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Sacellum et Aedes Quirini

Articles on pp438‑439 of

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


Quirinus, sacellum: an ancient shrine on the Quirinal, near the porta Quirinalis (Fest. 255: Quirinalis porta dicta sive . . . seu quod proxime eam est Quirini sacellum; cf. 254). Whether this was on the site of the later aedes Quirini is not known (HJ 407; Rosch. IV.14).

Quirinus, aedes (templum, Cic. Fest. Cur.; templa, Ovid; ναός, Cass. Dio): a temple on the Quirinal hill, to which it gave the name (Fest. 255), said to have been vowed by L. Papirius Cursor when dictator in 325 B.C., and dedicated in 293 by his son, who adorned it with a profusion of spoils (Liv. X.46.7; Plin. NH VII.213). After the Romulus legend was developed and he was identified with Quirinus, the building of the temple was said to have been commanded by Romulus when he appeared to Proculus Julius (Cic. de re pub. II.20; de leg. I.3; Ov. Fast. II.511; de vir. ill. 2.14). The record of a session of the senate held in aede Quirini in 435 B.C. (Liv. IV.21.9) is regarded as fictitious, but in any case the temple was one of the oldest in Rome (Plin. NH XV.120: inter antiquissima delubra habetur Quirini). Whether it stood on the site of an earlier ara (see above) cannot be determined. In front of it grew two myrtle trees, called patricia and plebeia, of which the former flourished as long as the senate retained its power unimpaired, but withered away during the Social war, while the other became healthy and vigorous (Plin. loc. cit.).

p439 In 206 B.C. the temple was struck by lightning (Liv. XXVIII.11.4), and again in 49 when it was much injured if not almost destroyed (Cass. Dio XLI.14.3). It must have been repaired almost at once, for the senate erected in it in 45 a statue to Caesar as the Θεὸς ἀνίκητος (Cass. Dio XLIII.45.3). A final restoration was completed by Augustus in 16 B.C. (Mon. Anc. iv.5; vi.32; Cass. Dio LIV.19.4). The day of dedication of the original temple was not 29th June, the later date (Ov. Fast. VI.795‑796; Fast. Venus. ad III Kal. Mart., CIL I2 p212, 250; Wissowa, Ges. Abh. 144‑146, 268‑270), but 17th February. Mommsen's view (CIL I2 p310) has been proved to be correct by the discovery of the pre-Caesarian calendar at Antium, where we find the Quirinalia entered on 17th February (NS 1921, 87). The 29th of June, on the other hand, was only added to the calendar by Caesar. The same calendar, like that of the Arvales CIL I2 p326), records another festival of Quirinus on 23rd August, and (apparently; it is fragmentary at that point) of Hora Quirini also (NS 1921, 109).

The temple was of the Doric order, dipteral-octostyle, with a pronaos, and a porch in the rear. It had seventy-six columns, two rows of fifteen each on the sides, and a double row of eight at each end, counting those on the sides again, and was surrounded by a porticus (Vitr. III.2.7; Mart. XI.1.9). A relief of the second century,1 found within the area of the baths of Diocletian, represents the façade of this temple as that of a Doric tetrastyle, with Romulus and Remus taking the auspices on the pediment (Mitt. 1904, 27‑29, 157‑158; SScR i. 72‑74; PT 229). Occasional references to it are found in literature (Vitr. VII.9.4; Liv. VIII.20.8; Plut. Cam. 20; cf. CIL VI.9975), down to the fourth century (Cur. Reg. VI, om. Not.; cf. CIL VI.9103 = 31895). Its site is determined by the discovery of inscriptions to be on the north side of the Alta Semita and probably in the eastern part of the present gardens of the royal palace, near the edge of the hill (CIL VI.475, 5652; BC 1889, 336‑339, 379‑391; 1914, 372‑373; RhM 1894, 405‑407; HJ 409‑410; for the temple in general, see HJ 407‑410; Rosch. IV.14‑16; Gilb. I.280; iii.320; Hermes 1891, 137‑144 = Wissowa, Ges. Abh. 144‑158. Contrast BC 1926, 172, 173).


The Authors' Notes:

1 Others (HF 1418: Sieveking in Festschrift für P. Arndt, 136) assign it to the Flavian period.

CIL VI.565: 565 = I2.803; ILS 3141.


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