Roman Forum Rome Italy about 1892

THE FORUM, ROME — It is a thrilling moment when one looks upon this square, which constituted once the centre of civilization and the brain of the immense Roman world. This was the point from which the roads led out to the extremes limits of that mighty empire subject to the Caesars, and in this very area stood the golden milestone from which such distances were measured. It is a difficult thing for one to trace with accuracy now the ancient glories of this Forum. We see at various points arches and columns, pedestals and crumbling walls; but what is left is nothing to what once existed here. Eight stately columns tell us of the Temple of Saturn, erected here 490 years before the birth of Christ. Three others rise as relics of the Temple of Vespasian. The Arch of Septimus Severus also is still well preserved. Upon the polished surfaces of some of these the hands of Scipio or of Caesar may have rested! Pillars are standing here which may have echoed to the voice of Cicero! The memories of this place are therefore such as render it a spot to visit and revisit, not with a throng of thoughtless tourists, but meditatively, with some congenial friend or else alone. One often smiles to see this Forum passed by with a hasty glance by those who little realize that here the famous Roman laws were framed while savages were hunting on the site of Paris, and Britain was an almost unknown region of Barbarians (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)



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