Imperial Forums

Imperial Forums (7)

The big problem with the Imperial Forums is that most of them were buried when Mussolini had a large avenue built over them between Piazza Venezia and the Coliseum. In fact, during the period of Italian fascism, the military parades were usually held on this long street, unequivocally called Via dei Fori Imperiali. This act by Mussolini caused a great deal of controversy, since the avenue it passed along caused the loss of one of the largest archaeological complexes in the world. 

The Imperial Forums were areas built by the emperors and used for ceremonies and to meet the political, institutional and religious needs. The first to be built was the Forum of Caesar, which Julius Caesar had built in 54 BC. It is said that the emperor spent a fortune buying up the buildings in the area, to later demolish them in order to build his forum there. The only thing you can se today of what little remains is a platform and three columns of an old temple dedicated to Venus.

The next forum built was the Forum of Augustus, which the emperor built to commemorate the battle he won against Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar. Augustus took 20 years to build it and practically the whole area is occupied by the Temple of Mars Ultor, of which you can still see today its 24 Corinthian columns. 

The third one is the Forum of Vespasian, although it is almost totally covered by the Via dei Fori Imperiali. Despite this, you can see some of the remains of the old Temple of Peace. 

Between the Forum of Augustus and the Forum of Vespasian is the Forum of Nerva, which Domitian began building, who had to settle for this narrow passage for his constructions. It was the emperor Nerva who completed it in 97 AD, and inside it he built the Temple of Minerva, of which today you can see conserved the columns of the portico. 

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