Tempio di Antonino e Faustina (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina), Rome

Tempio di Antonino e Faustina (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina), Rome

The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina holds both historical and religious significance. Initially constructed by Emperor Antoninus Pius in 141 AD, the temple was dedicated to his deceased and deified wife, Faustina the Elder. This temple marked a significant milestone as Faustina became the first Roman empress to have a permanent presence within the Forum Romanum. However, after the death of Antoninus Pius in 161 AD, he was deified, and the temple was subsequently rededicated to both Antoninus and Faustina by his successor, Marcus Aurelius.

The temple is elevated on a platform made of large grey peperino tufa blocks, which provide a solid foundation. Its pronaos, or entrance porch, boasts eight monolithic Corinthian columns, towering at a height of 17 meters (56 ft). These impressive columns contribute to the temple's grandeur and serve as a testament to the architectural expertise of the time.

One notable feature of the temple is the rich bas-reliefs found on the frieze beneath the cornice. These intricate carvings showcase various elements such as griffins, acanthus scrolls, and candelabra. Over the centuries, these bas-reliefs have been extensively copied, making them a recognizable motif in art from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

Archaeological evidence, particularly numismatic findings, suggests that the temple was initially enclosed, separating it from the Via Sacra. Inside the temple's cella, a large, seated statue of Faustina would have been prominently displayed. Fragments of this statue, along with one of Antoninus Pius, added at a later time, were discovered in front of the temple.

In later years, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina underwent a transformation. It was converted into a Roman Catholic church known as Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Miranda or simply "San Lorenzo in Miranda." This repurposing demonstrates the adaptation of ancient Roman structures to meet the evolving needs of different time periods.

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Tempio di Antonino e Faustina (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina) on Map

Sight Name: Tempio di Antonino e Faustina (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina)
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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