18: The Basilica Paulli

Before the Basilica Paulli was built, this location had already served as the site of a basilica commissioned in 179 BCE by consul Marcus Fulvius Nobilior. That building replaced a series of butchers shops that previously occupied the site.  Fulvius didn’t see the project through to completion so, after his death, his colleague and contemporary Marcus Aemilius Lepidus ensured the work was finished. For the next 125 years the building sited here was known as the Basilica Fulvia after its original sponsor.  This first version had a large and roughly rectangular main hall with 34 internal columns defining the inner apse – these were arranged in 4 columns at each end and an additional 13 on each side. Coins from the period show that it was two stories high with columns on the upper floor on the outside. The side of the Basilica that faced the Forum had a portico running along its length also supported by a set of columns.  Under the portico were a set of alcoves that housed a row of new shops – these were referred to as the Tabernae Argentariae Novae which indicates that the shops were actually silversmiths, money changers and bankers. A substantial refinement and upgrade of the Basilica was made by the Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus in 55BCE using money he’d received as a bribe from Julius Caesar – the money had been given in return for political support while Caesar was vying for power with Pompey. 

Om Podcasten

A free audio guide that helps you discover the history and context of Rome's ancient sites. Go to http://www.rome-podcast.com for an interactive map of the locations covered and full transcripts of the episodes. Each episode focuses on a specific historical site and guides you through a short tour with the goal of providing a concise but insightful summary of the history and context. Hope you find this informative and useful. Enjoy your time in Rome! Daron Disclaimer: I have endeavored to check all the information presented against the latest known interpretations of the archaeological evidence. Please feel free to provide feedback or corrections if you note something is wrong or has changed since the time of recording. Acknowledgement: This podcast builds on the extensive notes, information and pictures recorded by Jeff Bondono (see www.JeffBondono.com (http://www.jeffbondono.com/) ). Jeff kindly gave permission for me to use his site for reference materials. I encourage you to explore the comprehensive pictures he has created to record all the sites covered in this series (and many more). You will also see that Jeff's work (and therefore this podcast) builds on the prior notes and walking tours created by Walter Muzzy.