The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and the Vulcanal (Shrine of Vulcan), developed into the Republic's formal Comitium (assembly area). This is where the Senate—as well as Republican government itself—began. The Senate House, government offices, tribunals, temples, memorials and statues gradually cluttered the area.
Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, refocusing both the judicial offices and the Senate itself. This new Forum, in what proved to be its final form, then served as a revitalized city square where the people of Rome could gather for commercial, political, judicial and religious pursuits in ever greater numbers.
Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan's Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great, during which the Empire was divided into its Eastern and Western halves, saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Basilica of Maxentius (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.
Unlike the later imperial fora in Rome—which were self-consciously modeled on the ancient Greek plateia (πλατεῖα) public plaza or town square—the Roman Forum developed gradually, organically and piecemeal over many centuries. This is so despite the tidying up of men like Sulla, Caesar and Augustus who attempted, with some success, to impose a degree of order there. By the Imperial period the large public buildings that crowded around the central square had reduced the open area to a rectangle of about 130 by 50 meters
Its long dimension was oriented northwest to southeast and extended from the foot of the Capitoline Hill to that of the Velian Hill. The Forum's basilicas during the Imperial period—the Basilica Aemilia on the north and the Basilica Julia on the south—defined its long sides and its final form. The Forum proper included this square, the buildings facing it and, sometimes, an additional area (the Forum Adjectum) extending southeast as far as the Arch of Titus.
Originally the site of the Forum had been marshy ground, which was drained by the Tarquins with the Cloaca Maxima Because of its location, sediments from both the flooding of the Tiber River and the erosion of the surrounding hills have been raising the level of the Forum floor for centuries. Excavated sequences of remains of paving show that sediment eroded from the surrounding hills was already raising the level in early Republican times
As the ground around buildings began to rise, residents simply paved over the debris that was too much to remove. Its final travertine paving, still visible, dates from the reign of Augustus. Excavations in the 19th century revealed one layer on top of another. The deepest level excavated was 3.60 meters above sea level. Archaeological finds show human activity at that level with the discovery of carbonised woodAn important function of the Forum, during both Republican and Imperial times, was to serve as the culminating venue for the celebratory military processions known as Triumphs. Victorious generals entered the city by the western Triumphal Gate (Porta Triumphalis) and circumnavigated the Palatine Hill (counterclockwise) before proceeding from the Velian Hill down the Via Sacra and into the Forum
From here they would mount the Capitoline Rise (Clivus Capitolinus) up to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the summit of the Capitol. Lavish public banquets ensued back down on the Forum. (In addition to the Via Sacra, the Forum was accessed by a number of storied roads and streets, including the Vicus Jugarius, Vicus Tuscus, Argiletum, and Via Nova.)
Critiques | Translate
Silvio1953 (110966) 2013-03-24 1:53
Ciao Romano, altra inquadratura bella ed originale, favoloso cielo, splendida luce, ottima nitidezza e bei colori pastello, bravo, buona Domenica, ciao Silvio
siudzi (29615) 2013-03-24 4:35
A great presentation of this well-known place on the map of Rome. Well selected POV gave a superb effect for the cropping here and pale blue sky is a nice background. Well seen and done. TFS.
Have a lovely day!
delpeoples (50623) 2013-03-24 4:52
Grazie molto er questa bella passaggiata tra l'icone piú famoso nel mondo, accanto il colosseo e vaticano. Non é spesso che vediamo il foro da questo pov. Siamo abituati vedendo il foro da sopra, dal campidoglio. La luce qui é squisita, ed in bilanciamento perfetto. L'immagine é cosi tanto nitida, sembra tri-dimensionale. Le nuvole aggiungianno profonditá e prospettiva. Hai composto l'immagine perfettemente nella regola dei terzi. Complimenti, e grazie per la condivisione.
Un caro saluto e bella domenica
Fis2 (79742) 2013-03-24 5:05
Piêkny widok, wspania³a stara architektura.
Lubiê takie miejsca, robi± wra¿enie.
Dobry kadr i kolorystyka.
¦wiat³o robi klimat tej kompozycji.
timecapturer (41708) 2013-03-24 5:45
a place that leaves such an impression on you and this shot just brings the memories of it flooding back. It is an amazing place and this shot captures, its historical magic and atmosphere so beautifully. Glorious detail in a sensual light. Excellent!
Enjoy your Sunday - Brian.
Noel_Byrne (17121) 2013-03-24 7:11
Un altro eccellente senso di profondità qui, con tutti i livelli che attraversano l'immagine. Dai pilastri caduti in primo piano, tutto il percorso attraverso le statue in cima agli edifici in lontananza, c'è un sacco di occupare l'occhio qui. Sono sempre stupito di vedere le immagini di questi luoghi antichi.
Tutto il meglio
Sergiom (50480) 2013-03-24 7:19
J'aime beaucoup cette photo car elle me rappelle une très belle journée passée à cet endroit. J'aime le jeu d'ombre et de lumière qui traverse l'image et la très belle netteté de l'ensemble.
claudeD (28826) 2013-03-24 9:08
I was there last year and I have realized many pictures in that location. Your picture remembers me a very fine trip to Rome. I like the composition very much.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
COSTANTINO (47612) 2013-03-24 9:38
Bella foto turistica di Roma,
di un luogo archeologico e pieno di storia,
cari saluti,e Buona Domenica,
rychem (16372) 2013-03-24 10:35
Rome is full of fantastic ancient architecture, splendid photo,great POV, excellent management of light and colors
Nicou (111230) 2013-03-24 11:13
Fantastique vue de ce site archéologique superbe avec ces édifices en fond quelle vue et image superbe captage et image.
Bravo et amitié
elenimavrandoni (11793) 2013-03-24 13:24
una composizione di ammirare e per complimentarmi per tutti i grandi elementi presentati, i colori e grandi per la combinazione spettacolare di rovine romane!!
complimenti e un caro saluto,
chrisvek (6997) 2013-03-24 18:22
Very well composed image.Also amazing colors and ligthning usage.Very good job.
Have a nice day
emka (68516) 2013-03-26 1:54
I am amazed that there are no people here on Saturday. Nice POV selected with a view of Campidoglio and Vittoriano. excellent presentation of fantastic place. This time I had not time to go inside and saw it only from ablove. Maybe I will come another time to Rome?
adores (32662) 2013-03-31 16:48
A very beautiful place, with ruins all around and a beautiful background. I like the composition, with so many details to see!