Temple of Venus Genetrix

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Venus Genitrix temple in Forum of Caesar, Rome

The Temple of Venus Genetrix is a ruined temple in the Forum of Caesar, Rome, dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and domesticity. It was dedicated to the goddess in 46 BCE by Julius Caesar.[1]

Description[edit]

The temple was built of solid marble with eight columns (octastyle) on the facade on a raised podium ascended by two small lateral staircases. The temple treasure (now long vanished) included a statue of Venus, as well as statues of Julius Caesar; numerous works of art, including Greek paintings; six collections of engraved gems; a breastplate decorated with pearls from Britannia; and, at one time, a statue of Cleopatra as the goddess Isis.[1]

History[edit]

Caesar originally planned to build the temple to Venus Victrix, but the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC postponed the construction. He decided to dedicate his own temple to Venus Genetrix as the mother of Aeneas, considered the ancestor of the gens Julia to which Caesar belonged.[1]

The temple was built in 46 BC in the city of Rome, in the new Forum of Caesar. It was placed at the end of a long enclosure by the Forum, a practice that was borrowed by the Romans from the Etruscans and which later became a standard architectural feature throughout the Roman Empire.[1]

The area was damaged by the fire in 80 AD. Later the temple was rebuilt by Domitian and was restored by Trajan in 113 AD. The three columns now visible belong to this later reconstruction.[1]

References[edit]

  • Nagle; D. Brendan (2005). The Roman World: Sources and Interpretation. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-13-110083-1. 
  1. ^ a b c d e Diana E. E. Kleiner. Julius Caesar, Venus Genetrix, and the Forum Iulium (Multimedia Lecture). Yale University.