Curia Julia - Roma, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 41° 53.575 E 012° 29.114
33T E 291376 N 4640945
Quick Description: The Curia Julia was the ancient seat of the Roman Senate of Ancient Rome. It is located at the northwest corner of the Roman Forum in Rome.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 7/12/2019 8:09:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM10YM1
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 1

Long Description:
The ruins of the building are accessible and can be visited via the archaeological area of the Roman Forum. The brick-building survived the test of time better than other landmarks in the forum, because in 630 AD the monument was converted into a Church dedicated to St. Adrian.

The Curia Julia was also one of the earliest buildings ever erected in the Forum. The original palace was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Founded by Julius Caesar in replacement of the earlier Curia Hostilia, the Curia Julia comprised a great hall for the Senate sessions, which was the actual Curia, and a smaller hall for secret reunions.

However, Julius Caesar never saw his project completed. In 29 BC the building was dedicated to Augustus. The Emperor elected the goddess Victory as the guardian deity of the Senate. An altar with a statue of the goddess was erected and placed at the center of the main hall. Later, Emperor Domitian restored the Curia and dedicated a chapel to the goddess Minerva, which was called “Atrium Minervae”.

Thanks to a coin dated back to 28 BC, we actually know that the Curia featured a porch raised on a high podium in the front. Inside, the building featured a central hall flanked by three steps on either sides and five rows of chairs where the senators used to seat. Today the Curia is a red brick building. However, at the time of its splendor it must have been magnificent, with wide windows and marbles that reflected the light. The whole space must have been very well lighted.

The entrance portal shows two green bronze doors. These are just a copy of the original ones, which in 1600 were removed and transferred to adorn the Church of St. John in Lateran. Thus, you can still admire the doors on the second entrance to this church.

Much of the original decoration was removed either after the conversion of the building into a church or after the forum itself was abandoned, however a lot of the marble flooring remains impeccably preserved. The flooring is in the style of opus sectile, using pieces of colored stone to create geometric shapes. The wall decoration was similarly opulent, however some of it was removed due to its pagan connotations, or else looted after the abandonment of the forum when the Empire fell1.

During the Republican Age, the Curia Julia was the place where the most important decisions regarding both the internal and foreign policy of Rome were discussed and taken. Becoming a Senator was the last step in the carrier of the Roman ruling class. It was an honor reserved only to prominent figures, who were more than 32 years old and who had already held important offices and positions.

Recognizing a senator was pretty easy in Ancient Rome. Their outfit was unique, characterized by the red toga. Also, senators usually lived in beautiful, luxury houses on the Palatine Hill or just outside Rome.

Decisions were taken by majority vote, and senators moved from one side to the other of the great hall depending on an affermative or negative vote.

By the end of the Republican Age, senators actually lot most of their influence and their main job was basically reduced to ratifying the Emperor’s decisions. However, the Senate was the most enduring institution of the Roman history, that lasted until the collapse of the Roman Empire of the East.

Sources: (visit link) and (visit link)
Type: Ruin

Fee: Yes

Every day: 8:30am until one hour before sunset; 25 December and 1 January: closed

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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Ariberna visited Curia Julia - Roma, Italy 8/28/2011 Ariberna visited it