All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in October 2009.
Ruine del Tempio di Ercole Callaico (Book 3) (Map A3) (Day 2) (View B8) (Rione Monti)
In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
The Plate (No 49 - ii)
At Vasi's time this large circular building was thought to be a temple to Hercules built by Decimus Junius Brutus, a Roman general who in 137 BC conquered the Spanish region known today as Galicia. The Roman Senate granted him the title of Callaicus. The building was also known as Tempio di Minerva Medica after a statue which was found there: it portrayed the goddess with a snake, a symbol of Medicine (you may wish to see it in an external link or in a page dedicated to Roman Feet and Sandals).
The small 1748 map here below shows 1) Tempio di Minerva Medica; 2) S. Bibiana.
The ruins are now imprisoned between a busy road and the rail track leading to Stazione Termini and yet they still call for admiration. The vault partially collapsed in 1828. The building was not a temple, but a IVth century AD nymphaeum of the Horti Liciniani, a large villa belonging to the Licini, the family of Emperor Licinius Gallienus (260-68). The drum has the shape of a decagon and it supports a concrete dome having a diameter of 25 meters.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Next plate in Book 3: SS. Pietro e Marcellino
Next step in Day 2 itinerary: Trofei di Mario
Next step in your tour of Rione Monti: Chiesa di S. Prassede