July 6, 2007
Across from the Arch of Constantine is the Palantine Hill & Roman Forum. I was excited to see both. I studied Latin for three years in high and learned a lot of about Roman history. This was my third trip to Rome and the first time I was free to look around at my leisure, without a tour guide moving me along.
The Palatine is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome. It's where Romulus and Remus were found and eventually became the place to live for the wealthy. No doubt the proximity to the Colosseum and Forum made it prime real estate.
We tried not to take too many pictures here, because we knew we couldn't explain what you're seeing. I could say 'this used to be a great hall,' or 'this was the home of Augustus,' but that would be about it. However, I have since learned that Augustus was the first emporer of Rome. These ruins were his palace.
Not every home on Palatine Hill was a palace. There were some cozy mansion-sized homes on the road leading up to the Forum.The Forum is another place where we decided not to take too many pictures. There are so many ruins, it's difficult to discern what was what, even with a map. A lot of the structures that were temples are now just a few columns. And since I know they have mostly all been identified, there was no reason for us to try and piece it all together.
I did however find and identify this all by myself. It's the Temple of Antonius and Faustina. It was built by Emporer Antonius to his late wife Faustina. When Antonius died, it was re-dedicated to both of them and subsequently turned into a church.
The Romans, it seems, commemorated everything with a structure. This is the Arch of Septimius Severus. He and his two sons fought and beat the Parthians (Iranians) twice and had an arch built so the rest of the world would know it. Well violence begets violence. After Emperor Septimius Severus died, his sons were co-emperors. Brother A had Brother B killed and all traces of Brother B were removed from the arch.