The Forum Romanum in Rome

By: Sebastian Sikkerneq Hoel

Forum Romanum is one of the biggest and most extraordinary archeological sites the world has seen and it is located in a valley between Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. The forum is composed of a dozen temples, arches and other structures.

Under construction for centuries

Forum Romanum was under construction for centuries but by the 7th century BC it was a major part of roman culture. It grew into final form under Octavian, son of Julius Caesar in the decades around the beginning of the first millennium.

The forum is rightly called Forum Magnum, the great forum, but now-a-days everybody call it Forum Romanum. Built on drained march land, the forum was a focal point for trade, administration and social interaction for the inhibitans and rulers of Rome.

A great restoration effect

When the Roman Empire collapsed in the early part of the fifth century AD many of the structures in Forum Romanum broke down into ruin. Parts of the forum was used, tragically, grazing cattle in the middle ages. Under the Renaissaance it was rediscovered. A long restoration effort began in the Age of Reason at the beginning of the 18th century and continues to this day. Because of this great effort a little of the glory of Rome can still be seen when visiting Forum Romanum.

The long restoration effort has relined its paved streets,picked away the debris of centuries and opened the forum to the public. This has been made possible mainly due to archelogists. Forum Romanum is way to big to be seen in one single day but if you can't stay there for more than one day, dont't worry, one day is enough to impress any visitor and give them a clue about the glory of Rome.

The great architecture demonstrate the vision made real by the Roman emperors and their architects

The Temple of Venus and Roma is just one example of the massive scale at which the Romans executed their public projects. A huge temple designed and built by the Emperor Hadrian, it sits atop a plateau facing the Colosseum.

The Temple of Concord is equally impressive. Dedicated to peace, it was completed in 367 BC on the western end of the Forum. Once a repository of statues made of gold and silver, it remains a shining reminder of what the builders of Rome could accomplish.

Of course, this is just a few of the temples in Rome, there are many more. Here is a small list;

* Temple of Saturn, Castor and Pollux
* Temple of Castor and Pollux
* Temple of Vespasian

There are several others, but there are many structures besides the temples as well.

Arches, invented and perfected by the Romans and not improved on for a thousand years, line many of the walkways. Two great examples are;

* The arch of Titus
* The arch of of Septimus Severus

Endless creativity

The Rostra, from which politicians made speeches, is still in evidence. Standing beneath it one can easily be transported back to a time in many ways very similar to our own. The Lapis Niger, or Black Stone, is a shrine that shows another aspect of the endless creativity of the builders. The Via Sacra, a shrine connected to it, is yet another.

A visit to Forum Romanum is a must when visiting Rome. It is not possible to visit Rome and not spend a day or two in this extraordinary place. When you visit you will be taken back in time and really feel the glory of the Roman Empire.

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