The Roman Forum is located between the Palatine Hill and the Capitoline Hill of the city of Rome, Italy. Citizens of the ancient city referred to the location as the "Forum Magnum" or just the "Forum". It is part of the centralised area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed.
The oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located in or near the Forum. These include its ancient former royal residency the Regia as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, both of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome. The kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the forum's western edge. These shrines developed into the Republic's formal Comitium, where the Senate, as well as Republican government began. The Senate House, government offices, Tribunals, religious monuments, memorials and statues cluttered the area. Over time the archaic Comitium would be replaced by the larger Forum, moving government to the Basilica Aemilia. 80 years later the Basilica Julia would be built along with the new Curia Julia moving both the judicial offices and the senate itself. The Forum would serve as the new city square where the people of Rome could gather for political, judicial and religious ritual in greater number. The Forum became the economic hub of the city, as well as the center of the Kingdom, Republic and Empire.
Eventually all economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum to larger and more extravagant structures. After the building of Trajan's forum, economic and judicial activity transferred to the Basilica Ulpia. Shortly before the empire split in two, Constantine built the Basilica of Maxentius with the last major expansion of the Forum. This returned the political center to the forum before the fall of the Western Roman Empire.