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Fori Imperiali

The Forum Area
Trajan's Market

94-95 A.D. – Work begins under Domitian  (?) first decade of the II century – dated imprints on  bricks recovered in different area of the complex;
112-113 A.D. – Inauguration of the Forum of Trajan.
End of the II begin of the III century - Restauration by Orazio Rogato, Procurator of the Forum of Trajan.
XII-XIV century – Castle and tower of the Militia.

Height of the Tower of Militia:  42.50 meters.

Fori The structure complex was constructed on the slopes of the Quirinale hills,  situated to provide space for the Forum of Trajan. The constructed area consists of six levels connected by a series of steep staircases:  in the three levels of the upper area there are the Great Hall and Central Body which unwind between Via Biberatica (from bibier, beverage) and the back area (today's Tower of the Militia Garden); in the three lower area levels there are the Great and Small Hemicycle going down toward the Forum floor which are divided with other means of entrance.

ForiUnified elements from different surroundings are: refined brick coverings in a cement nucleus, many different types of vault coverings (similar to looking at a manual on Roman vaults), and the adaptation of  foundations into useful spaces. The Great Hall has a central empty rectangular space covered with six large cross-vaults. Realized in the classic Roman taberna style (piers and lintels in travertine with upper windows for light) the vaults   relieve their mass onto the side suroundings. The system of the corridors on the first and second levels insure ventilation and light. The Central Body is situated along via Biberatica with irregular rooms of representation, like the apsed one on the first floor. Both the Large Hall and the Central Body connect with the actual Tower of Militia garden, one occupied by military structures.

ForiVarious Market structures face via Biberatica, reflecting an absolute, one and only urban quarter of Rome. In particular are the structures corrisponding the curve of the Great Hemicycle, facing the surroundings- conserved today on only one distinct level of what originally was on two.
In the southern stretch  the road, the road passed over to the upper floor with a system of a large arch.
Behind this surrounding, constituting a higher level than the Great Hemicycle, there is a comminication trench of service. This was paved in opus spicatum (small bricks arranged in a herring-bone pattern), then in mosaic and small weaved flint. On the level of the Great Hemicycle underlying via Biberatica, radial surroundings open into a hall that is lighted by windows in the arch.
On the facade small arches are framed by pilaster strips and surmounted by triangular, semicurcular, and broken tympanums, designed by shaped bricks like marbled moulding.
On the ground floor of the Great Hemicycle, there are shallow frescoed surroundings paved in geometric black and white mosaic.  At the extrems there are two large halls with semicircular heads, that probably had refined marble decoration.
The parallel building to the Small Hemicycle represents a type of hinge between the Great Hemicycle and the other surroundings that follow along  the axis of via Biberatica, some of which are still occupied by a school.

The Markets lined up like a modern polifunctional complex: a rather various and dynamic life must have animated the streets and the stores along them, while the more controlled part of the complex has intitutional functions.
Commercial structures were probably situated along the lower streets for easy access.
The rooms in the Central Body were probably offices, destined for the head of the nearby Forum, the procurator Fori Divi Traiani as evident in an inscription. Other, more reserved rooms could have served as security safes for the senators (rooms in the Great Hemicycle).
The Great hall was probably used for official ceremonies, alternatively with the Basilica Ulpia and the spaces in the Forum of Trajan. However, there were probably other uses as well, considering the large spaces connected to the central room.

A sculpted brick
One of the bipedals (bricks) that constructed part of the arched lintel of the window on the second floor of the Great Hemicycle shows a sculpted torch with the handle in a knotted form. It might have been used as a light for those in charge of the monument.

A Medieval Castle
The southern part of the Central Body facade on via Biberatica was partially reconstructed in the medieval epoch. This is evident in the walls that are made of tufa and  not brick. A trace of embattled wall is also incorporated, constructed for defense of the underlying access stairs in the castle.

A 'lined' Tower
The Tower of the Militia was originally tall and narrow with a square shape and constructed with tufa in the XII-XIII centuries. It was also inserted in the angle of a columned palace.
During the first half of the XIII century, the palace was destroyed while the original tower, two-thirds of its original height, was re-defined into cement covered brick. The result was a new tower with three entrance bodies; the upper level consisted of the orginal tower. This part fell down after an earthquake while the preserved areas of the Tower of Militia still remain.

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> The staff engaged in recovery





Age of the Emperors

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Virtual Tour


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Head of Trajan

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Comune di Roma Canon


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