Roman Forum (Foro Romano)

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Roman Forum is sometimes known also under its original Latin name Forum Romanum. It is one of the most important archeological sites in the world. It is the central area around which the ancient Rome civilization developed, located between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill. It was considered the center of the Republic and Empire, the economic hub, a city square and place where people gathered for justice and faith. The oldest and the most important structures of the ancient city are located here.

The original grassy wetland was drained in the 7th century BC. Numa Pompilius built the first city’s royal palace the Regia. Later Tullus Hostilius erected the Curia and enclosed the Comitium. In 600 BC Tarquinius Priscus had the area paved for the first time. Julius Caesar was rearranging the forum and after his death Octavius finished it. Over the time, many of the temples from either Kingdom or the Republican era have been destroyed and rebuilt several times.

The Roman Forum started to fall apart already in the 8th century. Its monuments were for the most part buried under debris, and its location was designated the “cattle field” during the Middle Ages. The tentative excavation began in the late 18th century. However, the site was fully excavated just in the early 20th century.

There is a modern Julius Caesar statue and several other monuments included in the Roman Forum. Some of the temples are Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta, Temple of Caesar or Temple of Vespasian and Titus; there are three basilicas Basilica Aemilia, Basilica Julia and Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine and four arches Arch of Septimius Severus, Arch of Titus, Arch of Tiberius and Arch of Augustus. To the other structures belong for example Regia – originally the residence of the kings of Rome; Rostra – from where politicians made their speeches to the Roman citizens; Curia Hostilia (later rebuilt as the Curia Julia) – the site of the Roman Senate; Umbilicus Urbi – the designated centre of the city from which and to which all distances in Rome and the Roman Empire were measured; Atrium Vestae – the house of the Vestal Virgins and some more.

Besides Roman Forum, there were some other fora in the city, the most important were Forum Iulium, Forum Augustum, the Forum Transitorium (also: Forum Nervae), and Trajan's Forum.
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