Trajan & Imperial Forums, Rome

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    Detail
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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Trajan column - War for money.

    by breughel Updated Dec 25, 2013

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    Trajan column and forum.
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    From the spirals of the Trajan column we can follow all the details of the invasion of Dacia (presently Romania) but we are left ignorant of the reason of this war: money !!!

    Rome was importing everything, had important military expenses and lacked precious metals for coinage. In modern terms we would say that Rome suffered an important trade deficit what lead to a currency drainage. Emperor Nero decreased the amount of silver in the "denarius" and the gold in the "aureus" coins. More coins were produced but the debasement of the coinage produced a search and hoarding of the good "money" what increased the monetary problems of Rome.

    Present travellers from overseas complaining about the low value of their money will understand from this that money devaluation existed already two thousand years ago. Nothing new under the sun.

    As emperor Trajan was not only a good military commander but also a good administrator he aimed at restoring the financial and monetary situation of Rome.
    Invading the rich Dacia where king Decebale showed hostility to Rome seemed a good opportunity.
    Trajan came back to Rome in 106 A.D. with war booty of 165 tons of gold and 300 tons of silver! That solved the monetary problems of Rome for some years. Not surprising that Trajan was called "Optimus Princeps" best of princes.

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    MERCATI DI TRAIANO - The Markets of Trajan.

    by breughel Updated Feb 17, 2014

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    Mercati di Traiano - general view.
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    Tourists who visited the Capitoline Hill or the Vittoriano monument have all seen that imposing semicircular construction in red brown bricks on the other side of the Via dei Fori Imperiale and on the right of the well known Trajan column. Not so many have been inside because restoration works went on for several years and the Museum of the Markets of Trajan opened only in 2007.
    I was very pleased to visit for the first time the Trajan markets, built in 100 - 110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus an architect who worked for Emperor Trajan. These market buildings have been erected on six levels on the foothills of the Quirinal hill.

    This complex shows an aspect of the organisation of the antique Rome which is quite different from that shown by the Temples, Coliseum and other grandiose monuments.
    With the Mercati di Traiano we enter an administrative and logistic centre. The concept of logistics is much more adapted to the function of these constructions than the idea of a "shopping centre". The architect succeeded to give a monumental aspect to this functional building.
    The upper levels were used for offices while the lower part, in front of Trajan's Forum, had shops selling various products. In the middle ages houses, still existing, were built on top of the Trajan market.
    Well preserved and spectacular is the Via Biberatica with its antique pavement.
    The visit is pleasant because large balconies offer beautiful views on the markets and on the various Fori Imperiali as well as the Vittoriano monument.
    The entrance is by the Museum on Via IV Novembre n° 94.
    Open Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 19 h. Tickets office closes 1 h before.
    Closed: Monday, 25/12, 1/01 and 1/05.
    Price inclusive museum (2014) : ordinary 9,50 €, reduced 7,50 €.
    Photos allowed.

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    MERCATI DI TRAIANO-The Museum.

    by breughel Updated Feb 17, 2014

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    Mercati Di Traiano - Museum Hall

    The museum of the Trajan Markets, in fact the "Museo dei Fori Imperiali", has opened in 2007 and belongs to the city of Rome like the Capitoline museums. The museum is housed in the building, the Great Hall, just behind the entrance at via IV Novembre, 94 of the Mercati Traiano archaeological complex of which it is a part.
    The museum is a centre dedicated to ancient architecture. The aim is to make visitors of Rome understand the structural, architectural and decorative aspects of ancient buildings, and to reconstruct a real environment in order to describe the activities that took place in the forums.
    According to the management: "We did not want to “exhibit” the individual fragments of a splendid decorative past (even if they are beautiful in their own right) instead we wanted to physically reconstruct the decorative motifs of which they were part of, addressing when required even very demanding works in terms of material used".

    What is intended here is to offer to the visitor a real vision of the proportions and constructional complexity of the monuments of the Roman Forums through reconstructed architectural fragments and multimedia displays.

    From my visit I would say that this museum is more oriented towards visitors with already a good knowledge of antique architecture.
    Photos are allowed without flash. Not for special exhibitions.

    Open Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 19 h. Tickets office closes 1 h before.
    Closed: Monday, 25/12, 1/01 and 1/05.
    Price inclusive museum (2014): ordinary 9,50 €, reduced 7,50 €.

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    TORRE DELLE MILIZIE - Tower of the Milices.

    by breughel Updated Jul 27, 2011

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    Torre delle Milizie - Tower of the Milices.
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    This medieval tower 50 m high, at the extremity of the Quirinal hill, just behind the Mercati Traiano is one of the remarkable landmarks of Rome.

