The Basilica Julia was used to hold the trials. It was so big that, by dividing the large hall with curtains and partitions, it could take up to four simultaneously. Even at the time of Caesar, who built it, the trials were considered a show. The slow pace of justice has always been a constant: even in Rome the defendant could incur long and tiresome wait before his turn. The vandals then, in order to kill time, carved the steps of the basilica to play board games.
The construction of the Basilica Julia was begun by Caesar; it was destroyed by fire in 9 BC and then rebuilt by Augustus in memory of his deceased grandchildren (Gaius and Lucius). It was built on the ruins of a Republican basilica, the Sempronia. Under the basilica of Sempronius Gracchus, as in a game of Chinese boxes, was the house of Scipio Africanus.