The Roman Forum is one of the most visited historical sites in the world today and was the political, administrative and religious centre of Ancient Rome. Let have a look at some fun, interesting facts and information about the Forum in Rome:
1 – The Roman Forum is known but was not rediscovered until archaeologist Carlo Fea in 1803 began excavations.
2 – The excavations to clear the Roman Forum took over 100 years and it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became fully excavated.
3 – Foro (Forum) was the name that the Romans gave to the central square of the urban settlement.
4 – The Roman Forum shows remains from several centuries all together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins.
5 – Not all of the temples in the Roman Forum are dedicated to gods some are dedicated to people.
The Romans believed that by building a temple and dedicating it to themselves they became a deity.
6 – The temple of Saturn was used as the state treasury which in Latin was Aerarium. The state treasury contained the monies and accounts of the state finances.
7 – There were two kinds of forums in ancient Rome, the fora civilia and fora venalia. The fora civilia was designed for the monuments and statues of the city such as Triumphal arches and for the use of public courts of justice. The other was erected for the buying, selling and trade which were equivalent to market stalls and commerce.
8 – There were actually many Forums in Ancient Rome however the inclusion of the Senate House to the site made Roman Forum the most important of them all.
9 – An important part of the Roman Forum was the rostra which were the platform beside the Curia from which orators spoke to the people of Rome. The speaking platform was so important that Julius Caesar had the rostra re-built in marble. It was from the new marble Rostra that Marc Antony delivered his funeral speech to Julius Caesar.
10 – When the Roman Empire fell, the Roman Forum became abondoned and many of the monuments and buildings were plundered and used in other areas of the city including the walls of the Vatican and many of Rome’s churches. The area became known as ‘Campo Vaccino’, or ‘cattle field’ and an overgrown derelict field.
11 – The Latin name for the Roman Forum was Forum Romanum.
12 – The forum was in use for approx 1400 years with its start in around 800 BC to 600 AD
13 – At the Roman Forum, you can find Via Sacra which was a very important road during the Roman Empire as it was along this road that armies returned to Rome, and that Emperors travelled to their coronations.
14 – The Roman Forum today attracts over 4.5 million visitors yearly.
15 – The size of the Roman Forum was 250 meters x 170 meters.
16 – The site of the Roman Forum was originally was a marshland using, but the Romans drained the area using one of the world’s earliest sewage systems known as the Cloaca Maxima from and which subsequently the Forum became the centre of political and social activity.
17 – The Roman Forum over history has had 3 arches built there. The first by Augustus in 29 BC in which is not visible today, the second the Arch of Titus built in 81 AD and third the Arch of Septimius Severus which was built in 203 AD.
18 – The Temple of Venus and Rome located towards the Colosseum side of the Forum was Ancient Rome’s largest religious structure was built in 135 AD and measured an impressive 100 meters by 145 meters. The temple was dedicated to Roma, the personification of the city and Venus, mother of Aeneas (assumed father of Remus and Romulus).
19 – It is believed by historians that before Romans built their city, the forum vicinity was an Etruscan burial area.
20 – The majority of the structures were built during the reign of Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus.
To reach the Roman Forum from Alessandro Palace & Bar (Via Vicenza 42, 00185, Rome):
Take Metro Line B from Termini Station (or from Castro Pretorio) for Laurentina direction and get off at Colosseo stop.
Exit from the metro station, you will face the magnificent Colosseum in front of you.
Roman Forum and Platine Hill are situated in the same area next to each other.
It takes about 15 minutes.
Travel tip: From the hostel, it is also walkable to the Colosseum in 20 minutes.
It is also a good idea to visit the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains) where you can witness the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter and Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, part of tomb of Pope Julius II.
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