, the originals were replaced by copies and moved to the Church of Saint John Lateran. Two reliefs can be seen on the walls. One depicts Emperor Trajan granting amnesty to Roman citizens, and the other depicts Trajan establishing an organization to help orphans.


Description: Curia Julia /picture source: Shutterstock/;

The Temple of Saturn was erected in honor of the god in 497 BC. During the Republic it was used as a treasury. Today, only a few columns in the Ionic style are preserved from it. In the western part of the Forum stood another temple – that of Vespasian and Titus. It was begun by Titus and completed by his brother Domitian. It had a hexagonal shape and a large sanctuary in which statues of the two emperors were placed. The temple that Emperor Antoninus Pius built in honor of his deceased wife Faustina is remarkably well preserved. The Temple of Julius Caesar stood in the eastern part of the Forum. The emperor’s funeral pyre was also placed there.

Address: Via dei Fori Imperiali;


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