Temple of Caesar
The Temple of Caesar or Temple of Divus Iulius known as Temple of the Deified Julius Caesar, heroon or Temple of the Comet Star, is an ancient structure in the Roman Forum of Rome, located near the Regia and the Temple of Vesta. The temple was begun by Augustus in 42 BC. Augustus dedicated the prostyle temple to Caesar, his adoptive father, on 18 August 29 BC, after the Battle of Actium, it stands on the east side of the main square of the Roman Forum, between the Regia, Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Basilica Aemilia, on the site of Caesar's cremation and where Caesar's testament was read aloud at the funeral by Mark Antony. Caesar was the first resident of Rome to be so honored with a temple. A fourth flamen maior was dedicated to him after 44 BC, Mark Antony was the first to serve as Flamen Divi Julii, priest of the cult of Caesar; the high platform on which the temple was built served as a rostra and, like the rostra at the opposite end of the Forum, was decorated with the beaks of ships taken at the battle of Actium.
The Temple of Caesar was the only temple to be dedicated to the cult of a comet The comet, appearing some time after Caesar's murder, was considered to be the soul of the deified Julius Caesar and the symbol of the "new birth" of Augustus as a unique Roman ruler and Emperor. In Greek and Roman culture, comet is an adjective describing the distinctive characteristic of a special star. "Comet star" means "long-haired star", it was so represented on coins and monuments. Here is an excerpt of an account by Pliny, with parts of a public speech delivered by Augustus about the comet, his father Caesar, his own destiny: The only place in the whole world where a comet is the object of worship is a temple at Rome, his late Majesty Augustus had deemed this comet propitious to himself. People believed that this star signified the soul of Caesar received among the spirits of the immortal gods; the "Divine Star" was represented on coins, worshiped in the temple itself either as a "comet star" or as a "simple star".
The simple star had been used as a general symbol of divinity since 44 BC, as can be seen on the 44 BC coin series. According to Appian the place near the Regia and part of the main square of the Roman Forum was a second choice, because the first intention of the Roman people was to bury Caesar on the Capitoline Hill among the other Gods of Rome. However, the Roman priests prevented them from doing so and the corpse of Caesar was carried back to the Forum near the Regia, the personal headquarters of Caesar as Pontifex Maximus. After a violent quarrel about the funeral pyre and the final destiny of Caesar's ashes, the Roman people, the men of Caesar's party, the men of Caesar's family decided to build the pyre at that location, it seems that in that place there was a tribunal praetoris sub divo with gradus known as the tribunal Aurelium, a structure built by C. Aurelius Cotta around 80 BC near the so-called Puteal Libonis, a bidental used for sacred oaths before trials. After the funeral of Caesar and the building of the temple, this tribunal was moved in front of the Temple of Caesar to the location of the so-called Rostra Diocletiani.
Caesar's corpse was carried to the Roman Forum on an ivory couch and set up on the Rostra in a gilded shrine modelled on the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the goddess from whom the family of the Iulii claimed to have originated. Mark Antony delivered his famous speech followed by a public reading of Caesar's will, while a mechanical device, positioned above the bier itself, rotated a wax image of Caesar so that people were able to see the 23 wounds in all parts of the body and on the face; the crowd, moved by the words of Mark Antony, Caesar's will, the sight of the wax image, attempted but failed to carry the corpse to the Capitol to rest among the gods. In the end the corpse was placed on a funeral pile created near the Regia by making use of any wooden objects available in the Forum, such as wooden benches, a great cremation fire lasted all the night long, it seems. An altar and a column were erected at the cremation site for the cult of the murdered pontifex maximus, a sacred man, against whom it was prohibited to use cutting weapons and objects.
