Basilica Emilia Review
Once a great colonnaded hall, this served as a meeting place for merchants and a kind of community center of the 2nd century BC; Augustus rebuilt it in the 1st century AD. A spot on one of the basilica's preserved pieces of floor, immediately to the right as you enter the Forum, testifies to one of Rome's more harrowing moments—and to the hall's purpose. That's where bronze coins melted, leaving behind green stains, when Rome was sacked and the basilica burned by the Visigoths in 410 AD. The term "basilica" refers not to the purpose of a church, but to the particular architectural form developed by the Romans. A rectangular hall flanked by colonnades, it could serve as a court of law or a center for business and commerce.