to compliment the Forum of Julius Caesar,
the Forum of Augustus built in celebration
over Augustus' victory over Caesar's murderers.
Now only a ruin, the forum was a place
to do business and meet people. No one
really knows exactly when construction
on The Forum and its buildings began,
but it is known that the property was
privately owned, and the land had to be
purchased from the spoils of war in Iberia,
Germany, Dalmatia and Egypt.
The biggest building in the Forum of Augustus
is the Temple to Mars. It is huge in comparison
to everything else, and so it is often
described as “dominating”.
Mars is the Roman god of war, and considering
that Rome was almost always at war Mars
was an important god that needed to be
given his fair share of real estate. When
the temple was finally dedicated in the
year 2 BCE the building was still unfinished.
Today there isn’t much left of the
grand building, only a set of marble stairs
and some columns. Even with these scraps
it is possible to see the temple would
have been a very grand building indeed.
It is said that to commemorate the event
two hundred and sixty lions were slaughtered
in the Circus. Also there were gladiatorial
displays and mock naval battles, with
thirty-six crocodiles killed in the Circus
Flaminius, which was flooded for the occasion.
Forum itself would go on to serve as additional
space for civil courts, just as Caesar
had constructed his own forum to relieve
the congestion of other forums. It was
from Forum of Augustus that military governors
ceremonially departed and returned to
the city, triumphatores dedicated symbols
of their victory to Mars, and where recovered
standards would have been dedicated.