Forum of Augustus
Graphic Reconstruction of the Forum of Augustus
It is highly likely that the ground works for the building of the Forum of Augustus started after the period 30 to 27 BC. During these years Octavian conquered Egypt and eliminated Marc Anthony (30 BC). He symbolically returned the res publica to the Senate and Romans and made selections for the highest appointments of the Republican State. He then added the imperium (the military command) for the not yet subjected provinces (27 BC) and acquired the title of Augustus. In 23 BC he also added the foundations of republican courts ( la tribunicia potestas). He welded ancient roman tradition with a new course, through the inspiration of summi viri, the illustrious personages who had “created” Rome.
The Augustan Forum was planned as part of a wide reorganisation of the area between the central Forum, the Forum of Caesar and the Basilica Emilia. Its proximity to the Subura (Current Monti Quarter) was conditioned by the capabilities of the existing sewer system found there.
The “E” shaped central space was dominated by a temple, which was very imposing especially when compared to the frontal square and two narrow side corridors. To make space for the Hall of the Colossus at the end of the northern walkway the building (today known as the House of the Knights of Rhodes) was “cut”.
Recent excavations at the Forum of Trajan have revealed the existence of a third exedra, which was removed to make way for a building of the same period. Therefore, the existence of a fourth exedra has been assumed. Perhaps, it was subsequently eliminated to make way for the Forum of Nerva.
The numerous historical sources that document these spaces have different theories as to their function.