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The Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best preserved Roman temples
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. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_temple — Please support Wikipedia.
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95 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:06:01 -0700

Sixty years ago, a Roman God was uncovered at a London building site. The excavations for the Temple of Mithras moved around but are now going back to the original site - how do you reconstruct a Roman temple, asks Tom de Castella. The muddy find in ...

Daily Beast

Daily Beast
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:32:30 -0700

But unlike most of the religious edifices erected in Catholic Rome, this Roman temple is being built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) of Italy to accommodate a congregation that has grown from 9,000 to nearly 30,000 followers in ...
 
Bath Chronicle
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:30:00 -0700

Bath's Roman Temple is now being included in a learning resource used to support the National Curriculum for History. The web-based resource, developed by the British Museum, takes 100 pre-eminent objects that can be seen in the UK and uses them to ...
 
Today's Zaman
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 07:26:15 -0700

Cyzicus sits in Balıkesir's Erdek district, and there rest the remains of the ancient Roman Temple of Hadrian. Dr. Nurettin Koçhan, the director of excavations at the site and a professor of archeology at Atatürk University, said: “For years, we have ...

Express.co.uk

Express.co.uk
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Holkham Hall (holkham.co.uk) is a gorgeous Palladian-style stately home with the magnificent Marble Hall modelled on a Roman temple, and rooms packed with history and art. Its Bygones Museum has vintage cars and steam engines and there's a gorgeous ...
 
Los Angeles Times
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:33:45 -0700

Of course, the mosque itself had been built over a Visigoth church, which was built over a Roman temple dedicated to Janus. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Carole Cooper, Manhattan Beach. Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion.

History

History
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:30:00 -0700

In particular, archeologists found a square ditch around the site, indicating that it might have originally been the site of a Roman temple. In addition, the chapel site is located only a few hundred meters from an Iron Age shrine where thousands of ...

Harborough Mail

Harborough Mail
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 04:03:45 -0700

Ms Score said the chapel itself was built on the site of a Roman temple. The temple proved that this part of Leicestershire had been an important religious site for 2,000 years. Ms Score said she even wondered whether the village's unusual Bottle ...
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