The Civil Forum is the core of daily life of the city and is the focal point of all the main public buildings for city administration and justice, business management, and trade activities such as markets, as well as the main places of citizen worship.
The square of the Forum originally looked like a simple open area with an overall regular shape, made of clay and its western side opened on to the Sanctuary of Apollo, whereas the eastern side had a row of shops. The Forum was significantly modified between the 3rd and 2nd century BC when the shape of the square was regularised, surrounded by porticoes and the bottom paved with slabs of tuff. The axis of the square became the façade of the Temple of Jupiter, aligned with Mount Vesuvius.
At the beginning of the Imperial age the Forum was re-paved with travertine slabs, some of which are no longer in their original location and have a groove to accommodate the bronze letters that belonged to a large inscription. Excavations that began upon the requests of Maria Carolina Bonaparte immediately indicated that the area had been explored and stripped of its decorations in ancient times.
Date of excavation: 1813.
Live from the Forum