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Imperial Forum

In ancient times the Forum was a marshy area. Only from the end of the 7th century BC, after the reclamation of the valley, did the Roman Forum begin to take shape, destined to remain the center of public life for over a millennium.

Over the centuries the various monuments were built: first the buildings for political, religious and commercial activities, then during the second century BC the civil basilicas, where judicial activities took place. Already at the end of the Republican age, the ancient Roman Forum had become insufficient to perform the function of the administrative and representative center of the city.

The various dynasties of emperors added only prestigious monuments: the Temple of Vespasian and Titus and that of Antoninus Pius and Faustina dedicated to the memory of the deified emperors, and the monumental Arch of Septimius Severus, built at the western end of the square in 203 AD. to celebrate the victories of the emperor over the Parthians.

The last major intervention was carried out by the Emperor Maxentius in the early 4th century AD when the Temple dedicated to the memory of his son Romulus and the imposing Basilica on the Velia were erected. The last monument built in the Forum was the Column erected in 608 AD in honor of the Byzantine emperor Phocas.