Forum Boarium, Theatre of Marcellus and Porticus Octaviae

BOARIUM5086The Forum Boarium was the cattle forum venalium of Ancient Rome. It was located on a level piece of land near the Tiber between the Capitoline, the Palatine and Aventine hills. As the site of the premier port of Rome (Portus Tiberinus), the Forum Boarium experienced intense commercial activity.

The Temple of Hercules Victor or Hercules Olivarius (Hercules as protector of the olive trade), is a circular peristyle building dating from the 2nd century BC. It consists of a colonnade of Corinthian columns arranged in a concentric ring around the cylindrical cella, resting on a tuff foundation. These elements originally supported an architrave and roof which have disappeared. It is the earliest surviving marble building in Rome. For centuries, this was known as the Temple of Vesta.

The Temple of Portunus is a rectangular building built between 100 and 80 BC. It consists of a tetrastyle portico and cella mounted on a podium reached by a flight of steps. The four Ionic columns of the portico are free-standing, while the six columns on the long sides and four columns at the rear are engaged along the walls of the cella. It is built of tuff and travertine with a stucco surface. This temple was for centuries known as the Temple of Fortuna Virilis. Sources claim the Forum was the site for placement of a statue by the sculptor Myron, which had been looted from Aegina. While the source mentions a cow, it may have been a statuary group of Theusus defeating the Minotaur, which was apt for a cattle market.

BOARIUM5095The Theatre of Marcellus (Latin: Theatrum Marcelli, Italian: Teatro di Marcello) is an ancient open-air theatre in Rome, Italy, built in the closing years of the Roman Republic. At the theatre, locals and visitors alike were able to watch performances of drama and song. Today its ancient edifice in the rione of Sant’Angelo, Rome, once again provides one of the city’s many popular spectacles or tourist sites. Space for the theatre was cleared by Julius Caesar, who was murdered before its construction could begin; the theatre was so far advanced by 17 BC that part of the celebration of the ludi saeculares took place within the theatre; it was completed in 13 BC and formally inaugurated in 12 BC by Augustus. The theatre was 111 m in diameter and was the largest and most important theatre in Ancient Rome;[2] it could originally hold between 11,000 and 20,000 spectators.[1][2] It was an impressive example of what was to become one of the most pervasive urban architectural forms of the Roman world. The theatre was built mainly of tuff, and concrete faced with stones in the pattern known as opus reticulatum, completely sheathed in white travertine. The network of arches, corridors, tunnels and ramps that gave access to the interiors of such Roman theaters were normally ornamented with a screen of engaged columns in Greek orders: Doric at the base, Ionic in the middle. It is believed that Corinthian columns were used for the upper level but this is uncertain as the theater was reconstructed in the Middle Ages, removing the top tier of seating and the columns.

BOARIUM5092The Porticus Octaviae (Portico of Octavia; Italian: Portico di Ottavia) is an ancient structure in Rome.
The structure was built by Augustus in the name of his sister, Octavia Minor, sometime after 27 BC, in place of the Porticus Metelli. The colonnaded walks of the portico enclosed the temples of Jupiter Stator and Juno Regina, next to the Theater of Marcellus. It burned in 80 AD and was restored, probably by Domitian, and again after a second fire in 203 AD by Septimius Severus and Caracalla. It was adorned with foreign marble and contained many famous works of art, enumerated in Pliny’s Natural History]].[2] The structure was damaged by an earthquake in 442 AD, when two of the destroyed columns were replaced with an archway which still stands. Besides the pre-existing temples, the enclosure included a library erected by Octavia in memory of her son Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the curia Octaviae, and a schola. Whether these were different parts of one building, or entirely different structures, is uncertain. It was probably in the curia that the senate is recorded as meeting. The whole is referred to by Pliny the Elder as Octaviae opera.

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