Gypsy's Travels

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Roman Forum

The Forum is an area of serious ruins. Over the centuries it has been pillaged and vandalized, yet it retains its air of aristocracy. Lone pillars mark the spots where proud buildings once towered. It was originally a marketplace but it grew into "the most celebrated meeting place in the whole world, and in all history." The Forum was a place where the people of Rome could gather for commercial. political, judicial, and religious pursuits. I was struck by the ostentatious life styles some of these people must have led and their sophistication.

A tradition of speaking to the public from the rostra was established early (prior to 361 BC). About 44 BC, Marc Antony delivered his famous funeral oration for Caesar from the New Rostra, and 2 years later displayed the severed head and right hand of Cicero, his mortal enemy.

Although Julius Caesar was cremated after his death and his ashes scattered, this grave site behind a low wall at the Forum is still honored by the populace.

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