Forum of Caesar - History and Facts | History Hit

Forum of Caesar

Rome, Lazio, Italy

The Forum of Caesar was the first of the Imperial Forums built in Ancient Rome.

Peta Stamper

02 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Forum of Caesar

The Forum of Caesar or ‘Foro di Cesare’ in Rome is one of a series of Imperial Forums built by successive Roman emperors. First commissioned by Julius Caesar in around 54 BC and completed in 46 BC, the Forum of Caesar was the first of these forums and was intended to relieve the already overcrowded Roman Forum.

Forum of Caesar history

At the time of the opening of the Forum of Caesar, the famous Roman leader had won a victory over his rival Pompey the Great at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. A celebration of this victory was constructed at the Forum of Caesar in the form of the Temple of Venus Genetrix: the goddess to which the temple was dedicated was the defender of the Julian clan.

The impressive forum stretched from the popular Roman street of Argiletum on the Roman Forum’s south end to the Atrium Libertatis, seat of the censor’s archive. When the forum was completed in 46 BC it was dedicated to Caesar and as part of the celebrations, the man himself funded lavish public games.

While the Forum of Caesar was initially meant to expand the Roman Forum, it increasingly became associated with the dictator. Before his assassination, Caesar had the Senate meet him in front of his temple, built very close to the Curia – this was pretty unpopular.

Forum of Caesar today

Today, the columns and platform of a Temple of Venus Genetrix can be seen at the Forum of Caesar. Albeit this was not the original forum, but a rebuilt version completed under the emperor Trajan after the original burnt down in 80 AD. After wandering the ruins you can stop to catch a 55 minute film about the history of the Forum of Caesar, every 20 minutes between 9 and 12pm.

Getting to the Forum of Caesar

Only a couple of minutes walk from the Colosseum, the Forum of Caesar is easily found on foot within Rome’s ancient heart. The nearest bus stop is along the road outside, Fori Imperiali, which serves buses 85 and 87.