Basilica Julia

Basilica Giulia

Behind the ruins of the Temple of Saturn there are the remains of the Basilica Julia, the structure that once stood in the Roman Forum and was one of the most magnificent ancient basilics built in 170 BC by the censor Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (the father of famous Tiberius and Gaius). Construction of the basilica began under the Caesar, probably already in 54 BC and completed under Augustus. The building was badly damaged in the fire of 9 BC and 283 AD, it was rebuilt but the original appearance of the basilica was maintained. Basilica Julia was used for all different kinds of social functions: court proceedings, ownership disputes, meeting place for the Roman Senate. As a rule, the hall was divided into several sectors, thus, more than one judgement seat could work concurrently. The exception was made for important hearings that gathered a large number of people when the entire hall was used.

Unfortunately due to the constant raids on Rome little was preserved of the antique building and survived to our days. The basilica was the favorite meeting place of the Roman people. On the pavement of the portico, there are diagrams of games scratched into the white marble. Numerous idlers who gathered at the square used to play checks here. Graffiti reproduce the outlines of the statues that once stood here. Closer to the centre of the facade there could be seen two bases with the inscriptions. It is likely that two statues of the famous Greek sculptors stood on these bases but were stolen during the Barbarian invasion.

Address: Foro Romano
Opening hours: 2 Jan – 15 Feb, last Sun of Oct - 31 Dec 8.30 am – 4.30 pm; 16 Feb -15 Mar 8.30 am – 5 pm; 16 Mar – last Sun of Mar 8.30 am – 5.30 pm; last Sun of Mar – 31 Aug 8.30 am – 7.15 pm; 1-30 Sep 8.30 am – 7 pm; 1 Oct – last Sun of Oct 8.30 am – 6.30 pm
How to reach: Colosseo
Coordinates: 41.891998, 12.484786