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ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Gilbert J. Gorski & James E. Packer, The Roman Forum: A Reconstruction and Architectural Guide, Cambridge University Press (June 11, 2015) | pp. 1-457 pages. Four Customer Reviews (2015). Foto: Paolo Imperatori (06|2015).

The Roman Forum was in many ways the heart of the Roman Empire. Today, the Forum exists in a fragmentary state, having been destroyed and plundered by barbarians, aristocrats, citizens, and priests over the past two millennia. Enough remains, however, for archaeologists to reconstruct its spectacular buildings and monuments. This richly illustrated volume provides an architectural history of the central section of the Roman Forum during the Empire (31 BCE-476 CE), from the Temple of Julius Caesar to the monuments on the slope of the Capitoline hill. Bringing together state of the art technology in architectural illustration and the expertise of a prominent Roman archaeologist, this book offers a unique reconstruction of the Forum, providing architectural history, a summary of each building’s excavation and research, scaled digital plans, elevations, and reconstructed aerial images that not only shed light on the Forum’s history but vividly bring it to life. With this book, scholars, students, architects, and artists will be able to visualize for the first time since antiquity the character, design, and appearance of the famous heart of ancient Rome.

About the Author
Gilbert J. Gorski is a licensed architect and the project designer for numerous buildings including the World Headquarters for the McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, IL, and the Oceanarium, a major addition to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. In 1987 he was designated the Burnham Fellow by the Chicago Architectural Club and was awarded an associate fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. Since 1989 Gorski has headed his own firm specializing in design and illustration. His drawings and paintings have been included in numerous publications and exhibits on architecture and illustration. He was twice awarded the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize, the nation’s highest singular honor in architectural illustration, by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. He is also the recipient of an Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement, awarded by the American Institute of Architects. He presently is an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame and holds the James A. and Louise F. Nolen Chair in Architecture.

James E. Packer is Emeritus Professor of Classics at Northwestern University. He is the author of the three-volume The Forum of Trajan in Rome (1997); of numerous articles in journals, including the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, the Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma, the Maryland Historian, Natural History, Croniche Pompeiane, Technology and Culture, Curator, Inland Architect, Archeo, and Archaeology; and of articles in collections, including the Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae (1993-2000). He is the recipient of many grants, including those from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Getty Grant Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has excavated at Pompeii, in the Forum of Trajan (Rome), and in the Theater of Pompey (Rome). ‘The Forum of Trajan’ exhibition at the opening of the new Getty Museum in Los Angeles (1997) was based on Packer’s work.

— Customer Review (28 June 2015): As an architectural historian who has studied Roman architecture his whole life and consequently knew more than the guides at the Roman Forum, particularly, I can confidently say this magnificent book in every way has exceeded my expectations. No other book has remotely compared with this definitive study in regards to scholarship and artistry. The illustrations are incredibly realistic ,almost photographic in their details. Plans, elevations and sections of each building reflect the latest findings with respect to archaeology and research. Heretofore I have never before seen in countless books an alternative restoration of the arcaded facade of the Basilica Julia, with a second story terrace, in addition to its “usual” depiction without the terrace. Because there is no conclusive evidence, I appreciated the authors illustrating both possible elevations, a remarkable first, in my opinion. Quite frankly, I believe that any and all learned institutions and anyone interested in art history or Roman architeture should unquestionably have this book to enjoy.

— Customer Review (28 June 2015): This gorgeous book has been well worth the wait. It has a comprehensive overview of the forum and well as individual histories of all the monuments. The 3-dimensional computer graphics views are detailed and help envision the forum as it might have been. Maps, photographs, as well as a glossary, help with the reader’s understanding of this important site. It’s rare to find all this information about the forum all in one place. This book will be an important work for decades to come.

— Customer Review (25 July 2015):This is an absolutely amazing and unique work that artists, architects, historians, tourists and others interested in classical Rome will find useful and enriching!!

— Customer Review (7 September 2015): Simply fabulous! Visually this masterpiece brings these famous ruins to life. For the first time in breathtaking reconstructions we see how powerful leaders made their position and opinions known via architecture. A rich tapestry is revealed of social dominance and power coupled with intriguing stories of the citizens. Highly engaging read full of revelations and entertaining insights.

Foto Fonte | Source:

— Paolo Imperatori | Facebook (15 July 2015).

Four Customer Reviews (2015). Amazon.com (11|2015).


— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: ‘Roma – Una bellissima passeggiata nel Foro Romano, ricostruito in 3D.’: Prof. Arch. Gilbert J. Gorski & Prof. James E. Packer, ‘The Roman Forum: A Reconstruction and Architectural Guide’, Cambridge University Press (2015 [Forthcoming]), pp. 1-474; 60 b/w illus. 247 colour illus. Foto: Cambridge University Press (05|2015).