the greatest of the imperial fora in Rome, paid for by Dacian spoils, was built for Trajan by Apollodorus 3 and dedicated in ad 112. The colonnaded court lay between the Capitol and Quirinal, impinging on the slopes of both by immense semicircular exedrae. A single portico closed the south, where its main entrance, adorned by a triumphal arch in 117, faced the forum Augustum; the lateral porticoes were double. The basilica Ulpia, with broad nave, double aisles, and two huge apsidal tribunals, occupied the forum's north side. Behind it lay Greek and Latin libraries, flanking a colonnaded court framing Trajan's Column. The inscription on the base states that its purpose was to show the depth of the cutting required for the forum: this refers to the scarping of the Quirinal, where an elaborate complex of shops on six levels, linked by streets and staircases and with an interesting market‐hall, screens a terraced rock‐face separated from the forum by a fire‐wall and street. The libraries and column originally marked the end of the complex, but Hadrian added the temple of Deified Trajan beyond them.
Subjects: Classical Studies.