Forum of Caesar

Rome, Italy

The Forum of Caesar (Foro di Cesare) was built by Julius Caesar near the Forum Romanum in Rome in 46 BC. Caesar decided to construct a forum bearing his name in the northeast section of the Forum Romanum, of which he purchased a very expensive, select amount of parcels of land in that area. The Forum spanned from the Argiletum on the southeast side of the Forum Romanum to the Atrium Libertatis and spanned 160 meters by 75 meters. As part of the dedication, lavish games were offered and funded by Caesar, indicating the staggering cost and thus the personal interest that Caesar had invested in the project.

The Forum of Caesar originally meant an expansion of the Forum Romanum. The Forum, however, evolved so that it served two additional purposes. As Caesar became more and more involved in this project, the Forum became a place for public business that was related to the Senate in addition to a shrine for Caesar himself as well as Venus Genetrix.

Before his assassination, Caesar would have the Senate meet him before his temple, an act deemed very unpopular by the Senate. The Forum of Caesar also had an effect on the Curia, which Caesar began to reconstruct in 44 BC. This reconstruction moved the Forum of Caesar much closer to the Curia. The ten tabernae located on the western side of the Forum and its now close approximation to the Senate house symbolized the unity that Caesar felt between himself and the Senate.

Caesar also placed a statue of his favourite horse in front of the temple. Following his assassination, a statue of Caesar riding this horse was added. The Temple of Venus Genetrix was completed after Caesar's assassination by Roman senators, which included lavish games in reference to Caesar's original dedication to the Forum. Caesar had plans for this temple well in advance, having dedicated the construction of a temple to Venus Victrix at the climactic Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, though never being able to see its completion. This original dedication was done because it was Pompey's favourite goddess, and Caesar hoped to gain the goddess's favour before the battle against Pompey.

The temple was re-built after the removal of the gap between the Capitoline Hill and the Quirinal Hill, under the reigns of Domitian and Trajan; during the adaptation of the gap, a second floor of tabernae was created behind the west portico of the square and a building with pillars made of tuff blocks, named Basilica Argentaria, was erected. The new temple was inaugurated in the same day as the Trajan's Column, on May 12, 113.

Following the reigns of Caesar and Augustus, a total reconstruction of the Forum took place, headed by the Roman Emperor Domitian. Why this reconstruction occurred is not exactly known. Under the reign of Titus, a massive fire ravaged the city in AD 80, including the Forum Romanum. The Forum of Caesar was not rebuilt until AD 95, however, indicating that perhaps Domitian had a personal interest in the reconstruction. This could be seen in the separation of the Curia from the Forum, symbolizing a reversal of Caesar's wish to have the Senate closely connected with him. Not much senatorial business took place in the Forum afterwards, except for the secretarium senatus in the 4th century.

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Clivo Argentario, Rome, Italy
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Details

Founded: 46 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Big Boss (3 years ago)
The first of the imperial fora of Rome. Fantastic experience
Anas Alsayed (3 years ago)
Historical ruins located near the Roman Forum. It's free for public and easy to access. Suitable for families.
Arianna Agostini (3 years ago)
A must see. The night tour is spectacular
Milen Dimitrov (3 years ago)
Just next to the original Forum Romanum, this Forum built by Iulius Ceasar has nto survived the turmoil of the two millennia after being built. It was built as an expansion of the old Roman Forum and housed two temples - one of Venus, the predecessor of Caesar's family, and of Caesar himself. Visited April 2017
C M (3 years ago)
The night time experience is fantastic! Surprisingly there wasn’t many people who attended (rare for any attraction in Rome) but it was one of the best attractions we attended. Highly recommended.
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