|The Forum Area
94-95 A.D. Work begins under
Domitian (?) first decade of the II century dated imprints on bricks
recovered in different area of the complex;
112-113 A.D. Inauguration of the Forum of Trajan.
End of the II begin of the III century - Restauration by Orazio Rogato, Procurator
of the Forum of Trajan.
XII-XIV century Castle and tower of the Militia.
Height of the Tower of Militia: 42.50
The structure complex was constructed on the slopes of the
Quirinale hills, situated to provide space for the Forum of Trajan. The constructed
area consists of six levels connected by a series of steep staircases: in the three
levels of the upper area there are the Great Hall and Central Body which unwind between
Via Biberatica (from bibier, beverage) and the back area (today's Tower of the
Militia Garden); in the three lower area levels there are the Great and Small Hemicycle
going down toward the Forum floor which are divided with other means of entrance.
Unified elements from
different surroundings are: refined brick coverings in a cement nucleus, many different
types of vault coverings (similar to looking at a manual on Roman vaults), and the
adaptation of foundations into useful spaces. The Great Hall has a central empty
rectangular space covered with six large cross-vaults. Realized in the classic Roman
taberna style (piers and lintels in travertine with upper windows for light) the vaults
relieve their mass onto the side suroundings. The system of the corridors on the
first and second levels insure ventilation and light. The Central Body is situated along
via Biberatica with irregular rooms of representation, like the apsed one on the first
floor. Both the Large Hall and the Central Body connect with the actual Tower of Militia
garden, one occupied by military structures.
Various Market structures face via Biberatica, reflecting an absolute, one
and only urban quarter of Rome. In particular are the structures corrisponding the curve
of the Great Hemicycle, facing the surroundings- conserved today on only one distinct
level of what originally was on two.
In the southern stretch the road, the road passed over to the upper floor with a
system of a large arch.
Behind this surrounding, constituting a higher level than the Great Hemicycle, there is a
comminication trench of service. This was paved in opus spicatum (small bricks
arranged in a herring-bone pattern), then in mosaic and small weaved flint. On the level
of the Great Hemicycle underlying via Biberatica, radial surroundings open into a hall
that is lighted by windows in the arch.
On the facade small arches are framed by pilaster strips and surmounted by triangular,
semicurcular, and broken tympanums, designed by shaped bricks like marbled moulding.
On the ground floor of the Great Hemicycle, there are shallow frescoed surroundings paved
in geometric black and white mosaic. At the extrems there are two large halls with
semicircular heads, that probably had refined marble decoration.
The parallel building to the Small Hemicycle represents a type of hinge between the Great
Hemicycle and the other surroundings that follow along the axis of via Biberatica,
some of which are still occupied by a school.
The Markets lined up like a modern polifunctional
complex: a rather various and dynamic life must have animated the streets and the stores
along them, while the more controlled part of the complex has intitutional functions.
Commercial structures were probably situated along the lower streets for easy access.
The rooms in the Central Body were probably offices, destined for the head of the nearby
Forum, the procurator Fori Divi Traiani as evident in an inscription. Other, more
reserved rooms could have served as security safes for the senators (rooms in the Great
The Great hall was probably used for official ceremonies, alternatively with the Basilica
Ulpia and the spaces in the Forum of Trajan. However, there were probably other uses as
well, considering the large spaces connected to the central room.
A sculpted brick
One of the bipedals (bricks) that constructed part of the arched lintel of the window
on the second floor of the Great Hemicycle shows a sculpted torch with the handle in a
knotted form. It might have been used as a light for those in charge of the monument.
A Medieval Castle
The southern part of the Central Body facade on via Biberatica was partially reconstructed
in the medieval epoch. This is evident in the walls that are made of tufa and not
brick. A trace of embattled wall is also incorporated, constructed for defense of the
underlying access stairs in the castle.
A 'lined' Tower
The Tower of the Militia was originally tall and narrow with a square shape and
constructed with tufa in the XII-XIII centuries. It was also inserted in the angle of a
During the first half of the XIII century, the palace was destroyed while the original
tower, two-thirds of its original height, was re-defined into cement covered brick. The
result was a new tower with three entrance bodies; the upper level consisted of the
orginal tower. This part fell down after an earthquake while the preserved areas of the
Tower of Militia still remain.
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