Social Studies

The Amazing Race


The Pantheon is the best preserved building from ancient Rome and was completed in c. 125 CE in the reign of Hadrian. Its magnificent dome is a lasting testimony to the genius of Roman Architects and as the building stands virtually intact it offers a unique opportunity for the modern visitor to step back 2,000 years and experience the glory that was Rome.

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi fountain is a imposing fountain that served as a display of an ancient roman aqueduct termination.The aqueduct is the Virgo - Virgin in English - Aqueduct constructed by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa around 19 B:C: Agrippa was the son-in-law and the favorite general of Emperor Octavian Augustus. The aqueduct was 21 km long but 19 were underground. The aqueduct was built by Agrippa to supply the thermal baths he built in the Campus Martius, by the Pantheon. There was a fountain at the end of the aqueduct already then. The display spilling water was located on the site of the actual Church of St. Ignatius.According to Sextus Julius Frontinus' specialised book "De aquaductibus Romae commentarius", the aqueduct takes its name from a virgin lady that the Roman soldiers met when they were thirsty and tired. She lead them to a source of water to restore. That source was in the Ager Locullanus, the land between the Tiburtina road and the Collatina road, two of the many roads that led to Rome. That source still today supplies the aqueduct.The aqueduct was damaged by the invasion of the Ostrogoths led by king Vitigis in 537. After the barbaric invasions the last portion of the aqueduct was abandoned and all the medieval restorations did not continue further than the trivium crossing.Starting from the early renaissance the popes start to decorate the end of the aqueducts they restored with large fountains that were richly decorated.

Roman Forum

Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, refocusing both the judicial offices and the Senate itself. This new Forum, in what proved to be its final form, then served as a revitalized city square where the people of Rome could gather for commercial, political, judicial and Religious pursuits in ever greater numbers.Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan's Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great, during which the Empire was divided into its Eastern and Western halves, saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Balistica of Malisca (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.



Located just east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum–officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater–with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.

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