Ancient History Encyclopedia has a new name!

We are now World History Encyclopedia to better reflect the breadth of our non-profit organization's mission. If you have bookmarks or links to our site on your blog or website, please update them. Learn More

Early Temples of the Forum Romanum: Temples of the Roman Republic


published on 18 January 2012
Send to Google Classroom:

The temple was an important physical and ceremonial structure in any Roman city. Originally a gathering place (a templum), the temple evolved into a place for people to gather, to worship gods and deified emperors, and to perform ceremonial sacrifices and rites. The temples of the Forum Romanum, particularly from the period of the Roman Republic (509 – 27 BCE), are among some of the most important and grandest in the city.

Temple of Saturn – The oldest temple in the Forum Romanum, the first of the three versions of this temple was built in 498 BCE. It was dedicated to Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, a chief of the Roman Pantheon (equivalent to Cronus, the leader of the Greek Titans), and an early mythical king of Rome. The first version of the temple was taken down in 42 BCE, and rebuilt by aedile L. Munatius Plancus. This temple perished in a fire in 283 CE. Under Emperor Diocletian, the temple was built again. The Ionic temple housed a statue of Saturn, and was the starting point of the annual Saturnalia.

Remove Ads


Temple of Castor & Pollux
Temple of Castor & Pollux
Dcastor (Public Domain)

Temple of Castor and Pollux – This was a temple dedicated to the dioscouri Castor and Pollux, who had helped the Romans win a battle against the Latins in 496 BCE. As the legend tells it, the two men were seen watering their horses at a spring in the Forum Romanum after the battle. A temple was built at this location by Roman dictator Aulus Postumius Albinus, and it was completed in 484 BCE. The temple went through several restorations; in 117 BCE. It was enlarged by L. Cecilius Dalmaticus to celebrate victory over the Dalmations, Gaius Verres restored it in 73 BCE, and Tiberius restored the temple in 106 CE after a fire had destroyed it in 14 BCE.

Remove Ads


The peripteral temple with Corinthian columns was originally a Senate meeting location. During the Imperial era, the temple served as the office of weights and measures and the reserve for the State treasury. Very little remains of the temple today.

Temple of Concordia – This temple was built by the people of Rome. To celebrate the attainment of concord (harmony and agreement) between the Patricians and the Plebeians, this temple was constructed in 367 BCE. It underwent restoration in 121 BCE, and then in 10 CE under Tiberius. He tore it down, along with the basilica Opimia, and rebuilt a larger temple in their places. The building was often used by the Senate and for trials.

Love History?

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter!

Temple of Vesta, Rome
Temple of Vesta, Rome
Mark Cartwright (CC BY-NC-SA)

Atrium Vestae – This was the House of the Vestal Virgins. Here lived the priestesses of the cult of Vesta, who guarded the sacred hearth fires within the Temple of Vesta. The original temple was built in the 6th century BCE, and the Vestal Virgins occupied this area until 394 CE, when the cult was outlawed. Afterward, the building was used for Imperial offices.

Temple of Vesta - Originally built in the Forum Romanum in the 3rd century BCE, this temple was restored in 191 CE by the wife of Septimius Severus. It was a most important sanctuary of Rome, dedicated to Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth, and over whose cult the Vestal Virgins presided. All incarnations of the temple featured a circular cella, where the sacred hearth was and the eternal fire burned. Theodosius closed the temple in 394 CE, when paganism was banned in favor of Christianity.

Remove Ads


Editorial Review This article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.
Remove Ads




We want people all over the world to learn about history. Help us and translate this article into another language!

Support Our
Non-Profit Organization

World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide.

Become a Member  

Recommended Books

Sorry, we haven't been able to find any books on the subject.

Cite This Work

APA Style

writer873, . (2012, January 18). Early Temples of the Forum Romanum: Temples of the Roman Republic. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

writer873, . "Early Temples of the Forum Romanum: Temples of the Roman Republic." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 18, 2012.

MLA Style

writer873, . "Early Temples of the Forum Romanum: Temples of the Roman Republic." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 18 Jan 2012. Web. 16 May 2021.