In the heart of Rome, and beside one of the seven wonders of the world, the Roman Forum remains one of the most visited attractions in the historical city and in the world.
1) Most of the buildings were destroyed in 410 AD, during the fall of the Roman Empire.
2) The forum was used by Rome’s elite for over 1400 years starting in 800 BC right through to 600 AD.
3) The Roman Forum remained undiscovered right up until archaeologist Carlo Fea came along in 1803.
4) Excavations to clear the Roman Forum took over 100 years eventually leading to full excavation in the 20th century.
5) Buildings in the Forum include banks, temples, public baths, and markets as well as state operational hubs.
6) The name derived from the Roman reference to a central square within an urban area, Foro (Forum).
7) The Temple of Saturn contained the money and accounts of the state finances during the Roman rule.
8) The Roman Forum covered an area of 250 meters x 170 meters.
9) Some temples were built to honor great men and some were constructed to honor religious gods.
10) The ruins within the forum stem over a period of several centuries as standard Roman practice built over earlier ruins.
11) You can bag yourself a triple ticket for the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and Palatine Hill for €12 (free for children)
12) The Temple of Venus and Rome was built in 135 AD and measured 100 x 145 meters. It was the largest religious structure ever built in Rome.
13) The Senate House gave the Roman Forum the status of being the most important fora in Rome, there are many others.
14) The rostra was the platform next to the curia (Church) and was used by orators to speak to citizens of Rome. Julius Caesar went to great lengths to maintain the rostra and had it re-built in marble. Marc Antony was said to have delivered his funeral speech to Caesar from the rostra.
15) After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Roman Forum became known as ‘Campo Vaccino’ (cattle field) as it became a derelict and overgrown with marsh.
16) Via Sacra is one of the most important roads in the world and can be found in the Forum. The road was used to transport emperors to their coronations and to transport the returning army.
17) Romans drained the site of the Forum using one of the world’s earliest sewage systems, the Cloaca Maxima.
18) Three arches were built within the Forum. The first by Augustus in 29 BC f which nothing remains, the second was the Arch of Titus in 81 AD, and the Arch of Septimius Severus from 203 AD.
19) Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus built most of the structures present in the Forum.
20) Historians believed that the ground of the Forum was once an Etruscan burial area.
We have derived this list from personal experience after spending a day in the Roman Forum. We probably missed a lot more!
We’d love to evolve this list and we invite you to leave your suggestions in the comments below.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful city of Rome, let us know what you enjoyed the most.