The Forum of Caesar, also known as Forum Iulium or Forum Julium, Forum Caesaris, is a forum built by Julius Caesar near the Forum Romanum in Rome
in 46 BC. Caesar decided to construct a forum bearing his name in the northeast section of the Forum Romanum, of which he purchased a very expensive, select amount of parcels of land in that area. Forum construction began in 54 BC, and it was dedicated to Caesar and his deeds in 46 BC upon completion. Some scholars, however, believe that Augustus furnished the west side with the shops and offices that were considered part of the Forum of Caesar, therefore being the one to see its completion.
The Forum spanned from the Argiletum on the southeast side of the Forum Romanum to the Atrium Libertatis and spanned 160 meters by 75 meters. As part of the dedication, lavish games were offered and funded by Caesar, indicating the staggering cost and thus the personal interest that Caesar had invested in the project. The Forum of Caesar originally meant an expansion of the Forum Romanum. The Forum, however, evolved so that it served two additional purposes. As Caesar became more and more involved in this project, the Forum became a place for public business that was related to the Senate in addition to a shrine for Caesar himself as well as Venus Genetrix.
The Temple of Venus Genetrix
contained an important collection of statues, paintings and engravings. A gilded statue of Cleopatra VII was erected, setting a precedent for dedications to notable women in the precinct. Paintings in the forum included one of Medea, mythological Greek hero of Euripides' play Medea, as well as one of Ajax, mythological Greek hero of Sophocles' Ajax, done by Timomachus. Perhaps more personal to Caesar were six collections of engraved gems. These surpassed in number the collection of Mithridates dedicated by Caesar's rival Pompey. It is not known where or how Caesar obtained these six collections.