Video extract.

The Roman Forum, the heart of Rome. The citizens of Rome spent there a good part of their days. You see the great square, surrounded by temples or justice buildings. This place was full of statues, altars, arches and columns. A panoramic view of the Forum between the Palatine in the background, and the Imperial Forums in the foreground.

The Roman Forum in a closer view. Behind the great columns of honour is the Basilica Julia, built betwen the temple of Dioscuri, left, and the temple of Saturn, right, of which the steps of the podium were particularly high. The great building with its back against the Capitol, and which seems to close the Forum in the far end, on the right of the picture, is the Tabularium. At the bottom of the Tabularium are two temples, the temple of Concord, right, and the temple of Vespasian, left. You notice as well the Arch of Septimius-Severus and the Gemoniæ Steps in the middle of the picture on the right. This very steep stair linked the Forum and the Arx. Very close to the first steps was the dreadful Mamertine prison. The bodies of the condamned to death were exposed there after their capital punishment.

The Curia Hostilia, completely on the left of the picture, was situated on the Forum on the northern end of the Comitium. Several times destroyed by fire, the last construction dates back to Diocletian. Nonetheless it became the Curia Julia as it was slightly moved by Cæsar. It was a fairly simple building composed of a single meeting room and a vestibule. No heating was installed and if the temperature went too low, the chairman used to suspend the meeting. The Curia Julia was the meeting room of the Senate during the Empire. A view of the interior in synthetic picture.

This view of the Forum helps us to understand the heaping up of administrative or religious buildings that were standing along the Via Sacra. Left we see again the Basilica Æmilia, built in 179 BC. It was a splendid building with marble decoration. Right of the Basilica Æmilia, the temple of Antoninus and his wife Faustina. Antoninus succeeded to Hadrian in 138. After the temple of Antoninus you find the temple of Romulus, built in the honour of Emperor Maxentius’s son, who died in 307. It is a circular temple flanked by two halls with apses, as you can see on the model. At last the immense Basilica of Maxentius, built almost on the top of the Forum.

The slope of the Velia. The Velia was a short slope linked to the hill of Palatine that appears, slightly on the right of the picture. By climbing up the Via Sacra, towards the temple of Venus and Rome, the Romans had to go until the Arch of Titus to reach the top. At the top of the Velia, the majestic temple of Venus and Rome. In the left angle, one guesses the temple of Peace which is part of the third of the Imperial Forums. A panoramic view of the whole complex of the Forum and the Colosseum.

In the middle of the picture stands the temple of Vesta, called as well the round temple, where the sacred fire was kept alight. This function was under the responsibility of the vestals, whose house can be seen on the left. This vast house was built on two levels. In the centre of the atrium, a basin and a garden could be found. Slightly on the right, you see the temple of Cæsar, the roof of which is in orange color. Near this temple took place the cremation of the assassinated Cæsar’s body. Between the temple of Cæsar and the temple of Vesta, the contemporaries had to go under the Arch of Augustus. Just behind the temple of Cæsar was the Regia. At last, in the centre of the picture, the temple of Castor and Pollux (the Dioscuri).

The Basilica of Maxentius, on the slope of the Forum. It was an imposing monument that housed colossal statues. The interior was divided into three aisles sustained by columns and huge pillars. It is imposing in the middle of the picture. This remarkable synthetic view of Jacques Plassard completes the visit of this monument. The basilica was built on the slope of the Forum, you can notice the difference in level of the ground.

The entrance to the Roman Forum opposite of the Colosseum. In the foreground the temple of Venus and Rome, the biggest sanctuary in the Roman world. Left of the temple is the beginning of the upper Via Sacra that leads to the heart of the Forum. The temple situated on the side of the Palatine, surrounded by a portico, on the left side of the temple of Venus and Rome is that of Elagabalus.
View from the opposite side .