The Basilica Sempronia and the Forum Romanum
The authors of this paper reinvestigate the remains of the Basilica Sempronia, situated below the Imperial Basilica Julia in Rome. By combining the information from the original excavation with a new 3D digital documentation, new observations are made and previous interpretations reassessed. The present remains are discussed in relation to the contemporary built environment, as well as to preceding and following phases. It is argued that the Basilica Sempronia was an elongated hall with closed lateral walls and interior supports. It was erected on a podium that raised the building above the surrounding streets on all sides except the west. The Augustan renewal of the Basilica Julia entailed vast foundations works, which had a huge impact on the site. However, evidence of an intermediate phase indicates the existence of a building complex that merged the previous basilica with the Tabernae Veteres, partly preserving their original dimensions and orientations. This intermediate basilica complex comprised a large paved unroofed surface at an elevated position, possibly a peristyle courtyard. The paper briefly touches upon the possible implications for our understanding of the early Roman basilica, the use of public space, and the development of the Forum Romanum.
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Henrik Gerding & Nicolò Dell’Unto, ‘The Basilica Sempronia and the Forum Romanum’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 15, Stockholm 2022, 157-188. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977799-4-4. Softcover, 268 pages. https://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-15-05