    The tower with a base of 10,50 x 9,50 m was initially built entirely using the tufelli technique between 1200 and 1250 under Pope Innocent III of the Conti family. At a later date, between 1250 and 1280, it was faced in the bricks still visible today. The tower has an inclination to the North-East of 1,36°. (That explains the problems with my photos; I thought it was the Frascati I had been drinking at noon!). Calculations made during the restoration works in the nineties predict that the inclination will continue with 1° over the next 600 years. So no panic.

    The Torre delle Milizie was the main building of a castle erected in the upper part of the Trajan Markets known at the end of the 13th c. as the "Castello delle Milizie" There was a third floor on the tower but this was destroyed by the earthquake of 1348.
    The tower belonged to the family Annibaldi and at one time to Pope Bonifacio VIII Caetani. Under the Caetani the tower was reinforced and became one of the strongest fortresses of Rome and could be compared with Castel St. Angelo.

    In the 15th c. the tower returned to the Conti family and became part of the Covent of St. Catharine which was demolished in the begin of the 20th c. and the tower became a national monument.
    By the garden at the back of the Trajan Market museum one can come at the feet of the tower but the inside visit is not possible.
    It has been said that this was the tower from where Nero looked at the terrible fire of Rome in 64 BC. but this was shown to be wrong. The tower is from the Middle Ages.

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    Trajan column - restoration works.

    by breughel Written Jun 17, 2008

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    Trajan column - with the works.

    If you want to learn something about the Roman army at the time of the empire you can't avoid turning 23 times around the Trajan column. I suggest taking binoculars because the restoration works keeps tourists at some distance.

    It is what I would call a difficult monument to look at. There are more than 2000 finelly carved figures about 2/3 life size. The scenes cover the entire range of military activity and also details of the land of Dacia. Historians and present tourists wonder how the spectators of the time of Trajan were able to view the spirals, especially the upper ones?

    The present restoration works aim at restoring the original polychromy of the column by a reversible technology. Light beams will color the column for some minutes each hour at night in 2009.

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    Torre delle Milizie

    by breughel Updated Apr 19, 2008

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    Torre delle Milizie

    FORUM REPLY.

    Visitors of the Museum and Mercati di Traiano have access to the feet of the tower and the small garden around but the tower himself is closed.
    I really recommend the whole site of the Mercati di Traiano for the views from the balconies. (re. my recent tip on the history of the tower)

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    The twin churches at Trajan's column.

    by breughel Updated Jun 25, 2013

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    Twin churches at Trajan's column.
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    Among the best pictures one can take in Rome are the two churches with dome just behind the Trajan's column. My photos are on an afternoon in February with the sun already low.

    On the left stands Santa Maria di Loreto from the 16th c. from architect Antonio da Sangallo the younger. The dome with lantern was by Jacopo del Duca.
    The church on the right called Santissimo Nome di Maria (Holly Name of Maria), with a similar dome was built two centuries later by the French architect Antoine Derizet.
    They are often called twin churches but are not unique in that function; there are also twin churches at the Piazza del Popolo but from the same architect Carlo Rainaldi in the same period.

    Visit is normally from 9 - 13 and 16 - 18 h.

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    Trajan Market - Mercati di Traiano

    by icunme Updated Apr 17, 2011

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    Italy knows how to put on a show - spectacular exhibits are always here - and showcased with typical Italian creativity. If you have not been to Rome in a couple of years, you are in for a grand surprise! Opened in Autumn 2007, Trajan's Market now includes a Museum situated in the Great Hall and Central Block of the Mercati di Traiano - the Great Hemicycle section of his Forum. Rome does, indeed, know how to put on a show for us - they understand lighting, display, and give us every archetectural advantage. Outdoor walkways and indoor windows provide extraordinary views.
    Dedicated to ancient architecture, the museum is the first of its kind. Shown here are displays of original fragments found in the Forums. You can view fragments also as shelved by our archeologists and placed in the stalls once used by ancient vendors.
    From 2005-2007, the site has been the subject of cutting edge structural and protective restoration. The Museo dei Fori Imperiali is topographically and concepturally linked to the greater urban system of the Imperial Forums - Ceasar (46 B.C.), Augustus (2 B.C.), Templum Pacis (75 A.D.), Nerva (97 A.D.) and Trajan (112 and 113 A.D.).
    You will start your tour in the Great Hall with an intro to the Forum area and presentation of each Forum based on the most important finds discovered within it. In the Central Block are pieces from Augustus' Forum, which was the model forum used in the Roman Provinces.
    Built at the same time as Trajan's Forum, the monumental complex dominated by Mercati di Traiano (rediscovered from 1926-1934), was a multi-functional public work with administrative functions for the Forum. Although rebuilt and transformed over time, it was originally composed of units on six different levels which run in a Great Hemicycle along the base of the Quirinal Hill side. Detailed descriptions serve us very well along with the audio devices as we stroll through these impressive ancient ruins
    A travelogue is in progress with detail on many items of particular interest.
    Open: Tues - Sun 9am to 7pm - closed on Monday
    Dec 24 & Dec 31 - 9am to 2 pm -- Closed Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25
    Tickets: Full price 6,50 Euro - reduced 4,50 Euro
    FREE to Italians & Citizens of EC under 18 & over 65

