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Aedes Salutis

Articles on p462 of

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


Salus, ara: an altar mentioned once in connection with the prodigia of 113 B.C. (Obseq. 83 (98)), but not certainly in Rome (WR 132).

Salus, aedes (templum, Not.): a temple on that part of the Quirinal hill that was known as the collis Salutaris (see Quirinalis Collis). This indicates that the cult was localised here at an early date, but this temple is said to have been vowed in 311 B.C. by C. Junius Bubulcus when consul, begun in his censorship in 306, and dedicated by him when dictator in 303 (Liv. IX.43.25; X.1.9; cf. Babelon, Monnaies II.108, Nos. 17‑18).1 The day of dedication was 5th August (Fast. Vall. Amit. Ant. Philoc. ad Non. Aug., CIL I2 p240, 244, 248, 270, 324; Men. Rust. ib. 281; Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 105; Cic. ad Att. IV.1.4; pro Sest. 131). It was struck by lightning in 276 and 206 B.C. (Oros. IV.4.1; Liv. XXVIII.11.4; cf. also Obseq.  12, 432), and burned in the reign of Claudius (Plin. NH XXXV.19), but afterwards restored, for it was standing in the fourth century (Not. Reg. VI). In it was a statue of Cato, set up by the senate in his honour (Plut. Cat. mai. 19: ναὸς τὴς Ὑγιείας).

The temple of Bubulcus was decorated with frescoes which, in spite of the injuries of 276 and 206 B.C., were preserved until the building was burned in the time of Claudius (Plin. loc. cit.). These frescoes were said to have been painted by a member of the gens Fabia, a C. Fabius who signed his name to his work, and won for himself and his family the cognomen Pictor (Val. Max. VIII.14.6; Plin. loc. cit.; RE VI.1835; BC 1889, 340; HF 967; Cons. 206). Later this Fabius was confused with his descendant Q. Fabius Pictor, the annalist (Hier. Ep. 60.12 (I.340 Vallarsi, I.596, Migne): nobilem virum Q. Fabium miratur antiquitas qui etiam Romanae scriptor historiae est sed magis ex pictura quam ex litteris nomen invenit). This story has been vigorously attacked (see A. Reinach, SR II.1914, 233‑256; AJA 1915, 480), but the evidence against it is not yet convincing.

No traces of the temple have been found, but it was near the temple of Quirinus and the house of Atticus (Cic. ad Att. IV.1.4; XII.45.3), and probably on or near the Clivus Salutis (q.v.), that is, near the west end of the present royal palace (HJ 403‑405; Rosch. IV.296; RE I. A. 2057).


The Authors' Notes:

1 BM Rep. I.248, 1848‑1852.

2 These prodigies chronicled by Obsequens belong respectively to 166 B.C. (lightning), and 104 B.C. (a swarm of bees).


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Page updated: 25 Oct 06