(Bovarium, Cic. pro Scaur. 23; Liv. passim; ἀγορὰ καλουμένη
or λεγομένη Βοαρία Dionys. i. 40
; iv. 27
was, as its name implies, the cattle-market of ancient Rome. It originally extended from the boundary of the Velabrum (later marked by the
arcus Septimii Severi and the Janus Quadrifrons) to the Tiber, and from
the valley of the circus Maximus to the road leading from the pons
Sublicius (or pons Aemilius) towards the Velabrum, but not as far north
as the Servian wall (Ov. Fast. vi. 477
, 478; Varro, LL v. 146
; id. ap.
Macrob. Sat. iii. 6
. 10; Propert. iv. 9
. 17; Liv. x. 23
. 3; xxi. 62
. 3; xxii.
. 6; xxiv. 10
. 7; xxvii. 37
. 15; xxix. 37
. 2; xxxiii. 27
. 4; xxxv.
. 8; Plin. NH xxviii. 12
; xxxiv. 10
, 33; Tac. Ann. xii. 24
Marcell. 3 (cf. Oros. iv. 13
. 3; Cass. Dio, fr. 47); Fest. 30; Not. app.;
Pol. Silv. 545; Aethicus p. 83, Riese; CIL vi. 1035
). The first gladiatorial games were held here (Val. Max. ii. 4
. 7). See ARCUS SEPTIMII SEVERI
(in foro Boario).
In process of time this large open space was greatly encroached upon
by buildings; but the name was still applied to the whole district. A
bronze statue of a bull (said to have been brought from Aegina) symbolised its purpose, and (according to some authorities) gave it its name.
It was an important centre of traffic, and had been so from a remote
period ; for the original route from the north and east (see VIA FLAMINIA
) came along the VICUS IUGARIUS
or the VICUS TUSCUS
on its way to the crossing of the Tiber at the pons Sublicius (or later the
pons Aemilius), and here intersected the road which ran from the campus
Martius between the Capitol and the river, passing through the porta
Carmentalis and the porta Flumentana, and on to the porta Trigemina.
The road along the valley of the circus Maximus and the clivus Publicius
descending from the Aventine also opened into this narrow level space
between the hills and the river. Thus streets, in later days adorned with
porticoes, radiated from the forum Boarium in all directions (DAP 2. vi.
This crowded area was often devastated by fire. It seems to have
lain for the most part within the eleventh region
of Augustus, but to
have also included a small portion of the eighth.
Two terminal stones (CIL vi. 919
, 31574), one of the period of
Tiberius, the other of Claudius, show that the open space, which was
public property, required protection from encroachment, and define the
eastern boundary as running along the front of the TEMPLUM HERCULIS
(q.v.), which stood in front of the carceres of the circus
Of the temples situated in or near the forum Boarium the round
temple of HERCULES INVICTUS
(q.v.), with the ara Maxima close by it, was
the most famous; there were also those of FORTUNA
, HERCULES POMPEIANUS
, MATER MATUTA
, PUDICITIA PATRICIA
Among other monuments were the two fornices erected by L. STERTINIUS (q.v.). The BUSTA GALLICA and DOLIOLA (q.v.) were probably
primitive tombs, discovered (and misunderstood) in Roman times.
See Jord. i. I. 238, 412 ; 2. 474-487 ; LR 515-516; DAP 2. vi. 231-275;
HJ 143; P1. 395-403.