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The Centre of the Ancient Roman World

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

We began our day at Trajan's Column, an extraordinary piece of Roman architecture erected by the Emperor Hadrian to commemorate his predecessor Trajan's military campaigns in what was called Dacia, but we know it as Romania now. Walking along the Via Fori Imperiali, with the various fora completed in the first few centuries of this age, we went to the Temple of Caesar, where Gregory Dowling read Mark Anthony's funerary speech from Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, and then on to the Flavian Amphitheatre, via the wonderful mosaics at St Cosmas and St Damian, that took us back to what we saw in Ravenna.

I took a personal detour at that point, to visit the grave of my great great grandfather, the art historian and writer, John Addington Symonds, in the non-catholic cemetery and also paid my respects to John Keats, Shelley and his son