Community Praefectus: G. Vipsanius Agrippa
Welcome to the Campus Martius[edit | edit source]
Before the founding of Rome, the Campus Martius was a low-lying plain enclosed on the west by a bend of the Tiber River near Tiber Island, on the east by the Quirinal Hill, and on the southeast by the Capitoline Hill.
According to one legend, the Campus Martius was once a field of wheat owned by Tarquinius Superbus, last King of Rome, but was burnt during the revolution which established the Roman Republic.
In the first centuries after the city's founding, the area was still outside the Servian Wall. The Campus was used for pasturing horses and sheep, and for military training activity of both the army and of private people who could use the training equipment the army had left. As such, it was dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war, with an ancient altar, and became closely linked to soldiers and the army. Initially, the field was often used by soldiers for purposes of training. Later, it was the assembly-ground for triumphs, the celebrations of successful military campaigns.
Because at the time it was outside the city walls, the Campus Martius was a natural place for audiences granted to foreign ambassadors who could not enter the city, and foreign cults were housed in temples erected there.
In 221 BC, the Circus Flaminius was built on the southern side of the Campus Martius, near the Tiber. This large track for chariot racing was named after Gaius Flaminius Nepos, who also constructed the Via Flaminia.
Starting in the time of Sulla, building lots were sold or granted to influential Romans, and insulae (apartment blocks) and villas encroached on the common land. It later became the meeting-place for the comitia centuriata, other civic meetings where the attendees carried weapons, and the city's militia. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) built the first stone theater in Rome on the Campus Martius in 55 BC: this was the first real monument in the area. After the Curia Hostilia burnt down in 52 BC, the theater was sometimes used as a meeting place for the Senate. It was here that Gaius Iulius Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. The area was also used as the meeting ground for elections. Iulius Caesar planned for the saepta (enclosures used for elections) to be placed there; they were later completed by his heir Augustus. In 33 BC the latter dedicated the Porticus Octaviae, built from spoils of the Dalmatian War.
During the Augustan period of the early Empire, the area became officially part of the city: Rome was split up into 14 regiones, and the Campus Martius was divided into regio VII (Via Lata) on the east and regio IX (Circus Flaminius) nearer to the river.
The Campus Martius also held the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace), built by the Senate to mark the establishment of peace by Augustus. It was intended to symbolize the successful completion of Augustus's efforts to stabilize the Empire.
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa had the original swampy ground made into a pool and baths in a setting of parkland and temples. These were known as the Laconicum Sudatorium or Baths of Agrippa. He also built the Porticus Argonautarum and, most notably, the Pantheon, which was later rebuilt by Hadrian in its present form. In 19 BC Agrippa completed the Aqua Virgo to supply water to these new baths and fountains.
In the non-populated northern area there was the huge Mausoleum of Augustus. Other buildings were made: the Theater of Marcellus, the temple of Isis (from around the time of Caligula), and Nero's baths and bridge.
After the great fire of 80 CE, the emperor Domitianus rebuilt the burnt monuments, and added a stadium (today's Piazza Navona) and an odeion (a small performance hall).
Gradually, the Campus filled with temples and public buildings, circuses, theaters, porticoes, baths, monuments, columns and obelisks. Interestingly, even though the area was originally named for Mars, there was no monument dedicated solely to him in the later Roman period.
Although the region had been left outside the earlier walls, it was finally protected defensively when the Aurelian Walls were built around 270.
Community Streets for Residents[edit | edit source]
Sites of Interest[edit | edit source]
- The Pantheon ~ The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon, from Greek Πάνθεον Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the gods"), was originally built as a temple to the seven planetary deities in the state religion of Ancient Rome. Learn about the Roman Deities here. (video)
- Aedes Dis Pater
- Aedes Proserpina
- Aedes Apollo Sosianus ~ The temple of Apollo Sosianus is located near the Theater of Marcellus. The oldest part of this temple complex was inaugurated in 431 BCE, the youngest part in 34 BCE. The cognomen "Sosianus" comes from a radical reconstruction, begun by Gaius Sosius, probably just after his triumph in 34 BC. The temple's podium was made of tufa and travertine blocks in opus caementicium. The temple had 6 front columns, 3 free-standing columns on each side, and 7 half-free columns on each side. The capitals of these columns were made in an Italic version of the Corinthian style, which was in fashion in the late Republic.
- Aedes Bellona ~ The Temple of Bellona was located to the right of the Apollo Sosianus temple. Hardly anything of it has been preserved; but we know exactly when this temple for the Roman war goddess was inaugurated, and by whom: on June 3rd 296 BCE, by the famous Appius Claudius Caecus.
