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p556 Temple of Vespasian

Article on p556 of

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

Divus Vespasianus, templum: a temple begun by Titus (AJA 1912, 411) but completed by Domitian, and called templum Vespasiani et Titi (Chron. 146; Not. Reg. VIII), although only Vespasian's name appears in the original inscription on the upper part of the architrave (CIL VI.938: divo Vespasiano Augusto SPQR). Beneath this was added a second line (Impp. Caes. Severus et Antoninus Pii felices Augg. restituerunt), which indicates a restoration, probably not extensive, by Severus and Caracalla. This inscription was complete in the seventh century and was copied by the compiler of the Einsiedeln Itinerary, but only the end of the last word has been preserved.

The temple was prostyle hexastyle, 33 metres long and 22 wide, with an unusual arrangement of the steps on account of the narrow space between the Tabularium, against which it was built, and the clivus Capitolinus. The existing remains consist of the core of the podium with some of its peperino lining, two fragments of the cella wall of travertine, part of the pedestal in the rear of the cella on which stood the statues of Vespasian and Titus, and three Corinthian columns at the south-east corner of the pronaos. These columns are of white marble, 15.20 metres high and 1.57 in diameter at the base, and support a portion of the entablature on which are the last letters of the inscription. Columns and entablature were reset in 1811, at which time it was still called the temple of Jupiter Tonans. A restored fragment of the cornice is in the Tabularium. The inside wallsº of the nearly square cella were covered with oriental marbles, and there were marble columns around its interior as in the temple of Castor. The exterior of the temple was covered with white marble (Jord. I.2.192‑193; Reber 81‑86; LR 291; HC 89‑91; Middleton I.338‑340; Thédenat 158‑159, 361; D'Esp. I.50, 93; DR 201‑205; RE Suppl. IV.495, 496; HFP 20, 21).


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