The typical Roman city of the later Republic and empire had arectangular plan and resembled a Roman military camp with twomain streets—the
(north-south) and the
(east-west)—a grid of smaller streets dividing the town into blocks, and awall circuit with gates.
Older cities, such as Rome itself, founded before the adoption of regularized city planning, could, however, consist of a maze of crooked streets. The focal point of the city was its forum, usuallysituated at the center of the city at the intersection of the