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Bill Thayer

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Aedes Martisa

Articles on pp327‑330 of

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

Mars: a shrine on the Capitol, according to Augustine (de civ. dei IV.23), who adds Mars to Terminus and Iuventas, the gods who refused to be moved to make room for the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. It is possible that this temple may be referred to by Cassius Dio (XLI.14: κεραυνοὶ σκηπτρόν τε Διὸς καὶ ἀσπίδα κράνος τε Ἄρεως ἐν τῷ Καπιτωλίῳ ἀνακείμενα . . . ἐλυμήναντο), but quite uncertain (Jord. I.2.12; Becker 398; Rosch. II.2392‑2393). See Area Capitolina.

Mars, aedes (templum, Servius; ἱερόν, Appian, Dionysius): a temple on the (north) left side of the via Appia, between the first and second milestones (CIL VI.10234: via Appia ad Martis intra milliarium I et II ab urbe euntibus parte laeva, cf. Jord. II.110; App. B. C. III.41; Serv. Aen. I.292; Not. Reg. I). There is a distinct rise in the road leading to it, the Clivus Martis (q.v.) (Ov. Fast. VI.191‑192). The site is 2 kilometres from the porta Capena and just outside the porta Appia of the Aurelian wall. (The first milestone was situated just inside this gate, LS III.11.) Beside it was a grove (Schol. Iuv. I.7: lucus Martis qui Romae est in Appia in quo solebant recitare poetae; cf. Antrum Cyclopis; HJ 208).

The date of the foundation of this temple is not known, unless, as seems probable, Livy's statement under 388 B.C. (VI.5.8: eo anno aedes Martis Gallico bello vota dedicata est a T. Quinctio duumviro sacris faciendis) refers to this temple and not to that in the campus Martius (see Mars, Ara). The day of dedication was 1st June (Ov. Fast. VI.191; Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 97, Marti in Cl[ivo]). The temple is mentioned frequently, and the district around it, even as far as the Almo, was known as ad Martis (Liv. X.23.12, 47.4; XXXVIII.28.3; Suet. Terent. 5; Cic. ad Q. F. III.7; Rostowzew, 496, 497).1 The troops assembled here when setting out for war (Liv. VII.23.3), and the transvectio equitum began here (Dionys. VI.13). In it was a statue of Mars and figures of wolves (Liv. XXII.1.12: signum Martis Appia via ac simulacra luporum sudasse), and near by was the Manalis Lapis (2) (q.v.). There are no certain remains of this temple, but some inscriptions relating to it have been found in the immediate vicinity (CIL VI.473, 474 (=30774), 478). In 189 B.C. the via Appia was paved from the porta Capena to this point (Liv. XXXVIII.28.3), and the road was then known as the Via Tecta (q.v.), no doubt from the construction of a portico along it (Ov. cit.) (HJ 213‑214; Gilb. II.96‑97; Rosch. II.2390‑2391; BC 1900, 91;2 1906, 209‑223; T IX.37).

Martis Lucus: see above.

Mars, aedes (templum, Plin., Bob., Val. Max.): a temple in circo Flaminio, built for D. Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 B.C. by the architect Hermodorus of Salamis (Nepos ap. Priscian. VIII.17). In the vestibule were inscribed some lines of the poet Accius in Saturnian metre (Schol. Bob. in Cic. pro Archia 27; Val. Max. VIII.14.2). The temple contained a colossal statue of Mars by Scopas, and a Venus by the same artist that was said to excel that of Praxiteles (Plin. NH XXXVI.26). Its exact site is unknown, but it has been located by some south of the theatre of Pompeius (AR 1909, 77), by others identified in a fragment of the Marble Plan (FUR 110), which represents remains that exist under S. Nicola ai Cesarini (BC 1911, 261‑264; 1914, 385).

Mars, ara: the ancient altar, which was the earliest cult centre of Mars in the campus Martius, mentioned first in what purports to be a citation from the leges regiae of Numa (Fest. 189: secunda spolia in Martis ara in campo solitaurilia utra voluerit caedito <qui cepit ei aeris CC dato>?). Its erection belonged undoubtedly to the early regal period. In 193 B.C. a porticus was built from the Porta fontinalis (q.v.) to this altar (Liv. XXXV.10.12: alteram (porticum) a porta Fontinali ad Martis aram qua in campum iter esset perduxerunt), and it was customary for the censors to place their curule chairs near it after the elections (Liv. XL.45.8 (179 B.C.): comitiis confectus ut traditum antiquitus est censores in campo ad aram Martis sellis curulibus consederunt). These are the only passages in which the ara is expressly mentioned, and indicate a site not too far from the porta Fontinalis — probably on the north-east of the Capitoline hill — to be reached by a porticus of that early date, and relatively near the place of holding the comitia (Ovileq.v.).

