The Forum Romanum is situated in the valley between the Palatine Hill and the Capitol and consists of an almost trapezoid-shaped square that stands between the Regia and the Rostra on the short sides and the Basilica Aemilia and the Basilica Julia on the long ones. An extension of the northern part is represented by the Comitium.
The squarewas conceived as a place for commercial exchanges and political and judicial activities, situated in a point where important roads (Via Sacra, Vicus Tuscus, Vicus Iugarius, Clivus Capitolinus, and Argiletum) converged. Originally the zone was partly marshy and used as a cemetery starting from about the tenth century BC, as testified by tombs discovered in 1902 in the burial ground. Ruins of huts and ceramic material found next to the archaic burial ground lead to think that dwelling places were disseminated there already in the second half of the eighth century. The most ancient monuments of sacred character, attributed by tradition to the first kings of Rome, date back to the second half of the sixth century BC.
Arch of Titus
This arch was erected in 81 AD by emperor Domitian in memory ofhis brother Titus to celebrate his victories against the Judaeans. Decorated with Greek marble slabs, the monument has a single opening flanked by four semicolumns with capitals.
Arch of Septimius Severus
This arch was erected at the foot of the Capitol in 203 AD, on the tenth anniversary of the ascent of emperor Septimius Severus to the throne and dedicated by him to his son Caracalla. The two facades are encircled by a high attic (originally surmounted by a quadriga with the emperorand his son), inside which are four rooms that can be accessed through a staircase. On the two sides of the attic there is a large inscription with a dedication to Septimius Severus and Caracalla. Scenes of the two campaigns against the Partii are represented on the panels above the smaller arches.
Temple of Saturn
The agricultural god Saturn was associated with sowing and equated with the Greek god Cronos. According to classical mythology, he was expelled from Olympus by Zeus and ruled Latium in an age of peace and happiness, during which he taught people agriculture and other peaceful skills.
The original Temple of Saturn was built in the Forum around 497 BC. From the beginning, it served as the treasury of the Roman state as well as a temple. The treasure may have been housed in the substructure beneath the temple steps, which can be seen today.
The temple was restored by Lucius Munatius Plancus in 42 BC, using funds from his recent victory in the Alps. It was one of the last great donations of a private individual before the empire took over such matters. Four centuries later, the Temple of Saturn was rebuilt again after a fire (as recorded in the inscription on the facade). The rebuilding has been dated to between 360 and 380 AD, demonstrating the Senate’s continued resistance to the influx of Christianity in the Eternal City.
Santi Luca e Martina church
Santi Luca e Martina is a church in Rome, situated between the Roman Forum and the Forum of Caesar and close to the Arch of Septimus Severus. The church was initially dedicated to Saint Martina, martyred in 228 AD during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus. In 625 Pope Honorius I commissioned construction of the church. Restored first in 1256 during the reign of Pope Alexander IV, it was a simple rectangular structure surrounded on three sides by other constructions until it was rebuilt by the painter and architect, Pietro da Cortona, in the seventeenth century.