Roman Temples

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Roman Temple - Maison Carrée

Maison Carrée, in Nîmes, France
Maison Carrée | Pantheon 1, 2 | Roman Temple of Antoninus and Faustina | Roman Temple of Hercules Victor | Temple Ruins: Saturn, Castor & Pollux | Temple of Vesta | Buildings in the Roman Forum. Maison Carrée, in Nîmes, France CC Flickr User hsivonen

Located in Nîmes (Roman Nemausus), the Maison Carrée is an elegant, small (45'x85'), well-preserved, hexastyle temple. [The hexa (6) refers to the 6 columns at the front.] The sides have 11 columns, each. Three of these stand free in the portico, the remaining are attached to the cella. Dedicated to the sons of Agrippa, construction began about 16 B.C. It is located in what was the forum of the Roman city.

02
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Roman Temple - Pantheon

Pantheon
Maison Carrée | Pantheon 1, 2 | Roman Temple of Antoninus and Faustina | Roman Temple of Hercules Victor | Temple Ruins: Saturn, Castor & Pollux | Temple of Vesta | Buildings in the Roman Forum. Pantheon CC Flickr User Alun Salt.

The Pantheon, originally built by Agrippa, is comprised of a huge, domed brick‐faced concrete rotunda (43.3 m. high and wide) and an octastyle (= 8 columns in the end row) Corinthian [

see Architectural Orders

], rectangular portico (11.8 m. high) with granite columns.

More on the Pantheon

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Roman Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum
Maison Carrée | Pantheon 1, 2 | Roman Temple of Antoninus and Faustina | Roman Temple of Hercules Victor | Temple Ruins: Saturn, Castor & Pollux | Temple of Vesta | Buildings in the Roman Forum. The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum CC Flickr User TheCreativePenn

The hexastyle (6 columns in front) Temple of Antoninus and Faustina has 17 m high Corinthian columns [see Architectural Orders] of cipollino marble. There are two extra columns at the sides of the porch. The cella and the podium on which it stands are made of peperino. The cella was covered with slabs of travertine, but they have been removed. The three lowest steps of the stairway to the porch are original. An altar stood on the middle of the stairway. [Source: Temple of Antoninus and Faustina]

04
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Roman Temple of Hercules Victor

Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium in Rome
Maison Carrée | Pantheon 1, 2 | Roman Temple of Antoninus and Faustina | Roman Temple of Hercules Victor | Temple Ruins: Saturn, Castor & Pollux | Temple of Vesta | Buildings in the Roman Forum. Monopteros round temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium in Rome. CC Flickr User Northfielder

This Roman Corinthian [see Architectural Orders] monopteros [single ring of columns supporting the roof] temple of Hercules (probably Hercules Victor) is located near the Tiber in the Forum Boarium (cattle forum). Its history (who built it, who is honored, and when it was built) is still debated.

The diameter of the Temple of Hercules Victor is 16.5 meters, and the inside room or cella's diameter is 9.91 m. The cella is made of travertine and marble blocks. The stands for the columns are also travertine.

The original 20 columns of the Temple of Hercules Victor were made of Pentelic marble, which comes from the area around Athens, but when 11 columns had to be replaced somewhat later, Luna marble was used. Luna marble was used from the 40s B.C. [Ziolkowski]. Velleius Paterculus says the first marble building in Rome was the temple of Jupiter Stator, which was dedicated in about 143 B.C. This temple, therefore, comes later than 143 B.C., but before the common use of the Luna marble -- probably some time in the first century.

The Temple of Hercules Victor is round, for which reason it was mistaken for a Temple of Vesta, like the one in the Forum Romanum. [See List of Roman Forums and Buildings in the Roman Forum.] We don't know with certainty who dedicated it and what the temple was called; however, it is believed to be connected with the legend of Hercules and Cacus. Hercules took his cattle to this area in the course of his 12 Labors.

Reference:

  • "Mummius' Temple of Hercules Victor and the Round Temple on the Tiber," by Adam Ziolkowski; Phoenix (Winter, 1988), pp. 309-333.