Piazzale delle Corporazioni or Forum of the Corporations

end of the first century BCE; first century CE the arcade with brick columns was erected; mosaics date to end of 2nd century CE

Behind the scaena of the theater, the Forum of the Corporations is situated in a kind of U-shape arrangement of offices for merchants and businessmen. The former entrance was actually on the opposite side, towards the Tiber in the center of the short side. It is dated at about the same times as the theater, which is evidenced by the fact that the structures are aligned.

Left: arcade and offices on left side; center: arcade and offices on right side


Mosaics on office floors

The mosaic in the enter still has an inscription and depicts a ship and two grain measures. The inscription indicates that the office trades in grain from Cagliari (or Sardinia)
Many of the mosaics relate to the work of the naval merchants. The left depicts two date palms and an amphora and the ships below which carry the imported goods. The center depicts a nereid on a sea creature.
The mosaic on the right depicts a large container, presumably a grain measure.

Merchant ships

Some ships are sailing toward light houses with obvious fires providing the light. (Unfortunately not pictured here)

Temple in the center of the Piazzale delle Corporazioni

In the late first century a brick temple was erected which also faced the theater. According to tradition it was dedicated to Ceres, although scholars have several other possible deities were honored. Architecturally, it is a typical Roman temple with a high podium, stairs to the entrance, a front portico and one cella, the walls of which no longer exist.

Altar of Romulus and Remus (Ara dei Gemelli)

This is a copy of an altar now in the Roman National Museum of Palazzo Massimo. The front depicts Mars, Venus, and Hymenaeus (the god of marriage). On one side (left and center here) the relief depicts the twins being suckled by the She-Wolf and being found by the shepherds. A river god (the Tiber) is personified in the lower right. Bucrania, or rams' heads, decorate the corners of the altar with swags or garlands. This altar was in a shrine (the building no longer exists) dedicated to Silvanus (a god of nature).

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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.