Temple of Venus and Roma

Temple Of Venus And Roma

Temple of Venus and Roma

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The Temple of Venus and of Rome — in Latin, Templum Veneris et Romae — is thought to have been the largest temple in Ancient Rome. Located on the Velian Hill, between the eastern edge of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, it was dedicated to the goddesses Venus Felix ("Venus the Bringer of Good Fortune") and Roma Aeterna ("Eternal Rome"). The architect was the emperor Hadrian and construction began in 121. It was officially inaugurated by Hadrian in 135, and finished in 141 under Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, it was restored with alterations by the emperor Maxentius.


In order to build the temple, erected on the remnants of Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea, the Colossus of Nero was moved and placed near the amphitheatre, which shortly afterwards became known as the Colosseum. Unimpressed by his emperor's architectural skills, Hadrian's most brilliant architect, Apollodorus, made a scornful remark on the size of the seated statues within the cellae, saying that they would surely hurt their heads if they tried to stand up from their thrones. Apollodorus was banished and executed not long after this.

Further restoration was performed under Eugenius, a short-lived usurper (392-394) against Theodosius I, whose policy was the restoration of Pagan cults and temples.

A severe earthquake at the beginning of the 9th century unfortunately destroyed the temple once again. Around 850 Pope Leo IV ordered the building of a new church, Santa Maria Nova,...
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