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Forum of augustus - site report

            Site Report: Forum of Augustus - Rome.
             The forum of Augustus was built by Emperor Augustus as the second imperial fora in order to provide more room for the law courts and the increasing population. However this fact, asserted by Suetonius in his Life of Augustus', has no archaeological data to back it up other than his own work. .
             "However there is no evidence from Suetonius' account to prove this, it is more likely that the main function of the forum was to deal with the administration of foreign provinces Senatorial debates on future military commitments and peace treaties occurred here. Triumphant generals dedicated their spoils of war here."" (Unkown; www.geocities.com/calivs/vr/forumaugustum/forum.augustum.html, accessed March 3, 2004).
             The forum was built just to the north of the Forum Romanum, adjoining the Forum Iulium on the north east side (see Figure 2-Roman Fora, where B' is the Forum of Augustus, and A' is Caesar's forum). Construction began in 37 BC and took almost 35 years to finish. The Forum was rectangular measuring approximately 125m x 90m and seemed to be based upon the Forum of Caesar, also having a rectangular portico with a temple at the back, and on both the south-east and north-west sides there were colonnades. However, attached to the south-east and north-west sides were two large semi-circular apses or exedrae, separated from the rectangular forum space with a row of four pilasters and six fluted columns of cipollino that were 9.5m high, these were not mirrored in Caesar's forum. In the curved walls of each of these apses there were two rows of niches, rectangular in shape with the lower row being 2.5m from the floor and the upper row 15m from the floor. In the middle of these niches was a central, larger aedicular niche which held, on the north-west side, a statue of the Roman hero Aeneas carrying Anchises on his shoulder and leading Ascanius by the hand in their flight from Troy.

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