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21 Facts About Roman Forum
Centuries the Roman Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs.
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Unlike the later imperial fora in Rome—which were self-consciously modelled on the ancient Greek plateia public plaza or town square—the Roman Forum developed gradually, organically, and piecemeal over many centuries.
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The Roman Forum proper included this square, the buildings facing it and, sometimes, an additional area extending southeast as far as the Arch of Titus.
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Originally, the site of the Roman Forum had been a marshy lake where waters from the surrounding hills drained.
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On current evidence it is likely that burials in the Roman Forum ceased some time in the late 9th century BC and that the Esquiline Necropolis replaced them.
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Since the early Roman Forum area included pools of stagnant water, the most easily accessible area was the northern part of the valley which was designated as the Comitium.
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Roman Forum was outside the walls of the original Sabine fortress, which was entered through the Porta Saturni.
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The original Roman Forum functioned as an open-air market abutting on the Comitium, but eventually outgrew its day-to-day shopping and marketplace role.
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Roman Forum is said to have converted that temple into the Curia Hostilia close to where the Senate originally met in an old Etruscan hut.
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Originally a low-lying, grassy wetland, the Roman Forum was drained in the 7th century BC with the building of the first structures of Cloaca Maxima, a large covered sewer system that emptied into the Tiber, as more people began to settle between the two hills.
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Archaeological evidence shows that by the end of the 7th century BC the ground level of the Roman Forum was raised significantly in some places in order to overcome the problems of poor drainage and provide foundation for a pebble-paved area.
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Roman Forum was immediately met by a troop of his rival Otho's cavalry near the Lacus Curtius in the Forum, where he was killed.
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Roman Forum refurbished and reorganized it, building anew the Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta and the Curia Julia.
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Roman Forum reconstructed the rostra at each end of the Forum and added columns.
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The 1898, restoration had three main objectives: restore fragmented pieces of columns, bases, and cornices to their original locations in the Roman Forum, reach the lowest possible level of the Roman Forum without damaging existing structures, and to identify already half-excavated structures, along with the Senate house and Basilica Aemilia.
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Excavations in the Roman Forum continue, with new discoveries by archaeologists working in the Roman Forum since 2009 leading to questions about Rome's exact age.
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Roman Forum was a site for many artists and architects studying in Rome to sketch during the 17th through the 19th century.
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The focus of many of these works produced by visiting Northern artists was on current state of the Roman Forum, known locally as the "Campo Vaccino", or "cow field", due to the livestock who grazed on the largely ignored section of the city.
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Roman Forum has been a source of inspiration for visual artists for centuries.
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Rome: Ruins of the Roman Forum, Looking Towards the Capitol by Canaletto, showing the remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux.
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