Temple of Jupiter Feretrius

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The Temple of Jupiter Feretrius on a denarius of Lentulus Marcellinus, 1st century BC - it shows a man in a toga and with his head veiled (Marcus Claudius Marcellus) receiving the spoliae opimae into the temple.

The Temple of Jupiter Feretrius (Latin: Aedes Iuppiter Feretrius) was the first temple ever built in Rome (the second was Etruscan and became known as the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus). Its site is uncertain but is thought to have been on the Capitoline Hill.

It was said to have been dedicated to the god Jupiter by Romulus after his defeat of Acro, king of the Ceninensi, in 752-751 BC. The origin of the epithet 'Feretrius' is unclear and may relate to one of two Latin verbs - 'ferire' (making it mean 'he who strikes', since the spolia opima was offered there) or 'ferre' (making it mean 'he to whom [the spolia opima] are brought').

According to Cornelius Nepos, by the middle years of the first century BC the temple had lost its roof after many years of neglect. As a result, the emperor Augustus decided to rebuild it on the suggestion of Titus Pomponius Atticus, the wealthy equestrian most famous for being the friend and confidant of Cicero.[1] Augustus subsequently included the temple in his autobiography, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, within the list of monuments and temples in Rome that he paid to have rebuilt.[2] If still in use by the 4th-century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.


  • Andrea Carandini, Roma il primo giorno, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2007.


  1. ^ Cornelius Nepos, Life of Atticus 20.3
  2. ^ Augustus, Res Gestae Divi Augusti 19