- Aedes Hercules Custos ~ Temple of Hercules Custos (the Warder); the location of this temple is not very certain. Scholars F. Coarelli and F. Zevi place it to the west of the Circus Flaminius. According to the latter, the circus was a kind of area sacra, over which divine powers were supposed to watch. From the Fasti, a Roman calendar, we have learned that in the area sacra of the Circus Flaminius a temple was dedicated to Hercules Custos in 218 BCE. Later on, the temple was rebuilt by Lucius Cornelius Sulla during his rule as dictator, which was commemorated by an inscription. This second dedication is mentioned by the poet Ovidius in his Fasti.
- Aedes Mars ~ The Temple of Mars nowadays is located on the site of the church San Salvatore in Campo; the famous statue of Ares Ludovisi was found at this site. The temple, of which only small traces have been preserved, dates from 132 BCE.
- Aedes Isis Campensis ~ The Egyptian cult of Isis and Serapis was introduced to Rome in the second century BCE and grew continuously despite the Senate’s opposition. In 58, 53, 50, and 48 BCE, its chapels and statues were repeatedly destroyed; but in 43 BCE, after Caesar’s death, the triumvirs accepted it as an "official cult" and had a temple erected at the State’s expense. The last official resistance against the cult was in the reign of Tiberius. Caligula permitted the building of this temple on the Campus Martius, where it is known as the Great Temple of Isis Campensis.
- Aedes Minerva ~ Welcome to Aedes Parva Minervae, the Little Temple of Minerva, an unofficial sodality of Nova Roma. All are welcome here who love Our Most Wise Lady and come in a spirit of honest friendship and peaceful reverence for all Wisdom. The Aedes Parva seeks to bring the Goddess of Wisdom into all aspects of our lives and the lives of all. We honor Her by our prayers, rituals, research, and creativity. Guided by Her, we come here to explore Her every facet that can be elucidated by human mind and skill.
- Amphitheatrum C. Statilius Taurus ~ In 29 BCE, consul C. Statilius Taurus had the privilege of building the first amphitheatre in Rome. The original building was of stone; nevertheless it disappeared in the Great Fire under Nero in 64 BCE. It seems that Nero had it rebuilt in wood. Stop in to watch some of our Munera Gladiatorial matches.
- Circus Flaminius ~ This circus was built around 220 BCE by the order of C. Flaminius Nepos. It is located to the left of the Theatre of Marcellus, on the northern bank of the river Tiber.
- Diribitorium ~ Office of the Diribitors and Custodes of Nova Roma. COME HERE TO VOTE IN ELECTIONS.
- Factio Albata ~ Factio Albata, or the Whites, were one of the oldest chariot-racing teams in ancient Rome; however, they were usually not the strongest. Their name probably referred to the season of winter.
- Factio Praesina ~ Back in the old days, the Green faction, Factio Praesina (named after the season of spring) was usually the strongest and most popular throughout Rome's history, both Republican and Imperial.
- Factio Russata ~ The name of the Factio Russata, or the Reds, refer to the heat of summer. They and the Factio Albata were probably the oldest factions; but while Russata was never one of the greatest, it was ever and always present.
- Factio Veneta ~ In ancient Rome, Factio Veneta, the Blues, were the sworn enemies of the Greens, although the Greens were more popular with the people. Their name referred to the season of autumn.
- Forum Holitorium ~ The Forum Holitorium was the forum venalium, the market for vegetables, herbs and oil, of early Rome. It sat by the Tiber at the foot of the Capitoline and Palatine hills. Once located on the site of an early temple of Venus, this centre of buying and selling was transferred, in 388 BCE, to the Campus Martius, leaving the old Roman Forum to the business of the State. Here, it is the home of the Sodalitas Coquorum et Cerevisiae Coctorum. One need not be a Citizen to join this list, but must have an interest in cooking, brewing, vinting, dining, and sharing what you know about Roman cooking or that of cultures with which Rome had contact.
- Theatricum Balbus ~ Visit us to watch Anno Domini, the latest presentation of the Theatricum Balbus!
- Theatricum Marcellus ~ Visit us to watch the guild's latest work, The Origins of Rome.
- Trigarium ~ The Trigarium was a wide space which had the shape of a circus, but was used only for the training of running chariots. Here, it is used as the Ludi Circenses Championship statistics area for the current year.
- Villa Publica ~ Office of the Census of Nova Roma
- Add an historic Roman site in this community or update an unfinished link above
Community Administration[edit | edit source]
Praefectus: G. Vipsanius Agrippa
The Praefectus is a community administrator, responsible for updating, maintaining and oversight of this community. If you have a question about the Campus Martius community, contact the Praefectus at the following:
Contact: canadaoccidentalis @ yahoo . ca