The Roman Forum: A Photographic Description of Its Monuments

By Rodolfo Lanciani | Go to book overview

THE ROMAN FORUM.

Historical Introduction.

In the oldest days of Rome the valley of the Forum was occupied by a swamp, an inlet of the Velabrum minus, fed by springs to which the names of Tullianum, Fons Juturnae, Lautulae, Spinon were given in later times. The dry ground surrounding the pool was occupied partly by a cemetery, partly by a "green" where the bartering trade was carried on between the various tribes living on the heights of the left bank of the Tiber. The Sabines on the Quirinal, the Latins on the Palatine, the Etruscans on the Caelian, &c. There were also a few conical huts with thatched roofs, such as the one in which the public fire was kept, and which became in due course of time the celebrated temple of Vesta. A path, irregular and winding in its course, connected the market-place with the Velia, the Palatine and the Caelian. It became also famous in later times under the name of Sacra Via.

After the draining of the pool by means of the Cloaca Maxima, and the filling up of the marshy ground, the Tarquins gave the Forum a regular (trapezoidal) shape; divided its borders into building-lots, mostly for shops, and set apart a convenient space for the electoral meetings (Comitium) and for the assembly of the Elders (Curia-Senate-House).

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The Roman Forum: A Photographic Description of Its Monuments
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Historical Introduction. 7
  • The Monuments of the Forum 15
  • Index 115
  • Illustrations 116
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