The Pantheon was first built around 29-18 BCE, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the rain of Rome’s first true Emperor, Augustus. Previously a lieutenant to Julius Caesar, Agrippa later helped Augustus seize power, it was him that defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra. He was rewarded with lands in Rome and it was here that he decided to build this grand temple. The word Pantheon derives from the Greek word ‘Pantheion’ which essentially means relating to all gods. This would have been a true host of worship the to Roman gods before the acceptance of Christianity in the empire. It later became a church and still is to this day. The original construct of this building was unfortunately burned down more than once however the current structure was completed by Emperor Hadrian roughly around the year 125 CE. It remains one the best-preserved buildings in the city thanks to it’s continual use for religious purposes, it’s also because of this that it’s a tourist hotspot seeing millions of visitors each year.
Once a sort of ‘City centre’, the Forum was once the beating of the ancient city of Rome. This isn’t simply one building but several important ones as well as a teeming market and a centre of politics. A place where important people met to make important decisions and pivotal point of day to day life. All sorts would take place here, processions, speeches, fights (including gladiatorial matches) and countless commercial affairs. It has often been noted as the most celebrated meeting place in the world and even in history.
Not only was it an area that buzzed with all the facets of every day life but it was also home to some of the City’s most important structures. On the south eastern edge shrines and temples would be located during the Roman Kingdom era, that is the earliest part of Rome’s history taking place between 753-509 BCE before the country became a republic. This included the ‘Temple of Vesta’ and subsequently the ‘Complex of the Vestal Virgins’ a fifty-room complex that housed the Vestal Virgins. They were considered a crucial part of Rome’s security as it was these vestals who tended to the ‘sacred fire’, if it ever went out it would mean that Rome would fall. Similar shrines in the North East were later developed into the Republics Formal Comitium, this is where senate began. The area would gradually be built up with the Senate House, memorials and statues, tribunals and government offices. Later Julius Caesar built Basilica Julia and the Curia Julia which served as a new home for the politics and judicial activities of the city here in the Forum.
If you really want to be able to picture the life of the people of Ancient Rome nowhere will let your imagination tell more stories than the Roman Forum. It played host to everyone from Emperors to slaves and though it may be ruins it still even now takes your breath away.