Curia JuliaThe meeting place of the Roman senate (from c. 50 BCE) Forum Romanum / Rome / Italy
The Curia was the normal meeting place of the Senate and the Curia Julia (Curia Iulia) was the third meeting hall for the senate in the Forum Romanum. The Curia Julia is located on the main square of the Forum Romanum, on the ancient Comitium, between the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Basilica Aemilia.The Curia Julia
The first Curia was called the Curia Hostilia, which was placed under the present Church of Ss. Luca e Martina. It was later reconstructed and enlarged in 80 BCE by Sulla, as the Curia Cornelia, only to be burned down during civil unrest in 52 BC.
Julius Caesar initiated construction of a new Curia Julia in the present location, which was finished by Augustus and inaugurated on August 28, 29 BCE. Augustus also built a portico, called the Chalcidicum, in front of the facade. The lines of holes in the facade are from the roof of the portico.
The Curia Julia was restored by Domitian after the Neronian fire of Rome in 64 CE. The fire of 283 CE that devastated much of the Forum Romanum, destroyed the Curia Julia completely, and the current building was erected by Diocletian shortly after.
The building is of brick, originally clad with marble on the lower half and stucco on the upper half. The ground plan is rectangular, measuring 18×27m and 21m in height, which are close to the proportions prescribed by Vitruvius for the Curie. In each corner the building has a projection aligned with the facades, one of which contained a stairway to the roof. The original roof was flat; the current is modern.The Curia Julia
A flight of stairs lead the the central doorway. The current doors are copies of the originals from the time of Diocletian. The ancient doors were moved to San Giovanni in Laterano by the architect Borromini. The only sources of light inside are the three large windows above the doorway.
The inside is a single room, dominated by two lateral stepped platforms, used to seat the 300 senators. In the back of the room, between two doors, was the podium of the president of the senate. At one side of this is the base of the statue of Victoria, donated by Augustus and traditionally kept in the Curia. The marble paving is from the time of Diocletian, like the niches, originally with statues and flanked by columns surmounted by a tympanum.
The building, wonderfully preserved, owes this to the conversion into the Church of Sant'Adriano in the 7th century CE. The remains of byzantine wall paintings are from this period. The church was demolished in the 1930s and the building restored to its 4th century appearance.
It is usually possible to see the Curia inside, though it is not always open.
- LacusCurtius: Platner: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome
- LacusCurtius: Hülsen: Il Foro Romano - Storia e Monumenti
(Text in Italian)
- LacusCurtius: Smith: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
Prints of the photographs are available — read more here.
The pictures above are taken in the following locations:
- Curia Julia, Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy (8 photographs )
- Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy (5 photographs )
- Tabularium, Capitolium, Rome, Italy (1 photograph )
- Rome, Italy (1 photograph )
- Engraving by Tempesta, Other Images Sources (1 photograph )
- Engravings by Piranesi, Other Images Sources (1 photograph )
- Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy (1 photograph )
- Plutei of Trajan - Two reliefs showing Trajan doing acts of beneficence
- Arch of Septimius Severus - Triumphal arch celebrating Septimius Severus victories over the Parthians (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Augustus - Roman Emperor (27 BCE-14 CE) (Romans, Historical Persons)
- Basilica Aemilia - The last of the republican basilicas in the Forum Romanum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Central square - The open area of the Forum Romanum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Comitium - The ancient political centre of Rome (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Curia Cornelia - The meeting hall of the Roman senate (c. 80-50 BCE) (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Curia Hostilia - The meeting place of the Roman senate during the Roman Republic (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Diocletian - Roman Emperor (284-305 CE) (Romans, Historical Persons)
- Domitian - Roman Emperor (81-96 CE) (Romans, Historical Persons)
- Francesco Borromini - Italian Architect (1599-1667) (Italians, Historical Persons)
- Julius Caesar - Roman patrician, politician, writer, reformator, general, dictator and god (Romans, Historical Persons)
- San Giovanni in Laterano (Rome, Italy)
- Sant'Adriano - Church constructed inside the Curia Julia of the Roman Forum, now demolished (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Santi Luca e Martina (Rome, Italy)
- Temple of Concord - A temple dedicate to concord between Patricians and Plebeians (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Tullius Hostilius - Third king of Rome (trad. 673-642 BCE) (Roman Kings, Historical Persons)
- Victoria - Godess of victory (Roman Religion and Mythology, Lexicon)
- Vitruvius - Roman writer, architect and engineer (1st century BCE) (Romans, Historical Persons)
- Antiquarium - Museum with finds from the area of the Roman Forum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Lapis Niger and Vulcanal - Archaic monument and altar in the Comitium (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Temple of Caesar - Temple dedicated in 29 BC by Augustus to deified Julius Caesar (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Temple of Janus - A lost temple for the two-faced god Janus (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
- Templum vs. Aedes - Differences in ancient and modern use of the word 'temple' (Roman Religion and Mythology, Lexicon)
- Via Sacra - The sacred procession road through the Forum Romanum (Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy)
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