Rome The Eternal City
The expression goes “all roads lead to Rome” but the center of the Roman Empire was actually the Foro Romano or the Roman Forum. Rome was the center of Roman civilization for over 1,200 years from its founding in 753 BC. The Roman age went through a number of phases from the early Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC) through its expansion period with the Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC) followed after the death of Julius Caesar with the imperial Roman Empire (27 BC–476 AD) until the fall of the western empire in 476 AD.
Much of ancient Rome can still be visited in modern Rome with the center being the important Sites in the Roman Forum with a number of important buildings, statues and monuments located in the historical site.
A – Senate House: The senate house, known as the “Curia,” served as the council house of the Senate and a place for political events. It was repurposed a number of times, and was converted into a church in 655 A.D. It was on the steps of the Senate where Julius Caesar was assassinated.
B – Temple of Saturn: The first Temple of Saturn was built around 498 B.C. and is considered one of the earliest temples in the Roman Forum. The current ruins date back to roughly 42 B.C. This building was dedicated to Saturn and was also used as the treasury for Rome.
C – Arch of Titus: This arch was constructed in 81 A.D. by the Emperor Domitian for his brother, Emperor Titus, who was victorious in putting down a revolt in Jerusalem.
D – Temple of Vesta: The Temple of Vesta was a circular-shaped temple that was dedicated to Vesta, the goddess of home and family.
E – Temple of Castor and Pollux: Completed in about 484 B.C. It was dedicated to the Roman twin demi-gods, Castor and Pollux, and underwent several reconstructions.
The Rostra located near the Temple of Castor was a raised space where people could stand to make public speeches.
The Sacra Via: A pathway for ceremonial processions, this was the main road that ran through the Roman Forum and connected the various important sites. This famous street connected to the Colosseum, which was within walking distance of the central Forum.
Outside of the Roman Forum a number of sites remaining from the Roman capital can be explored that include:
Baths of Caracalla Ruin · Viale delle Terme di Caracalla are ruins of a vast Roman bath complex.
Pantheon – Piazza della Rotonda a historic Roman temple now a church.
Colosseum – Piazza del Colosseo, the iconic ancient Roman gladiatorial arena.
Circus Maximus – Via del Circo Massimo the area where a massive stone arena stood for huge scale Roman games.
Aqueduct Ruins – Via del Tritone, an ancient Roman acqueduct is still in use today.
Marcello Theater – Via del Teatro di Marcello is a Roman theater still holding summer festivals.