How to Make a Scale Model of the Roman Forum of Peace

Written by heather robson
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How to Make a Scale Model of the Roman Forum of Peace
Making a scale model of the Roman Forum is a complex, rewarding project. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Romans built the Roman Forum at the height of the Roman Empire. They drained the area between valleys and transformed it into a marketplace and civic centre. Over time, several buildings and structures were built around the Roman Forum. One of these was called Vespasian's Forum or the Temple of Peace, which bounded the greater Roman Forum on the south side. Constructing a scale model of the Roman Forum and the Temple of Peace is a complex project that will teach math, architecture, history and design.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Temple of Peace dimensions
  • Cardboard
  • Straightedge
  • Protractor or architect's angle
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Large sheet of cardboard or plywood
  • Paint
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Research the dimensions of the Temple of Peace and other major buildings surrounding the forum. Some of these might include the arches of Titus and Septimus Severus and the forum buildings of Caesar, Nerva and Augustus. To build a scale model, you'll need to know the height, width and depth of the buildings, the distances between them, the angles determining roof pitch and what sort of embellishments each building had, such as columns and porticos.

  2. 2

    Establish your scale. For example, to make an impressive and large model of the Roman Forum and Temple of Peace, you could use a 2-inch-to-1-foot scale. That means for every foot of height the real buildings have, your scale models would have 2 inches. The same scale applies to widths and depths. Angles don't scale. Any angles used in building the actual temple would translate directly to your scale model. You can set your scale however you like, but make it big enough to work with easily and not so big that the model takes up more space then you have to build it. Once you've set your scale, stay true to it.

  3. 3

    Choose your building materials. For inexpensive, easy-to-work with materials, look to cardboard. Use a straightedge, protractor or architect's angle, pencil and a utility knife to draw and cut the shapes you will need for your model.

  4. 4

    Create a base for your model using a larger piece of cardboard or a piece of plywood. Consider painting the base with a cobblestone or grass-and-path design. Determine the placement of each building you plan to include in your Roman Forum model and how those buildings are positioned in relation to the Temple of Peace. Use your scale to place them at accurate distances.

  5. 5

    Use a basic glue to affix the shapes to each other, forming your model of the Temple of Peace and any other forum buildings you wish to include. Use the glue to adhere the buildings to the base.

Tips and warnings

  • For a more advanced project, use wood or clay instead of cardboard.
  • When building a scale model, precision measurements and cuts are very important. Take each measurement twice before you cut. You will end up with a nicer-looking model and experience less frustration in the process.

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