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post 17 Jun 2005, 06:11 AM
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What is a forum ?

(Pronunciation Key)fo·rum  Listen: [ fôrm, fr- ]
n. pl. fo·rums, also fo·ra [ fôr, fr ]

a. The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business. b. A public meeting place for open discussion. c. A medium of open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a newspaper or a radio or television program.

A public meeting or presentation involving a discussion usually among experts and often including audience participation.

A court of law; a tribunal.

Hear this

Trajan's Forum, Rome, designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, early 2nd century D; one of the semicircular colonnaded exedrae

In ancient Roman cities, a centrally located open area surrounded by public buildings and colonnades and serving as a multipurpose public gathering place.

The forum was an adaptation of the Greek agora and acropolis. In Rome the forum Romanum referred to the flat and formerly marshy space between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. In the Roman republic, this was the site of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial games and was lined with shops and open-air markets. Under the Roman empire, when the forum evolved into a center for religious and secular ceremonies and spectacles, it held many of Rome's most imposing temples, basilicas, and monuments. New forums were built, some devoted to judicial or administrative affairs and some to trade. The aesthetic harmony of Trajan's Forum (2nd century AD), with its complex of buildings and courtyards and its tiers of shops, influenced many subsequent town planners.


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