The Roman forum was, like the Greek agora, the center of public life. Not just an open space between buildings, the forum was the locus of Senate and Imperial proclamations, the place where the augurs were read and the auspices pronounced, and a central area for ostentatious display of grief and gratitude. The forum was typical in its plan: at far end of a long open square was a temple set upon a high podium, the processional axis of which formed the formal axis and focal point of the forum.
Colonnades along the other three perimeters of the space established a visually unified setting and provided covered walkways between the buildings on both sides. Pompeii, one of the Roman companion towns that were buried by the Vesuvian eruption of 79 AD and brought back to life during the last two centuries, has provided fundamental knowledge of the domestic life of the ancients. It has become one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the world. Open daily: 9am till 2 hours before sunset.
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