Foro di Augusto
Ancient ruins of a forum built to include a temple to Mars & provide space for legal proceedings. The Foro di Augusto stands as a testament to the architectural and urban planning skills of ancient Rome. Visitors to Rome can explore the archaeological remains of this forum, gaining insights into the political, religious, and cultural life of the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus.
The Foro di Augusto, or the Forum of Augustus, is one of the Imperial Fora, a series of monumental public squares built by various Roman emperors. Here are key details about the Foro di Augusto:
- Construction: The Foro di Augusto was built by the Roman Emperor Augustus and his architect, Vitruvius. Construction began in 42 BC and was completed in 2 BC. The forum was inaugurated in 2 BC to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Philippi.
- Location: The forum is situated northeast of the Roman Forum, adjacent to the more ancient Forum Romanum. It was connected to the Roman Forum by the Via dei Fori Imperiali, a road constructed in the 20th century.
- Purpose: The Foro di Augusto served multiple purposes. It was intended as a public space for various activities, including legal, political, and commercial affairs. The construction of the forum also aimed to provide a fitting location for the Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger), dedicated to the avenging of Julius Caesar’s assassination.
- Architectural Features: The forum featured a large open square surrounded by colonnades, similar to other Roman forums. The Temple of Mars Ultor, located at the northern end, was a significant structure within the forum. The temple housed a statue of Mars Ultor, sculpted by the renowned artist Praxiteles.
- Temple of Mars Ultor: The temple was a key element of the forum and played a symbolic role in avenging Julius Caesar’s assassination. The dedication to Mars Ultor emphasized the idea of vengeance and the restoration of order.
- Decorations and Sculptures: The Forum of Augustus was adorned with various decorations and sculptures, including reliefs depicting scenes from the Battle of Philippi, which marked the defeat of the forces of Brutus and Cassius.
- Piazza del Foro di Augusto: In modern times, the area of the Foro di Augusto has been excavated, and visitors can explore the archaeological remains. The Piazza del Foro di Augusto, the open space surrounding the forum, provides access to the ancient ruins.
- Cultural Events: The forum was also used for cultural events and celebrations. Augustus established the Ludi Saeculares, a series of secular games, which were celebrated in the forum.
- Integration with the Forum Romanum: The Foro di Augusto, along with other Imperial Fora, forms part of the broader complex that includes the Roman Forum. These interconnected spaces reflect the expansion and development of Rome’s civic and ceremonial areas.