The Forum Romanum (Roman square) is the oldest city square in Rome surrounded by six (the Capitoline, the Palatine, the Caelian, the Esquiline, the Viminal and the Quirinal) out of seven hills on which Rome is located. In the past it was a political, religious and cultural centre of Rome where the most important public ceremonies took place with a participation of all citizens.
In 1968 the Swedish archaeologist Einar Gjerstad published his thesis about the looks of the Forum Romanum. It was called the Theory of Gjerstad and assumes that originally in that area was a settlement composed of houses on posts. However, the research from the end of the 20th century showed that his thesis was incorrect. It was proven that this area was a wetland which was a natural border between settlements located on the hills. The wetland was drained and leveled between 729BC and 720BC. In that period settlements of the Palatine and the Qurinal were connected by a newly created square in the place of the dried wetland. There had never been houses on posts there as Gjesrtad claimed.
During the times of the Roman Empire, the Forum Romanum was modernized and in the area many temples were built: the Temple of Caesar, the Temple of Venus and Roma, the Temple of Vespasian and Titus and the Temple of Antonius and Faustina as well as the Triumphal arch of Augustus. In the same time, by order of Julius Caesar, different parts of Rome were also modernized. There were built some new gathering places, for instance the Forum of Caesar or Trajan (the biggest one in the whole Rome). They were connected into an united architectural complex. It was still the centre of the political, religious and cultural life. During the Roman Empire it was more connected with trade, entertainment and representative functions.
After an invasion of the Visigoths on Rome in 410, the Forum began to collapse. In 768 the election of the Pope Stephen III taken place here. Probably in the middle of the 9th century the Forum was destroyed by an earthquake. It is possible that later on it was used as a stone pit at the turn of the 10th century which building materials for other architectural projects were quarried from. Till the 18th century it was alternately used as a pasture or a cattle market. Excavations began in 1803, whereas with the onset of the 20th century they has been carried out systematically.
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|Neighbourhood||VIII Forum Romanum (14 regioni di Roma augustea)|
|Price||normal : 12.00 child : 7.50 (age <7)|
|Geographical coordinates||41.8928186, 12.4864411|
|Address||00186 Rome, Largo della Salara Vecchia|