Prefazione. La topografia dell'area a nord del Foro di Traiano: sulle questioni irrisolte
In: Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma: 122, 2021
Following the most recent investigations in the area of Trajan’s forum, the proposed reconstruction of its plan as codified by Italo Gismondi can no longer be accepted. New confirmations come from further excavations carried out in front of the church of S. Maria di Loreto and in the foundations of Palazzo Valentini.
It now seems certain that the main entrance to the forum was to the north, facing the Campus Martius.
Here we can probably locate the arch that the Senate dedicated to Trajan for his victories over the Parthians, and which probably served as a monumental entrance to the forum in place of the original propylaeum, demolished together with the northern portico of the court of Trajan’s column. The whole area was remodelled during Hadrian’s reign, who completed and transformed some of the structures that Trajan had not had time to complete. These include the so-called ‘libraries’, whose function is still debated, and which, like the two buildings at the entrance to the Divorum in the Campus Martius, in which two temples dedicated to Vespasian and Titus can be recognised, may have been used as temple buildings, although the doubt remains as to whom they were dedicated (to Nerva and Trajan’s father? to Trajan and Plotina? to the storage of military standards [aedes signorum]?). In any case, the presence of the Parthian arch makes the hypothesis that on this side was the colossal temple of the divus Traianus with 28 or 30 columns of 50 feet even more uncertain, both because of the limited space available and because of the difficulty of finding so many monolithic columns of similar size. The presence of a templum divi Traiani in the area is not disputed, but it is difficult to imagine that it was of such an imposing size.