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Where Was Treasury Building In Ancient Rome

Background information

The Treasury Building in Rome was one of the most important buildings in the ancient city and is considered one of the most impressive structures from the period. The building, located on the Forum Romanum, was used to store the public treasury and all of the city’s taxes. It is thought to have been built around the 6th century BC. The Treasury Building, also known as the Aerarium, was more than just a storage facility. Over time it came to represent much more than just a financial institution; it became a symbol of Rome’s successes and ever-growing power.

The Function of the Aerarium

The Aerarium was a critical feature of the Roman state, designed to store the wealth of the Roman Republic and Empire. It was initially the sole repository of state money; during the late Republic it was transformed into more of a bank and served as the main source of financing by the Roman senate. The Aerarium also functioned as a sort of economic think-tank for the state as it authorized new taxes and fixed prices for goods and services. Tax collectors would deliver their receipts to the Aerarium, and then it was the responsibility of the Aerarium to calculate and dispense the proper funds.

The Design and Layout of the Treasury Building

The Aerarium was filled with marble, statues and grand columns, standing thirty feet high at the peak of its glory. The Treasury was constructed around a large, open courtyard surrounded by three wings of offices, recording rooms, and storage chambers. The Aerarium was full of countless clerks and public officials, who were always buzzing around trying to keep up with the administration. Inside there were an array of tabulae memoriae, or tally stones, which were used to record and remember the taxes collected. The main entrance to the Aerarium was also filled with religious symbols and was consistently guarded by the Vestal Virgins.

The History of the Treasury Building

In the beginning, the Aerarium was located on the western slope of the Capitoline hill, before eventually being moved to the Forum Romanum. It underwent a number of renovations during its time; first it was restored during the reign of Trajan, and then again during the period of the Severans. During the Imperial period, the interior of the Treasury was completely redone, adding new columns, windows, and mosaics.
The Treasury was destroyed by fire multiple times over its history, but it was restored and redecorated each time. This is the reason the building appears to have so many different styles and artifacts from different periods in its design. After the sack of Rome in 410 AD, the Treasury was finally destroyed and was never rebuilt.

The Importance of the Aerarium

The Aerarium was of great importance to the Roman people, both economically and politically. It provided financial stability and confidence to the citizens of the Republic and Empire, and it served as a symbol of Rome’s greatness. There has never been another structure like it and it stands as a testament to the ingenuity and success of the ancient Romans.

Exploration Through Archaeology

Archaeologists have been able to piece together much of the history of the Aerarium through the archaeological evidence that has been left behind. Remains of the building and its artifacts have been found around the Forum Romanum, providing much information about the structure, its inhabitants, and its functions. From these remains, we are able to gain a greater understanding of the building and its place in the history of ancient Rome.


The Aerarium was an essential part of the Roman Republic and Empire. It was a crucial repository for the taxes collected in Rome, and a benchmark for the budding empire’s success. The Aerarium laid the groundwork for modern banking and financial systems, and was a testament to the capabilities of the Roman people.

The Impact of the Treasury Building

The Aerarium was a catalyst for the Roman Empire’s growth and prosperity. It laid the foundation for the financial and banking systems that have evolved over time and is an important part of history. The Treasury Building was an impressive structure that stands as a symbol of Rome’s greatness.

Legacy of the Aerarium

The Aerarium continues to be remembered as an integral part of the Roman Republic and Empire. Its legacy has been preserved through archaeological evidence and its importance still resonates today. It serves as an example to the ingenuity of the ancient Romans and their legacy continues to impact modern banking and finance.

Economic Significance

The Aerarium in Rome had a tremendous impact on the economic structure of the ancient city. Its primary function was to collect taxes, but it also served as a tool for creating economic stability for the Republic and Empire. Through its taxation policies, assured financial backing, and its influence on the prices of goods and services, the Aerarium was an important part of ancient Roman economic policy.


The Aerarium was a uniquely designed structure that served as a symbol of Rome’s ever-growing power. Its importance to the Roman people was unparalleled, both economically and politically, and its legacy still resonates today. The Treasury Building was an impressive achievement of the ancient Roman people and stands as a testament to their ingenuity. It has been the subject of much archaeological exploration, and continues to be remembered as an important part of ancient history.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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