In Rome, the magistrates in charge of public buildings were always two, but History, thankless and lazy, often remember the name of only one of them. So we’ve lost the memory of poor Fulvio Nobilior, who paid a lot of money, together with his colleague Emilio, to build this wonder. The successors of Lepidus, considering the building a family glory, continued for centuries to embellish it. A homonymous descendant of the founder had the idea of decorating the interior of the basilica with bronze shields showing the portraits of his ancestors. This unusual family album was due to his desire to remind the Romans what the members of his family, for centuries, had done for the city. The place was particularly favourable. In the Republican period the basilicas were devoted to forensic activities during the winter season. When rain and cold made it impossible the normal practice in the open air, the cives (citizens) took refuge in the wide and bright spaces of these great buildings. On the steps of the basilica some bronze coins are still visible: the heat of the fire following the sack of the city by the Goths under Alaric in 410 AD fixed forever the dramatic moments in which the money-changers, who were at the building, hurriedly fled, leaving behind those pennies.
During the Republican period four basilicas were located in the Roman Forum: Emilia, Sempronia, Porcia and Opimia, The Emilia is the only one dating back to that period survived to this day (the other basilica still visible in the Forum, the Julia, was built at the beginning of the imperial period).