The column was of Numidian yellow stone and had the inscription Parenti Patriae, i.e. to the founder of the nation. But this first monument was immediately taken down and removed by the anti-Caesarian party. In 42 BC Octavian and Mark Antony decreed the building of a temple to Caesar; some time after the death of Caesar a comet appeared in the sky of Rome and remained visible every day for seven days, starting one hour before sunset. This comet appeared for the first time during the ritual games in front of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the supposed ancestor of the Julii family in the Forum of Julius Caesar, many in Rome thought it was the soul of deified Caesar called to join the other gods. After the appearance of this sign, Augustus delivered a public speech giving an explanation of the appearance of the comet; the s
Basilica of Maxentius
The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, sometimes known as the Basilica Nova—meaning "new basilica"—or Basilica of Maxentius, is an ancient building in the Roman Forum, Italy. It was the largest building in the Forum. In ancient Rome a basilica was a rectangular building with a large central open space, a raised apse at the far end from the entrance. Basilicas served a variety of functions, including a combination of a court-house, council chamber and meeting hall. There might be, numerous statues of the gods displayed in niches set into the walls. Under Constantine and his successors this type of building was chosen as the basis for the design of the larger places of Christian worship as the basilica form had fewer pagan associations than those of the designs of traditional Greco-Roman temples, allowed large congregations; as a result of the building programmes of the Christian Roman emperors the term basilica became synonymous with a large church or cathedral. Construction began on the northern side of the forum under the emperor Maxentius in 308 AD, was completed in 312 by Constantine I after his defeat of Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
The building rose close to the Temple of Peace, at that time neglected, the Temple of Venus and Rome, whose reconstruction was part of Maxentius' interventions. The colour of the building before it was destroyed was white; the building consisted of a central nave covered by three groin vaults suspended 39 meters above the floor on four large piers, ending in an apse at the western end containing a colossal statue of Constantine. The lateral forces of the groin vaults were held by flanking aisles measuring 23 by 17 metres; the aisles were spanned by three semi-circular barrel vaults perpendicular to the nave, narrow arcades ran parallel to the nave beneath the barrel vaults. The nave itself measured 25 metres by 80 metres creating a 2000 square meter floor. Like the great imperial baths, the basilica made use of vast interior space with its emotional effect. Running the length of the eastern face of the building was a projecting arcade. On the south face was a projecting porch with four columns.
The south and central sections were destroyed by the earthquake of 847. In 1349 the vault of the nave collapsed in another earthquake; the only one of the eight 20-meter-high columns that survived the earthquake was brought by Pope Paul V to Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in 1614. All that remains of the basilica today is the north aisle with its three concrete barrel vaults; the ceilings of the barrel vaults show advanced weight-saving structural skill with octagonal ceiling coffers. On the outside wall of the basilica, facing onto the via dei Fori Imperiali, are contemporary maps showing the various stages of the rise of the Roman Empire which were added during the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. A map depicting Mussolini's "New Roman Empire" was removed from the wall after the war; the wrestling events were held here during the 1960 Summer Olympic Games. The basilica Maxentius took aspects from Roman baths as well as typical Roman basilicas. At that time, it used the most advanced engineering techniques known including innovations taken from the Markets of Trajan and the Baths of Diocletian.
Similar to many basilicas at the time such as the Basilica Ulpia, the Basilica of Maxentius featured a huge open space in the central nave. However, instead of having columns support the ceiling like other basilicas, it was built using arches, a much more common appearance in Roman baths than basilicas. Another difference from traditional basilicas is the roof of the structure. While the former were built with a flat roof, the Basilica of Maxentius featured a folded roof, decreasing the overall weight of the structure and decreasing the horizontal forces exerted on the outer arches. Colossus of Constantine situated in the west apse of the Basilica. 1960 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. Pp. 76, 79. The Roman Empire: From the Etruscans to the Decline of the Roman Empire, Henri Stierlin, TASCHEN, 2002, Edited by Silvia Kinkle, Cologne, ISBN 3-8228-1778-3 Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century, no. 103, 1979, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ISBN 9780870991790.
