On the occasion of the National Day of Families at the Museum (F@MU), the Parco archeologico del Colosseo organized free guided tours, held by the staff of the Education, Teaching and Training Service of the Park. The tours visited three of the principal monuments in the Roman Forum: the House of the Vestal Virgins, the Basilica Iulia and the Temple of the Dioscuri.
The House of the Vestal Virgins
The House of the Vestal Virgins, together with the Temple of Vesta, is one of the most beautiful and frequently visited places in the Roman Forum. Here the rituals were held in the service of the Goddess, represented by the sacred fire that had to be guarded and never allowed to go out. The lives of six girls chosen from among the oldest and most important families in Rome were passed tending the symbol of all the fires that were lighted in the Roman state. The Vestals had many obligations, but in exchange they enjoyed great privileges. They were required to respect a single and fundamental prohibition and if one of them broke the vow they were subjected to terrible punishments. Around the figure of the Vestals many legends have arisen and their memory lived on through the centuries, long after the sacred fire of Rome had died.
A visit to the Basilica Iulia to discover daily life in ancient Rome. It was used for holding court cases, but there was also buying and selling and games to pass the time while waiting for a case to be heard. These activities have come down to us and we can see the remains of ancient checkerboards carved into the steps of one of the most important buildings in the Roman Forum. Together with historical sources that tell us of what happened here, they enable us to reconstruct most of the activities that went on inside and outside the Basilica.
Temple of the Dioscuri
The Temple of the Dioscuri was dedicated to the enigmatic twins with a divine nature, the sons of Zeus and Leda. They were helpers, healers, horsemen and athletes, closely associated with the history of Rome through the victory of the Romans over the Latins at the battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BCE. After this, the first cult building dedicated to them was founded in the Roman Forum. Outside their temple was the spring of Juturna, where they were seen watering their horses after the famous battle.