The covered hall of Trajan's market was designed by the emperor's ingenius architect Apollodorus of Damascus. It represents the ancient equivalent of the modern shopping centre, housing no less than 150 shops and offices.
The offices are believed to have been used to administer the corn dole.
The shops varied in size, thoguh most were rather small. The customer would most likely approach the shop keeper at the door and then be served there, rather than actually entering the room.
The main hall provides a spacious vaulted chamber on which shops line the walls on two floors.
Walking through the market, there seems no end of alleys and corridors with little shops in them.
Model of Rome in the days of Constantine the Great
Museo della Civilta, Rome
Behind the colonnade running along the main square of Trajan's Forum, you can clearly make out the curved facade of the markets which still stand today.