Latin Language Blog

Political Sites of Ancient Rome Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Even after all these years you can still see remnants of places that had political significance to ancient Roman Empire.

One place that is widely visited by tourists is the Tullianum. The tullianum was a prison for political prisoners. The prisoners incarcerated in the tullianum were often important foreign leaders that were defeated by the Roman army. One famous prisoner was Vercingetorix, who was the leader of the Galls. He was held in the Tullianum for 5 years, paraded in a victory procession, and was executed by strangulation.


The Curia Julia was a meeting house for members of the Senate. In terms of architectural beauty, the Curia Julia is not the most elegantly adorned building from ancient Roman times. However, it is still an important building because this was where the Senate met and discussed important political matters. Some people say that this austere design was intentionally incorporated in the Curia Julia by Julius Ceasar to symbolize the decreasing power of the Senate.


The Tabularium was the place where official records were kept. It was also housed the official offices of many political office holders in ancient Roman times. The tabularium was actually a temple converted into a records office. It was renovated several times over the course of the Empire. Thanks to those renovations, we can still take a walk about the tabularium by entering the Capitoline Museum.


The Rostra was a platform where speakers stood to deliver orations, speeches and even judicial decisions to the people of Rome. In the later part of the Republic Period, the heads of defeated political enemies were touted on the Rostra. Probably the most noted head on the rostra was that of Cicero, who was executed by Mark Antony. Some of the most important events occurred on the rostra. For example Brutus spoke on the rostra right after he assassinated Julius Caesar.


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