Literally, "plan of the city of Rome." The Forma Urbis Romae (FUR to its friends) is a map of ancient Rome as it was in the second century AD, inscribed on marble; it is also known as the Marble Plan. It was created to hang on a wall in the ancient city.
During the Middle Ages, when the heart of ancient Rome lay abandoned, the marble panels fell off their wall and shattered. Much of the wreckage was carted off and converted to lime, a fate which many antiquities suffered. What remains is like a jigsaw puzzle of hellish complexity, one for which we have neither the original picture nor all the pieces. It is being slowly reassembled by Classicists at a number of universities.
What we have reassembled gives us valuable information about the ancient city. Although the layout of main civic spaces such as the the Forum Romanum is known, the FUR is our sole source for information on the private residential areas.