In all Roman cities the
was certainly the public place par excellence.
The city’s centre of social, economic and political exchanges, it was usually located in the centre of the settlement, at the crossroads between the cardo and the decumanus .
The decentralised position of the forum of Agrigento is a testimony to the Greek-Hellenistic heritage that the city maintained: the Greek cities with a Hippodamian plan did not have one specific city centre, but rather had one or two elevated sacred areas, the acropolises.
The forum of Agrigentum, however, was built in Roman times in a strategic position to say the least: it was located at the meeting point between four different districts that intersected at the forum.
As the square had differences in height on the east and west sides, sumptuous porticoes were built to allow passage from one level to another.
Unfortunately we do not have much news of these buildings, except a few small temples probably dedicated to Demeter and Persephone , goddesses of fertility called Ceres and Proserpina by the Romans. The construction works were inaugurated in the 2nd century BC, when the Romans began to make their mark on the city’s architecture, but they stopped abruptly for unknown reasons and resumed only in the 1st century AD.
As a result, there are also characteristics from the imperial age in the forum and it is specifically to this period that a monumental sacred complex dedicated to the cult of the emperor on the northern side of the square dates back.