this very area. Little did he know that this would become the centre of knowledge of the ancient
world with a population surpassing one million people. It was in the Roman Forum that military
parades passed through, the Senators met and debated, temples were erected, Marc Antony
spoke, and the Vestal Virgins tended the sacred flame of the city. Not only was Roman Forum
the commercial, religious and political centre of Rome for many years, the Forum was a place
where the Romans celebrated just being Roman, alliances were formed and love was sometimes
At the far end of the Forum Proper are the ruins of the Temple of the Divine Julius Caesar, probably
the most famous structure of the Forums. Erected by his nephew and adopted-son Octavian, the
temple became his final resting place. Military academies study the techniques and methods of
Caesar even today. Admiring fans leave flowers on March 15, the anniversary of his assassination.
Over 2000 years later his memory lives on.
After the death of Julius Caesar, Roman Emperors deification became very fashionable. That's what
prompted the Emperor Vespasian (best known for the Coliseum) while on his deathbed to utter
'Oh dear, I think I'm becoming a god...'. His temple can be seen today and many temples of
Imperial God's and Goddesses have since been erected in the area.
The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina dominates the Roman Forum. Initially erected by the
Emperor Antoninus Pius for his beloved wife Faustina, it was, upon the Emperor's subsequent
death, re-dedicated to him. Perhaps we may dream that their entwined names represents a
testament to true love, however difficult it was to find. It's good state of preservation is thanks
to the Church of Saint Lawrence that was established in it's confines during the Middle Ages.
This process of recycling was the saving grace for the temple as with so many of Rome's ancient
sites, including the Pantheon.
The ancient Romans provided the basis for so many of our ways and customs in the present
western world. The Roman Forum today is a living testament tothe life that they led and the beliefs
which they so highly upheld. Be itday or night the Forum is one of the most evocative sights within
the city. We can picture Julius Caesar being drawn through the area in his litter with curtains
closed dreaming of Cleopatra and limitless power as easily as we can see the tourists currently
wandering through the Forum dreaming of Caesar. Centuries have passed but the essence of
Rome and her inhabitant's lives on in this place, the centre of the Roman world, the Roman
If you want Caitlin Miller and Carlo
Papini to organize a tour for you when you are in Rome, visit