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Pompeii Start Page - History

Streets of Pompeii

The Forum <<

Pompeian Villas

Frescoes of Vettius House

Tomb of Vestoria Prisco, Frescoes

The Brothel


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Pompeii - The Forum

The forum at Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius looming in the background.

Mt. Vesuvius dominates the central axis of the Forum in Pompeii


     Here is a look at what is thought to be one of the best examples of a Roman Forum.  In the picture above the camera is facing north by north east.  The Forum was constructed so that Mt Vesuvius dominates its central axis.

  In ancient Roman cities (as opposed to the modern ones that the Romans are building today ;-) the forum was the center of activity.  There was a basilica, the center for legal and business matters, a macellum or marketplace along with various temples where the masses could appeal to their favorite deities.

     As you examine the picture above, try to imagine what the forum would have looked like before that tragic day in 79 AD.  ...Paved with slabs of gleaming white marble. ...The temple of Jupiter at the far end eclipsing Mt. Vesuvius. ...and people dressed in the buttonless attire of the day going about their business. 

Temple of Vespasian located just off the Forum in Pompeii, Italy - 20k

Left - The Temple of Vaspian.  The temple altar is at the center. The raised area toward the rear was likely constructed to house the statue of the deity for which the temple was named.

Lower Left - A closer view of the temple altar.  The carvings may represent the ceremonies and rites associated with this pagan cult.

Below - The Basilica.  The basilica is adjacent to the forum at the south west corner.  It was constructed near the end of the 2nd century BC

Credit for the info on this page:
    Blanchard, Paul. "Blue Guide, Southern Italy; From Rome to Calabria", New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1982. 

Close up of sculpture on altar in the Temple of the Vaspian, Pompeii Forum - 14k

Greek influence shows in the Basilica - Located off the Forum in Pompeii, it was a main center for law and business - 17k

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