The Temple of Vespasian and Titus (Templum Vespasiani et Titi) was built after the death of Vespasian in 79 CE, and dedicated to both Vespasian and Titus after the death of the latter just two years after. It is situated between the Temple of Concord and the Portico of the Dei Consentes, on the Clivus Capitolinus behind the Temple of Saturn.
It is a classic prostyle hexastyle temple of modified dimensions due to the restrained space available. The temple rests on a podium, measuring 22×33m, and consisted of a cella with columns along the inner walls and a base for the statues of the deified emperors. The pronaos of the temple consisted of six 15.2m high Corinthian columns on the front and two on the sides. The restricted space is reflected in the ration of width to depth of the podium and in the stairs, which passes in between the front columns.
Very little is left of the temple. Three columns of the pronaos remain, along with a piece of entablature with fragments of an inscription identifying the temple.
A cast of the sculpted entablature is kept in the Tabularium, where the details can be studied. The key motif is sacrificial utensils.
The inscription survive only in unreadable parts, but the complete text was transcribed by a pilgrim in the 8th century CE when the temple was still almost intact: “Divo Vespasiano Augusto S P Q R Impp. Caess. Severus et Antoninus Pii Felices Augg. restituer.” The inscription didn’t mention Titus, but it is known the temple was also dedicated to him.
Based on stylistic reasons it can be deduced that the restorations carried out by Septimius Severus and Caracalla must have been minor.
The podium and the stairs was restored by Giuseppe Valadier in 1811.
The remains of the temple is best seen from the Clivus Capitolinus.
- LacusCurtius: Hülsen: Il Foro Romano – Storia e Monumenti
(Text in Italian)
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