Ancient Rome The City of Rome


Each Roman city had a town square or forum. The forum was the marketplace and business center.

The forum was usually surrounded by shops. At one end would be temples or monuments to the gods. Forums usually had a platform where the city magistrates sat to deliver justice. Another building in the forum was the curia. This was the workplace of the municipal magistrates who ran the city.

Romans visited the forum to do their banking, shopping, marketing, and trading.  It was also a place for public speakers. People came to listen to these orators. While at the forum, Romans would often visit a temple of one of the gods and leave gifts.

The forum was also used for festivals and religious ceremonies. In Rome, the Forum became too small, so Caesar had designs drawn up for a larger forum. This plan was carried out by Augustus.

At the center of the Roman Empire was the capital city of Rome. From the eighth century BC to the first century AD, Rome grew from a collection of sheepherders' huts to an enormous city.


The City of Rome

Rome was built on Palatine, one of the seven hills that lay east of the Tiber River. The Etruscans lived in Rome during the early days of the empire. They were the first people to plan and lay out Rome's city streets and build its sewers. In the early fifth century BC, Rome was divided into four distinct regions:

  • Suburana

  • Esquiline

  • Collina

  • Palatine

Peasants met at the center of these four regions to exchange goods. This meeting place became known as the forum. The forum was an open space surrounded by markets, government buildings, and temples.

After the Etruscans, the growth in Rome was completely unorganized until Julius Caesar ruled from 59 to 44 BC. He developed a detailed plan which was carried out by Augustus and his son-in-law Agrippa. At this time, the city was divided into fourteen districts.



The Forum Romanum

Temple of Romulus

Julius Caesar had a new forum built at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. In the center of the forum was the Temple of Venus Genitrix. Later Augustus had two other forums built.

In 64 AD, Rome was destroyed by a large fire. The city had to be rebuilt from scratch. By the second century more than 1,200,000 people lived in Rome.

Click the images to go to the individual pages.

Ancient Rome Introduction
Romulus and Remus
The History of Rome


The City of Rome
Ancient Roman Emperors
Roman Gods


Ancient Roman Gladiators
The Roman Meal
Ancient Roman Entertainment


Ancient Roman Baths
Ancient Roman Clothing
Ancient Roman Children


Ancient Roman Slaves
Ancient Roman Soldiers
Ancient Roman Homes


Ancient Roman Art
Ancient Roman Calendar
Ancient Roman Building


Roman Numerals
Roman Catacombs