The Temple of Heracles

3d model and reconstruction

The Temple of Heracles

The temple of Heracles is a Doric hexastyle temple with eight columns repositioned on site in the 20th century, as well as a large step base. The reconstruction presented here refers to the most ancient temple, dating to about 470-460, with lateral drip and eaves in the shape of a lion’s head. For the reconstruction of the temples in Agrigento a fundamental role was played by E. De Miro’s book, Agrigento, 2000 and La valle dei templi di Agrigento, 1986

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Short history of

The Temple of Heracles

The Temple of Heracles is a Doric, hexastyle, peripteral temple, built in local limestone. Its attribution to Heracles is derived from a passage of Cicero (Verr., II 4,43), where he affirms that “not far away from the forum” rose a temple devoted to the hero. The agora, on the evidence of Livy (XXVI, 40, 8, 9) was immediately situated to the North. Archaeological research has revealed that the Temple of Heracles was the most ancient of the temples of Akragas. In fact, it dates to the last years of the 6th c. BC, as is indicated by some of its architectural features: the long stylobate (m 67,06 x 25,08); the relation between  the columns of the front and those of the sides (6 x 15); the extremely flat, spreading echinus of the columns; the cella, with pronaos and opisthodomus in antis, narrow and lengthened. The temple reflects a transition between tradition and innovation: an element of western archaism is evident in the peripteral structure of 6 x 15 columns; the symmetrical disposition with pronaos and opisthodomus, as well as the absence of adyton, they preannounce classical elements from Peloponnese.

Between the pronaos and the cella are the stairways leading directly to the attic space, a characteristic feature in all the temples built in Akragas and in Sicily. During the Roman age, the western part of the cella was divided into three parts, perhaps because the building was devoted to the cult of a Divine Triad.