The Forum was the center of political, judicial and commercial life in ancient Rome.
Originally an Etruscan burial ground, the forum was first developed in the 17th century BC and expanded over the centuries.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum.
Senators debated affairs of State in the Curia and crowds gathered under the Colonna Fica to listen to speeches from the Rostrum. Religious holidays were marked with ceremonies at temples such as the Tempio di Saturno and Tempio di Castore e Polluce. Military victories were honored with processions up Via Sacra and the building of monumental arches like the Arco di Settimio Severo and the Arco di Tito.
After its period of glory, the forum was attacked by barbarians and gradually dismantled by anyone who needed building materials.
Today the Forum is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavation, but with a bit of imagination it’s possible to reconstruct what was once the heart of the western world.
– Foro Romano
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