Curia of Pompey
|Curia of Pompey|
|Location||Regione IX Circus Flaminius|
|Built in||62 BC|
|Built by/for||Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus|
|Type of structure||Exedra|
|Related||Theatre of Pompey, Porticus of Pompey, Roman Republic, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Assassination of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Marcus Junius Brutus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Cicero, First Triumvirate|
The Curia of Pompey, sometimes referred to as the Curia Pompeia, was one of several named meeting halls from Republican Rome of historic significance. A curia was a designated structure for meetings of the senate as well as a tribal assembly. The Curia of Pompey was located at the entrance to the Theater of Pompey. While the main senate house was being moved from the Curia Cornelia to a new Curia Julia, the senate would meet in this smaller building. It is best known as the location where the Roman Senate murdered Julius Caesar. It was attached to the porticus directly behind the theatre section and was a Roman exedra with a curved back wall and multi levels of seating. In "A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome" by L. Richardson, jr., Richardson states that after Caesar's murder Augustus removed the large statue of Pompey and had the hall walled up, citing Suetonius and that it was later made into a latrine, as stated by Cassius Dio.
In 55 BC, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus dedicated the opening of the largest theater in the ancient world early, before its full completion. Built from the profits of his war campaigns, the structure was a political statement meant to aggrandize the Roman general/consul and memorialize his achievements throughout his career. This would be copied later by the Roman emperors when creating their own imperial forums.
The full structure consisted of a large theater section incorporating a temple, a pulpitum or stage, scaenae frons and cavea (seating) at one end, a large quadriporticus that surrounded an extensive garden and housed Pompey's collection of art and literature, and the curia itself at the opposite end from the theatre. While the theatre complex stood for centuries, the curia only lasted about a decade. In 44BC Gaius Julius Caesar was murdered by a conspiracy of senators. Afterwards the structure was closed and walled up and said to have been set on fire and a latrine put in its place some years later.
The structure is located in an area now called Largo di Torre Argentina. The site was excavated by order of Benito Mussolini in the 1930s. For the most part, only the foundations of the original structure have been excavated and today a modern roadway and rail system sit, raised above the remains of the curia. In 2012 it was announced that further excavations had uncovered the precise spot of Caesar's murder marked by his adopted son within the building before its destruction. It was also announced, sometime later, that the underground excavations of the curia would be opened to the public in 2013.
- Middleton, John Henry (1892). The remains of ancient Rome, Volume 2. University of Michigan Library. p. 68.
- Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. Facts on File. pp. 159–160. ISBN 0-8160-4562-3.
- The Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information Volume II. Samuel L. Hall. 1878. p. 551.
- Richardson, jr, L. (1992). A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0801843006.
- Hogg, Brewer, Sylvie, Stephen (2012). Frommer's Italy Day by Day. Frommer's. p. 106. ISBN 9781118027363.
- Ewald, Joreña, Björn C., Carlos F. (2011). The Emperor and Rome: Space, Representation, and Ritual. Cambridge University Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0521519533.