aerarium national treasury, placed in the temple of Saturn

agora Greek for market place, called "forum" by the Romans

Appian Way principal route to south Italy, leading from Rome to Capua (later to Brundisium), built in 312 BC

Aqua Anio Novus aqueduct that takes water from the Anio Novus, a branch of the Tiber, built AD 38-52

Aqua Flavia Maior, Minor aqueduct built by the Flavii family

aqueduct conduit that carries water from the inland into the city on arches to cross ravines and valleys or elevated points

Argiletum street leading from the Roman Forum to the Subura district

Aventine one of the seven hills of Rome, best known of for temple of Diana that stood there once


basilica multi-purpose public hall, which regularly accompanied a marketplace or forum; prototype of Christian church


Campo Vaccino "cow field", medieval and renaissance name of the Roman Forum

Capitol or Capitoline highest hill of the seven hills of Rome, on which stood the temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva (trias capitolina)

Carcer Mamertinus state prison also called Tullianum, flanking the Comitium ad the Curia

cella inner part of a temple, Greek naos or adyton

centumviri civil court at Rome, consisting of nominally 100 magistrates (in fact 105 in Republican times, 108 during the Empire

Circus Maximus enclosure for chariot-racing between the Palatine and Aventine hills, 600 m. long and 150 m. wide

Clivus Capitolinus "Capitoline slope", road at the head of the Roman Forum leading up to the Capitol

Cloaca Maxima main sewer in Rome; its starting point was near the Basilica Aemilia at the Roman Forum; parts of it are still being used

comitium place of assembling; in Rome the Comitium lay in front of the Curia

Curia meeting place of the Senate, the oldest being the Curia Hostilia built under Tullus Hostilius, third king of Rome


Esquiline Lat.Esquilinus, one of the seven hills of Rome


Fagutal altar in the sacred grove on the Esquiline

Ficus Ruminalis fig-tree on the Roman Forum, near the Lacus Curtius, that marks the place where the basket of Romulus and Remus got stuck

forum litt. market place, in Republican and Imperial times political centre of a town, Greek agora

Forum Boarium "Cow Market" in Rome, near the Tiber

Forum Romanum The old Roman Forum extended into a marshy valley from Capitoline Hill along the Palatine Hill. At the south end was the house of the vestal virgins and nearby the temple of Vesta. West of the temple, as an entrance to the Forum proper, was the Arch of Augustus, having on one side the temple of deified Julius Caesar and on the other that of Castor and Pollux. Along the southwest side of the Forum was the Basilica Julia, and along its northeast side were the Basilica Aemilia and the curia, where the senate met. The Forum was closed to the northwest by the Arch of Septimius Severus and by the rostra (platforms adorned with beaks of captured vessels), from which tribunes, consuls, and orators made their speeches.

Forum Transitorium "Transition Market", connecting the Roman Forum with the Imperial forums, built under Domitian and Nerva


Lacus Curtius the Curtian Lake, called after the hero Marcus Curtius, who leaped into a chasm in the Roman Forum to saved the Roman people from disaster

lapis niger cover of "black stone", it is supposed to indicate the location of the grave of Romulus, right in front of the Comitium

Latium region to the south of the Tiber, area around Rome; its inhabitants were called Latini


Miliarium Aureum "golden milestone", starting point of all roads (at the head of the Roman Forum) in the Roman Empire

Mithraeum sanctuary of Mithras, the Iranian god of light, whose worship became popular under the Roman soldiers

Mons Tarpeius highest edge on the Capitoline hill, place of execution of traitors; also called rupes Tarpeia


Oppius one of the smaller hills in Rome, part of which was used for the building of Nero's Golden House


Palatine one of the seven major hills in Rome, site with the oldest remnants of habitation

Pallanteum or Pallantium Greek Pallantion, central part of the Peloponnesus, the name given by king Euander to the first village on the hill which became known as the Palatine Hill

Penus Vestae storehouse of Vesta, the inner part of the temple of Vesta

pronaos Greek for porch, the entry to a temple (an ante-room)

prostylos temple with only columns in front of its porch


regia litt. "royal palace", traditionally described as the residence of Numa Pompilius, the priest-king; it became the house of the Pontifex Maximus at the Roman Forum

rostra orator's platform at the head of the Roman Forum, decorated in 338 BC with the iron rams (rostra) taken as trophies from the warships of Antium

Rupes Tarpeia a rock, highest edge on the Capitoline hill, place of execution of traitors; also called mons Tarpeius


Seven Hills of Rome Palatine Capitoline, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal

Subura district in Rome to the northwest of the Forum where the poor lived


Tabularium public record office

Tarpeia rock of place of execution, from where traitors were thrown down and dragged into the Tiber

Tarquinii nowadays Tarquinia, chief town of the twelve cities of Etruria, home of the kings of Rome Tarquinius Priscus and Tarquinius Superbus

thermae a complex of buildings

Tiber river on which Rome was built, Lat. Tiberis

triumphal arch gateway commemorating an important triumph of an emperor or a commander of the legions

Tullianum state prison also called Carcer Mamertinus, flanking the Comitium and the Curia

turris Mamilia tower built every year on Oct. 15 on occasion of the games that were held between the inhabitants of the Subura and Via Sacra


Velabrum section between Capitol and Palatine, carrying all traffic between the Forum and the Tiber

Velia one slope leading from the Oppian hill to the Forum, on the summit of which stands the arch of Titus

Venus Cloacina chapel of place of worship at the Forum where the Cloaca Maxima (main sewer) started

Via Appia principal route to Southern Italy, leading from Rome to Capua (later to Brundisium), built in 312 BC

Via Nova road parallel to the Via Sacra, centre of business at the south end of the Forum

Via Sacra "Sacred Road", main road at the Forum, leading from the summit of the Velia to the bottom of the Capitoline hill

Vicus Tuscus "Etruscan Alley", shortest connection between the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus

Viminal Lat. Viminalis, one of the seven hills of Rome

Volcanal the forge of the god Volcanus (or Vulcanus), a sacred place at the head of the Roman Forum