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Transcript of Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was only one part of a massive city containing 1 million people by the 1st century A.D.
One Forum to rule them all...
The Roman Forum was the heart of the city of Rome and the center of Roman public life.
The Forum suffered serious deprivation after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Buildings were either abandoned, converted into Christian churches, or dismantled to make Medeival structures.
The Forum Today
Excavated and restored!
The Imperial Fora
Begun by Caesar to replace the old Curia Hostilia which had burned during gang violence in 52 B.C.
Finished by Augustus in 29 B.C.
Survived because it was converted to a church
The Curia has been remarkably well preserved. The holes below the large windows indicate that the original Curia had a colonnaded porch.
The interior is also very well preserved, with it's original marble floor and 3 broad steps which would accommodate 300 senators.
Named after Julius Caesar, who started it in 46 B.C. with the spoils of the Gallic War.
Since Caesar died before its completion, it was finished by Augustus.
It burned shortly afterwards and wasn't rededicated until 12 A.D.
The basilica housed the civil law courts and provided space for government offices and banking.
Not much of the Basilica JUlia remains today except for the foundations. Skilled archaeologists, however, are able to reconstruct the facade and interior!
Keep in mind that the Forum (especially the basilica porticos) was a meeting and gathering place as well. Can you tell what this pictures shows?
Originally built by Marcus Aemelius Lepidus in 179 B.C.
Restored after a fire by Augustus in 14 B.C., only to be damaged by another fire 2 years later!
Considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Rome.
The Basilica Aemelia was a place for business, containing all variety of shops.
Temple of Saturn
Built in 498 B.C.
Oldest sacred place in Rome
Held the bronze Roman law tablets
Repository of the State treasury
The State treasury was located beneath the stairs of the temple.
It was here that Julius Caesar went to steal from the Treasury 15,000 gold ingots, 30,000 silver ingots, and 30,000,000 sesterces in coin.
Temple of Castor
Temple of Castor
Dedicated in 496 B.C.
Served as a temporary meeting place of the Senate.
Held the standards of weights and measures.
Temple of Vesta
House of the Vestals
The Campus Martius
Mausoleum of Augustus
Ara Pacis Augustae
Temple of the Divine Julius
Temple of Mars
Temple of Venus Genetrix
It was the sight of triumphal processions, elections, public speeches, and trials. It was the nucleus of political, religious, judicial, and commercial affairs.
The surviving monuments were buried under debris and a rising ground level due to the Tiber flooding. Eventually the ancient significance was forgotten and the place simply became known as the
Not until the 19th century would the name of the Forum be heard again...
The temple was destroyed by the fire of 14 B.C. It was rebuilt in 6 A.D.
Contained the sacred fire and the image of Minerva believed to have been brought by Aeneas from Troy.
Built like a primitive hut with a hole in the roof to release the smoke from the fire.
As the handmaidens of Vesta, the principal duty of the six Vestals was never to allow the flame to be extinguished.
A hard task in a building with a hole in the roof!
A 3-story, 50 room complex which housed the Vestals.
An elogated atrium had a double pool and was decorated with statues of the Vestals.
You couldn't enter unless you were a Vestal or the Pontifex Maximus! (or Gordianus, of course!)
House of the Vestals
Built with the spoils from the Gallic Wars.
Uncompleted when dedicated in 46 B.C., completed by Augustus
Collonaded square held government and business offices
Temple to Venus Genetrix occupied the far end
Temple dedicated to Venus Genetrix, or "Venus the mother"--the ancestor of the gens Julia
Held a statue of Venus, Caesar, and Cleopatra as well as many works of art.
In the square before the temple, Caesar had a statue of his favorite horse erected!
By Caesar's time, the Forum was so full of buildings that there wasn't much open space. With space at a premium, powerful men began building their own fora to relieve conjestion in the (original) Forum.
Of course, it didn't hurt to have a public space dedicated to them either!
Temple of Divine Caesar
Built by Augustus in 42 B.C. on the spot where Caesar's body was cremated by the angry mob after Antony's funeral speech.
Caesar's cult started a tradition of building temples in Rome to deceased rulers deemed worthy of divine honors.
People still leave flowers for Caesar today!
Vowed by Octavian on the eve of the battle of Phillipi, where he avanged the assasination of Caesar.
Provided additional space for law courts and administrative offices.
Beyond the collonade there were to semi-circular exedrae, decorated with the statues of Augustus' family (including mythical!) and ancestors as well as illustrious men of Rome's past.
