La Forma Urbis marmorea in contesto
In: Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma: 117, 2017
The close link that exists between the Forma Urbis and the Templum Pacis is a fact that has led many scholars to a privileged, but sometimes exclusive assessment of this element within the decorative apparatus of the monumental building. However, this approach risks to alter the interpretation of the ancient cartographic document, whose original meaning and function could be quite different. At the same time, this reading could also alter the understanding of the monumental complex. So, historical, architectural, functional, topographical characters and specificities of the Templum Pacis should be viewed in their own framework, in order to reach a correct interpretation of a complex, undoubtedly original and well distinguished from the other imperial fora. In this respect, also the meaning and the function of the Forma Urbis should be analysed within the relevant context. Through the analysis of the ancient sources and archaeological discoveries, this paper intends to define the whole historical, architectural and cultural context in which it is possible to appraise the correct sense and function of the Forma Urbis, as a worthy component of the amazing harvest of ornamenta and mirabilia that were on display in the Templum Pacis. As in the case of the Hellenistic mouseia, this monument played a definite role in the life style of the imperial city as a place of scholarship, learning, practice and transmission of knowledge.