Roman Forum

By | September 24, 2021

Roman Forum

Forum Romanum [Latin], the oldest forum of ancient Rome and the center of economic, social and political life.

The Roman Forum was in the valley between the Palatine, Capitol, Quirinal and Esquiline. Under the Etruscan rule, the valley, which was used as a cemetery from the 9th to 7th centuries, was renamed in the 6th century BC. It was incorporated into the settlement through drainage (Cloaca maxima), paving and the construction of the first public buildings and sanctuaries, and the square was divided into a political and a mercantile area. The district with the town hall (Curia hostilia), the actual meeting place (Comitium) and the regia (“royal house”) originated from the time of the kings: under the regia, which was established at the end of the 6th century (renewed several times), were found Remnants of older small sanctuaries. The regia served as the official residence of the Rex Sacrorum and later the Pontifex maximus (Pontifex), who both took on the religious functions that were originally reserved for the king. After a seamless transition to the republican era with the renewal of old and new construction of a few cult buildings, the history of the Roman Forum in the 5th and 4th centuries remains largely in the dark.

Only after the Punic Wars did a grandiose upswing with numerous changes (new buildings and restoration of existing buildings) give the Roman Forum its final regular shape under Caesar and Augustus, but at the same time were associated with a clear change in the meaning of the Roman Forum. Important political as well as economic centers were relocated: the town hall and assembly area were connected to the Caesar forum, the activities of the Pontifex maximus were removed from the old regia and a new place was assigned to the market.

The current condition of the Roman Forum is mainly due to the renovations and new buildings during the imperial era. The boundary of the narrow forum square is formed by the 179 BC. Basilica Aemilia in the north and the over 100 m long Basilica Iulia in the south (instead of the Basilica Sempronia built in 170 BC, consecrated in 46 BC, rededicated after a fire in 12 AD), the administration of justice and used for stock exchange transactions, both of which were restored for the last time in the 5th century. On the narrow side, the imperial rostra (speaker’s platform) and the temple of Caesar (built by Augustus in 29 BC) face each other.

The most important cult buildings below the Capitol between Clivius Capitolinus and Vicus Iugarius are the Temple of Saturn (originally 498 BC; renewed several times, last new building after 283 AD, of which eight columns with gables have been preserved), Vespasian (79 AD). Chr.) And the Concordia (4th century BC, rededication 7-10 AD) and in the eastern part the temples of Antoninus Pius and Faustina (141 and 161 respectively consecrated; remains today in the church of San Lorenzo built in Miranda), the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux, consecrated 484 BC, renewed in 117 BC, new building consecrated in 6 AD) with the famous three upright columns, that of Maxentius built round temple of Romulus (309-12; today connected to the early Christian church Santi Cosma et Damiani) and further east at the Colosseum the Hadrianic double temple of Venus and Roma (135 consecrated, new building 307).

At the foot of the Palatine Hill, next to the partially restored round temple (193–211 AD), in which the sacred fire was guarded, a large house with an atrium was built for the Vestals, last renovated under Julia Domna. Triumphal arches were built for Augustus, Tiberius, Titus and Septimius Severus. The largest building on the Roman Forum is the three-aisled Maxentius basilica, the three barrel-vaulted apses of the north aisle have been preserved. It lies with the temples for Venus and Roma as well as Romulus and the Arch of Titus on the Veliahang, which is not actually part of the Roman Forum.

Other monuments are the early Lapis niger, discovered in 1899, a black marble slab under which there is an archaic cult and grave sanctuary with an altar, a statue base and the oldest Latin inscription; the Miliarium aureum, the golden milestone (20 BC, with information on the distances to other Roman cities); the Umbilicus urbis Romae (“navel of the city of Rome”), the central stone of the Roman Empire (embedded in the 2nd century AD), as well as the Lacus Iuturnae, a still bubbling spring, which was considered the rosy water of the Dioscuri, and next to it the rebuilt temple of the spring goddess Iuturna. The latest monument in the Roman Forum is a column dedicated to the Byzantine Emperor Phocas (608).

The extensive destruction of the Roman Forum is not to be ascribed to the Middle Ages, when the buried area was used as pasture for cattle (Campo Vaccino), but to the Renaissance era, which not only rediscovered the ancient buildings but also used them as building material. The systematic excavations started in 1788 with the discovery of the Basilica Iulia, which were followed by numerous excavations in the 19th century and in the subsequent period (including 1898–1904 by the Italian archaeologist Giacomo Boni, * 1859, † 1925), apart from minor architectural and plastic remains only expose the foundations of the buildings. The research continues in the present.

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (world heritage)

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (world heritage)

A city for the people

According to ezinereligion, the industrial city of Ivrea in the Piedmont region was recognized as an “idea of ​​a city”, as a modern vision of the relationship between industry and architecture. The engineer and entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti (* 1901, +1960), whose company of the same name became world-famous for the manufacture of typewriters, office equipment and computers, had leading Italian urban planners and architects built a separate district here in the 1930s to 1960s. The company, founded in 1908, still has its headquarters here today.

Olivetti’s idealistic city model was based on the idea of ​​communitarianism, which focuses on the common good and the idea of ​​community. Ivrea not only consists of factory buildings, research and administration buildings, but also includes residential buildings, kindergartens, a center for social services and green spaces.

At the height of the Olivetti company in the 1970s, 30,000 people were working in Ivrea. The wellbeing of these workers and employees was the focus of Adriano Olivetti’s visions from the start, who saw Ivrea not only as a place of (industrial) work, but also as a place of social and cultural togetherness. Elegant, often light buildings with lots of glass determine the architecture and, together with the residential and public buildings, represent an exemplary industrial as well as social project.

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century: facts

Official title: Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century
Cultural monument: District of the small Piedmontese town of Ivrea, whose architectural ensemble of residential and community buildings, factories and administrative buildings reflects the ideas of a community movement
Continent: Europe
Country: Italy
Location: on the northern edge of the Po Valley between Turin and the Aosta Valley.
Appointment: 2018
Meaning: exemplary urban and social project that embodies a modern vision of the relationship between manufacturing industry and architecture

Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (world heritage)