Friday, October 13, 2006

Basilica of Julia - Roman Forum

Basilica Giulia (Julia) - Roman Forum

This photo of the Julia Basilica in the Roman Forum is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

Full 360° panorama of the Julia Basilica

There is not a lot left of the Julia Basilica (Basilica Giulia). Building began under Julius Caesar in 54BC, but was completed after his death by Augustus. It was rebuilt after a fire in 2BC and then dedicated to Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar.

These ancient Roman basilica were not places of worship, but large covered areas used as meeting places. The Julia Basilica was built to house tribunals overseen by 180 jurors and other events when the weather was too poor to have them outside. The basilica was about 100m long and 50m wide. It contained an 80m x 16m central court surrounded by aisles over which the second storey gallery was built.

Fire continued to plague this basilica, it burnt down again 283 and was restored by Diocletian. Finally Alaric the Goth destroyed it a final time when he sacked Rome. All the useful building materials were subsequently plundered for other projects so all that remains now are a few scattered pillars and the basic floor plan, though you can still make out the central court and the aisles. Also carved into the stones are makings that formed games people would play between meetings.

That said, the viewing area on the far side (from where this image was taken) contains one of the few shady areas in the Forum, giving some respite from the sun. From here you can get a good view over the rest of the Forum. To the far right are the 3 surviving columns of the Castor and Pollux. Moving left from here is the Temple of Romulus and then the complete Temple of Antonius and Faustina (converted into the church of S Lorenzo). Near the middle in the background is the Curia next to S Luca e Martina. Then you can see Arch of Septimus Severus, partially obscured by the Column of Phocas. Finally the Temple of Saturn is to the right, but all that really remains of this are a few columns.

Full panoramas fromthe Roman Forum are found on the Rome tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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