Erich Lessing

The oldest of Rome’s public squares, the Roman Forum evolved over several centuries into a complex of civic buildings, temples, markets, shops and plazas. According to tradition, Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome, was buried at the site; and here the six priestesses known as the Vestal Virgins attended the sacred flame that supposedly burned for 1,000 years in the Temple of Vesta. The columned facade of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, dedicated to Emperor Antoninus Pius (138‒161 A.D.) and his wife, can be seen behind the pillar at left.