This building near the Forum was the seat of the magistrates, dedicated to administering justice and for business negotiations. It was built in the second half of the 2nd century BC as part of a plan to create monuments throughout the city.
It had a rectangular layout, with three naves, and a ceiling sloping straight down in both directions from the central columns and half columns. At the back was the tribunal, reached by a wooden staircase, where the magistrates sat. These magistrates were elected annually by the free male population (slaves and women of course were not permitted to vote) and were responsible for administering justice, organising assemblies of the people and for the city finances. There were also lower ranking officials, known as aediles, who saw to the maintenance of public buildings and roads, controlled the markets and the municipal police service, and organized festivities at their own expense and at the expense of the community. None of these magistrates received any salary.
In my photo you see the basilica’s fluted columns in the foreground, with the temple of Apollo beyond, and in the distance the brooding shape of Vesuvius itself.
When Pompeii was first founded, the Forum was a small market in the center of the town. It was situated at the juncture of two important routes that linked Pompeii to Naples, Nola, and Stabiae. The great expansion of Pompeii in the second century BC left the Forum on the outskirts, but it continued to play a fundamental role in the political, religious, and economic life of the city.
During the course of the second century BC, the Forum achieved its definitive size. The north end was bounded by the Temple of Jupiter and honorary arches dedicated to Drusus and to Tiberius or to Germanicus . The south end was bordered by three municipal buildings . On the west side was situated the Basilica , the temple of Apollo , the grain market and warehouse. On the east side stood the food market, the sanctuary of the Lares Publici, the temple of Vespasian, the building of Eumachia, which possibly served as a wool market, and the Comitium.
Around the time of Sulla, the area was enclosed on three sides by a portico. The base of the portico was raised above ground level by three steps, thus the area of the forum was closed to wheeled traffic. During the Augustan period, the paving of the area in travertine was begun. It was halted by the earthquake in AD 62 and the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The orators' platform (suggestum), situated on the west side of the forum, is also incomplete. None of the many statues whose bases are still visible in the area of the Forum was ever found. They may have been damaged and were never set up again after AD 62.
No, it was not a church....the Basilica was used for business negotiations and as a courthouse.
It has a retangular form and rows of columns divide it into 3 naves. This Roman architectural pattern became the one used to build churches. That's the reason many cathedrals are called Basilicas.
The basilica had suffered severe damage in a massive earthquake in 62 AD and it was being rebuilt. when Pompeii was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
The Forum was the city's main square and the heart of social, commercial, and political activity, where cart traffic was forbidden. It was surrounded on all sides by religious, political, and business buildings.
When Its arrangements began, in the 2nd cent. BC, there were a few buildings and the porticos with their double row of tufa columns, replaced with white limestone in the imperial age, when the site was repaved and more buildings were added.
Apparently, most of the travertine marble which once paved the approximately 100 by 450 foot area of the Forum was "recycled" for the construction of buildings in Naples
The Basilica is a beautifully adorned building which held Pompeii's law courts. It was also used for commercial transactions. The collonaded structure is the largest building in the forum apart from the Eumachia building.
Here is a look at what is thought to be the best example of a Roman Forum.The Forum was constructed so that Mt Vesuvius dominates its central axis. In ancient Roman cities (as opposed to the modern ones that the Romans are building today, the forum was the center of activity. There was a basilica, the center for legal and business matters, a macellum or marketplace along with various temples where the masses could appeal to their favorite deities.
The Basilica (in English, Basilica) is opposite to the Temple of Apollo. It is a wide rectangular building (55 meters for 24 meters). It is divided in three naves with 28 tile columns tall 10 meters and having a diameter of 1.1 meters. It was destined to the treatment of the controversies and the judgments of civil and commercial character. It was also the center of the economic life of the town.
The entrance is situated in the forum and the interior remembers a Christian basilica with the hallway articulated by columns. After all you can see the platform of the court with two orders of columns.
The Basilica was first constructed in pre-Roman times around 120BC and was the most important public building.
It was also one of the most busiest places in Pompeii where a covered market stood until the earthquake of 62AD when it was converted into an open-air market. The Basilica was finally converted into the office of judicial administration
The Basilica was constructed as part of a city-wide plan to increase the number of monuments, around the 2nd century BC. The building was used to administer justice and provided a venue for business negotiations. Today, the ground floor is in excellent condition but little remains of the upper floor.
The Basillica was the largest and most important structure in the forum. Here, business transactions were conducted as well as the administration of justice. The Romans had a very complex legal and justice system. The remains of this structure that can be seen today are impressive and give some idea of the size of the building.
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