Forum of Nerva Rome

The Forum of Nerva is one of the Fori Imperiali in Rome and was built by Nerva‘s predecessor Domitian. Nerva was however the one who inaugurated it in 97 A.D., one year after Domitian‘s death. It is also known under the name Transitory Forum, since it is located in a narrow space between the Forum of Caesar, the Forum of Augustus and the Forum of Peace.

Forum of Nerva Rome

Forum of Nerva Rome
Forum of Nerva

Before the Forum of Nerva was constructed there used to be a road, the Argiletum, connecting the Roman Forum and the area that used to be known as Suburra.

The absence of porticoes in the Forum of Nerva is explained by the lack of space. It had a colonnade which was, by means of short architraves, connected to the rear wall. Of this colonnade only two columns and a section of the surrounding wall along the Via Cavour are still visible.

Forum of Nerva Rome
Minerva and the frieze depicting women at work.

On the Suburra side there was a temple dedicated to Minerva, who was Domitian‘s protective Goddess. The attic also shows a bas-relief of Minerva and on the frieze women are depicted at work.

There is a horse-shoe shaped exedra behind the temple. This is called the Porticus Ansidiata, and was a monumental entrance to the Forum of Nerva.

During the early Middle Ages some dwellings were constructed on top of the original floor of the Forum. In the 16th century the Chiavicone, a large sewer, was built to drain the unhealthy, marshy area.

The Temple of Minerva was finally destroyed in 1606, when Pope Paul V needed building materials in order to construct the Acqua Paola Fountain on the Janiculum Hill.

Via dei Fori Imperiali – Rome

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