If you stand in early morning or evening on either the Capitol or the Palatine and look down on the Roman Forum, it may still appear a romantic place where, as Byron wrote:
in yon field below,
A thousand years of silenced factions sleep –
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
And still the eloquent air breathes – burns with Cicero!
When, however, you step down from the heights and enter the Forum itself, the romance is likely to fade and you will probably find yourself puzzled, bemused and – sadly – bored. David Watkin, Professor of Architectural History at the University of Cambridge, explains why this is so,