Basilica Emilia (Basilica Aemilia), Rome

Basilica Emilia (Basilica Aemilia), Rome

The Basilica Aemilia was a prominent civil basilica located in the Roman Forum. Although only the plan and some rebuilt elements remain today, this grand structure left a lasting impact on the architectural landscape of ancient Rome.

Built in 179 BC by censor Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, the basilica was initially named Basilica Fulvia. However, after Nobilior's death, his colleague Marcus Aemilius Lepidus took charge of completing the construction. Subsequently, the basilica underwent frequent restoration and redecoration by members of the Aemilian gens, leading to its renaming as the Basilica Aemilia.

In 55 BC, Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus initiated the construction of a new edifice to replace the Basilica Fulvia. His son inaugurated the completed structure in 34 BC. The new basilica shared similar architectural lines with its predecessor but featured a reduced length and a second nave instead of the back portico.

The Basilica Aemilia boasted a length of 100 meters (328 ft) and a width of about 30 meters (98 ft). Its sides were adorned with two orders of 16 arches, creating a grand and imposing façade. Visitors could access the basilica through one of three entrances, adding to its sense of grandeur.

The central nave of the basilica showcased columns made of African marble, adorned with Corinthian capitals and friezes depicting significant events from the history of Republican Rome. The second row of columns featured cipolline marble, while the external columns boasted Ionic capitals, adding a touch of architectural elegance to the structure.

Throughout its history, the Basilica Aemilia experienced various modifications and renovations. In 14 BC, after a devastating fire, Augustus heavily restored the edifice to preserve its splendor and significance.

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Basilica Emilia (Basilica Aemilia) on Map

Sight Name: Basilica Emilia (Basilica Aemilia)
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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