|Location||Regione VIII Forum Romanum|
|Built in||78 BC|
|Built by/for||M. Aemilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus|
|Type of structure||Basilica|
The Tabularium was the official records office of ancient Rome, and also housed the offices of many city officials. Situated within the Roman Forum, it was on the front slope of the Capitoline Hill, below the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, to the southeast of the Arx and Tarpeian Rock.
Within the building were the remains of the temple of Veiovis. In front of it were the Temples of Vespasian & Concord, as well as the Rostra and the rest of the forum. Presently the Tabularium is only accessible from within the Capitoline Museum, although it still affords an excellent panoramic view over the Forum.
The Tabularium was first constructed around 78 BC, by order of M. Aemilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus (the conqueror of the Cimbri). It was later restored and renovated during the reign of the Emperor Claudius, about 46 AD.
Its great corridor, 220 feet (67 m) long, raised 50 ft (15 m) above the forum on a massive substructure, is still partly preserved. This corridor was lighted through a series of arches divided by semi-detached columns of the Doric order, the earliest example of this class of decoration, which is in the Theatre of Marcellus, the Colosseum, and all the great amphitheatres throughout the Roman empire constituted the decorative treatment of the wall surface and gave scale to the structure.
The facade faced the back of the Temple of Concord in the Forum and consisted of three levels. The first story was a large and tall fortified wall with a single door and only small windows near the top to light the interior, forum level rooms. The second story featured a Doric arcade (partially preserved) and the third, no longer extant story, had a high Corinthian order colonnade. The upper floors of this structure was much changed in the 13th century, when the Palace of the Senators was built.
- Chisholm 1911, p. 341.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tabularium". Encyclopædia Britannica 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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