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Bill Thayer

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 p342  Article on pp342‑343 of

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

Templum Minervae

Minerva, templum:* Among the buildings attributed to Domitian (Chron. 146) is a templum Castorum et Minervae, and the same designation is employed in the Regionary Catalogue (Cur. Reg. VIII, om. Not.). This would indicate either one structure, or two near together, an inference that is supported by the discovery of part of the statue of Minerva near the lacus Iuturnae (NS 1901, 114, fig. 73).

 p343  On the tabulae honestae missionis after 89 A.D. (CIL III Suppl. pp1965‑2005, 2035),​1 it is stated that the originals were placed in muro post templum divi Aug. ad Minervam, and the same juxtaposition of these two temples is found in Martial (IV.53.1‑2: Hunc, quem saepe vides intra penetralia nostrae / Palladis et templi limina, Cosme, novi). The shrine of Minerva should, then, be situated between the temple of Augustus and the temple of Castor, and many scholars have accepted Hülsen's theory which identifies it with the large court (19 by 21 metres) which served later as the forecourt of S. Maria Antiqua, behind, i.e. east, of the temple of Augustus and in front of the building supposed to be the bibliotheca divi Augusti, or else with a smaller shrine standing in this court (HJ 83‑4; Mitt. 1902, 79‑80; HC 172‑175; Théd. 310; Tea in BA 1921, 356 sqq.; ZA 92‑94; see also Gilb. III.415; Rosch. II.2990). Another explanation is that Domitian, after restoring the temple of Castor, rededicated it under the name of Castorum et Minervae (Mommsen, Chron. 354, p652). (For further particulars and the description of the ruins, see Templum d. Augusti).

A more recent theory (Richmond in Essays and Studies presented to William Ridgeway on his Sixtieth Birthday, Cambridge 1913, 206‑211) is that the templum Minervae (Chronog. Cur. Mart. locc. citt. and CIL X.6441)​2 was a library erected by Domitian in honour of Minerva and really her chief temple in Rome, and that this structure comprised the complex of buildings of the time of Domitian, commonly called the templum d. Augusti and bibliotheca templi d. Augusti. The Minerva of the diplomas (v. supra) is the name given to part of the earlier library belonging to the temple of Augustus — although separated from it by a wall, which was built by Tiberius and lay south of the existing church of S. Teodoro. Still more recently Bartoli (BC 1924, 250‑259) has maintained that the phrase ad Minervam refers to a statue, not to a temple at all; Chron. and Cur. cit. would then refer to the temple of Minerva in the forum Nervae (YW 1925‑6, 113). The juxtaposition of the temple with that of Castor and Pollux is, however, strongly against this view.

The Authors' Notes:

1 Cf. ib. V.4056, 4091.

2 Cf. however, supra, p165, where this inscription is correctly interpreted. Richmond's whole theory depends on his refusal to identify the Horrea Agrippiana (q.v.) with the first of the three courtyards (see his plan, p212).

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Page updated: 26 Feb 14