The Forum of Augustus was inaugurated in 2 BC. It was limited on the bottom side by a pompous 33 meter-high wall made of peperino and Gabina stone blocks, which isolated it from the Suburra district. In the wall, there were two entrances: the first one to the north, with three arcs, and the second one, also known as Arco dei Pantani, with a single arch. The Forum was divided into a wide rectangular square flanked by arcades; on the bottom was the Temple of Mars Ultor (avenger), preceded by a spacious staircase. In medieval times, the temple podium was occupied by the Church of San Basilio, which has now disappeared.
The Temple of Mars Ultor. Its edification was decided before the battle of Philippi in 42 BC but it was inaugurated only in 2 BC. It consisted of a theatrical building in white Carrara marble with 8 columns on the front and 7 on the long sides. Of these, only the last three of the south-eastern side remain, surmounted by the architrave, together with the bottom pillar. The cell ended with an apse in which the cult statues of Mars, Venus, and, perhaps, of Divo Giulio were placed. Senate meetings and religious ceremonies were also held in the temple. Today, the building has a high podium built in tuff blocks, preceded by an imposing central staircase.
The semi-circular arcades. The forum square was surrounded by large arcades and by two semi-circular exedras on two floors, with rectangular niches. Inside them, there were statues of triumphs and members of the Giulia family. The attic was decorated with Caryatids and trophies. Here, the judicial activities of the urban praetors, dealing with civil cases, took place. In late antiquity, educational and educational functions were also exercised in this place.
The Hall of the Colossus. At the end of the Portico, on the left, there was a large square room. Its back wall housed a colossal statue, probably the Colossus of Augustus.
The House of the Knights of Rhodes. On the northern exedra of the Forum, you can admire a building known as the House of the Knights of Rhodes. It is a Roman structure from the end of the 1st century BC., modified with the construction of the Forum of Augustus. In the Middle Ages, it was enlarged and occupied by the Knights of Malta and Rhodes. Noteworthy is the elegant 15th-century loggia.
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