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Bill Thayer

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p306 Jupiter Victor

Article on pp306‑307 of

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

Iuppiter Victor. In the battle of Sentinum, 295 B.C., the dictator, Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus, vowed a temple (aedes) to Iuppiter Victor, to whom he afterwards offered the spoils collected from the Samnites in sacrifice (Liv. X.29.14, 18). Livy's statement (X.42.7) that in 293 L. Papirius, at the battle of Aquilonia, vowed a cup of new wine to Iuppiter Victor, is sometimes interpreted as meaning that Fabius' temple had been dedicated by that time, but this is quite hypothetical. According to Ovid (Fast. IV.621) and Fast. Ant. ap. NS 1921, 92, the day of dedication of the temple (templa) was the Ides of April. Josephus states (Ant. Iud. XIX.4.3) that after the murder of Caligula in 41 A.D. the consuls summoned the senate εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν τοῦ νικηφόρου Διός; and Cassius Dio (LX.35) mentions among the prodigies of 54 A.D. ἡ αὐτόματος τοῦ ναοῦ τοῦ Διὸς τοῦ Νικαίου ἄνοιξις. These all seem to refer to the same temple, presumably the same aedes Iovis Victoris that is mentioned as standing p307in Region X in the fourth century in the Notitia (Curiosum om. Victoris). If so, the temple was on the Palatine, but this depends solely on the Notitia (BC 1917, 84‑92, where it is maintained to be of very early origin).a

Among the prodigies of 42 B.C. the striking of lightning ἐς τὸν τοῦ Νικαίου Διὸς Βωμόν is reported (Cass. Dio XLVII.40.2), evidently an altar outside a temple or quite by itself; and in a similar list for the preceding year the same author states (XLV.17.2) κεραυνοί τε γὰρ παμπληθεῖς ἔπεσον καί τινες αὐτῶν καὶ ἐς τὸν νεὼν τὸν τῷ Διὶ τῷ Καπιτωλίῳ ἐν τῷ Νικαίῳ ὄντα κατέσκηψαν. The interpretation of this last passage is not perfectly clear (Jord. I.2.50), but it is sometimes regarded as evidence for the existence of a shrine of Iuppiter Victor on the Capitoline, although probably wrongly. An inscription found on the Quirinal (CIL I1.638 = VI.438 = 30767a, [D] Iovei victore T. Aebu[ti] M. f. iiivir [resti]tuit) attributed1 to T. Aebutius Carus, triumvir coloniae deducendae in 183 B.C., is also believed to prove the existence of a shrine of the same god on that hill, but the whole question of the temple or temples of Iuppiter Victor is still unsettled, and the uncertainty is increased by Ovid's statement (Fast. VI.650) that on the Ides of June invicto sunt data templa Iovi. Invictus is a less frequent cognomen, occurring in some inscriptions, but is probably an alternative for victor. This temple cannot, in any case, be that referred to by Ovid in the earlier passage (see above). No identification of the Palatine temple with any existing remains is now tenable (HJ 50; Rosch. II.679‑681; Gilb. III.427; BC 1917, 84‑89; RE X.1134‑1135; TF 92‑94, n2; WR 123).

The Authors' Note:

1 The emendation is Mommsen's; Hübner (EE II p41, cf. CIL I2.802; HJ 409, n43; ILS 994) reads T. Mefu[lan(us)] and, at the beginning, [..]o . Iovei, following the seventeenth century copy, which is our only source for the inscription. CIL VI.475 (P. Corn. v. f. coso. proba. mar.) may have been inscribed on the side of the same base. The temple is probably alluded to in Quint. I.4.17.

Thayer's Note:

a Newspaper reports, fed by archaeologists of course, reported in May 2010 that a small rectangular structure, 13 meters by 17, found under the Domus Flaviorum, was likely the late-republican Temple of Jupiter Invictus. So many false identifications have been prematurely issued of late, sometimes mere publicity designed to garner hard-to-come‑by funding, that we should all suspend judgment for a while until the find has been carefully reviewed and aired on all sides.

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Page updated: 13 Apr 14