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The Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best preserved Roman temple
The Temple of Hercules Victor, in the Forum Boarium in Rome (a Greek-style Roman temple)

Ancient Roman temples are among the most visible archaeological remains of Roman culture, and are a significant source for Roman architecture. Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion. The main room (cella) housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated, and often 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 English word "temple" derives from Latin templum, which was originally 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, and not to the building. The more common Latin words for a temple or shrine were aedes, delubrum, and fanum (in this article, the English word "temple" refers to any of these buildings, and the Latin templum to the sacred precinct).

Public religious ceremonies took place outdoors, and 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.

Origins and development[edit]

The Roman temple architecture style was derived from the Etruscan model. The Etruscans were an indigenous Italian race which was at its peak in the seventh century BC. In turn, the Etruscans had adopted other styles into their temples, of which Greek architecture was the main influence. Therefore Roman temples were distinct but also based on both Etruscan and Greek plans.[1]

Roman temples emphasised the front of the building, which consisted of a portico with columns, a pronaos. This departs from the Greek model of having equal emphasis all around the temple, where it could be viewed and approached from all directions.

Caesareum[edit]

A caesareum was a temple devoted to Imperial cult. Caesarea were located throughout the Roman Empire. In the city of Rome, a caesareum was located within the religious precinct of the Arval Brothers. In 1570, it was documented as still containing nine statues of Roman emperors in architectural niches. These are all lost, but the base for the statue of Marcus Aurelius survives, and altogether the inscriptions of seven of the nine are recorded in volume 6 of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.[2]

One of the most prominent of the caesarea was the Caesareum of Alexandria, located on the harbor. During the 4th century, after the Empire had come under Christian rule, it was converted to a church.[3]

List of Roman temples[edit]

In Rome[edit]

Italy, outside Rome[edit]

England[edit]

Scotland[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Spain[edit]

France[edit]

Lebanon[edit]

Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek

Israel[edit]

Syria[edit]

Jordan[edit]

Turkey[edit]

See also[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Campbell, Jonathan. Roman Art and Architecture - from Augustus to Constantine. Pearson Education New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-582-73984-0. 
  2. ^ Jane Fejfer, Roman Portraits in Context (Walter de Gruyter, 2008), p. 86.
  3. ^ David M. Gwynn, "Archaeology and the 'Arian Controversy' in the Fourth Century," in Religious Diversity in Late Antiquity (Brill, 2010), p. 249.
  4. ^ [1](Colchester Museums).
  5. ^ [2](Roman-Britain).
  6. ^ Edward Robinson (1856). Biblical researches in Palestine and the adjacent regions: a journal of travels in the years 1838 and 1852. J. Murray. pp. 433–. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  7. ^ George Taylor (1971). The Roman temples of Lebanon: a pictorial guide. Les temples romains au Liban; guide illustré. Dar el-Machreq Publishers. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Daniel M. Krencker; Willy Zschietzschmann (1938). Römische Tempel in Syrien: nach Aufnahmen und Untersuchungen von Mitgliedern der Deutschen Baalbekexpedition 1901-1904, Otto Puchstein, Bruno Schulz, Daniel Krencker [u.a.] .... W. de Gruyter & Co. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

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48 news items

The National

The National
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:34:51 -0700

Formal 18th-century gardens of stately statues and stone balustrades sit among fountains and grottos, as well as the ancient Roman temple of Diane. Follow the stone steps up to Mont Cavalier to find the Roman Tour Magne towering over cypress, pine and ...
 
Monitor
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:18:45 -0700

The post-work crowd unwind in Leadenhall Market's pubs and restaurants in London on July 18, 2014. The market stands at the site of Roman London's (Londinium) basilica and forum. 8-31 g.JPG. A City of London sign marks the Ward of Walbrook location ...

Express.co.uk

Express.co.uk
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

It features in the book 'England's 100 Best Views' and features Iron Age forts, a Roman temple and ancient woodlands. But the skyline is under threat after plans were submitted for a towering turbine which would provide enough power for 400 local homes.
 
Curbed SF
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:03:45 -0700

The massive "Neptune pool," considered by many architects to be "the most sumptuous swimming pool on earth," was built with Vermont marble around an ancient Roman temple facade. The exquisite indoor "Roman pool," inspired by the Galla Placidia in ...

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Free Press
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

In Winnipeg, they created a Roman temple that exudes the feeling of strength and permanence associated with ancient architecture. Five stoic granite columns weighing 12 tonnes each stand guard over the famous intersection, protecting a cathedral-like ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:28:01 -0700

The outlook from Creech Hill towards the imposing King Alfred's Tower on the Stourhead Estate has become an iconic image of the Somerset Levels. It features in the book 'England's 100 Best Views' and features Iron Age forts, a Roman temple and ancient ...
 
Colorado Springs Gazette
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:05:27 -0700

Legend says the city, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, dates to 2407 B.C. You can see a city reminiscent of an Italian village, walk in a Roman amphitheater and stroll through Cathedral de Tarragona, which was built on top of a Roman temple and ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 14:33:22 -0700

When the story opens, Catherine's nascent career as an archaeologist has taken an enormous leap forward because of her lucky inclusion in a post World War II dig that uncovers a Roman temple. She is barely across the state line when she first ...
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