Navigation

Photo Gallery

Unique Visitors

Android App

Books

Utilities

Vesuvius Watch

Pompeii‎ > ‎Public Buildings‎ > ‎

Triangular Forum

Description of the Forum (Reg VIII, Ins 7, 30)

..
In the rear wall of the portico are two doorways which open onto the forum colonnade (B) (pictured below). The colonnade, which was one storey high, consisted of ninety-five Doric columns. At the foot of the middle column at the north end of the colonnade is a broad basin of Carrara marble and next to it the base of a statue which bears an inscription dedicating it to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus.
..
..
The continuation of the colonnade along the southern side of the forum was prevented by the nearness of the temple to the edge of the cliff formed by the ancient lava deposits (the painting on the right by Weichardt is a reconstruction of the forum viewed from below the cliff face).
..
..
..
The southern part of the forum contains the Doric Temple built in the 6th century BC. Two divinities, Hercules and Minerva, represented in some of the antefixes, were probably worshipped here. Directly in front of the temple, at the foot of the steps in the location ordinarily occupied by the principal altar, is a small enclosure (F) fenced in by an outer wall and a low inner wall. Judging by its form, it is probably a heroon for the commemoration of the mythical founders of the city.

Instead of a single altar in front of the temple there are three (H), all made from blocks of tufa. Not far from these altars are the remains of a small round structure about 4m in diameter (pictured right). The roof, supported on eight Doric columns, was over the mouth of a well which had been driven down through the old lava deposits to provide water for cleaning the temple and for religious rites. According to the Oscan inscription on the architrave the well was built by N. Trebius, chief administrative officer (meddix tuticus) of the city.

The Triangular Forum takes its name from the unusual shape of the site. The forum sits on the edge of a spur of ancient lava and was probably laid out during the Samnite period to enhance the setting of the Doric Temple (D) that occupied the southern part of the site. A colonnade of the Doric order was built along the west and north east sides and, where the two arms of the colonnade met, a high portico of the Ionic order was erected facing the street, thus forming a monumental entrance (A) to the forum and Large Theatre (pictured below).
..
..
..
From the vantage point of the forum the unimpeded views over the plain and across the Bay of Naples must have been spectacular. For the enjoyment of the view two duoviri, who were also responsible for the sundial in the court of the Temple of Apollo, built a semi circular stone bench with lion feet (E) next to the west corner of the temple (pictured left). On the back they placed a sundial with the inscription:
..
'Lucius Sepunius Sandilianus the son of Lucius, and Marcus Herennius Epidianus the son of Aulus, duumvirs with judiciary authority, caused the seat and sundial to be made at their own expense.'
..
A promenade (C) which was laid out in front of the eastern colonnade is separated from the forum by a low wall. The picture on the left is of the promenade, looking north back towards the entrance.
..
..



Home................<.Previous Building.................Public Buildings.......,,,,........First Building.>......,.........Glossary