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Begun by Titus after the death of his father Vespasian in 79 AD, the Temple of Vespasian was completed by his brother Domitian when Titus, himself, died two years later. Three fluted columns from the southeast corner of the pronaos still carry part of the entablature, the frieze of which was elaborately decorated with implements of sacrifice and bucrania (ox skulls), which were believed to ward off evil.
The architrave surmounting the Corinthian capitals show the last few letters of an inscription, [R]ESTITVER[UNT] (they restored), commemorating the restoration of the temple by Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla. It still could be read in the eighth century, when it was recorded in the itinerary of a visiting monk from the monastery at Einsiedeln.
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