Ancient Roman temples were among the most important buildings in Roman culture, some of the richest buildings in Roman architecture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Today they remain "the most obvious symbol of Roman architecture", their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion, all towns of any importance had at least one main temple, as well as smaller shrines. The main room housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated, a small altar for incense or libations. Behind the cella was a room or rooms used by temple attendants for storage of equipment and offerings; the ordinary worshipper entered the cella, most public ceremonies were performed outside, on the portico, with a crowd gathered in the temple precinct. The most common architectural plan had a rectangular temple raised on a high podium, with a clear front with a portico at the top of steps, a triangular pediment above columns; the sides and rear of the building had much less architectural emphasis, no entrances.
There were circular plans with columns all round, outside Italy there were many compromises with traditional local styles. The Roman form of temple developed from Etruscan temples, themselves influenced by the Greeks, with subsequent heavy direct influence from Greece. Public religious ceremonies of the official Roman religion took place outdoors, not within the temple building; some ceremonies were processions that started at, visited, or ended with a temple or shrine, where a ritual object might be stored and brought out for use, or where an offering would be deposited. Sacrifices, chiefly of animals, would take place at an open-air altar within the templum. Under the Empire, exotic foreign cults gained followers in Rome, were the local religions in large parts of the expanded Empire; these had different practices, some preferring underground places of worship, while others, like Early Christians, worshipped in houses. Some remains of many Roman temples survive, above all in Rome itself, but the few near-complete examples were nearly all converted to Christian churches a considerable time after the initial triumph of Christianity under Constantine.
The decline of Roman religion was slow, the temples themselves were not appropriated by the government until a decree of the Emperor Honorius in 415. Santi Cosma e Damiano, in the Roman Forum the Temple of Romulus, was not dedicated as a church until 527; the best known is the Pantheon, however untypical, being a large circular temple with a magnificent concrete roof, behind a conventional portico front. The English word "temple" derives from the Latin templum, not the building itself, but a sacred space surveyed and plotted ritually; the Roman architect Vitruvius always uses the word templum to refer to the sacred precinct, not to the building. The more common Latin words for a temple or shrine were sacellum, aedes and fanum; the form of the Roman temple was derived from the Etruscan model, but in the late Republic there was a switch to using Greek classical and Hellenistic styles, without much change in the key features of the form. The Etruscans were a people of northern Italy, whose civilization was at its peak in the seventh century BC.
The Etruscans were influenced by early Greek architecture, so Roman temples were distinctive but with both Etruscan and Greek features. Surviving temples lack the extensive painted statuary that decorated the rooflines, the elaborate revetments and antefixes, in colourful terracotta in earlier examples, that enlivened the entablature. Etruscan and Roman temples emphasised the front of the building, which followed Greek temple models and consisted of wide steps leading to a portico with columns, a pronaos, a triangular pediment above, filled with statuary in the most grand examples. In the earlier periods, further statuary might be placed on the roof, the entablature decorated with antefixes and other elements, all of this being brightly painted. However, unlike the Greek models, which gave equal treatment to all sides of the temple, which could be viewed and approached from all directions, the side and rear walls of Roman temples might be undecorated, inaccessible by steps, back on to other buildings.
As in the Maison Carrée, columns at the side might be half-columns. The platform on which the temple sat was raised higher in Etruscan and Roman examples than Greek, with up to ten, twelve or more steps rather than the three typical in Greek temples; these steps were only at the front, not the whole width of that. It might or might not be possible to walk around the temple exterior inside or outside the colonnade, or at least down the sides; the description of the Greek models used here is a generalization of classical Greek ideals, Hellenistic buildings do not reflect them. For example, the "Temple of Dionysus" on the terrace by the theatre at Pergamon, had many steps i
Arch of Septimius Severus
The Arch of Septimius Severus at the northwest end of the Roman Forum is a white marble triumphal arch dedicated in 203 to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons and Geta, in the two campaigns against the Parthians of 194/195 and 197–199. After the death of Septimius Severus, his sons Caracalla and Geta were joint emperors. Caracalla had Geta assassinated in 212. Accordingly, Geta's image and inscriptions referring to him were removed from the arch; the arch was raised on a travertine base approached by steps from the Forum's ancient level. The central archway, spanned by a richly coffered semicircular vault, has lateral openings to each side archway, a feature copied in many Early Modern triumphal arches; the Arch is about 23 meters in 25 meters in width. The arch bears two sets of reliefs; the first set includes four large panels on each face of the attic and the second set consists of eight panels that are set into the inner face of the four archways.
