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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Ancient City of Pompeii
The Forum, the Arcade, and the Basilica


The Forum was the economic, religious, and political center of Pompeii. The main temples, municiple buildings, law courts, the Macellum, and the Mensa Ponderaria were grouped around it.

Forum ArcadeForum Columns
The Forum of Pompeii: The Lefthand Arcade

At the time of destruction, the Forum was isolated from the urban area by a large arcade that encircled it except to the north, which was occupied by the Capitoline and two other honorary arches. The Forum is rectangular in shape, 32 meters by 142 meters, paved in travertine, and was surrounded by a covered arcade on three sides.

Arcade, LeftArcade, Right
Arcade Area at Pompeii. Mt. Vesuvius is in the Background

The arcade was composed of two orders of columns during the Samnite age that were built out of Nocera tuff. These columns were in the Doric style, with the trabeation where the upper columns rested in the Ionic style. The columns on the western and eastern sides are from the Roman period.

Ionic ColumnsIonic Columns
Left: Ionic Columns in the Forum Arcade
Right: Doric Columns Resting on Ionic Columns

The "Suggestum," a stand from which orators spoke to the people, is located at the center of the western side of the square. Several large bases where statues of the most important men of the city were placed are located along the southern side of the arcade.

The Suggestum

The public buildings, located along the southeren, eastern and western sides, were hidden by the colonnade. The only completely visible building was on the north - the Temple of Jupiter with two triumphal arches at its sides.

Temple of Jupiter, Arches, Marcellum
Temple of Jupiter with Arches, Marcellum is at the Right

Sedivy visits Basilica at Pompeii
Mr. Sedivy Visits the Basilica of Pompeii

The Basilica was the most important public building in Pompeii as the center of economic life and the seat of the law courts. It is thought that the foundation dates back to pre-Roman times because tiles found near the opening contained the Oscan seal.

Interior of Basilica, Pompeii
Interior View - Central Nave of the Basilica

The Basilica opened onto the Forum by five doorways that created three internal naves. The central nave was composed of 28 brick columns, clearly of Greek influence.

Basilica ColumnsFootprints at Basilica
Brick Columns at the Basilica at Pompeii; Trail of Footprints

Basilica, Pompeii
Another View of the Basilica at Pompeii

Historical Background of Pompeii - I

Background of Pompeii - II

Entrance to the Ruins and Roads of Pompeii - III

The Forum and Basilica - IV

Temples of Apollo, Isis, and Jupiter - V

Water Supply and the Baths of Pompeii - VI

Pompeii's Mills, Bakery, Laundry, and Brothel - VII

House of the Faun, House of the Vettii,
House of the Large Fountain, and
The House of the Silver Wedding - VIII

House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto,
House of Trebius Valens, House of Loreius Tibertinus,
And the Villa of the Mysteries - IX

Court of the Gladiators, Amphitheatre, and
The Necropolis of Porta Nocera - X

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