The Rostra was the speakers platform on the Forum Romanum in Imperial Rome. It was also called the Rostra vetera to distinguish it from the new speakers platform in front of the Temple of Divus Julius. The Rostra is located in the main square, between the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Saturn, in front of the Temple of Concord and the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.
The name of the platform comes from the decoration on the front. It consisted of the beak-like prows, called rostra, of the ships conquered in the battle of Antium in 338 BCE during the Latin War. The name and the decoration was moved with the platform from the Comitium. The holes used to mount the rostra are still visible.
The platform is built of tufa blocks, and has a length of 23.8m. From reliefs on the Arch of Constantine we know it was adorned with columns and statues. The semicircular marble decorations on the back of the platform was added by Augustus in 42 BCE.
The currently visible front is much restored.
- LacusCurtius: Platner: A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome
- LacusCurtius: Hülsen: Il Foro Romano – Storia e Monumenti
- LacusCurtius: Smith: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
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