Rome Reborn

Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities

Rome Reborn

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

The Forum Romanum was ancient Rome's city center. Its size was 250 meters x 170 meters. Its main features included, on the west, the temples of Concord and of Vespasian; on the south, the Temple of Saturn, Basilica Julia, and Temple of Castor and Pollux; on the east, the Temple of Vesta and the Regia; and, on the north, the Basilica Aemilia and Curia Julia. The Forum was connected to the rest of the city by a number of streets, including the Argiletum, entering on the north side, the Vicus Jugarius and the Vicus Tuscus, entering on the south, and the Via Sacra running through the Forum in an east-west direction. In the republican period, the Forum provided space for political meetings, law courts, governmental institutions such as the treasury and archive, markets, religious cults, and entertainment. During the Empire, the Forum lost its use as an entertainment center, and the number of honorary monuments and buildings increased.

Forum Romanum sive Magnum

From Samuel Ball Platner, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, rev. Thomas Ashby. Oxford: 1929, p. 230-237.

At first the market-place, and later the civic centre of ancient Rome. The adjunct Romanum is not common (Verg. Aen. VIII.361; Plin NH. xix.23; Tac. Ann. XII.24; Suet. Aug.72: so ἡ ἁγορὰ ἡ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων Dionys. I.87 (here only); Cass. Dio LIX.28: ἡ ἀγορὰ ἡ ῾Ρωμαῖα; epit. lxiv.6: ἡ ῾Ρωμαίων Ἀγορἁ); while magnum is not classical, though Cass. Dio XLIII.22, who here too calls it ῾Ρωμαῖα, says that it was called μεγἁλη after the construction of the forum Iulium. Strabo V.3.8 p236 calls it ἡ ἀρχαῖα ἀγορἁ. Cf. Jord. I.2.410. In Not. Regio VIII it is called Forum Romanum vel (et) magnum. The etymology is uncertain; the derivation from ferre is generally discarded, but nothing has been found to take its place.

View Full Article

Additional source material

©2008 by the Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Credits