A Guide Of Rome

Ruins of the Roman Forum from ancient Rome

The Forum of Trajan

The remains of the Forum of Trajan today

History of Trajan's Forum

The Forum of Trajan was erected following a victory for the Romans over neighboring Dacian's. The Forum was added onto the already existing Roman Forum. It was common for each emperor to add onto the Forum. The Forum was built off of the riches & spoils received from the war. Only a small part of the forum remains today, some of the shops remain but that is about it. Even though little of the Forum remains, parts of Trajan's Forum had impacts on other monuments. Place Vendôme is a column built by Napoleon to show his battle victories, and it was based off of Trajan's column. On top of the column, Napoleon is dressed like a Roman emperor, just like Trajan is on top of his column.

Construction of Forum

Emperor Trajan order the additions to the forum to built, and they were built under architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Trajan's additions were constructed from 106-113 CE. The forum was made out of marble, cobbled blocks and limestone. Many of these materials were stripped from the forum at later date because they were in such good conditions. That is why so little of the forum is left, many parts were torn down to re-use materials. The Romans would of known that the Forum of Trajan was located in IV Templum Pacis, in modern day the forum is located in the heart of Rome (shown on map below).

This map shows exactly where the Forum of Trajan is located in Rome, Italy today

Layout of the Forum

Trajan's addition to the forum was put on the south side of the already existing forum. On the north end of piazza was the Basilica Ulpia which separated Trajan's form from the temple he created. When you entered the forum on the south side you would of walked under a grand arch, and then you would of been greeted by a statue of Trajan in his chariot. On either side of the forum there were various shops were located. This area was deemed Trajan's Markets. The shops were connected to exedrae, which are basically semicircle domes. Besides creating his portion of the forum, Trajan also added a temple, Trajan's column and the market place.

The map above is of the whole Roman Forum. The left side of the map shows Trajan's forum

Uses of Forum

The addition to the Roman Forum that Trajan oversaw was to help house the growing population. As Rome continued to grow, it became obvious that the forum needed to be expanded to meet the needs of the people. Most emperors expanded the forum by adding a wing that was named after them. Besides expanding the forum itself, Trajan added the column which depicted his victories battle, and a temple. Another use of the forum was the new shops that Trajan would of added. This created a boost in the economy and it also allowed the romans to meet their social needs. As a citizen of Ancient Rome you could of went to the forum and talked to all of your friends while doing your shopping.

In the center is the column of Trajan, the whole column is still standing today!

Rome's Wealth

Trajan's expansion to the Roman Forum showed how wealthy Rome was. The columns that lined either end of the forum were Corinthian columns, which were the fanciest of columns. Besides the columns, Trajan also used a lot of arches in his forum. The marble that was used to construct the forum was all imported from various countries.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is an iconic building in Rome, Italy. It is on of the biggest most architecturally interesting buildings in Rome. The building itself is entirely made out of concrete, but what makes this building so intriguing is the fact that looking at the building, it looks like you can fit an entire sphere in the center.

An outline of the Pantheon. Shown above is how a sphere could fit in the Pantheon, one half on top, and the second half on the bottom.

The Pantheon was originally made in 126 AD by emperor Augustus and was rebuilt by emperor Hadrian. When it was created, it was dedicated to worship all gods. This building was later recreated to show wealth and skill in their building. The Pantheon was a circular building entirely made of concrete with a unique spherical fit inside. Another main feature of this masterpiece was the oculus in the ceiling. The oculus is a large open hole to the sky that let natural light and water in some case if weather had occurred. Sometimes, it was used a sun dial by the way the light let in to the building.

An aerial view of what remains of the Pantheon today

Inspirations post Pantheon

The Pantheon, being one of the most noticeable buildings in Rome, had a great ripple effect on other architecture outside of Italy. One of the many buildings it inspired was the US capitol, a great white dome shaped building. A few others include the Jefferson memorial and the Low Memorial Library in Columbia University.

The Forum of Augustus

Above is what is left of the recovered spot of the Forum of Augustus, including part of the temple Mars Ultor and part of the semi-circular exedrae.

History of Augustus' Forum

The Forum of Augustus, constructed during 31 AC - 2 AC, after the victory at Actium, was built by Octavian, also known as the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. Using marble, timber, peperino and stucco, the Romans built an elaborate forum to beat all other forums in Rome, Italy under the construction of Emperor Augustus and the vow of Octavianus after the victory at the Battle of Philippi. The forum was built for Emperor Augustus to rival the forum of Julius, his father. The construction was delayed to some extend, but once completed, allowed additional space for the growing population and the courts of the law.

This is a blueprint, or architectural look of the layout and floor plans of the Forum of Augustus.

Forum of Augustus Appearance

Made of marble, timber and wood dowels, a surrounding wall of peperino, and stucco painted on the walls, the Forum of Augustus was considered by Pliny as one of the three most beautiful places in the world. The Forum of Augustus contains a temple, the God Mars Ultor, which is located in the long rectangular structure at one end, taking up half of the one end and extending to the edge. Joining the Forum of Julius Caesar on the side, the Forum of Augustus is also surrounded by a huge wall, mainly for protection. Two large semi-circle exedrae come out from the forum on opposing sides. Two arches, installed by Tiberius divide the forum into three sections. It is thought that two porticoes and a few colonnades and porches existed within the plaza of the forum after the entrance. The exterior was simple, and didn't show too much glamor of the Romans, but in the interior, Corinthian capitols, extravagant foreign artwork, inscriptions of important people, and bronze statues of every famous Roman starting with Aeneas was present.

Usage of Augustus' Forum

The Forum of Augustus was built for Emperor Augustus, to rival the forum of his adoptive father, Julius, and also to display Augustus and Rome's wealth along with honor the many won victories and greatness of Augustus and his empire. True purposes of the forum were to provide extra space for the growing population and give additional courts for the Roman law. The temple for a period of time acted as a safe, holding important documents and artifacts. The forum, defeating the purpose of preexisting forums (until Trajan's forum) was also built to hold the temple of Mars Ultor and also hold Festivals and sacrifices there. This forum in particular displayed the wealth, size, and greatness of Rome at the time because of how large it was and what was inside. The forum took up a lot of land, that Augustus needed to buy from people, and inside were very expensive works of art, demonstrating to anyone that Rome had money and was powerful, and large. Like other forums built before this one, the Forum of Augustus influenced the other forums built after it. Specifically in today's age, the forum would have influenced certain layouts of courthouse areas and just open areas that were open to people, even temple spots.

This is what the Forum of Augustus would have looked like back during the time it was actually used in Rome, with people crowded around the temple and open space.

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