When the Mediterranean Was A Roman Pond: The Forum… Armchair Series

We added Rome’s ancient Forum to our walk-about where we visited the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. I’m still tired! Today concludes the Rome section of my adventure travel series from posts I did in 2015. Next up will be Florence.

While much of the Roman Forum is in rubble, the temple of Antonius and Faustina still stands proudly… fortunately. The striations around the columns were caused by someone trying to cut them down.

At the height of the Roman Empire, around 100 CE, Rome ruled from England to the Persian Gulf. The Mediterranean Sea was considered a Roman pond. The Forum, located next to the Colosseum, was the site of Rome’s government. Julius Caesar was killed here on the Ides of March, after which Mark Anthony gave his famous speech: “Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears.” The following photos are from the Forum.

Excavating the Roman Forum is still very much a work in progress, as this photo shows.
I found the simple elegance of this single column outlined against a cloudy sky to be quite beautiful.
These columns were once part of Caligula’s Palace. Caligula, who enjoyed torturing people, built his horse a house and planned to appoint him as a Consul. It was around that time that Romans decided to assassinate the infamous emperor.
The building on the lower left covers the site where the body of Julius Caesar was burned. Above it, to the right, was the Temple of Vesta, attended by the Vestal Virgins. Their job was to stay chaste for 30 years and attend the eternal flame. Being bad got you buried alive. Flings were few and far between. Palatine Hill, where the wealthy lived and cavorted, is in the background. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
The Arch of Titus commemorated the Roman victory over Judaea in 70 AD. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
While Peggy was capturing photos of important historical sites, I was busy with the local cat.
What remains of the massive Temple of Constantine, the Emperor who made Christianity the official religion of Rome. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
This impressive six-story arch commemorated the victory of the African born emperor Septimius Severus in far off Mesopotamia. BTW, it was the booty from these Roman victories that helped build the arches.
Speaking of aches, I like the perspective of their photo taken by Peggy.
Do you think the Latin says park bench? I was tempted.
For my last picture on my Forum post, I chose this magnificent boar. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

NEXT POST: Off we go to Florence

20 thoughts on “When the Mediterranean Was A Roman Pond: The Forum… Armchair Series

  1. I understand that the more they look in Rome, the more sites they discover. It appears it is a city built over a city. It still amazes how that can happen.

  2. Curt, we rented an apartment and spent a couple of weeks in Rome, which honestly, is what it takes to truly appreciate all the ruins there. In addition to all the architectural interest and intriguing history, roaming ruins like the Forum leave me with a sort of post-apocalypic feel; while the Romans spread their values and technology they were also sewing the seeds of their own destruction. ~James

    • A scary thought, James, especially give our present situation. We were there for four days, which barely allowed us to hit the highlights. I think I was there for 2-3 days when I visited in 1967. Staying for a couple of weeks, or even a month would seem to be worth it! –Curt

  3. We didn’t get to the Forum this time, but had seen it before. But I’m struck with the repairs being made. We saw the same thing at the Acropolis in Athens — so much work to maintain these buildings and structures, but so glad someone is doing this. i like to stand and imagine what life was like when this Forum was so vibrant and bustling. Don’t know if I would have been in the thick of the action, but certainly would love to be a fly on the wall!

  4. It’s nice you’re able to ID so many of the structures. The first time I was there I was solo, the second was “guided”, but of such short duration to be almost pointless. Fascinating place, just the same.

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