Trajan's Market

Last updated
Trajan's Market, 2006. Trajansmarket2.JPG
Trajan's Market, 2006.

Trajan's Market (Latin : Mercatus Traiani, Italian : Mercati di Traiano) is a large complex of ruins in the city of Rome, Italy, located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Colosseum. The surviving buildings and structures, built as an integral part of Trajan's Forum and nestled against the excavated flank of the Quirinal Hill, present a living model of life in the Roman capital and a glimpse at the restoration in the city, which reveals new treasures and insights about Ancient Roman architecture. [1] [2] [3] [4]


Thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the arcades in Trajan's Market are now believed by many to be administrative offices for Emperor Trajan. The shops and apartments were built in a multi-level structure and it is still possible to visit several of the levels. Highlights include delicate marble floors and the remains of a library. [5]


Trajan's Market was probably built in 100-110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, [1] an architect who always followed Trajan in his adventures and to whom Trajan entrusted the planning of his Forum. [2] [6] It was inaugurated in 113 AD. [7] During the Middle Ages the complex was transformed by adding floor levels, still visible today, and defensive elements such as the Torre delle Milizie, the "militia tower" built in 1200. A convent, which was built in this area in the 16th century was acquired by the state in 1885 and became the Goffredo Mameli barracks. [8] This was demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century to restore Trajan's Markets to the city of Rome.

Museo dei Fori Imperiali

Trajan's Market, Rome. Traiano mercati.jpg
Trajan's Market, Rome.

The Museum of the Imperial Fora (Italian : Museo dei Fori Imperiali), which opened in 2007, houses a wealth of artifacts from all of ancient Rome's forums. The modern entrances to Trajan's Market are at Via Quattro Novembre, 94, [9] and Piazza Madonna di Loreto. [7] Immediately, the visitor enters into a shopping area, disposed on two different sides, where free wheat was once distributed to the people of Rome. [5]

At the end of this hall, a large balcony offers a really beautiful view of the markets, Trajan's Forum, and the Vittoriano. This is actually a part of the Via Biberatica (from the Latin bibo, bibere meaning "to drink"; the street was the location for several of the Roman taverns and grocers' shops in the area). The road cuts through Trajan's Market. [5]

On the lower part there are also two large halls, probably used for auditions or concerts. A shop housed in the Market is known as a taberna . The giant exedra formed by the market structure was originally mirrored by a matching exedral boundary space on the south flank of Trajan's Forum.

The grand hall of the market is roofed by a concrete vault raised on piers, both covering and allowing air and light into the central space. The market itself is constructed primarily out of brick and concrete. [6]

Trajan's Market
View of Trajan's Market in 2000
ViaBiberaticaTrajansMarket gobeirne.jpg
Trajan's Market and Via Biberatica (2006)

References and sources

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg Markets of Trajan, Smarthistory at Khan Academy, (3:54), December 4, 2014

Related Research Articles

Via Sacra street in Rome

The Via Sacra was the main street of ancient Rome, leading from the top of the Capitoline Hill, through some of the most important religious sites of the Forum, to the Colosseum.

Imperial fora Series of monumental squares 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 fora were the center of the Roman Republic and of the Roman Empire.

Trajans Forum monumental square in Rome

Trajan's Forum was the last of the Imperial fora to be constructed in ancient Rome. The architect Apollodorus of Damascus oversaw its construction.

Monti (rione of Rome) Rione of Rome in Latium, Italy

Monti is the 1st rione of Rome, identified by the initials R. I, located in Municipio I. The name literally means "mountains" in Italian and comes from the fact that the Esquiline, the Viminal Hills, and parts of the Quirinal and the Caelian Hills belonged to this rione: currently, however, the Esquiline Hill belongs to the rione Esquilino.

Campitelli Rione of Rome in Latium, Italy

Campitelli is the 10th rione of Rome, identified by the initials R. X, and is located in the Municipio I.

Piazza Venezia square in Rome, Italy

Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, Italy, in which several thoroughfares intersect, including the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via del Corso. It takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo alongside the church of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The Palazzo Venezia served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice in Rome.

Forum of Caesar square

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.

Arch of Trajan (Benevento)

The Arch of Trajan is an ancient Roman triumphal arch in Benevento, southern Italy. It was erected in honour of the Emperor Trajan across the Via Appia, at the point where it enters the city.

Basilica Ulpia Ancient building in the Forum of Trajan

The Basilica Ulpia was an ancient Roman civic building located in the Forum of Trajan. The Basilica Ulpia separates the temple from the main courtyard in the Forum of Trajan with the Trajan's Column to the northwest. It was named after Roman emperor Trajan whose full name was Marcus Ulpius Traianus.

Basilica of Maxentius ancient building in the Roman Forum, Rome

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.

Torre delle Milizie

The Torre delle Milizie is a fortified tower in Rome, Italy, located between Trajan's Market in the Imperial fora to the southwest and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, or Angelicum, to the east.

Via dei Fori Imperiali thoroughfare in Rome, Italy

The Via dei Fori Imperiali is a road in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, that runs in a straight line from the Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. Its course takes it over parts of the Forum of Trajan, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Nerva, parts of which can be seen on both sides of the road. Since the 1990s, there has been a great deal of archeological excavation on both sides of the road, as significant Imperial Roman relics remain to be found underneath it.

Giacomo Boni (archaeologist) Italian archaeologist and architect

Giacomo Boni was an Italian archaeologist specializing in Roman architecture. He is most famous for his work in the Roman Forum.

Torre dei Conti tower

The Torre dei Conti is a medieval fortified tower in Rome, Italy, located near the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The tower was one of the most impressive towers that dominated medieval Rome.

Palazzo Valentini palazzo

Palazzo Valentini is a palazzo in central Rome, Italy, not far from Piazza Venezia. Since 1873 it has been the base of the provincial and prefectural administration of Rome.

The Temple of Trajan was a Roman temple dedicated to the emperor Trajan and his wife Plotina after his deification by the Roman Senate. It was built in the Forum of Trajan (Rome), by Trajan's adoptive son and successor Hadrian, between 125 and 138. The architect was Apollodorus of Damascus.

Cavour (Rome Metro) Rome Metro B station

Cavour is a station on Line B of the Rome Metro, opened on 10 February 1955. It is located on via Cavour, in the Monti rione of Rome, midway between Santa Maria Maggiore and via dei Fori Imperiali.

Forum of Nerva archaeological site in Rome, Italy

Forum of Nerva is an ancient structure in Rome, Italy, chronologically the next to the last of the Imperial fora built.



  • Bunson, Matthew (2002) [1994]. Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File. pp. 337, 550–551. ISBN   0-8160-4562-3. OCLC   47930574.
  • Honour, Hugh; Fleming, John F. (15 January 2009) [1995]. The Visual Arts: A History, Revised Edition. Canada: Pearson Education. p. 193. ISBN   0-205-66535-7. OCLC   700049334.
  • Richard, Carl J. (16 April 2010). Why We're All Romans: The Roman Contribution to the Western World. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 70–71, 229. ISBN   9780742567801.
  • Vreeland, Frederick; Vreeland, Vanessa (24 April 2006). Key to Rome. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. pp. 31, 33, 36. ISBN   0-89236-802-0. OCLC   62714763.
  • "Il Museo dei Fori Imperiali" [The Museum of the Imperial Fora] (in Italian). Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.

Coordinates: 41°53′44″N12°29′10″E / 41.895582°N 12.486015°E / 41.895582; 12.486015