Sunday, January 14, 2018


It was a reconstruction of the preexisting Portico of Metellus inaugurated maybe in 131 BC, which Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonian had begun to build in 146 BC after returning from the victories against Andrisco that had won Rome the subjugation of Macedonia
It included on the left the TEMPLE OF JUNO REGINA (prostyle hexastyle), dedicated in 179 BC by the censor Lepidus
On the right there was TEMPLE OF JUPITER STATOR (peripteral hexastyle without postico, i.e. without columns on the back) the first of Rome to be built entirely in marble, work of the Greek Hermodoros of Salamis
The statues of the two gods were made by the Greek sculptors Polycles and Dionysios
After the reconstruction in the years 33/23 BC at the behest of Augustus (27 BC/14) the portico was dedicated by him to his sister Octavia and that's when it took the name of PORTICO OF OCTAVIA
It was restored in 203 AD by Septimius Severus (193/211) and by his son Caracalla (211/217), phase to which date back most of the current remains
It must have been a grand building (about 119 m - 390 feet - wide by about 132 m - 433 feet - deep) facing the Circus Flaminius and perhaps constituting a single unit with the adjacent Portico of Philip
It had a DOUBLE PORTICO on the sides and a simple FRONT PORCH with a protruding propylaeum which emphasized the entrance
Inside, in addition to the two temples, there were TWO LIBRARIES, one Greek and one Latin, and the large hall with apse CURIAE OCTAVIAE located at the back to the temples
Among the statues that adorned it:
Bronze equestrian group of thirty-four statues of Lysippus representatives of Alexander the Great and his officers who died in the battle of the Granicus River (it was located in front of the temples, between them and the Propylaea)
Bronze statue of Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi brothers, the first statue of a woman to be exhibited in public in Rome (about 100 BC), whose base is in the Capitoline Museums
Nearby (scholars do not know where exactly) was the PORTICO OF OCTAVIUS (in Latin Porticus Octavia) not to be confused with the Portico of Octavia, built in 168 BC by the orders of the consul Gnaeus Octavius
In the ruins of the portico eventually the church of S. ANGELO IN PESCHERIA was built

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