Year: 200BCE – 100BCE
Location: Rome, Italy
The Temple of Hercules, which is one of the oldest extant buildings in Rome that is located in the Forum Boarium on the eastern bank of the Tiber. It is purported to be the work of the Greek architect Hermodoros of Salamina, who engineered a circular layout of 20 Corinthian columns orbiting around a central cylindrical stone block. This structure was created to be the circular temple where Hercules rested after his tenth labor of rescuing the cattle of Geryon from Erytheia.
With a history of continuous occupation stretching back over 2,000 years, the Temple of Hercules represents a palimpsest of architectural layers and uses. The temple is the only surviving ancient sacred structure in Rome that is made of Greek marble. It is composed of Pentelic marble that is originating in the quarries of Mount Pentelikon in the plain of Attica. The temple’s famed columns are slender that exhibit no swelling or entasis, instead extending directly upwards giving the structure a lofty appearance. Their highly articulated acanthus leaves, deeply carved stalks or cauliculi, and curling volutes, create a contrast between light and shadow in the carving. The temple remained an important icon of the Roman urban landscape into the eighteenth century.
Filippo n.d., ‘Why Visit The Temple Of Hercules in Rome’, viewed 5 May 2016 <http://www.travelviaitaly.com/why-visit-the-temple-of-hercules-in-rome>.
Q. Aurelius Symmachus n.d., ‘The Temple of Hercules’, viewed 5 May 2016 <http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-020.html>.