Return to Roman Forum
Wars with the Goths in the sixth century depleted the Roman treasury and buildings no longer could be kept in repair. Further destruction was caused by an earthquake in AD 847 and by erosion from the surrounding hills and the robbing of stone for the construction of churches and palaces. One still can see, however, the Arch of Septimius Severus in the foreground, the triangular pediment of the Senate House immediately to the left, the three columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the distance, and, in the foreground on the right, the entablature of the Temple of Vespasian. Standing forlornly in the middle of the Forum is the Column of Phocas.
The same view now is to be seen from the office of the mayor of Rome on the second floor of the Palazzo Senatorio.
The etching is Veduta di Campo Vaccino ("View of the Cow Pasture") by Giovanni Battista Piranesi from his series Vedute di Roma ("The Views of Rome," 1760); the second image, from the opposite perspective, is from the Model of Rome.
Reference: Views of Rome: Then and Now: 40 Etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1976) by Herschel Levit (Dover Publications).
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