"Foro di Nerva or Transient Forum" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 12th May 2011
Emperor Nerva finished construction of this Forum in 96-98 A.D., which was begun by Domitian on the area between Forum of Augustus and Forum of Vespasian. It was also named Forum Transitorium due to a street that crossed it, Argiletum, which lead from the Roman Forum to the Esquiline Hill. The Foro di Nerva or Transient Forum is one of fori imperiali of Rome, the penultimate ahead built before Trajan's Forum
The name Transitory Forum derives from the fact that it was created in the narrow long space between the Forum of Peace, the Forum of Caesar and the Forum of Augustus, on the site first crossed by the Argiletum, an important road between the Roman Forum and the Suburra quarter. Due to the narrow space available, the Forum of Nerva did not have any porticoes, as with the other Imperial Forums, but a colonnade situated near the rear wall, to which it was connected by short architraves. On its short side towards the Suburra there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, the protecting deity of Domitian. Only two columns (called the “colonnacce”) remain of the original colonnade as well as a section of the surrounding wall along today’s Via Cavour.
To the southeast of Trajan’s forum, three temple columns arise from the ruins of the Foro di Augusto (Augustus’ Forum), now mostly under Via dei Fori Imperiali. The Foro di Nerva (Nerva’s Forum) was also buried by Mussolini’s road-building, although part of a temple dedicated to Minerva still stands. Originally, it would have connected the Foro di Augusto to the 1st-century Foro di Vespasiano (Vespasian’s Forum), also known as the Forum of Peace. On the other side of the road, three columns on a raised platform are all that remain of the Foro di Cesare (Caesar’s Forum).
The Foro di Nerva (Nerva’s Forum) was limited by a wall with the columns, which gave the idea of a portico making an illusory effect of greater dimensions of the forum's space. On the top of the columns was a frieze representing the scene of working women, in relation to the Temple of Minerva, which occupied one of the sides of the Forum. This little temple was destroyed under Paul V because of its building material needed for construction of a big fountain at the top of Janiculum.
Behind the Temple of Minerva there is a large horseshoe-shaped exedra, the Porticus Absidata, which formed a monumental entrance to the forum. During the early Middle Ages the Forum of Nerva had a series of dwellings, composed of a ground floor with a portico and a first floor, along a road overlying the original paving of the forum. These dwellings are the only example found in Rome of Carolingian period housing dating back to the mid 9th century AD. Between 1566 and 1572 a large sewer, the so-called “Chiavicone”, was built there to drain and reclaim the area that had become unhealthy. In 1606 the Temple of Minerva, which had been well preserved until then, was destroyed by Pope Paul V to use the reclaimed materials to build the Acqua Paola Fountain on the Janiculum.
In 1995 were initiated new excavations in the West end, in contact with the Roman Forum, extended 1998 then in-2000 to the whole area from this side of via dei Fori Imperiali.
Foro di Nerva or Transient Forum
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 Nerva or Transient Forum 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).