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    The Trajan's Markets

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 28, 2007

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    Trajan's Market
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    The Emperor M. Ulpius Trajan expanded the Empire towards the east, making it the biggest in whole of its history. After he conquested Dacia, in 105 A.D., Trajan returned to Rome laden with treasure and made decision to commemorate the victory by building a Forum that would surpass all other in the city in splendor and scale. This project was entrusted to the great architect Apollodorus of Damascus, who build the forum which became the most admired place in the city.
    Trajan's Market consists of well preserved semi-circular three story structure and large vaulted hall which resembles a basilica. It is amazing in its proportions and one of the best preserved structure from the Roman times of the city.

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    Trajan's forum

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    Trajan's forum
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    These forums were built after the city outgrew it's original forums. They are on the North side of Via Fori Imperiali. They were built by the emperor Trajan in AD 112. There is an admission fee to go down into the ruins, however almost all of it is visible from the street level so imho it's a waste of money to pay the entrance fee.

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    Markets of Trajan

    by tompt Written Jan 26, 2004

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    markets of Trajan

    In the beginning of the 2nd century Trajan and his architect built this complex of shops and offices. The markets are constructed so it supported the ground of the Quirinal Hill, dug out for the construction of the Imperial Fora.

    Open:
    winter 9 - 16.30, summer 9 - 18.30,
    closed on mondays.
    there is an entrance fee.

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    Trajan's Column (Colonna di Traiano)

    by Andraf Updated Jan 25, 2004

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    Trajan's Column, Rome

    Romanian tourists in Rome (like me) flock to this monument which is part of the Romanian national pride. Also, when I came back from Rome this was the monument all my Romanian friends asked about. Did you see it? Were you able to see the Dacians on the column? The reason is that Trajan's column was built to commemorate his military campaigns in Dacia (which is now Romania). It's true Trajan won and conquered Dacia but hey, our ancestors can still be seen today, almost 2000 years later, on this column in the center of Rome.
    The column is a beautiful piece of Roman sculptural art; around the column winds a spiral frieze with over 2500 figures in relief illustrating the battles that took place during Trajan's military campaigns in Dacia (101-102 and 105-106). At the top the statue of Saint Peter replaced in 1588 a statue of Trajan. The ashes of the emperor and his wife were places in a golden urn in a vault below the column. The column stands in what was once Foro di Traiano (Forum of Trajan) with a huge semicircular market building.

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    Imperial Forum

    by Jim_Eliason Written Oct 23, 2005

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    Imperial Forum
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    The ancient market place and center of civil life in Rome was in this forum. The road known as the sacred way bisects the forum which is full of the ruins of temples, markets and city buildings.

    There is no charge for visiting the forums.

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    Trajen Column

    by sandysmith Updated Sep 28, 2003

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    detail of Trajen's Column

    The main road leading down from the forums to the colosseum has this huge columm - Trajan's Column with marked the Trajan markets here. Unfortunately the main road is causing pollution and disturbance to the beautiful intricate carvings on it - so admire it whilst you can.

    The column was erected in 113 A.D. and illustrates the course of war with the Dacians on the territory of modern Romania. The column is made of a series of 18 marble drums ending with the Doric capital. Inside of it are 185 steps leading to the top. There are 23 spirals of bas-relieves 200meters long with 2,500 figures illustrating in detail the various phases of Traian's military achievements in the Dacian campaigns of 101-102 and 105-106 A.D.

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    Trajan Forum Visit

    by sandysmith Written Sep 28, 2003

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    cloer view of Trajan's mall

    To visit Trajan's forum the entrance is in Via IV Novembre but you can get a good look (like when its closed on Mondays) from walking down Via Alessandrina - the road which runs betwenn the forum and the Colosseum.

    It is the most recent and most grandiose of five Imperial Fora. While the Fora of other emperors had supplimentary functions, the Forum of Trajan became the real center of political and administrative life of Rome, moved here from the old Roman Forum.

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