Myths and Legends: Stories of the Roman Forum

Roman Forum Myths

Myths and Legends: Stories of the Roman Forum, Rome

The Roman Forum, often referred to as the heart of ancient Rome, is a place steeped in history and mythology. This magnificent archaeological site, with its iconic ruins and structures, is not just a testament to Roman engineering but also a treasure trove of myths and legends. Let's delve into the stories that make the Roman Forum an even more captivating place.

1. The Formation of the Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum, was the central square in ancient Rome, located between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills. According to legend, it was initially a marshy and unpleasant place. However, it was drained by the god Saturn, who brought agriculture and civilization to the Romans. This transformation was the foundation for what would become the heart of the Roman Republic.

2. The Temple of Vesta

The Temple of Vesta, an important structure in the Roman Forum, was dedicated to the goddess of the hearth and home. The Vestal Virgins, priestesses who tended the sacred fire, were central to Roman religious life. The myth goes that as long as the sacred flame burned, Rome would endure. The fall of the Roman Empire was associated with the extinguishing of this fire, according to legend.

3. The Lapis Niger - The Black Stone

One of the most intriguing archaeological finds in the Roman Forum is the Lapis Niger, or the Black Stone. It is associated with the mythical King Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. According to the legend, after Romulus's death, his body was hidden beneath this stone. It is also believed to mark the location where Romulus was enthroned as the first king of Rome.

4. The Rostra - Platform of Orations

The Rostra, a raised platform in the Roman Forum, was where public speeches were delivered. The name "Rostra" comes from the Latin word for "beak," as it was adorned with the prows of ships captured in naval victories. A famous myth linked to the Rostra is the tale of the assassination of Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death by a group of senators, including his close friend Brutus.

5. The Arch of Septimius Severus

The Arch of Septimius Severus, a grand monument in the Roman Forum, is associated with the myth of the emperor's triumphs in the East. It was erected to commemorate his victories over the Parthian Empire. This arch serves as a reminder of the power and grandeur of the Roman Empire, which was often depicted in myths and legends as the protector of civilization against barbarism.

6. The Temple of Castor and Pollux

The Temple of Castor and Pollux is dedicated to the twin brothers from Roman mythology who were known for their valor and were considered protectors of the Roman state. According to legend, they appeared during the Battle of Lake Regillus to aid the Romans. The temple is a symbol of divine intervention in times of crisis.

7. The Curse of the Roman Forum

One enduring legend associated with the Roman Forum is the belief in a curse. It's said that those who remove ancient stones or statues from the Forum will face misfortune. This myth has deterred many from attempting to steal artifacts from this historical site.

In conclusion, the Roman Forum is not only a remarkable archaeological site but also a place intertwined with myths and legends that have shaped the collective imagination of Rome. These stories enrich our understanding of the Forum's significance and the deep connection between the ancient Romans and their gods and heroes.

Rome: Semi-Private Roman Forum Myths and Legends Guided Tour

Explore the historic center of the Ancient Roman Empire on this guided tour of the Roman Forum. Learn about Rome's gods, myths, and legends before discovering Palatine Hill on your own.

About this activity

Perfect for anyone, no matter age or background. Kids will be captivated by ancient tales while adults will discover the details of one of the most influential societies throughout history.

Explore the myths and stories that shaped the beliefs and values of one of the world’s most powerful empires. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Rome as you learn about the founding of the city and the legendary figures who shaped its destiny. Join us for an unforgettable journey through the myths and legends of ancient Rome.

Explore the historic centre of the powerful Roman Empire and learn about its gods, myths, and legends.



Meeting point: L.go della Salara Vecchia, 00186 Roma. Look for the Kirba Tours sign or flag.

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Myths during the Forum's Prime in Rome

The Forum of Rome, often referred to as the Roman Forum, was a bustling center of political, religious, and social life during the prime of the Roman Empire. Over the centuries, many myths and legends have emerged, shrouding this ancient space in a veil of mystery and fascination. In this article, we will explore some of the most enduring myths surrounding the Forum during its heyday.

The Myth of Romulus and Remus

One of the most famous myths associated with Rome is the tale of Romulus and Remus. According to legend, the twin brothers were abandoned as infants and left to die on the banks of the Tiber River. They were miraculously saved by a she-wolf, who nurtured and protected them. As adults, Romulus and Remus went on to found the city of Rome, and the Forum is often considered the heart of this ancient city.

While the story of Romulus and Remus is captivating, it is undoubtedly a myth rather than historical fact. The origins of Rome are more complex, rooted in a blend of Etruscan, Latin, and other influences. Nonetheless, this myth symbolizes the city's ancient and enduring legacy.

The Myth of the Vestal Virgins

The Vestal Virgins were a group of priestesses tasked with maintaining the sacred fire of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. It was believed that the eternal flame represented the continuity and prosperity of Rome. One enduring myth is that if the fire ever went out, it was an omen of disaster for the city.

While the Vestal Virgins were indeed a crucial part of Roman religious life, the consequences of the sacred fire going out were likely exaggerated in popular belief. It is more probable that the extinguishing of the flame was a reflection of the city's tumultuous history rather than a direct cause of its problems.

The Myth of Julius Caesar's Assassination

The Forum was the site of one of the most famous assassinations in history, that of Julius Caesar. The myth surrounding this event often portrays Caesar's death as a noble and selfless act by a group of senators who sought to protect the Roman Republic from a would-be tyrant.

