On the Sacred road rise the sun…
I can’t say enough how much I love Roman Forum, I believe it is the true jewel of ancient Rome.
As Plautus said in his play Curculio “Now I’m going to tell you where you can find people of every kind. After this it won’t call for any great exertion, whatever kind of fellow you want to meet, good or bad, honorable or the reverse.” we can image in old time the look of the Roman Forum full of good or bad people, like today, but they were citizens of the city, they were once alive in the place, and made a little mark in history.
After the Palatine Hill, we walk by the Sacred road (Via Sacra) slowly, enjoying the detail of every monument. It is said that in ancient times, a victorious general would be honored with a dramatic procession (known as a Triumph) up Via Sacra to the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus on the Capitoline Hill. At that moment, I did feel Beethoven’s symphony no.9 was inspired at the same phenomenon, the joy, the glory, all you want is to put yourself in the ecstasy.
Although we had very short time to fully appreciate it. I still have some of my favorite monuments that I would like to share with you.
Personally love the Temple of Saturn (Tempio di Saturno) very much, the eight columns highly established in one end, majestic and elegant outline was a temple dedicated to Saturn as early as 497 BCE, but what remains currently is rebuilt from 42 BC. Saturn’s Greek equivalent name is Cronus, who is the father of Jupiter, also is the astrology sign Capricorn’s ruling planet. I am a Capricorn girl by the way. 😛
In mythology, Saturn represent that power which maintains the cyclic course of times and seasons, which is Kronos the Greek name of that god bears, same as Chronos or Time, the story that he regularly devoured his own children is explained by the fact that time devours the courses of the seasons, even though in the end, Jupiter persuaded his siblings to fight against the Saturn and won it, which to me, is the real West spirit that new generation empower the world that I appreciate very much.
In Roman legend, He was as the first king of Latium or even the whole of Italy.
The Golden Age of Saturn’s reign in Roman mythology is when he arrived in Italy “dethroned and fugitive,” but brought agriculture, civilization, private property. Slavery, war were absent during his time, so afterwards when he was gone he was particularly beloved by lower and slave classes.
Every year, Dec. 17-23th a week of feasting and sacrifices, known as Saturnalia, which Senators and higher-ranking social status Romans would change their aristocratic togas, then wear loose-fitting democratic gowns. Slaves are allowed to drink wine, dine with their masters, gamble with nuts as stakes, gift-giving. Much of the spirit and rituals of Saturnalia have been preserved in the Christmas celebration.
I absolutely love this story behind Saturnalia, I feel that’s the real celebration of Christmas day, gamble and gift exchange, but little did I know it was connected to Saturnalia! learning something new is so good, right!? I can’t wait to tell my old girl friends who I exchanged gift with, for sure they are going to love the story!
The other is very similar to Temple of Saturn is The Temple of Castor and Pollux.
The iconic three columns was the left structure of temple which was built in gratitude for victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus.
Castor and Pollux were twin half-brothers in Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri.
Their mother is Leda, yes… the story of Zeus disguised as a swan to seduced her… which had inspired so many master created art for the incredible idea.
In Latin the twins are also known as the Gemini. When Castor was killed, Pollux was really sad and asked Zeus to let him end his own life to be able to be with the brother forever. Zeus granted his wish and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini, never apart from each other ever after.
The twins were regarded as the patrons of sailors, horsemanship, due to the idea that they rode the ‘white horses’ of foam that were formed by curling ocean waves. Interest enough you can see their statues at the front of Aracoeli staircase on the way to Capitoline museum. You can see my Capitoline museum post here. My love finds the three elegant columns remarkable, I totally agree with him, there is no picture of the Roman forum that can be complete without it.
The last temple I want to mention because it is full of distinguished ideas is… the Temple of Vesta (Tempio di Vesta). The cult of Vesta, the goddess of sacred fire can be dated back to 8th century BC, usually there were six virgins vowed to keep the sacred fire burning, who dedicated and served this duty for 30 years. They were also in charge of keeping safe the wills and testaments of various people such as Caesar and guarded some sacred objects. Usually they were selected from a nice family with well-established social status. But if the sacred fire died out accidentally, they would get punished by whipping or buried alive!
Ohhh…my…. surely it was a hard job that have to keep it 30 years, without any doubt but honor the god. What would you say about this background story of Temple of Vesta?
There is so much worth talking about, truly this is a magical space. I highly recommend to stay here at least 2 hours to fully enjoy it. Overall, I also love to see and find what I had learned from mythology and astrology correspond stories though the ruins. What’s your favorite part of visiting Roman Forum? Did you find your astrology sign ruling god’s temple here? tell me please!
Tips for visiting Roman Forum:
- Please see the full post of tips about buying ticket here.
- I Suggest at least stay here at least 2 hours.
- Please wear walkable shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, and water bottle.
- Bring your camera! it’s photogenic place to keep memories with.
To see other attractions of Rome stories and tips, click below to see individual posts:
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)→ Pantheon & Fontana del Pantheon→ Obelisco Della Minerva (Elephant and Obelisk)→ Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi dei Francesi) → Largo di Torre Argentina→ Capitoline Museums