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Foro di Augusto

Second in order of time and inaugurated in 2 BC, the Foro di Augusto was limited on its end side by a huge 33 metre wall made from peperino blocks and gabina stone, dividing it from the popular Suburra district.
Two entrances opened in the wall: the first to the north, with three arches, and the second, also known as the Arco dei Pantani, with a single arch. The forum was divided into a rectangular square, flanked by porticoes; at the back was the Tempio di Marte Ultore ('vendicatore'), preceded by wide steps. In the Middle Ages, the podium of the temple was occupied by the church of St Basil, which has now disappeared.

Temple of Marte Ultore - The construction of the temple was decided before the battle of Filippi (42 BC); the temple was only inaugurated, however, in 2 BC. It was a grandiose building in white Carrara marble with 8 columns on the front and 7 on the long sides; of these only the last three remain on the south-eastern side surmounted by the architrave, together with the back pillar. The cella ended with an apse within which were placed the cult statues of Marte, Venere and, perhaps, Divo Giulio. Senate meetings and religious ceremonies were also held in the temple. The building today has a high podium built of tufa blocks, preceded by an imposing central staircase.

Semicircular porticoes - The forum square was surrounded by wide porticoes and two semicircular exedras with rectangular, two-storey niches. Inside the niches were statues of triumphalists and members of the Giulia family. The attic was adorned with caryatids and trophies. The judicial activities of the urban praetors, who dealt with civil cases, took place in these rooms. In late antiquity, educational and scholastic functions were also exercised here.

Aula del Colosso - At the end of the portico to the left (northern side) was a large square room, which housed a colossal statue, probably the Colosso di Augusto, in the back wall.

Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi - On the northern exedra of the Foro di Augusto is a building known as the 'Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi'. It is actually a Roman structure from the end of the 1st century B.C. and was modified with the construction of the Foro di Augusto. In the Middle Ages, the building was extended and occupied by the Ordine dei Cavalieri di Malta e di Rodi. Especially impressive is the beautiful 15th-century loggia.



POINT (12.486963 41.894719)

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Foro di Augusto, Piazza del Grillo, 1
Piazza del Grillo, 1
41° 53' 40.9884" N, 12° 29' 13.0668" E


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