Although Rome was a sprawling and bustling city of a million people, little of it remains today. Most of the remains, like the Forum and the Colosseum, tell a tale of the elite—emperors, senators, generals—which was only a small percentage of the population. Not much remains to tell us about the normal people, like how they lived.
To begin our day, we descended below modern ground level into the Roman Forum, nearly at the level it would have appeared in antiquity. This height discrepancy has been caused over the years by the rising level of sediment, due to environmental effects such as that of the Tiber River. We examined the central monuments of the Forum, concentrating on the remains of the monuments such as the Porticos of Gaius and Lucius, the Curia, the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Rostra, the Basilica Julia, the Temple of Castor, the Temple of Vesta and Atrium Vestae, and the Arch of Titus.