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p339 Aedes Mercurii

Article on p339 of

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


Mercurius, Aedes: (templum, Ovid): a temple dedicated in 495 B.C. by a centurion, M. Plaetorius, to whom the people had given this honour (Liv. II.21.7, 27.5‑6; Val. Max. IX.3.6). It was on the slope of the Aventine, above and facing the circus Maximus (Ov. Fast. V.669; Apul. Met. VI.8; Not. Reg. XI; cf. Mirabilia 28; Jord. II.641), near its south-east end. (It was dedicated on the Ides of May, which afterwards became a festival of the mercatores (Liv. II.21.7; Ov. Fast. V.670; Fest. 148; Mart. XII.67.1; Fasti Caer. Tusc. Ven. Philoc. ad Id. Mai, CIL I2 p213, 216, 221, 264, 318; Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 96). Maia seems also to have shared this temple with her son (Macrob. Sat. I.12.19; Lydus, de mens. IV.52‑53; Mart. VII.74.5; Fast. Caer. loc. cit.). This temple may perhaps be represented on a coin of Marcus Aurelius (Cohen, Marc. Aur. 534; Baumeister, Denkmäler 14951; Rosch. II.2803), with a podium of three steps, on which stand four herms in place of columns, supporting an architrave, and above this what looks like a curved pediment with animals and attributes of the god. The statue of Mercury stands between the herms. This apparently curved pediment (cf. Serv. Aen. IX.406) is not necessarily so (Altm. 21‑22), and in any case, if some temples of Mercury were round, all were not (Merlin, 363). If the coin represents the temple of Mercury, it may indicate a restoration by Marcus Aurelius (SHA 1910, 7. A, 7‑9). It was standing in the fourth century (Not. Reg. XI; Mirab. 28), but no traces of it have been found (HJ 118‑119; Rosch. II.2802‑2804; Gilb. II.251‑253; WR 304‑305).


The Authors' Note:

1 = Richter 180.


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