The Forum Romanum or Forum Vetus (“Old Forum”), remained for a long time the main square in Rome. Its historic, religious and political fact the square around which the whole Roman political life revolves. Celebrating weddings, organizing games, gladiators, ceremonies and religious holidays: the living center of the city, like the agora of the Greek cities.
Initially, between the Capitol and the Palatine, near the Velia, runs a small marshy area over eight hectares regularly flooded by the Tiber flowing nearby. The marsh is fed by the waters that flow from the hills environnantesd.
The Place du Forum is provided for the first time to 600 BC. BC, just covered with clay. From that time, the Forum is no longer a peripheral zone villages but becomes the central place of the surrounding villages. The archaeological dating is so surprising to the tradition which assigns the first major of the dynasty of the Tarquins, Etruscan kings of Rome, which stood from 616 BCE development work. BC Tarquinius Priscus is dug a drainage system to the Tiber, the Cloaca Maxima, which will dry the marshes and clean area.
Artists have made some drawings of the ruins of the Forum and noted antique fragments of inscriptions in the sixteenth century. A first attempt to release the ruins is attempted in the early eighteenth century. But it is the excavations conducted by Carlo Fea and clearing the arch of Septimius Severus that mark the beginning of real archaeological excavations. The rest of the Forum is partly cleared during excavations ordered by Napoleon III.