Ancient Roman Forums

Ancient Roman Forum

The ancient Roman Forum was the center of life in Ancient Rome. During the period of ancient Rome, it was the center of political, religious, commercial, and judicial life. In the beginning, it was a marshy valley where the dead were buried. It was a central position.

Ancient Roman Forum

So surrounding areas became the natural hub of the city when the population moved to the hills.

Ancient Roman Forum

The beginning of its history concurs with the reign of the Tarquini. The first king Tarquinio S Prisco ordered the building of several public constructions but above all a large sewer system for the drainage of the valley’s deep bog.

Ancient Roman Forum

From this moment onwards, the area under Campidoglio, later known as the Ancient Roman Forum, was divided into two parts, both with precise roles.


The ‘Comitium’, square of meetings where political reunions and main celebrations took place occupied the northern part of the forum. During the beginning of the Republic, the ‘Curia'(Senate Hall) was constructed where the members of the Senate met. It was the most important political organ of the Republic in charge of all affairs of state. The ‘Rostra’ means public speaker’s platform was also set up.

Use of Farmers and Traders

The southern part where the marketplace was the ancient Roman forum was located. Farmers and traders used to offer their goods and exchanged services. The Forum was also used as a place of worship of gods.

Ancient Roman Forum

The real development of the Ancient Roman Forum occurred in the second century after the Punic wars and the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean. As a result, Rome became the most powerful city of the era. Within a short period of time, the city changed drastically.

Several basilicas were constructed for use during bad weather to administer justice as well as economic agreements. The ‘Tabularium’ (Roman record office) was constructed at the beginning of the 1st century. The Forum was completed by Caeser and Augusto.

When was the Roman forum built

The political change took place under these two men. There was a transition from a republic to a principality that led to an increase of both the Ancient Roman Forums political role and commercial activity. By 54 AC Caesar had already started an enlargement project northward of the Forum with the construction of the ‘Forum Iulium’ on the area of the ‘Comitium’ and by moving the ‘curia’ and the ‘rostra’.

What was the Roman forum used for

Under Augusto, the forum was used for imperial propaganda. The short side to the east was occupied by the Temple dedicated to ‘divine’ Caesar. A triumphant arch was constructed in honor of Augusto and one for his nephew, candidate for his succession.

Ancient Roman Forum

For centuries the Ancient Roman Forum didn’t undergo any change and maintained its role as an instrument of dynastic representation. The major part of the construction was a slight change in the square.

Roman forum buildings

After centuries of being forgotten, interest in the Ancient Roman Forum was reborn for such places linked to the past during the renaissance period. Otherwise, there had been devastating consequences for the ancient buildings. They had been protected by a high layer of earth and vegetation.