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Bill Thayer

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Aedes Herculis Musarum

Article on p255 of

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

Hercules Musarum, Aedes: (βωμός Plut. q. Rom. 59): a temple of Hercules and the Muses, erected by M. Fulvius Nobilior after his capture of Ambracia in 189 B.C., and probably after his triumph in 187. Fulvius is said to have done this because he learned in Greece that Hercules was a musagetes (Eumen. pro rest. Schol. 7.8 (c. 297 A.D.); Cic. pro Arch. 27). In this temple Fulvius set up a copy of the Fasti with notes, probably the first of this kind (Macrob. Sat. I.12.16; for a possible reference to this, see Varro, LL VI.33), and also the statues from Ambracia of the nine Muses by an unknown artist, and that of Hercules playing the lyre (Plin. NH XXXV.66; Ov. Fast. VI.812; cf. Ars Am. III.168); and a bronze shrine of the Muses that was attributed to the time of Numa and had been in the temple of Honos et Virtus until this was built (Serv. Aen. I.8). The statue of Hercules and those of the nine Muses are represented on denarii of Q. Pomponius Musa, about 64 B.C. (Babelon II.361; Cohen, Med. Cons. 266, pl. 34, 4; BM. Rep. I.441, 3602‑3632). In 29 B.C. L. Marcius Philippus restored this temple and built a porticus, the Porticus Philippi (q.v.) around it (Suet. Aug. 29). The day of dedication was 30th June (Ov. Fast. VI.797; Mart. V.49.13).º

This temple is mentioned in Not. (Reg. IX,º om. Cur.), and its site is ascertained from a fragment (33) of the Marble Plan. It was in circo Flaminio (Eum. loc. cit.), that is, close to the south-west part of the circus itself, and north-west of the porticus Octaviae, where some remains have been found that probably belonged to this temple (Rosa, Relazione 75; NS 1890, 31; BC 1890, 66‑68; Mitt. 1891, 126). An inscription found near by (CIL VI.1307I2.615: M. Fulvius M. f. Ser. n. Nobilior cos. Ambracia cepit) may have been on the pedestal of one of the statues. The regular form of the name was Herculis Musarum aedes, but Herculis et Musarum in Servius (loc. cit.) and Plutarch (HJ 544‑545; Bull. d. Inst. 1869, 3‑12; Comm. in hon. Mommsen 262‑266; RE VIII.574‑578; Rosch. I.2970‑2976; DE III.703‑704).

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Page updated: 28 Feb 14