Temple of Trajan

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The Temple of Trajan was a Roman temple built in the Forum of Trajan, placed in ancient Rome in the 2nd century by Trajan's adoptive son and successor Hadrian between 125 and 138. It was dedicated to the emperor Trajan and his wife Plotina after his deification by the Roman Senate. It was destroyed in the Middle Ages.

Site[edit]

Though research has still not precisely determined its site with precision. It had been assumed it was on the site of Palazzo Valentini and that this palazzo had reused stone from the temple in its construction but archaeological excavations there have found no trace of a temple, only remains of insulae with shallower foundations than those needed for a temple. This possibly puts the temple at the centre of the forum courtyard, looking towards the forum of Augustus or elsewhere (some have suggested the two rooms in the Library, though there is evidence against this) and not in a northern position as has previously been commonly accepted by archaeologists for more than a century.

History[edit]

The temple's dedicatory inscription survives in the Vatican Museums and an enormous monolithic granite column (2m in diameter) with a white marble capital (2.12m high on its own) survives near Trajan's Column perhaps belongs to the temple. Among Hadrian's many buildings, it was only this one to which he wished to affix his name. The temple was probably enormous in dimensions and surrounded by a portico like the temple of Hadrian. However, Trajan was not buried in the temple but in the triumphal column's base.

Sources[edit]