The three archways rest in front of which are detached composite columns on pedestals. Winged Victories are carved in relief in the spandrels. A staircase in the south pier leads to the top of the monument, on which were statues of the emperor and his two sons in a four-horse chariot, accompanied by soldiers; the Arch stands close to the foot of the Capitoline Hill, a little to the east, three Corinthian pillars which are the remains of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans. A flight of steps led to the central opening, as one still does to the Arch of Trajan at Ancona. By the 4th century, erosion had raised the level of the Forum so much that a roadway was put through the Arch for the first time. So much debris and silt eroded from the surrounding hills that the arch was embedded to the base of the columns; the damage wrought by wheeled medieval and early modern traffic can still be seen on the column bases, above the bas-reliefs of the socles. During the Middle Ages repeated flooding of the low-lying Forum washed in so much additional sediment and debris that when Canaletto painted it in 1742, only the upper half of the Arch showed above ground.
The well-preserved condition of the Arch owes a good deal to its having been incorporated into the structure of a Christian church, given 1199 by Pope Innocent III to the church of Ss. Sergio and Bacco. Half the Arch belonged to the Cimini family, attributed for the preservation of the structure; the stronghold included a tower placed on top of the Arch itself. When the church was refounded elsewhere, the arch remained ecclesiastical property and was not demolished for other construction; the dedicatory inscription on the arch reads: IMP · CAES · LVCIO · SEPTIMIO · M · FIL · SEVERO · PIO · PERTINACI · AVG · PATRI PATRIAE PARTHICO · ARABICO · ET PARTHICO · ADIABENICO · PONTIFIC · MAXIMO · TRIBUNIC · POTEST · XI · IMP · XI · COS · III · PROCOS · ET IMP · CAES · M · AVRELIO · L · FIL · ANTONINO · AVG · PIO · FELICI · TRIBUNIC · POTEST · VI · COS · PROCOS · OB · REM · PVBLICAM · RESTITVTAM · IMPERIVMQVE · POPVLI · ROMANI · PROPAGATVM · INSIGNIBVS · VIRTVTIBVS · EORVM · DOMI · FORISQVE · S · P · Q · R Imp Caes Lucio Septimio M fil Severo Pio Pertinaci Aug patri patriae Parthico Arabico et Parthico Adiabenico pontific maximo tribunic potest XI imp XI, cos III procos et imp Caes M Aurelio L fil Antonino Aug Pio Felici tribunic potest VI cos procos ob rem publicam restitutam imperiumque populi Romani propagatum insignibus virtutibus eorum domi forisque S P Q R.
In English: "To the emperor Caesar Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus Parthicus Arabicus Parthicus Adiabenicus, son of Marcus, father of his country, Pontifex Maximus, in the eleventh year of his tribunician power, in the eleventh year of his rule, consul thrice, proconsul, to the emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus Pius Felix, son of Lucius, in the sixth year of his tribunician power and proconsul, on account of the restored republic and the rule of the Roman people spread by their outstanding virtues at home and abroad, the Senate and the People of Rome" Septimius Severus was ruling jointly as emperor with his son Caracalla when the arch was dedicated. The parenthesized section in the middle is text that replaced an original reference to his other son Geta, chiseled out upon Geta's damnatio memoriae by Caracalla. Arch of Septimius Severus photo gallery and virtual reality movie. Detailed description of the Arch and bas-reliefs Arcus Septimii Severi, the article in Platner's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome Arch of Severus Richard Brilliant, The Arch of Septimius Severus In the Roman Forum, 1963.
