Roma Aeterna– Part Eight (the Forums)

There are in fact several forums in the heart of Rome, the Imperial Forum, the Julian Forum, I could go on. We will treat them all in this one post. We will start with the famous column of Trajan in the Imperial forum (113 A.D. is when it was finished), which tells the story of his victories and triumphs, round and round and round to the top.


There is a lot to see in the ancient forum along the Via Sacra, or sacred way. For example there is the impressive Temple of Antonius and Faustina, which the Emperor Antonius Pius originally built to honor his wife Faustina in the mid second century.

Here it is today…

Later this became the Church of St. Lorenzo.

Just down the Via Sacra is of course the Senate building, or Curia where Caesar lost his life. Here is a description of the building.

The building is surprisingly small, and what it houses today is a long frieze of sacrificial animals perhaps from the time of Hadrian, as well as a headless statue of a senator made of remarkable Egyptian stone which is reddish-purple..

Here are several shots of the massive frieze…

Notice that the sacrificial animals were dressed up with garlands and ribbons on the way to slaughter.


Here is the marble floor of the Senate building…

Here is a separate frieze with an interesting subject… laws in Rome were written on tablets of stone (remember Moses and the ten commandments). Here the tablets are being stacked up, apparently for moving.

There is much more in the ancient forum, such as the Temple of the Vestals….

The forum today looks more like a graveyard than the bustling hub of the Empire it once was.


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