The Roman forum was a very strange place to stand in. How could something that looks like this once been the social, religious, and political center of ancient Rome?
It required a bit of imagination to picture the square as the hustling and bustling city center that it used to be. For centuries, this marketplace was the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, and the nucleus of commercial affairs (Wiki).
But now it just looks like a pile of broken rocks. Which is why I had trouble wrapping my head around the knowledge that this used to be the city center!
Now I was not sure if I heard correctly that Julius Caesar was buried in the Roman Forum. Wait, what?! I had to see it to believe it:
…yeah, after peering around a mud wall, that was it. You’d think that there’d be some grand burial ground for the great dictator. And it seems like there was, only what we see today are its remains. Where he got stabbed was a different place, now a cat sanctuary today (though I went and didn’t see many cats).
One interesting tidbit I learned was that it’s a great honor to have your name inscribed on a monument. However, if you screw up (or just plain suck), it’s an even greater shame to have your name erased and replaced. This is what happened to Caracalla, who killed his brother Geta and had his name removed from the arch. No surprise that Caracalla was one of the “terrible four” worst Roman emperors.
Even more puzzling to me is how the arch was dedicated to his father Septimius Severus, who wasn’t that much better. He did not tolerate any religion but the Roman one, consequently severely persecuting Christians and Jews during his reign.
And so the great empire came to an end…
Later I walked past the Forum again and took even more photos, lol:
It turned out to be a fun subject to photograph. The texture in plants and stone was just phenomenal.
Have you seen the Roman Forum? Learn anything cool about this place? What are your favorite ancient ruins?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. When in Rome, you also gotta visit The Colossal Colosseum!