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A forum (Latin forum "public place outdoors",plural fora; English plural either fora or forums) was a public square in a Roman municipium, or any civitas, reserved primarily for the vending of goods; i.e., a marketplace, along with the buildings used for shops and the stoas used for open stalls. Many fora were constructed at remote locations along a road by the magistrate responsible for the road, in which case the forum was the only settlement at the site and had its own name, such as Forum Popili or Forum Livi.
In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, et cetera. In that case it supplemented the function of a conciliabulum.
Every municipium had a forum. Fora were the first of any civitas synoecized whether Latin, Italic, Etruscan, Greek, Celtic or some other. The first forums were sited between independent villages in the period, known only through archaeology. After the rise of the Roman Republic, the most noted forum of the Roman world, the Roman Forum in Rome itself, served as a model of new construction. By the time of the late Republic expansions refurbishing of the forums of the city had inspired Pompey Magnus to create the Theatre of Pompey in 55 BC. The Theatre included a massive forum behind the theatre arcades known as the Porticus Pompei (Colonnades of Pompey). The structure was the forebearer to Julius Caesar's first Imperial forum and the rest to follow.
Other major fora are found in Italy; however, they are not to be confused with the piazza of the modern town, which may have originated from a number of different types of ancient civic centers, or more likely was its own type. While similar in use and function to fora, most were created in the Middle Ages and are often not a part of the original city footprint.
Fora were a regular part of every Roman province in the Republic and the Empire, with archaeological examples at:
In new Roman towns the forum was usually located at, or just off, the intersection of the main north-south and east-west streets (the Cardo and Decumanus). All fora would have a Temple of Jupiter at the north end, and would also contain other temples, as well as the Basilica; a public weights and measures table, so customers at the market could ensure they were not being sold short measures; and would often have the baths nearby. At election times, candidates would use the steps of the temples in the forum to make their election speeches, and would expect their clients to come to support them.
Ancient Roman architecture adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture for the purposes of the ancient Romans, but was different from Greek buildings, becoming a new architectural style. The two styles are often considered one body of classical architecture. Roman architecture flourished in the Roman Republic and even more so under the Empire, when the great majority of surviving buildings were constructed. It used new materials, particularly concrete, and newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make buildings that were typically strong and well-engineered. Large numbers remain in some form across the empire, sometimes complete and still in use to this day.
The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum, is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the latter part of the Roman Republican era by Pompey the Great. Completed in 55 BC, it was the first permanent theatre to be built in Rome.
The Imperial Fora are a series of monumental fora, constructed in Rome over a period of one and a half centuries, between 46 BC and 113 AD. The forums were the center of the Roman Republic and of the Roman Empire.
Aventicum was the largest town and capital of Roman Switzerland. Its remains are beside the modern town of Avenches.
Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements excavated in Portugal, and was classified as a National Monument in 1910. Located in the civil parish of Condeixa-a-Velha e Condeixa-a-Nova, in the municipality of Condeixa-a-Nova, it is situated 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the municipal seat and 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Coimbra.
Trajan's Forum was the last of the Imperial fora to be constructed in ancient Rome. The architect Apollodorus of Damascus oversaw its construction.
Kourion or Latin: Curium, was an important ancient city-state on the southwestern coast of Cyprus. In the twelfth century BCE, after the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces, Greek settlers arrived on this site.
The Villa Romana del Casale is a large and elaborate Roman villa or palace located about 3 km from the town of Piazza Armerina, Sicily. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest, and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world, for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa and artwork contained within date to the early 4th century AD.
The Forum of Caesar, also known by the Latin Forum Iulium or Forum Julium, Forum Caesaris, was a forum built by Julius Caesar near the Forum Romanum in Rome in 46 BC.
Forum Novum was a new Roman foundation which developed as a forum or market center during the Roman Republic period. By the early 1st century AD Forum Novum had been elevated to the status of municipium, appearing as such in Pliny's list of towns. It is located within today’s commune of Torri in Sabina in the province of Rieti.
The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, sometimes known as the Basilica Nova—meaning "new basilica"—or Basilica of Maxentius, is an ancient building in the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. It was the largest building in the Forum, and the last Roman basilica built in the city.
Augusta Bilbilis was a city founded by the Romans in the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. It was the birthplace of famous poet Martial c. 40 AD. The modern town of Calatayud was founded near this Roman site.
Venta Silurum was a town in the Roman province of Britannia or Britain. Today it consists of remains in the village of Caerwent in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. Much of it has been archaeologically excavated and is on display to the public.
Bathing played a major part in ancient Roman culture and society. It was one of the most common daily activities in Roman culture and was practiced across a wide variety of social classes.
The Forum of Theodosius was an area in Constantinople. It was originally built by Constantine I and named the Forum Tauri. In 393, however, it was renamed after Emperor Theodosius I, who rebuilt it after the model of Trajan's Forum in Rome, surrounded by civic buildings such as churches and baths and decorated with a triumphal column at its center.
Forum of Nerva is an ancient structure in Rome, Italy, chronologically the next to the last of the Imperial fora built.
The architecture of Rome over the centuries has greatly developed from Ancient Roman architecture to Italian modern and contemporary architecture. Rome was once the world's main epicentres of Classical architecture, developing new forms such as the arch, the dome and the vault. The Romanesque style in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries was also widely used in Roman architecture, and later the city became one of the main centres of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Rome's cityscape is also widely Neoclassical and Fascist in style.
Part of a series of articles upon Archaeology of Kosovo
Termantia, the present-day locality of Tiermes, is an archaeological site on the edge of the Duero valley in Spain. It is located in the sparsely populated municipio of Montejo de Tiermes.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Forum .|