Imperial Forums, Rome The heart of the ancient Roman Empire, the Imperial Forums were a gathering place and a center for religion and politics. Overview The Imperial Forums, not to be confused with the older Roman Forum, are a series of public squares that were constructed between 46 BC and 113 AD. For many decades, they were the center of city life and important figures gathered here to discuss the economy or expound upon their beliefs about politics or any other hot subjects of the era. Forum of Caesar The first of the Imperial Forums to be built, the Forum of Caesar was actually an extension to the Roman Forum. Meant to celebrate Caesar’s great power, this forum also contained a temple to the goddess Venus, as Caesar’s family believed they were directly descended from her. A statue of Caesar himself, riding a horse, was placed in front of the temple. Forum of Augustus Inaugurated in 2 BC, the Forum of Augustus is said to have been constructed to avenge the death of Caesar, thus, Augustus dedicated the forum's temple to Mars the Avenger. It is situated perpendicular to Caesar’s Forum and is believed to have been used as a court of law. It was rectangular in shape with very high walls. Four exedras (semicircular recesses crowned by a half-dome) are believed to have graced the façade of the building. Most of the decorations pertained to the god Mars. Forum of Nerva (aka The Transitional Forum) Built by Domitian, this forum served to connect the other two forums together as well as the Temple of Peace – not an official forum but built to celebrate the conquest of Jerusalem.turkeyarena.com This forum was supposed to be dedicated to Minerva – protector of the emperor – but because it was inaugurated after Domitian’s assassination, his successor – whose name was Nerva – dedicated it to himself. Because of where it was built, it is rather narrow in shape and its large entrance tended to serve as an access way to all the other forums. Forum of Trajan The largest and greatest of the Imperial Forums, Trajan’s Forum was built to honor the conquest of Dacia in southeastern Europe (now Romania). Much excavation had to be done to complete this forum, which consisted of several parts: a public square, a large temple (the Temple of Divius Traianus), two libraries and the immense Basilica Ulpia, which measured about 60x170 meter (197x558 ft) in size. For some time this particular civic building moved the center of political life from the Roman Forum to the Imperial Forums. Many of its marble columns still stand today. The 42 meter (138ft) tall Trajan’s Column, located between the Basilica Ulpia and the Temple of Trajan indicated the exact height of the hill that was excavated for the construction of the forum. Adjacent to the large forum were Trajan's Market, a semi-circular warehouse complex annex stores.