25: The Basilica Julia

The Basilica Julia was dedicated by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE – the same year that his nearby Forum was completed.  Caesar funded the construction with monies taken during his highly successful campaigns in Gaul.  But his was not the first Basilica on this site. Over one hundred years earlier Tiberius Sempronius Graccus had bought a house from his father-in-law as well as adjacent butchers shops, tore them down and built in their place the Basilica Sempronia. This original building was smaller, covering roughly two-thirds of the site and positioned at the south east end (towards to the temple of Castor and Pollux).  Competing with his rival Pompey’s major Theater construction in the Fields of Mars, Caesar repaired and extended the Basilica Sempronia at the same time that he was building out the nearby Forum to the north that also bears his name. In 7 BCE, fire ravaged the buildings around the forum with the Basilica Julia and the Temple of Castor and Pollux being particularly badly damaged. The temple was rebuilt first and rededicated in the year 6, however it took a total of 19 years for the Basilica to be repaired. When completed, emperor Augustus dedicated the building his deceased grandchildren Gaius and Lucius however this new name didn’t find common use.  The Basilica consisted of a central nave and four aisles divided by square pilasters of travertine. These were all once veneered with marble.  The fronts and sides of the building were solid marble with Doric half columns projecting out of square pilasters.

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.