Two other passages mention a templum or ναός of Mars in the campus Martius (not that in circo Flaminio, see above), one referring to an occurrence of 9 A.D. (Cass. Dio LVI.24.3: ὅ τε γὰρ τοῦ Ἄρεως ναὸς ὁ ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ αὐτοῦ ὢν ἐκεραυρωνήθη), and the other a little later (Consol. ad Liv. 231: sed Mavors templo vicinus et accola campi). A line in Ovid (Fast. II.859‑860: ex vero positum permansit Equiria nomen / qua deus in campo prospicit ipse suo) also seems to refer to a statue of the god looking out from a shrine. Whether Livy's statement (VI.5.8: eo anno (388 B.C.) aedes Martis Gallico bello vota dedicata est) refers to such a temple or to the temple of Mars outside the porta Capena is uncertain.

There are two views as to the relation and site of altar and temple — one that the original area was situated just east of the site of the existing Pantheon, in the Via del Seminario, and that a shrine was afterwards built close to it, making one cult centre; the other that the ara was near the present Piazza del Gesù, and the temple much further north, perhaps halfway between Montecitorio and the Piazza Borghese. (For an elaboration of these views, see CP 1908, 65‑73;º and for the subject in general, HJ 475‑477; Rosch. II.2389‑2390; WR 142‑146; Gilb. I.289‑290; III.143, 145; for a fanciful interpretation of Liv. XXXV.10.12, see BC 1906, 209‑223).

Anti maintains that the well-known frieze in Paris and Munich (Ant. Denk. III.12; SScR 10‑14), generally supposed to have been set up by Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus near the circus Flaminius, really belongs to a monument dedicated at this altar by a censor who had special reasons for devotion to Neptune — therefore, probably, P. Servilius Isauricus, who triumphed over the Cilician pirates in 74 B.C., and as censor in 55‑54 B.C. carried out a new terminatio of the banks of the Tiber (q.v.). See Atti d. Inst. Veneto LXXXIV (1924‑5), 473‑483; YW 1924‑5, 85; SScR 416; Weickert in Festschrift f. Paul Arndt (1925) 48 ff.; Mon. Piot XVII. (1910), 147‑157.

Mars Invictus: this temple is only mentioned in Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 96 (15th May) and Fast. Ven. (CIL I2 p318 — 14th May, probably in error). Nothing more is known about it.

Mars, templum: a shrine in the Castra Praetoria (CIL VI.2256: antistes sacerd. temp. Marti. castror. pr.; cf. perhaps 2819), of which nothing more is known (Rosch. II.2393). Cf. 32456, 32567.

Mars Ultor, Aedes: see Forum Augustum.

Thayer Note: this, and not the next, is the famous temple of Mars Ultor that many of you may be looking for.

Mars Ultor, Templum (νεώς): a temple erected by Augustus on the Capitol, and dedicated 12th May, 20 B.C., as a repository for the Roman standards that had been recovered from the Parthians (Cass. Dio LIV.8: καὶ νεὼν Ἄρεος Τιμωροῦ ἐν τῷ Καπιτωλίῳ κατὰ τὸ τοῦ Διὸς τοῦ φερετρίου ζήλωμα (that is, for the same use, cf. aedes Iovis Feretri) πρὸς τὴν τῶν σημείων ἀνάθεσιν; Ov. Fast. V.579‑580). The statement in the Monumentum Ancyranum (V.42: ea autem signa in penetrali quod est in templo Martis Ultoris reposui) is generally taken to refer to the temple in the forum of Augustus (see p220), and, if so, the standards must have been kept in this temple on the Capitol until the dedication of the other in 2 B.C. (CIL I2 p318). The temple is represented on coins of Augustus (Cohen, Aug. 189‑205; 278‑282; BM Rep. II.27 sqq., 4406‑11, 4417‑27; 426.155; 551.311 = Aug. 315, 366‑375, 384‑389, 704) as a circular domed structure on a high podium with four or six columns, within which is either a figure of Hermes holding the standards, or the standards without the figure (Altm. 50; Jord. I.2.46; Rosch. II.2392; Gilb. III.229‑230; Rodocanachi, Le Capitole 42).

Martis Sacrarium: see Regia.

The Authors' Notes:

1 It is noticeable that another tessera (ib. 498) mentions a locality on the extreme north of the city, Ad nucem (q.v.); cf. HJ add. p. xxi.

2 It is here proposed to identify the temple with that represented on one of the Aurelian reliefs on the Arch of Constantine; but see Fortuna Redux, templum.

Thayer's Note:

a This webpage includes all the entries in Platner & Ashby for temples and shrines of Mars. For the "shrine of Mars" (τὴν καλιάδα τοῦ Ἄρεως) mentioned by Plutarch (Camil. 32), see the brief article Curia Saliorum. The discrepancy seems to be accounted for by loose writing on Plutarch's part, since the Salii were priests of Mars (see the article Salii in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities).

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Page updated: 26 Aug 12