Peter (Tiahong Xu) ’17 – Since there was a heavy snow in Chicago, our flight to Philadelphia was delayed for more than 2 hours. So, we did not catch up the next flight to Rome. Accordingly, Roman forum became our Tuesday’s schedule.
Walking between the arch of Septimius Serverus and the arch of Titus, I felt like the time machine brought me to the Rome of two thousand years ago. The Forum is surrounded by several important government buildings as well as important monuments. One of the most well-preserved building is Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Emperor Antoninus Pious started this building’s construction firstly in order to decease and deify his wife, Faustina the Elder. Emperor Antoninus’ successor, Marcus Aurelius then rededicated this temple jointly to them after the deification of Antoninus Pius.
Walking upwards, we came to the highest point of Palatine Hill. Overlooking the Roman Forum, I felt like those ruins still shocked me. On the other side of the Roman Forum, it came the most well-known Roman world construction: Colosseum. Only if you look at it physically can you feel its magnificence. When we looked at it closely, we can clearly see the Roman number on each entrance. That’s pretty similar to our sports event seating. One entrance is entitled as “VI”; the next one is “VII”; even the one after the next one is not clear enough to see, but we know it’s “VIII”.
Micheal Miller ’18 – The first full day of our trip to Rome went very well. We started out in the Forum Romanum. Throughout this semester every person in our class has presented on at least one monument in the Forum. Being able to see and be within a few yards of these monuments and even being able to touch some of them really puts what we have learned into perspective. Being able to walk on the very stones that Republican Era Romans walked on is humbling and breathtaking all at the same time.
Within the Forum was the place where the Vestal Virgins stayed. At first, I wasn’t particularly excited to see this or walk though it but, once we got in and walked around the courtyard, I was overwhelmed by how peaceful and beautiful the sculptures and pools were. This was not a feeling or an atmosphere that can be obtained by pictures alone, in order to truly appreciate these sites one must walk through and take the time to take it all in.
One of the last places we visited today was the Colosseum. This was a place that I have dreamed about visiting since middle school and to finally be able to walk around and see it first hand was a great experience. Walking through the halls was a similar atmosphere to that of a typical professional sports stadium which really helps understand and almost relive the atmosphere right before the games started with people filing into their designated seats. I would like to thank Wabash College and everyone who donated money, or time, into making this tip available to students. This is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.