digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

The Forum of Jerash, in Jordan. The columns mark the location of a stoa, or covered walkway, where the stalls of open-air vendors might be located in bad weather. Note the semi-circular shape and traces of a central podium, similar in function to a theatre.


This article is about the type of ancient civic center. For other uses, see Forum.

A forum (Latin forum "public place outdoors",[1] plural fora; Englash 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 forums 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.[2]

The functions of a forum[edit]

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 Italian municipium had a forum. Forums were the first feature of any civitas synoecized whether Latin, Italic, Etruscan, Greek, Celtic or some other. The first forums were sited between independent villages in the prehistoric 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 and 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 forums 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 forums, most were created in the Middle Ages and are often not a part of the original city footprint.

Forums were a regular part of every Roman province in the Republic and the Empire, with archaeological examples at:

Wall painting from Pompeii depicting everyday activities in the marketplace

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 forums 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.

Typical forum structures[edit]

Equivalent spaces in other cultures[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ From PIE *dʰworom "enclosure, courtyard", i.e. "something enclosed by a door"; cognate with Old Church Slavonic дворъ dvorŭ "court, courtyard".
  2. ^ Abbott, Frank Frost; Johnson, Allan Chester (1926). Municipal Administration in the Roman Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 12. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_(Roman) — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
359184 videos foundNext > 

The Roman Forum - Buildings of Ancient Rome (5/5)

Free learning from The Open University http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/classical-studies --- The social and political heart of the Rom...

Rome, Italy: Roman Forum

In its heyday, Rome ruled a vast empire that stretched from Scotland to Egypt. The Roman Forum was the political, religious, and commercial heart of the city...

◄ Roman Forum, Rome [HD] ►

Roman Forum - HD footage, information and facts on the signature site of ancient Rome; the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is truly one of the most unique place...

Alan's Italy Show # 28 - The Roman Forum with Professor Eve D'Ambra

A tour of the Roman Forum with Dr. Eve D'Ambra, Professor of Art, Vassar College. Talking about the history of this famous archeological site in Rome, Profes...

Forum Romanum reconstructed c. by archeolibri s.r.l.

Short version only Copyright is held by archeolibri srl. For full version contact archeolibri@gmail.com or visit www.gruppolozzi.it.

A Walking Tour of the Roman Forum

Stylus Productions invites you to view this short walking tour of the Forum in Rome, prepared by Dr. William J. Neidinger and narrated by TFAHR archaeologist...

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum by ALTAIR4 Multimedia www.altair4.com http://eshop.mywaymedia-store.it/epages/990165945.sf/it_IT/?ObjectPath=/Shops/990165945/Products/ALTAIR...

Is Roman Catholicism a cult? - Ravi Zacharias at Texas A&M's Veritas Forum

Dr. Ravi Zacharias answers the question, "Is Roman Catholicism another example of how unity does not equal uniformity within the Christian community or is it...

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet- Roamin' the Roman Forums

The Roman Forum is the ultimate public square. Over the centuries it's been used as a market place, a court and everything between. Tune in to learn more abo...

Rome Reborn 1.0 - Roman Forum

This is a real time video capture of the Rome Reborn 1.0 model, made using OpenSceneGraph, highlighting the area of the Roman Forum. The video is copyright 2...

359184 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Forum (Roman)" right now.

Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Forum (Roman)

You can talk about Forum (Roman) with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!