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p255 Aedes Herculis Pompeiani

Article on pp255‑256 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


Hercules Pompeianus, aedes: * a temple of Hercules near the circus Maximus, described as araeostyle and decorated in the Tuscan manner (Vitr. III.3.5: ornanturque signis fictilibus aut aereis inauratis earum p256fastigia Tuscanico more uti est ad circum maximum Cereris et Herculis Pompeiani, item Capitolii). It contained a statue of Hercules by Myron (Plin. NH XXXIV.57: Herculem qui est apud circum maximum in aede Pompei Magni). The epithet would indicate either an original building or a restoration by Pompeius, but in any case this temple could not be identified with the round temple of Hercules in the forum Boarium (Liv. X.23.3). The notice in the calendar (Fast. Amit. ad pr. Id. Aug., CIL I2 p244, 324 — and probably Fast. Allif. ib. 217 — Herculi Invicto ad circum Maximum) probably refers to this temple, as it alone has the designation ad circum maximum in literature (see above). If so, it was dedicated on 12th August to Hercules Invictus.

Under the eastern part of S. Maria in Cosmedin1 are remains of the tufa foundations and walls of a temple of the republican period, which appears to have existed, although in a ruined state, until the time of Hadrian I, when it was entirely destroyed (DAP 2.vi.236, 237, 271; HCh 327‑328). The position of this temple could properly be described as ad circum maximum, and its identification with the aedes Herculis Pompeiani is reasonable, but by no means certain. It is possible that some of the references to a temple of Hercules in foro Boario may belong to this temple, but it seems certain that it cannot be identified with the round temple in the forum Boarium, or with the temple ad portam Trigeminam. This distinction, however, involves a contradiction of Macrobius' statement (III.6.10: Romae autem Victoris Herculis aedes duae sunt, una ad portam Trigeminam altera in foro Boario), and no satisfactory reconciliation has yet been suggested (HJ 147‑148; Gilb. III.434; Jord. I.2.482; Rosch. I.2904, 2918‑2920; RE VIII.554, 559, 560; WR 275; Altm. 30).


The Authors' Later Note
(in Ashby's Addenda et Corrigenda):

1 Giovenale (La Basilica di S. Maria in Cosmedin (Rome, 1927), 351‑371) returns to the older identification (Jord. cit.; LR 522) of these remains with the temple of Ceres, Liber and Libera (q.v.).


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Page updated: 30 Jun 01