In a Roman city, the forum was the very symbol of civic life, the nerve centre of the community. It was the place where all the signs of municipal pride were gathered in one place, and which expressed the feeling of belonging to the Roman world. The forum was the place for assemblies and ceremonies-political, administrative, legal, religious, financial and trading functions took place within its walls.
Lutetia's forum was comprised of a public square surrounded on three sides by colonnated porticoes partially supported by a cryptoporticus, or underground gallery. At the western end stood a temple, while to the east a basilica occupied the forum's full width. Two gates in the center of the forum's long sides gave access to the square. A row of shops lined the outside walls of the forum, except the eastern side, where a curia may have been built on one side of the basilica.
and M.-O. Agnes.