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Forum

Description of the Forum (Reg VII, Ins 8)

The Forum (coloured yellow in the diagram opposite) was the centre of Pompeii when it was first founded and even after the city's enlargement, when it could hardly be called 'central', it remained the focus of political, economic and religious life. The Forum was quite large, measuring 157 x 38 metres and, together with the surrounding public buildings could contain all the inhabitants of the city.
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The buildings (coloured red) adjoining the Forum were:
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................................A,,,Municipal Offices
................................B,,,Basilica
................................C,,,Temple of Apollo
................................D,,,Horrea
................................E,,,Arch of Germanicus
................................F,,,Temple of Jupiter
................................G,,,Macellum
................................H,,,Temple of the Lares Publici
.................................I,,,,Temple of Vespasian
................................J,,,,Building of Eumachia
................................K,,,Comitium
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The Forum was arcaded on three sides, the exception being the north side which comprised a building, the Temple of Jupiter, and two honorary arches.

On the south side of the Forum were all the buildings involved in Pompeii's public life; the Basilica, the Municipal Offices and the Comitium (pictured above).
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On the eastern side were the Temple of the Lares Publici, the Temple of Vespasian and the Building of Eumachia.

Aside from the bases, nothing remains of the many statues that graced the Forum - they were probably never replaced after the earthquake of AD62.
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The colonnade with solid Doric columns made from Nocera tufa was built round the Forum in the Samnite period.
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The Romans paved the square with travertine and had begun renovating the colonnade along the east and west sides, erecting Doric columns, also of travertine, with a second order of
Ionic columns above (see below).
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The Municipal Offices comprised the Offices of the Aediles nearest the Basilica, the Curia in the centre of the group of three buildings and finally the Offices of the Duoviri near the Comitium.
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Two honorary arches flank the Temple of Jupiter. The western arch, situated at the height of the temple colonnade, was dedicated to Drusus; it originally had a pendant arch on the other side of the temple, which was torn down so as to leave a view of the arch behind, attributed to either Tiberius or Germanicus (above).


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