Dedicated to Mars Ultor-"the Avenger"
Meant to be a counterpoint to Caesar's temple to Venus
The temple had a variety of uses:
generals departed from it before battle
boys assumed the toga virilis there
spoils from wars were dedicated to Mars at the temple
Benito Mussolini, leader of Italy's National Fascist Party, modelled himself on Julius Caesar and wanted to associate himself with Augustus. He promoted the idea of a second "Pax Romana", promising peace after World War I.
He was desperate to create a physical and symbolic link between the Fascist party's headquarters in piazza Venezia and the seat of ancient Roman power in the Forum.
The modern day road "via dei Fori Imperiali" was the result.
The road completly changed the landscape and character of the heart of Rome.
It sliced the forum area in two, partially obliterating the forums of Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, Vespasian, and Nerva.
Of the areas which were "excavated" prior to construction, a huge amounts of data has been irrevocably lost due to the lack of recording the exact location and context of the objects.
Theater of Marcellus
Built in 9 B.C.
Pictoral Res Gestae
Built by Agrippa in 27 B.C. after the victory at Actium
Temple to pan theon or "all the gods"
Rebuilt by Hadrian in 126 A.D.
Famous for its uniquely odd shape which is unlike other Roman temples of its day. The dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome!
The interior is amazingly well preserved because (you guessed it!) it was (and is) used as a Christian church.
Can you imagine the massive dome gilded with flowers decorating each square?
Despite the fact that the rising ground level caused the dissapearance of the stairs that would have led up to the temple, the Pantheon is the best preserved of all Roman buildings.
The large hole in the roof is called the "oculus" or eye. It allowed the only light and ventiliation into the temple.
And don't worry about the rain. The Pantheon floors are ever so slightly sloped so that the rain water runs off and collects at the drains on the sides.
Built by Augustus in 28 B.C.
Held the golden urns containing the ashes of the Imperial family
Resting place of all the Julio Claudians from Augustus to Nero (Nerva too!).
Two pink granite obelisks and two bronze pillars containing the Res Gestae flanked the entryway.
When the Goths sacked Rome they pillaged the vaults, dumped the ashes, stole the urns, and damaged the structure of the building. Boo!
Apart from its original purpose as a tomb, the mausoleum has had a variety of uses over the ages: it was once a castle, a bullfight arena, and a concert hall!
The mausoleum was set in a park-like enclosure with groves and walk-ways that Augustus opened to the people.
The conical top with the statue at its peak is meant to resemble the rogus, or funeral pyre, on which the body of Augustus was cremated.
Mausoleum of Augustus
Begun by Augustus in 23 B.C.
Named after Marcellus, Caesar's nephew who died 5 years before its completion in 13 B.C.
Third stone theater in Rome
Held 20,000 spectators
Magistra's future home
Race track most famously used during chariot races, but also utlized for gladiatorial games, wild animal hunts, athletic games, and processions.
Today just a faint outline remains.
Column of Trajan
Temple of Divine Trajan
Theater of Marcellus
On either side of the Basilica Ulpia was a library. One was constructed to house Latin works, the other held Greek works.
The Campus Martius was originally used as pasture land. The open land also provided space for military training. The area was also used as a gathering place for elections.
Under Augustus, both institutions were deemed unnecessary,
The Campus Martius became a prime location for Augustus' building program. He built over 20 structures there!
Built in 113 A.D.
Commemorates the Emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars.
Spiral relief sculptures artistically describe the events of the wars between the Romans and the Dacians.
Originally a statue of Trajan crowed the top of the column. Later it was replaced by a statue of Saint Peter
Named after Trajan, whose full name was Marcus Ulpius Traianus
The most important basilica after Basilica Julia and Aemelia.
Civic building dedicated to the administration of justice, commerce, and of course, the emperor.
Largest basilica in Rome
The last and most magnificent of the Imperial Fora, Trajan's Forum was really a vast complex containing several different kinds of buildings.
The large public square was paved in white marble and shaded with four avenues of trees.
You entered the forum through a large monumental arch topped with an elaborate chariot group.
An equestrian statue of Trajan occupied the center of the square.
Dedicated to the deified Trajan
Contained the cult statue of Trajan
Statues of Victory and Peace flanked the sides of the pediment.
The triangular pediment also contained a statue of Trajan.
Only fragments of the temple survive.
Curved around the exedra of Trajan's forum was a 5-story complex of more than 150 shops and/or offices.
Unfortunately, like the other Imperial Fora destroyed by the via dei fori imperiali, not much of Trajan's Forum remains today apart from the column, the markets, and a few columns from the Basilica Ulpia.