In reality, the motives of Caesar's assassins were far from altruistic. Many senators had personal grievances or ambitions of their own, and the act of killing Caesar did not restore the republic as they had hoped. Instead, it ushered in a period of civil war and the eventual rise of the Roman Empire under Augustus.

The Myth of Gladiatorial Combat

The Forum also played host to the grand spectacles of gladiatorial combat, where heavily armored fighters would battle to the death for the entertainment of the Roman people. These contests are often mythologized as glorious displays of valor and honor.

While gladiatorial combat was a significant part of Roman culture, it was a brutal and often inhumane practice. Many gladiators were slaves or prisoners forced into the arena, and the fights were not always as noble as they are portrayed in popular culture. Nonetheless, they left an indelible mark on the history of the Forum.

The Myth of the Decline of the Roman Forum

As the Roman Empire faced its decline, the Forum also began to lose its former glory. The myth often perpetuated is that the fall of the Forum was sudden and catastrophic. In truth, it was a gradual process that took place over centuries.

Factors such as economic decline, the shifting of political power to Constantinople, and the sack of Rome by barbarian invaders contributed to the Forum's decline. It was not a single event but a culmination of various factors that led to its abandonment and eventual burial beneath layers of sediment and debris.


Myths and legends have always held a powerful grip on our collective imagination, and the Forum of Rome is no exception. While the truth behind these myths may vary, they continue to fascinate and inspire us, offering a glimpse into the rich history and culture of ancient Rome.

As we explore the myths of Romulus and Remus, the Vestal Virgins, Caesar's assassination, gladiatorial combat, and the Forum's decline, we gain a deeper understanding of the complex and vibrant world that once thrived in the heart of ancient Rome.

Rome: Skip-the-Line Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Tour

Enjoy skip-the-line entry privileges on a guided walking tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, where Rome was founded. Step back in time while exploring these ancient Roman sites.

About this activity

Explore some of the important sights of Ancient Rome on a guided walking tour to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill, where the origins of Ancient Rome began. Get the most out of your visit with skip-the-line entry tickets and a local guide leading the way.


Arrive at the archaeological park and venture back in time to the glorious days of Ancient Rome. Explore on foot while diving deep into Roman history. Listen to stories of Rome's past, from the glory days of emperors to the lives of the lower class. Walk through the first and second outer tiers of the Colosseum, then continue to the Roman Forum, one of Rome's most famous archaeological areas. At the Palatine, take in sweeping views of the landscape and snap unbeatable photos of Rome.

Meeting point

Please arrive 10 minutes early. Meet your friendly guide behind the green souvenir kiosk in front of the “Colosseo” metro stop - located just outside the lower level entrance/exit. A representative will be there holding a sign with The Tour Guy on it.

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Legendary Stories of the Forum Rome

The Forum Romanum, or the Roman Forum, is one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world, nestled in the heart of Rome, Italy. This ancient hub of political, religious, and social activity has witnessed countless legendary stories that have shaped the course of history. Let's explore some of these fascinating tales that have been etched into the annals of time.

The Rise of Rome

Legend has it that Rome was founded on the Palatine Hill by Romulus and Remus, twin brothers raised by a she-wolf. This captivating origin story has been passed down through generations and is a testament to the city's enduring legacy.

Julius Caesar and the Ides of March

One of the most well-known stories from the Forum is the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 BCE. This event marked a turning point in Roman history, leading to the rise of the Roman Empire. The very spot where Caesar was assassinated is still visited by tourists and history enthusiasts today.

The Temple of Vesta

The Temple of Vesta, an ancient Roman goddess, was located in the Forum and was tended by the Vestal Virgins. According to legend, as long as the sacred flame in the temple kept burning, Rome would be protected. The story of the Vestal Virgins and their dedication to keeping the flame alive is a testament to the religious fervor of ancient Rome.

The Senate House

The Senate House, or Curia Julia, was the meeting place of the Roman Senate. It was here that some of the most crucial decisions in Roman history were made. The echoes of debates, political intrigue, and power struggles still seem to reverberate through the ruins of this ancient structure.

Gladiatorial Combat

The Forum was not only a place for political and religious activities but also for entertainment. Gladiatorial combat, where skilled fighters battled to the death, was a popular spectacle in ancient Rome. The roar of the crowds and the clash of swords in the nearby Colosseum are vivid images that come to mind when imagining the glory days of the Roman Empire.

Christianity in the Forum

In the later years of the Roman Empire, Christianity spread throughout the city, leaving its mark on the Forum. The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, one of the largest buildings in the Forum, stands as a testament to the influence of Christianity in Rome. The rise of Christian architecture and the subsequent fall of the pagan temples are integral parts of the Forum's history.

The End of an Era

As the Roman Empire declined, so did the glory of the Forum. The once-bustling hub of civilization fell into ruins, buried beneath layers of history. However, the legendary stories of the Forum Rome continue to captivate the imagination of people from all corners of the globe.

In conclusion, the Forum Romanum stands as a living testament to the legendary stories that have unfolded within its ancient walls. Each stone and column tells a tale of power, ambition, faith, and the inexorable march of time. Visiting this remarkable site allows us to step back in time and relive the awe-inspiring narratives that have shaped the world as we know it today.

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