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Aedes Herculis  (Temple of Hercules)


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A temple of Hercules near the circus Maximus, described as araeostyle and decorated in the Tuscan manner (Vitruv. 3.3.5). It contained a statue of Hercules by Myron (Plin. HN 34.57). The epithet would indicate either an original building or a restoration by Pompeius, but in any case this temple could not be identified with the round temple of Hercules in the forum Boarium (Liv. 10.23.3). The notice in the calendar (Fast. Amit. and probably Fast. Allif.) probably refers to this temple, as it alone has the designation ad circum maximum ["at" or "near the circus Maximus"] in literature. If so, it was dedicated on 12th August to Hercules Invictus.

Under the eastern part of S. Maria in Cosmedin are remains of the tufa foundation and walls of a temple of the republican period, which appears to have existed, although in a ruined state, until the time of Hadrian I, when it was entirely destroyed. The position of this temple could properly be described as ad circum maximum, and its identification with the aedes Herculis Pompeiani is reasonable, but by no means certain. It is possible that some of the references to a temple of Hercules in foro Boario ["in the cattle-market"] may belong to this temple, but it seems certain that it cannot be identified with the round temple in the forum Boarium ["in the cattle-market"], or with the temple ad portam Trigeminam ["at the Gate of Trigemina"]. This distinction, however, involves a contradiction of Macrobius' statement and no satisfactory reconciliation has yet been suggested.


[Platner, Samuel Ball, and Thomas Ashby. 1929 (rev. ed.). "Hercules Pompeianus, Aedes." A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome: 255-256.  London: Oxford University Press.]

Return to A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.


Images of the Aedes Herculis Pompeiani


No remains of this temple have been identified.
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