Hinterhöller, Monika, "Der Triumphbogen des Septimius Severus und die historischen Reliefs der Partherkrieg", 2008, GRIN Verlag High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of Arch of Septimius Severus | Art Atlas
Temple of Castor and Pollux
The Temple of Castor and Pollux is an ancient temple in the Roman Forum, central Italy. It was built in gratitude for victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus. Castor and Pollux were the the "twins" of Gemini, the twin sons of Zeus and Leda, their cult came to Rome from the Greek culture of Southern Italy. The Roman temple is one of a number of known Dioscuri temples remaining from antiquity; the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, his allies, the Latins, waged war on the infant Roman Republic. Before the battle, the Roman dictator Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis vowed to build a temple to the Dioscuri if the Republic were victorious. According to legend Castor and Pollux appeared on the battlefield as two able horsemen in aid of the Republic; the temple stands on the supposed spot of their appearance. One of Postumius’ sons was elected duumvir in order to dedicate the temple on 15 July 484 BC. In Republican times the temple served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate, from the middle of the 2nd century BC the front of the podium served as a speaker's platform.
During the imperial period the temple housed the office for weights and measures, was a depository for the State treasury. The archaic temple was reconstructed and enlarged in 117 BC by Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus after his victory over the Dalmatians. Gaius Verres again restored this second temple in 73 BC. In 14 BC a fire that ravaged major parts of the forum destroyed the temple, Tiberius, the son of Livia by a previous marriage and adopted son of Augustus and the eventual heir to the throne, rebuilt it. Tiberius' temple was dedicated in 6 AD; the remains visible today are from the temple of Tiberius, except the podium, from the time of Metellus. According to Edward Gibbon, the temple of Castor served as a secret meeting place for the Roman Senate. Frequent meetings of the Senate are reported by Cicero, he said the senate was roused to rebellion against Emperor Maximinus Thrax and in favor of future emperor Gordian I at the Temple of Castor in 237 AD. If still in use by the 4th-century, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.
The temple was already falling apart in the fourth century, when a wall in front of the Lacus Juturnae was erected from reused material. Nothing is known of its subsequent history, except that in the 15th century, only three columns of its original structure were still standing; the street running by the building was called via Trium Columnarum. In 1760, the Conservatori, finding the columns in a state of imminent collapse, erected scaffolding for effecting repairs. Both Piranesi and the young English architect George Dance the Younger were able to climb up and make accurate measurements. Today the podium survives without the facing, as do the three columns and a piece of the entablature, one of the most famous features in the Forum; the octastyle temple was peripteral, with eight Corinthian columns at the short sides and eleven on the long sides. There was a single cella paved with mosaics; the podium measures 7 m in height. The building was constructed in opus caementicium and covered with slabs of tuff which were removed.
According to ancient sources, the temple had a single central stairway to access the podium, but excavations have identified two side stairs. The temple complex was excavated and studied between 1983 and 1989 by a joint archaeological mission of the Nordic academies in Rome, led by Inge Nielsen and B. Poulsen; the Roman temple is one of a number of known Dioscuri sites remaining from antiquity. Among others, the Baroque basilica church of San Paolo Maggiore in Naples is built on the site of a Temple of Castor and Pollux, its porch and pediment survived until the 1688 Sannio earthquake. The vanished Anakeion near the Acropolis in Athens was a Dioscuri temple. Writing in about 150 AD, Pausanias described it as ancient. Pausanias identified another temple in Argos depicting Castor and Pollux, their sons Anaxias and Mnasinus, their wives Hilaeira and Phoebe; the extensive ruins of the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento, include the site of another Temple of the Dioscuri. In his 1888 description of the Dioscuri temple in ancient Greek colonial city of Naucratis in Egypt, Ernest Arthur Gardner remarked that such temples were common enough to have a characteristic orientation.
Temples to the gods tended to face east. Temples to heroes and demi-gods such as Castor and Pollux faced west. Aedes Castoris in Foro Romano