Fori Imperiali - Imperial Forums

Archaeological site
Fori Imperiali Imperial Forums

Fori Imperiali - the Imperial Forums

Meeting and marketplaces in ancient Rome

Spatially separated by the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the Imperial Forums once belonged directly to the Roman Forum. In antiquity, the Imperial Forums were self-contained areas, which were intended for pedestrians. The city of Rome has been working here for years to create a continuous archaeological park with the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. From the walkways around the forums you can get a good look at each area.

Foro di Traiano - the Forum of Trajan

Trajan's Forum is the largest and best preserved of the various Imperial Forums. Built in the beginning of the 2nd Century, you once entered the forum through a triumphal arch, followed by a wide square with the equestrian statue of the Emperor. Clearly visible on the columns is the subsequent Basilica Ulpia, which completed the square. Connected to the Basilica were once the two libraries from whose windows you once could see the towering Colonna di Trajan, the honour column of Trajan. The 38 metre high Victory Column was built from giant marble drums from Greece and has an ascending spiral relief with over 2,500 figures, which tell of the glorious victories of the Emperor Trajan in Dacia. On the top, where Pope Sixtus V affixed a St. Peter statue, there formerly stood a golden statue of the Emperor and an urn containing his ashes.

The semi-circular area in front of the row of houses with red brick walls once offered space for the Mercati di Trajan, the Trajan's Market Halls. Over 150 individual shops were built cleverly into the ascending Quirinal hill. Numerous foods and luxury items were offered here at reasonable prices to combat social tensions.

Forum of Augustus and Caesar Forum

The Forum of Augustus was located just before the intersection between the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via Alessandrina. The Focus of the forum was the temple of the Avenging Mars, which Augustus built to commemorate the battle of Philippi (42 B.C.), in which he defeated the assassins of Caesar. Of the powerful panel temple there remain only three Corinthian columns and pedestals of the statues to the gods Mars and Venus. Opposite the Augustus Forum on the other side of the street, to the right of the Basilica Emilia, there is the Forum of Caesar, also called Forum Julium. It was the first Imperial Forum in Rome and was built around 50 B.C. The three towering pillars are from the Temple of Venus Genetrix (the god of the birthing Venus).


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