• Foro di Pompei
  • Pompei
  • Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Pompei


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 200 BC - 79 AD


    • The Pompeii Forum Project (PFP) is studying the dynamic evolution of the Pompeii Forum and how it functioned as an urban space at each stage of its evolution, combining rigorous archaeological research and analysis with advanced technology to reappraise and challenge the 19th and 20th century interpretations. The PFP seeks to generate and publish annotated 3D models, interpretive essays, and a digital repository of the raw data that present a new, fully nuanced description and analysis of the evolution and urban function of the Forum in Pompeii from its earliest urban intimations in the 2nd century BCE to the destruction of Pompeii in CE 79. This work looks at more than the necessary (but mechanical) chronological sequence of buildings: it encompasses growth that is a product of complex, interrelated factors, such as local needs, influence from Rome, aspirations of and benefactions from local elites, innovation in architectural design, and the desire to rebuild after an earthquake. Two questions underlie this work: (1) How did the Forum function as an urban space in each of its periods of development? (2) What were the evolutionary stages and actual dates of the phases that led to the fully developed Forum? The first question has never been addressed in any detail, but it deals with the history of urbanism and practical use of the Forum as a well-designed space, illuminating ancient Roman urbanism. The second question arises from PFP’s survey data gathered since 1994, which contradicts currently held interpretations of the site. The PFP is currently in a publication phase. No extensive fieldwork takes place on site in this phase. Each year the Director and one or two colleagues spend one or two weeks on site to discuss evidence, check data, take additional measurements, and make architectural drawings. Standard accounts of the architectural history of the Forum claim that its monumentalization occurred in the 2nd century BCE before the Romans conquered the city in 89 BCE. However, the PFP’s stratigraphic excavations showed that this development occurred after the arrival of the Romans. This means that the Basilica is actually a work of Roman architecture. Similarly, developments during the earliest years of the Roman Empire (27 BCE to CE 14) were far more significant than had been thought and the roles of individuals named in inscriptions can be discussed in detail as a result of new analysis. In the seventeen years between the earthquake of CE 62 and final destruction of the city were a period of recovery and rebuilding. Traditional scholarship argues that just before the eruption, the Forum was still largely in ruins, a “builders’ yard,” and that the Pompeians had concentrated their post-earthquake efforts on restoring their houses while neglecting the urban center. This was held to be emblematic of the social and economic decline of the city. However, evidence derived from the Forum’s buildings reveals that the area was rebuilt according to a master plan whose hallmarks are a monumentalization and unification of the Forum and extensive use of marble veneer.
    • The Pompeii Forum Project has finished its excavations and is now preparing their publication. Work on-site was limited to one week in July 2011 so that John Dobbins, James Cooper and Ethan Gruber (respectively, director, architect, computer specialist) could examine details of several buildings in the forum and plan for 3D models. During this period evidence was observed for a previously unrecognized phase of the Temple of Apollo. This phase includes the current cella, but its podium was smaller than the podium now visible in the sanctuary. Measurements and photographs were taken and the study of this new evidence has begun. An aspect of the study of the sanctuary of Apollo has been the creation of a new actual-state plan that accurately shows the precise relationship between the pier wall and the columns of the sanctuary’s east colonnade. This relationship is evident on site, but no previously published plan has documented the relationship accurately. The north-south width of the piers equals the intercolumniations of the columns while the inter-pier spaces equal the cumulative dimension of two columns plus their intercolumniation. This precision suggests that the colonnade of the sanctuary and the pier wall belong to the same phase in the evolution of the sanctuary.
    • The Pompeii Forum Project has finished its excavations and is now preparing their publication and the publication of the pottery. Work on-site was limited to one week in July 2012 so that John Dobbins and James Cooper (director and architect) could continue the examination of details in several buildings in the forum. Special attention was given to the following: the basilica and the role that its chalcidicum played in effecting the architectural transition between the basilica proper and the Porticus of Popidius; the pier wall between the forum and the Sanctuary of Apollo and the manner in which it related to the second story of the forum colonnade; documenting the evidence for the pattern of marble revetment in the Imperial Cult Building. Investigation of the new phase of the Temple of Apollo identified in 2011 continued in preparation for the publication of an article on the topic.
    • The Pompeii Forum Project has finished its excavations and is now preparing their publication and the publication of the pottery. No work has been done on site since 2012. The present report is based on observations made by James Cooper and John Dobbins in the Sanctuary of Apollo in 2011 and 2012 that identifies a previously unknown phase of the Temple of Apollo.
    • This is the only study to date that provides full documentation of the metric dimensions within the Temple of Jupiter at Pompeii. These dimensions constitute an important class of evidence in their own right and must be considered when discussing the temple as a whole and its architectural history. The utility of such a study is that metric dimensions can be converted easily to Oscan or Roman feet. The first goal of the article is to provide raw data that allow us to address the question of whether the temple was designed in Oscan or Roman feet. The second is to assess the evidence that reveals the ubiquitous use of the Roman foot that, in turn, argues for a post-89 BCE Roman date for the temple. In the process of our documentation we discovered that the columns in the pronaos are no longer in their ancient locations, and that a correct placement reveals that the Temple of Jupiter conforms to the Vitruvian pycnostyle type of Roman temple (Tables 9-11). The Pompeii Forum Project is abbreviated below as PFP.


    • James G. Cooper, John J. Dobbins. 2015. New Developments and New Dates within the Sanctuary of Apollo at Pompeii. FOLD&R Italy: 340.
    • John J. Dobbins and James G. Cooper. 2022. The Roman Foot in the Capitolium at Pompeii: a Contribution by the Pompeii Forum Project . FOLD&R Italy: 532.


    • J.J. Dobbins, 1992, The Altar in the Sanctuary of the Genius of Augustus in the Forum of Pompeii, RM 99: 251-61.
    • J.J. Dobbins, 1994, Problems of chronology, decoration, and urban design in the forum at Pompeii,” AJA 98: 629-94.
    • J.J. Dobbins, 1996, The imperial cult building in the forum of Pompeii,” in A. Small, (ed.), Subject and Ruler: The Cult of the Ruling Power in Classical Antiquity. Papers in honour of the 65th birthday of Duncan Fishwick. Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary Series 17, Ann Arbor: 99-114.
    • J.J. Dobbins, 1997, The Pompeii Forum Project 1994—95,” in S.A. Bon and R. Jones (eds), Sequence and Space in Pompeii, Oxford: 73-87.
    • J.J. Dobbins, 2007, The Forum and its Dependencies,” in John J. Dobbins and Pedar W. Foss (eds), The World of Pompeii, London and New York: 150-183.
    • J.J. Dobbins, L.F. Ball, J.G. Cooper, S.L. Gavel, S. Hay, 1998, Excavations in the Sanctuary of Apollo at Pompeii, 1997, AJA 102: 739-56.
    • K. Martini, 1998, Patterns of Reconstruction at Pompeii, IATH Reports, 1998. http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/struct/pompeii/patterns/