前往罗马广场的路上发生了一件趣事…… A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum…
Beware the ides of March
We're at the Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum, for the ides of March, a day made famous as the site of the assassination of Julius Caesar. While Shakespeare's Caesar was warned to 'beware the ides of March,' historians have never attributed the phrase to those who tipped off the actual Caesar about a plot against him. We do know that before March 15, 44 BCE was over, Caesar was assassinated. Afterward, Rome descended into war, ending the Roman Republic, and leading to the rise of the Roman Empire.
The Forum was a city square in which Rome's commercial, political, and religious activity took place, along with the occasional assassination. It was a site of ceremonies and celebrations. It was where Mark Antony's famed funeral oration for Caesar was given, and where Caesar's body was burned before the public. Today the area is a popular tourist attraction, drawing more than 4.5 million visitors in an average year.
Birthplace of Roman emperors
Just a few miles north of Seville, Spain, you'll find the ancient ruins of Itálica, the first Roman settlement in what is now Spain and the first Roman city outside of Italy. The city was founded in 206 BCE by the Roman general Scipio as a place to house veterans from the Second Punic Wars. Itálica was also the birthplace of at least two Roman emperors.
For centuries, Itálica was an elaborate urban center with a temple, a theater, public baths, gorgeous homes for the monied elite, and a population of about 8,000 residents. This aerial view is of the city's famous amphitheater, where thousands of spectators came from near and far to watch the bloody gladiator fights, hunts of wild beasts, and public executions. The 'entertainment' here was not for the faint of heart.
Today, the modern Spanish city of Santiponce has grown up around—and even atop—the ruins. Tourists come here to walk the preserved Roman streets, admire the mosaics, and imagine the scenes of life and death that happened in this amphitheater nearly 2,000 years ago.