Thursday's Child: The Roman Forum

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Roman Forum has been called the most important meeting place in history.  It would be difficult to think of a town centre that was more important to its city; in truth, it was important to a whole empire.
Temple of Saturn
For several centuries, the Roman Forum was the focal point of public life.  Temples, government buildings, a marketplace and courts of law were among the important structures erected here. Military parades usually wound around Palatine Hill and concluded in the Forum.  When Marc Antony spoke after Julius Caesar's funeral to rouse the citizens, it was in the Forum.



The arch of Septimius Severus, shown above, was built to commemorate that emperor's victory against the Parthian Empire (part of ancient Persia) in the early third century.  The panels on the arch provide a pictorial description of those wars.

The Temple of Vesta, above, was one of the earliest structures built in the Forum, although it was subsequently rebuilt twice.  It was devoted to Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home.  A sacred flame burned in the temple, and was tended by the Vestal Virgins.
Altar of Caesar
The Forum had very humble beginnings.  Originally a swamp between kingdoms on two hills, it was drained in the seventh century B.C. to provide a meeting place for citizens of both areas.  One of the world’s first sewers was put in to serve it.  The Forum remained influential until the sacking of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths, when many of the buildings were destroyed.  It was covered by sediment and debris for hundreds of years, even serving as a meadow for grazing cattle. But it was excavated in the nineteenth century, the ruins now giving us an incredible link to those brilliant Romans and their powerful empire. 


16 comments:

Gloria said...

absolutely lovely pictures!!

Belinda said...

I adore Rome - one of my favorite places in the world!

Valerie said...

What detail (and skill!) to create something on the panels under the arch of Septimius Severus! Amazing!

Beautiful photos, Beth!

Angie's Recipes said...

It is breathtakingly beautiful!

Medeia Sharif said...

It doesn't look too busy in the photos, but I could picture in my imagination hundreds of ancient Romans congregating there.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved the pictures and learning the tidbits of history. Thanks for sharing this.

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

My husband + I were just there about a year and a half ago - such an awe-inspiring sight! And it didn't hurt that there was amazing food at every turn within walking distance, too. =)

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Beautiful photos! It's so amazing to me that they did all of that without any modern technology!

Guru Uru said...

What a beautiful place to visit my friend :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Lorraine said...

Wow, such an amazing place! Really enjoyed your photos!

Barbara said...

We loved our trip to Rome....this brought back so many memories.

lisa is cooking said...

Thanks for this virtual tour of the Forum! Such an amazing piece of history. These are great photos.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what totally impressive photography - amazing, just amazing! I always enjoy your photos from your travels so much and I like to be suprised every time I look at your travel blog posts about the increbible places that you were able to visit!
Have a wonderful weekend!

yummychunklet said...

Wonderful photos!

grace said...

it's all so grandiose and magnificent! you've lived such a well-traveled life, beth--i'm definitely jealous. :)

Gina Stanley said...

If I had my choice, this is where I'd spend my time. One never knows what is in store, hopefully soon. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
-Gina-

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