Sunday, April 19, 2020


Via XXIV Maggio

Maybe originally founded by Titus Tatius the Sabine king who, according to tradition, shared power with Romulus
Semo Sancus was a deity of Sabine origin

The temple area corresponds to the current area of the church of S. Silvestro al Quirinale
The temple building was probably begun by Tarquinius Superbus and inaugurated in the year 466 BC

Inside there was a bronze statue of Tanaquil, wife of Tarquinio Prisco, and the Foedus Gabinus, a treaty signed with Gabii, one of the oldest examples of treaties of alliance of Roman history, written on a shield made out of cowhide

“His sanctuary stood on the Quirinal Hill, and it gave the name to the Sanqualis Gate. Another shrine was on the Tiberina Island. This temple, generally attributed to the Tarquin kings (Varro, De Ling. Lat., V, 52 and 66), was dedicated in 466 by the consul Spurious Posthumus Regillense, according to the Venosino Calendar. Dius Fidius can be linked for some of his attributes to Hercules and Jupiter. Like Hercules he was worshiped ‘propter viam’, and in Rome people used to swear ‘Mehercle’ and ‘Me and Dius Fidius’ (Prop., Iv, 9, 71 ff .; Tertull., De idol., 20). Jupiter is also called Dius Fidius, Ζεὺς πίστιος (Dion Hal., Ant. Rom., iv, 58, 4; ix, 60, 8), so we can consider Semo Sancus, a ‘Genus Iovis’, a demigod protector of marital fidelity and of the law of nations. On the other hand it was also a rural divinity, protector of the fields and crops” (Susanna Meschini - Enciclopedia dell’Arte Antica Treccani)

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