Etruscans

The Temple of Venus Genetrix. September 26, 46 BC.

The night before the battle of Pharsalus (48 B.C.), Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) vowed a temple to Venus Genetrix (“Mother Venus”), mother of Aeneas, and the mythical ancestress of the Julian family. The Temple was dedicated on 26 September 46 BC, the last day of Caesar’s triumph. “…and vowed, if he was successful, to make a thank-offering by building a temple to her in Rome as bringer of victory.” Appian, The Civil Wars (II.68) The Forum of Julius Caesar, in which the temple stands, was finished by Augustus (63 B.C.-A.D. 14) in 29 B.C. The cult statue was sculpted for Caesar by Arcesilas, and there were other statues and precious objects on display here. Trajan (A.D. 53-117) rebuilt the temple, which also had to be restored after the fire of A.D. 283. On...

Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus – July 6, 83 BC

Numa Pompilius, after defeating the Italic Sabines in Rome, decided he and his Etruscans were going to settle the area to show their superiority. Most of the temples and shrines on the southern hilltop of the Capitoline Hill were destroyed so as to make room for the massive Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which was to be visible from all the hills in the entire city. Construction began under the first king of the Etruscan dynasty, Tarquinius Priscus during early 6th Century BC. Nothing is mentioned in written records about progress under the second king, Servius Tullius. Tarquinius Superbus picked up the project again during his reign as the third king, but was interrupted by the death of his father. He was not able to finish the project before he was banished from Rome, ending the Etru...

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