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Basilica Aemilia

33 Reviews

Basilica Aemilia

33 Reviews
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Via Sacra Roman Forum, Rome Italy
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Fori Imperiali-ColosseoRome Metro5 min
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ChiefGuru wrote a review Sep 2019
Decatur, Indiana3,445 contributions349 helpful votes
In ancient Roman, a basilica was a public building, where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. In the case of the Basilica Aemilia along the Via Sacra (main street of ancient Rome, leading from the top of the Capitoline Hill, through the Forum, to the Colosseum) on the North side of the Forum, this original grand structure is now only rudimentary ruins. The basilica originally filled the space between the Antoninus and Faustina Temple and the Curia Julia senate house. The plan can still be viewed to understand that this ancient building was ~330 feet long and ~100 feet wide. It was three stories tall, along the sides of the first and second floors were a series of arches (16 on first level and 14 on second level). Previous buildings on this site date to ~5th century B.C. Realizing that the original use of the land on which the Forum is located dates to ~700 B.C., visitors need to realize how much soil and debris accumulated as new was build above old. The depth of this old earth can be many dozens of feet deep. Thus, the ruins of the Basilica Aemilia are well above the remnants of previous buildings on the site. The original basilica was erected in 179 B.C. by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (after whom the basilica is named). However, it was completely rebuilt and further modified in subsequent years, most recently by Emperor Augustus in 14 B.C. (after a fire) and again in 22 A.D. In times going by, Basilica Aemilia was considered to be one of the most beautiful in Rome. The remains of the basilica Aemilia have been (for the most part) revealed by recent excavations. There are some remains, including a column base which probably belongs to the earliest period of the basilica. Although not much exists to "see" this basilica, I found it interesting to understand the history of this building and imagine its original glory.
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Date of experience: June 2019
2 Helpful votes
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SuperTed19 wrote a review Jul 2019
Madison, Wisconsin612 contributions268 helpful votes
There are bits and pieces, with more being uncovered during the slow process of digging through thousands of years of history. Like many locations, this one is not as sexy as The Colosseum or the Pantheon. Having said that, it’s these smaller sites that help to provide the full scope of ancient Roman history.
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Date of experience: May 2019
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Love2Wander wrote a review May 2019
Parry Sound, Canada942 contributions198 helpful votes
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I was surprised to see do many “average” reviews as history is slowly being uncovered here by archeologists. While much of this basilica is ruins, you can see the notes and numbered artifacts by archeologists. If you’re into archeology and/or history, I think you’ll find this place impressive!
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Date of experience: May 2019
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kwagmeister wrote a review Jul 2018
Evansville, Indiana1,471 contributions467 helpful votes
The work of excavating the Roman ruins around the colosseum and the forum continues, and this site, though centuries old, is fascinating. You cannot walk along the ruins of this particular area, despite the Forum being literally over the wall, but it’s worth a good look. Turn around and across the several lanes of traffic are more ruins — of one of the first shopping malls in the world. Seriously. Cross the street and look at the Egyptian obelisk and the other ruins. This is an incredible site.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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daffystjob wrote a review Mar 2018
Manchester, United Kingdom838 contributions243 helpful votes
With so much to see at the Roman Forum, small standing walls can seem insignificant, to me, the collapsed building can have so much charm. Many tourist avoid this little path past the Basilica Emilia and it is their loss. The damaged columns, damaged and slain, their importance apparently lost to many, filled me with a mix of loss and charisma. I loved this little stretch of the Forum.
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Date of experience: February 2018
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