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Ancient Rome Roman Forum

Curia Julia

Curia Julia at the Roman Forum

The Curia Julia (Curia Lulia), the Roman Senate’s most ancient meeting-place, probably stood on the present site of the church of Santi Luca and Martina. The great brick edifice now called the Curia was the new Senate House, begun by order of Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus in 29 BC. In the seventh century it was turned into a church and this saved it from destruction.

Arch of Septimius Severus and the Curia in Roman Forum, Rome

Arch of Septimius Severus and the Curia in Roman Forum, Rome (2)

Curia Julia, official meeting place of the Roman Senate (built by Julius Caesar, 44 BC; later reconstruction by Diocletian, 305 AD)

Curia Julia, official meeting place of the Roman Senate (built by Julius Caesar, 44 BC; later reconstruction by Diocletian, 305 AD)

The Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate and the Santi Luca e Martina church, roman forum, Rome, Italy

The Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate and the Santi Luca e Martina church, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. In 1931, all the parts that had been added to transform it into a church were removed and great care was taken to restore this interesting historical building to its original form.

In the 1930’s it was restored to the condition in which it was left after rebuilding by the Emperor Diocletian. The interior of the Curia is a single large space covering an area of almost 500 square metres. The ceiling is 21 metres high. Much of the intarsia marble pavement still dates from the age of Diocletian, as do the architectural decorations on the walls.

Cicero arraigns Catiline in the Senate. Painting by G. Maccari (1840-1919). Palazzo Madama, Rome.

Cicero arraigns Catiline in the Senate. Painting by G. Maccari (1840-1919). Palazzo Madama, Rome.

The three steps that run round the longer sides once supported the seats of the senators (numbering about three hundred), while at the far end is the dais for the president. The bronze doors are a copy of those dating from the reign of Diocletian. In the seventeenth century the originals were moved to the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, where they can still be seen in the central portal.

The Plutei of Trajan (Anaglypha Traiani)

The Curia Julia contains two large reliefs from the period of Trajan. They illustrate two episodes of Trajan’s reign which actually took place in the Roman Forum. The relief on the left shows the destruction of the registers of debts granted by the emperor, and that on the right the institution of assistance to poor families.

Plutei of Trajan

Plutei of Trajan

The back of the relief shows the kinds of animals that were sacrificed at the great Roman festivals: pigs, sheep, and bulls. The buildings in the reliefs are those of the Forum at the time of Trajan. The sacred fig tree appears in both reliefs.

Reconstruction Video of Curia Julia:

Curia Julia Photo Gallery:

Colosseum to Curia:

Curia set in Roman Forum, 0,7 km from (8 min walk) from Colosseum.

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