Sunday, April 19, 2020

TEMPLE OF VENUS AND ROME

TEMPIO DI VENERE E ROMA
Piazza del Colosseo

Begun in the year 121 AD for Hadrian (117/138) who, maybe, was the architect
Built on the vestibule of the Domus Aurea, after having leveled the Velia Hill

It seems that Apollodorus of Damascus, architect of Trajan, had criticized the ability of Hadrian as an architect and had been sentenced to death by the offended emperor

Dedicated on April 21, 135 AD
It was completed at the time of Antoninus Pius (138/161)
Restored on the year 307 AD for Maxentius (307/312)

It was the largest temple of ancient Rome and perhaps in the world, together with the Temple of Serapis of similar size:
Platform 100 x 145 m (330 x 476 feet) occupied for about ¾ by the temple

To give an idea of the size it can be said that the Parthenon in Athens is 31 x 70 m (101 x 230 feet) and the Temple of Apollo Didimeo in Miletus is 51 x 110 m (167 x 361 feet)

It was a dipteral decastile temple, with 10 x 22 columns, three rows of columns on both sides and two opposing cellas according to a tradition definitely Greek, on a crepidoma of seven steps

Two porticos with double colonnade with a central small propylaeum on the long sides of the platform
Inside the two cellas there used to be statues of Venus Felix (towards the Colosseum) and Eternal Rome (towards the Forum)

It was opened to the public in November 2010. During the restorations traces of gold that covered the roof shingles were found

The BRONZE COLOSSUS 35.40 m (116 feet) high by Zenodorus, representing Nero (54/68), the largest bronze statue ever made in the world (the Colossus of Rhodes was 32 m high - 105 feet) later transformed by Vespasian (69/79) in the Sun God Helios, formerly placed in the vestibule of the Domus Aurea, was moved at the behest of Hadrian near the Colosseum with the help of 24 elephants

“The temple is placed in alignment with the axis of the Colosseum: it renews, in a different key, the relationship between theater and temple we saw frequently in the Hellenistic period, where, however, to represent the gathered community of the Roman people is now the (…) more prestigious building of the city, its amphitheater: the colossus of Sol Invictus, erected between the two buildings, in front of the fa├žade of the temple, represented the cosmic guarantee of the eternity of the city. It has been said, effectively modernizing, that Hadrian had established a proper national cult” (Francesca de Caprariis and Fausto Zevi)

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