"Foro di Augusto (Forum of Augustus)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 12th May 2011
Emperor Augustus built another forum close to the one of Caesar. It was larger and was protected by a high wall. In the center was a Temple of Mars Ultor (the Avenger), which Augustus promised to erect during a battle with Philipps in 42 b.C. revenging the death of Caesar. It stood on a basement 3.5meters high with the steps preceding it. The temple had eight Corinthian columns on each side, and apse with the statues of Marte and of Venice. On either side of the temple were twin basilicas which were almost completely destroyed during the Renaissance for their marble.
The left-hand basilica had an extension at the north end known as the Hall of the Colossus, a square room which held a colossal statue of Augustus or of Mars (its basement survived). Here was also a series of statues of principal generals of the Roman army.
There were two entrances in the wall: a three-arched entrance, on the north side, and a single-arched entrance, also known as the Arch of the Pantani (Pantanus). The forum was composed of a rectangular square flanked by porticoes,with the Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger) on the rear end, preceded by alarge stairway. During the Middle Ages the temple’s podium was occupied by Saint Basil’s Church, now disappeared. The Arch of Pantanus served as the entrance to the forum. Political and religious ceremonies (nomination of the governors of the provinces, etc.) took place here.
The construction of the Forum of Augustus was completed only a century later by other emperors.
The square of the forum was surrounded by large porticoes and two semicircular exedra containing rectangular niches on two levels, so called Semicircular Porticoes. The niches housed statues of victors and members of the Julian family. The attic was decorated with caryatids and trophies. The porticoes were used by the urban praetors who dealt with civil lawsuits. In the later Empire they were also used for education and school activities.
In the Middle Ages it was occupied by a convent of Basilians and the temple was turned into a Chiesa di S.Basilio with the added Romanesque bell-tower. Later the monastery passed to the nuns Dominicans and the new church was created: Chiesa della Annunziata (it was demolished in the 30's of the 20th century in course of excavation of the Forum of Augustus). Other statues included an ivory Athena Alea, sculpted by Endoeus, which Augustus brought back from its temple in Tegea.
Foro di Augusto (Forum of Augustus)
Via dei Fori Imperiali
Piazza del Grillo, 1
Salita del Grillo (Old Town)
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Monti (Colosseo-S.Giovanni-S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)
Foro di Augusto (Forum of Augustus) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "138"
Bus: H - 40 - 60 - 64 - 70 - 117 - 170/ 60 - 75 - 85 - 87 - 117 - 175 - 186 - 810 - 850
Metro: Colosseo (line B).
Telephone: 679 1620