Sunday, April 19, 2020


Piazza del Quirinale

Built by Caracalla (211/217)
It was the largest temple of ancient Rome and perhaps in the world together with the Temple of Venus and Rome, of similar size:

135 x 98 m (443 x 322 feet) with an area of 13,230 m² (3.25 acres)
The columns had a diameter of nearly 2 m (6.5 feet) and were 21.17 m (70 feet) high

Serapis was a Greek-Egyptian god, whose cult was introduced in Alexandria by Ptolemy I, who built there the Serapeum
There are conflicting theories about the origins of the deity: the most reliable are the Sinopitic-Babylonian origin (Sinope is in northern Turkey) and the Memphis origin connected with Osiris-Apis 
For the syncretistic phenomenon typical of the Hellenistic age, it was identified with various Greek gods, especially Zeus

In the nearby Villa Colonna there is the largest architectural element existing in Rome of 34 sqm (366 square feet) and weighing 100 tons (110 tons)

Important statues found in the nearby Baths of Constantine were probably part of the decoration of the temple:

“Two Dioscuri” now in Piazza del Quirinale
Two colossal river gods “Tiber”, originally the Tigris River, later transformed with the addition of the twins, and “Nile”, both now in Piazza del Campidoglio

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