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Temple of Jupiter

Description of the Temple (Reg VII, Ins 8, 1)

The Temple of Jupiter, dedicated to the Capitoline triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, dominates the north side of the Forum. It dates from the 2nd century BC and was part of the enlargement of the forum at that time.

The podium, built in opus incertum, measures 37m x 17m and stands 3m high. The podium houses vaulted rooms accessed from a side door (A) consisting of three aisles for the storage of votive objects.
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At this time the cella was divided into 3 parts by two rows of columns composed of two tiers, Ionic below and Corinthian above, set close to the side walls. The side aisles were therefore very narrow.

The original wall decoration was painted in the first style in faux marble, probably replaced in the Sullan period by frescoes in the second style.

At the rear of the cella a tripartite podium (E), with an elevation of half columns and three-quarter columns at the corners, held the statues of the Capitoline triad, of which a large head of Jupiter still remains (above).

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The temple is prostyle with six Corinthian columns across the front and five at the sides. In its earlier 2nd century BC form, the pronaos (B) and the cella (C) were shorter that what we see today. The cella originally had no aisles and was without an internal colonnade.
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With the second phase the temple reached its present size with a very deep pronaos and a staircase which is divided into two flights so as to allow a central platform (D) on which to set the altar.
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A third restoration took place in the time of Tiberius. The tripartite podium of the cella was enlarged and faced with marble, the pronaos was repaved in travertine, the external walls and the podium were freshly stuccoed and the interior walls of the cella were redecorated in the third style.
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Originally there were two triumphal arches at the sides of the temple. The arch on the west side (F) (pictured left) was probably dedicated to Drusus, while the eastern arch was demolished to provide a clearer view of a third arch (G), possibly dedicated to Germanicus or Tiberius,  which formed the northern entrance to the forum.


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