The chief place of political assembly in republican Rome (Varro, Ling. 5. 155; Livy 5. 55) occupying an area north of the *forum Romanum at the foot of the Capitoline. It is associated with nine ...
The chief place of political assembly in republican Rome (Varro, Ling. 5. 155; Livy 5. 55) occupying an area north of the *forum Romanum at the foot of the Capitoline. It is associated with nine levels of paving from the late 7th to the mid-1st cent. bce, after which it ceased to exist as a recognizable monument owing to Caesar's reorganization of the area, although individual elements remained into the empire. The natural topography and the archaeological evidence suggest it was an irregular triangular space, eventually flanked by three platforms: the Rostra to the south, the praetorian tribunal (whence justice was administered) to the east, and the Graecostasis (place where foreign embassies awaited reception by the Senate) to the west. Although in the mid-2nd cent. the rostra was replaced by a curved stepped structure, the rest of the Comitium retained its original form. The numerous monuments and statues which filled it have perished, except for the altar, truncated column, and archaic cippus (a stone marker), bearing a ritual inscription (ILS 4913), sealed below a black marble pavement (lapis niger) originally dating to the Caesarian alterations and subsequently incorporated into the Augustan paving.Less