Archaeological Places In Rome

"Archaeological Places In Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 17th July 2011

Archaeological Places In Rome, Italy

From Caesar on, all emperors left a sign of their empire into the so-called Imperial Forums, which name the modern straight-forward way - opened by Mussolini- that connects piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. Starting from the square, on the left side is the monumental Trajan's column, formed of 17 circular marble blocks placed on a cubical base.

The column unrolls episodes from the wars against the Daci. The events develop along a 200-meter spiral. Next it are the ruins of the Trajan Forum, the most recent (107 A.D.) Forum that was realized with the spoils of the war. It was designed by the architect Apollodoro of Damask, and it could be entered through an arch of triumph. Here was a monumental square at the centre of which was a golden bronze equestrian statue. Next to it is Minerva's Forum, also called Transitory (97 A.D.), since it is formed of a narrow and long way that used to connect the existent forums to the temple of the Pace. At its extremity was the temple entitled to Minerva, the only remains of which are the two columns called "colonnacce", and the attic on which is the statue of the goddess with a frieze. It represents the Greek myth of Arachnis, the young girl who was transformed by a goddess in a spider as she had challenged her in the art of embroidering.

The Temple of the Pace is a work by Vespasian, who wanted to celebrate the victory over the Jewish people (71-75 A.C.). Restored under Septimius Severus, it was damaged by a fire and was abandoned. It contained the Forma Urbis, a map of the city engraved on marble, and the spoils stolen from the Temple of Jerusalem. Among which the seven-branched candelabrum. Next is the Forum of Caesar, erected on pre-existent buildings as a vow to the goddess Venus, also remembered with a marvellous temple that glorified Caesar as its protégé. It was restored under Trajan, and inaugurated together with the column of the same name. Thanks to its central position, the Palatine hill, standing over the area of the Roman forum, was the most suitable place for the first urban settlements. Here the tradition places Romulus' first hut where, later on, Augustus would made his magnificent palace.

On the hill was also the Temple of the Magna mater, or Cibele, and Next to it was the house of Livia, Augustus' wife, dug at the half of the last century on Napoleon III's will. Inside it were beautiful mural paintings in Pompeian Style, representing mythological scenes. Near there was the house of Augustus, used also for official functions, and annexed to it was the temple entitled to Apollo, which was built on the emperor's will. Here was also the huge domus built by Tiberius, the Flavian Domus, an official and public residence of the Emperors until the end of the Empire. Furthermore, there was the Augustan Domus that ended with an exedra on the Circus Maximus. It had also a stadium, with a riding ground and gardens, where St. Sebastian was probably martyred.

The Colosseum was erected on the area of the Stagnum Neronis, and it was the most important amphitheatre in the Roman World. Inaugurated in 80 A.D. with celebrations that lasted a hundred days (during which 5.000 wild beasts were killed), its structure has a partition of arcades and half-columns in the three classical orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The attic, on the contrary, does not have any opening, but it is marked by Corinthian pilaster strips. It was used as amphitheatre until 523 when under Theodoric, the gladiatorial games were prohibited. Those games were watched by the entire Roman population.

The tradition - unconfirmed by the sources - says this was the place where the first Christians were martyred. The building was called Colosseum owing to the colossal golden bronze statue of Nero, placed in its vicinity. Next to it is the Arch of Constantine, the biggest and best preserved ancient arch. Erected in 315 to commemorate Constantine's triumph on Maxentius, it is realized with structures and decoration belonging to monuments from previous ages.

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