Forum Romanum

Julia Curia

The Curia was the location where the senate assembled. The rectangular brick building could seat up to two hundred senators. The original Curia was built by the third king of Rome. It burnt down four times, first in 80 BC but it was rebuilt each time. After a fire in 53 BC Caesar moved the Curia to the Forum Romanum. The current building was constructed in 283 AD by Diocletian. In the seventh century the Curia was turned into a church, but fortunately the building was mostly kept intact.


Temple of Vesta

The temple of Vesta dates back to the fourth century BC. The small temple was one of Rome's most important as it was dedicated to the protectress of both the family and State. Here the Vestal Virgins guarded the sacred eternal flame, symbol of the eternal life of Rome. The Virgins guarding the flame were chosen by the Pontifex Maximus, the supreme religious authority of the State. The girls, who had to be aristocrates, had to serve for thirty years.Statues of Vestal Virgins at the House of the Vestal Virgins, Forum Romanum Statues of Vestal Virgins during that time they had to stay virgins, otherwise they would be buried alive.

The part of the Temple of Vesta that is still standing today was rebuilt in 1930. It was burned down in AD 64 by the fire of Nero. It was burned down again in 191 AD and rebuilt by Julia Domna.

Basilica Aemilia

The Basilica Aemilia is the oldest basilica at the forum, Detail of Basilica Aemilia originally built in 179 BC by consuls Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilor. The purpose of the basilica was to provide a sheltering place so that many of the businesses and administration that normally took place outside could be carried out here in case of bad weather. It was last modified in 22 AD; at that time the great marble hall with four aisles incorporated a number of stores that housed public banks and money exchange.

When Augustus ruled the portico was taken away to make it an independent building. The Basilica Amelia as destroyed in 14 B.C, 22 A.D but was rebuilt, but was finally burned down by the Visigoths in 410 A.D.

Tabularium

Located in the western area of the Forum Romanum, this was the official record-keeping office of Rome. Very careful records were kept of all official commercial, political, and military occurrences and events.

The tabularium’s top floor was replaced by the Senatorial Palace in medieval times but the first floor is still part of the original building. It is still standing to this day.

Basilica Julia

In 54 BC Julius Caesar started construction of the Basilica Julia, Basilica Julia building used as the seat of the centumviri, a court of civil jurisdiction specialized in inheritance dispites. There were also several other courts where magistrates held tribunals.The Basilica Julia was rebuilt by Augustus after a fire in 12A.D. and rebuilt again by Diocletian in 303 A.D. after the Carinus fire in 284 A.D. In modern times the only parts of the Basilica Julia left are the pavings, after it was destroyed by the Goths in 410 A.D.

Regia

The Regia at the southeast end of the Forum Romanum, this was originally the residence of the first kings of Rome (from the Latin rex, “king”). According to tradition, this building was constructed by Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome (715 – 674 B.C.) During the Republic, it held sacred artifacts, and subsequently became the office of the Pontifex Maximus, Rome’s high priest. This title was held by Julius Caesar, and eventually by Augustus in 12 B.C. The title was then kept solely for the Emperor, and in the Imperial era of Rome, the Regia was merely a symbol of Rome’s history.

The Regia was burned down in 148 BC and rebuilt, in 36 BC it was burned down again and rebuilt by Cn. Domitius Calvinus. It was reported by Tacitus that it burned down again in the fire of Nero. The Regia was turned into a private house in the middle ages. The only part left is the base of the Regia.