unknown (Greek (ancient))


600 BCE-20 BCE (creation)


image preview


Administrative, juridical and commercial centre of Republican Rome, which continued to receive increasingly elaborate public buildings throughout most of the Imperial era (after 27 BC). The Forum Romanum came to symbolize Roman power, and its basic form was copied throughout the Roman world. Its buildings have inspired artists for over two millennia. Rome’s earliest settlers occupied the hills and plateaux to the east of the River Tiber. Gradually, however, they moved down into the lowlands, and by the mid-7th century BC the central depression between the hills, formerly used for burials, had become a communal assembly and trading place or FORUM. It eventually became known as the Forum Romanum to distinguish it from other gathering points such as the Forum Boarium and Forum Holitorium (the cattle and vegetable markets respectively). The general layout of the site was established under the Etruscan kings in the 6th century BC, when the open area was drained and paved, and buildings oriented to the cardinal points were erected along its periphery. Development accelerated under the Republic. During this period the forum lay at the foot of the city’s religious centre, the Capitoline Hill to the north-west. To the south stood the Palatine Hill, favoured residential quarter of the rich; to the north-east were the crowded plebeian residences of the Subura Valley; while to the south-west the Velabrum valley connected it to the Tiber port. This large area, defined by its surrounding hills, comprised two main sections. On the north-west, a large paved area (c. 90×60 m) formed the core of the Forum Romanum proper, while the area extending south-east towards the Velia was known as the Forum Adjectum (see fig. above). The focus of Republican government, the senate house or curia (later the Curia Julia), stood on the forum’s north-east edge (see fig.). In front of it lay the open-air comitium where various assemblies met, with a speakers’ platform on one side, called the Rostra (18b) after the captured ships’ prows displayed on its sides.

Description Source

Grove Art Online;


Greek (ancient)


ancient, Schwab, Rome, forum, Romanuim, aerial


Architecture and City Planning

Work Type

buildings; religious buildings; temples

Style Period

Imperial (Roman)

Work Technique



Forum Romanum (Rome, Lazio, Italy)

Image Rights

© Marice Rose

File Type


Photo Credit

Marice Rose


ancient, Schwab, Rome, forum, Romanuim, aerial