Imperial Forums

The Imperial Fora of Rome collect a series of monumental squares built between 46 BC and 113 AD They are considered the center of political activity in ancient Rome, a place that over the centuries has been enriched with structures and buildings.

The first structure encountered in this sumptuous complex is the Forum of Caesar. This square, commissioned by Julius Caesar for propaganda reasons, was inaugurated in 46 BC and ended by the emperor Octavian Augustus. The square has two porticoes on the east and west side while the temple dedicated to Venus Genitrice dominates at the bottom. Imperial Forums The land on which the structure was built was acquired directly by Cesare; the forum was joined to the structures of the old political center to give it greater visibility and prestige. Continuing in our itinerary we meet the Forum of Augustus. It was built at the behest of Octavian Augustus, together with the temple of Mars Ultor (from the lat. Ultor - avenger). The temple had been promised by the emperor in a vow to the god on the occasion of the victory at the Battle of Philippi (42 BC). However, it was inaugurated only 40 years later and placed in a second monumental square, entitled precisely to Augustus.

The plan of the hole is orthogonal; on the north side stood the temple of Mars, leaning against a wall (still visible today) that divided the forum from the popular neighborhood of the Suburra. The forum is alternated by large exedras, intended to house the activities of the courts. To enrich the area there were statues inspired by the history of Rome, the members of the gens Giulia, Enea and Romolo.

It is 75 AD. Vespasian has just conquered Jerusalem. Between the Forum of Augustus and that of Caesar there is a space dedicated to the emperor, initially not included within the Forums and known as the Temple of Peace. This square-shaped place had the appearance of a garden-museum, with pools of water and bases for statues. The area, destroyed by fire, was rebuilt during the Severian era (3rd century AD) to house the Forma Urbis Severiana, a map of ancient Rome engraved on marble slabs which came to us only in part.

It was Domitian who built a square to unify the free space between the Temple of Peace and the Forum of Caesar and Augustus. The emperor was unable to inaugurate his work: he died in 96 AD, leaving the throne to Nerva. Thus the Forum of Nerva was born with the annexed temple of Minerva, protector of the emperor. The hole also took the "transitional" attribute for its passage function. The works begun by Domitian were partly continued by Trajan, to whom the fourth Forum is named. The square was used to accommodate military camps and, to a lesser extent, for the performance of forensic activities. Behind it still stands the Colonna di Traiano which tells the story of the emperor in the war against the Dacians. The building of the Forum was followed by the construction of the Basilica Argentaria, the Mercati Traianei and the reconstruction of the temple of Venus Genitrice. Finally we reach the Basilica Ulpia, the largest of the Roman period. Built to a design by Apollodoro di Damasco between 106 and 113 AD, it was included in the Foro Traianeo. The space had forensic and commercial functions but it was also the place of the so-called tampering (from the Latin manumissio - condono, franking), that is the public act of liberation of a slave by the master.

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