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Aedes Veneris Victricis  (Temple of Venus Victrix)

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The temple which, in order to escape censure for having erected a permanent theatre (see THEATRUM POMPEI), Pompeius built at the top of the central part of the cavea, so that the rows of seats might appear to be the steps leading up to it, and the whole structure be dedicated as a temple and not as a theatre (Tert. de spect. 10; Tiro ap. Gell. 10.1.7, where the temple is called aedes Victoriae for Veneris Victricis). The dedication took place in Pompeius' second consulship in 55 B.C. (Plin. NH 8.20), but the inscription was not put in place until 52 (Gell. loc. cit.). The day of dedication was 12th August (Fast. Allif. Amit. ad prid. Id. Aug.), when Honos et Virtus and Felicitas were joined with Venus, indicating that shrines of these deities stood near that of Venus (cf. Suet. Claud. 21). The temple is mentioned on an inscription (CIL 6.785), and in the third century (Porphyr. ad Hor. Sat. i.2.94).


[Platner, Samuel Ball, and Thomas Ashby. 1929 (rev. ed.). "Venus Victrix, Aedes." A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome: 555.  London: Oxford University Press.]

Return to A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

Images of the Aedes Veneris Victricis



Nothing remains (visible) of this temple.  L. Richardson (see esp. "A Note on the Architecture of the Theatrum Pompei in Rome." AJA 91:  123-126) has challenged the traditional view of the temple as a vast structure perched atop and receding back from the central exterior of the theater's cavea.  It should be noted that the earliest reconstructions accord with Richardson's arguments.
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