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A Chronology of Building Activity
During the Fifties B.C.

   

   

59 B.C. No major building activity that was completed in this year is known.
58 B.C. Aedes Fidei [Temple of Faith] on the Capitoline restored by M. Aemilius Scaurus.

Later in the year Scaurus also erected a gigantic theater (Theatrum Scauri), which was constructed mostly from wood.

NB: The Theatrum Pompei [Theater of Pompey] was the first stone theater in Rome (q.v. entries for 55 and 52 B.C. below).  All earlier theaters, such as the Theatrum Scauri, are often referred to as temporary theaters.  The scaena frons [stage] of the Theater of Scaurus, however, consisted of costly marble.

The Domus M. Tullii Ciceronis [House of Marcus Tullius Cicero] on the northwest side of the Palatine was razed by Clodius, following Cicero's banishment. On the site of Cicero's house Clodius built a monument to Libertas. The nearby porticus Catulus is also razed. Clodius begins throwing up his own porticus in place of it.
57 B.C. The Fornix Fabianus, a triumphal arch on the Sacra Via at the east end of the Forum Romanum, was restored by Q. Fabius Maximus, who was the eponymous grandson of the arch's original builder.

The site of the domus M. Tullii Ciceronis [House of Marcus Tullius Cicero] is restored to the orator, after his triumphant return from exile. The temple of Libertas [see entry for 58 B.C.] is deconsecrated, and so Cicero arranges for his house to be rebuilt.  During the rebuilding of Cicero's house, both the nearby porticus of Catulus, which was also being rebuilt, and the domus Q. Tullii Ciceronis (House of Quintus Tullius Cicero, brother of Marcus) suffer extensive damage at the hands of some ruffians, acting under the leadership of Clodius.  For an interesting firsthand account, read my translation of Cicero, Letters to Atticus 4.3.
56 B.C. No major building activity that was completed in this year is known.
55 B.C. Terminus ante quem for the completion of the Porticus Pompei [Colonnades of Pompeius].

The Aedes Veneris Victricis [Temple of Venus Victrix] was dedicated by Cn. Pompeius Magnus in the Campus Martius (Field of Mars).  The Aedes Veneris Victricis was built atop the enormous cavea which formed the Theatrum Pompei [Theater of Pompey].

The Basilica Iulia was begun on the southwest side of the Forum Romanum by C. Iulius Caesar.

Caesar begins acquiring land for his Forum Iulium and makes plans for building the Saepta Iulia in the Campus Martius [Field of Mars], perhaps in competition with the theater-complex of Pompeius.
54 B.C. The Tumulus Iuliae [burial mound of Julia] is erected in the Campus Martius [Field of Mars] after Julia, the husband of Pompeius and daughter of Caesar, died in childbirth.

The Basilica Aemilia et Fulvia (also known as the Basilica Paulli), which was located at the junction of the Sacra Via and the Argiletum (i.e., the main approach to the Forum Romanum), is restored by L. Aemilius Paullus.
53 B.C. C. Scribonius Curio erects two large theaters made of wood (Theatra Curionis), presumably in the Campus Martius.
52 B.C. The Curia Hostilia [Senate House of Tullus Hostilius] is burned.

The Basilica Porcia is burned.

The Theatrum Pompei [Theater of Pompey] is finished and a permanent scaena frons is finished and dedicated by Cn. Pompeius Magnus.
51 B.C. Forum Iulii begun.

Terminus ante quem for the completion of the Curia Pompei (Senate House of Pompey).
50 B.C. No major building activity that ws completed in this year is known.

Bibliographical Acknowledgments:

L. Richardson, Jr.  1992.  A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome  (Baltimore:  John Hopkins U P).


NB:  My chronology deviates on numerous instances from the chronological table in Richardson (see esp. p. 450).  At numerous places the wrong dates are assigned to various building activities in Richardson's table.  I suspect that these errors are probably the result of carelessness in the publication process, for which Richardson is not to be held responsible.
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