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Crypta Romana: The Temple of Jupiter

The Temple of Jupiter

King Lucius Tarquinius Priscus vowed this temple while battling with the Sabines in September 585 BC. He began the terracing necessary to support the foundations of the temple, but most of the superstructure of the temple were completed by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus: Taquin the Proud, the seventh and current king of Rome.

Construction on the temple has been going on for ten years or so. It has been a massive cicvics works project with thousands of slaves used and much discussion about the money being spent on feeding and housing them. There have been squabbles from various other priests as well as older temples have been moved to make way for the huge new structure. The temple has finally been finished, however and King Tarquin is scheduled to consecrate the new house of worship as soon as he returns from the seige at Ardea.

The Temple of Jupiter 2

The Temple of Jupiter was sacred to the Capitoline Triad consisting of Jupiter and his companion deities, Juno and Minerva.

The Temple measured almost 60 x 60 m and was considered the most important religious temple of the whole state of Rome. Each deity of the Triad had a separate cella, with Juno Regina on the left, Minerva on the right, and Jupiter Optimus Maximus in the middle. The first temple was decorated with many terra cotta sculptures. The most famous of these was of Jupiter driving a quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses, which was on top of the roof as an acroterion. This sculpture, as well as the cult statue of Jupiter in the main cella, was the work of Etruscan artisan Vulca of Veii. Statues of other gods and small shrines to their worship are also built into the new temple.

The Statue of Jupiter The Temple of Jupiter
The Temple of Jupiter