Temple of Apollo at Pompeii

3d model and reconstruction

Temple of Apollo at Pompeii

All visitors who, over the past few centuries, have walked through the archaeological area in Pompeii, have tried at least once to image what the town must have looked like before it was wiped out by the fury of the volcano.

It might be exactly the relative architectural integrity of the urban texture (greater that in other sites), that encourages the wish to get to know what the town originally looked like. The work done by Altair 4 is aimed at reconstructing for modern-day visitors, in a way which is detailed and at the same scientifically rigorous, the town of Pompeii as it might have looked like twenty centuries ago.

All of the reconstructed monuments have been studied and reproduced in 3D based on scientific work following the most updated archaeological studies or even the drawings of the time, as well as on maps, photographs, aerial views, modern survey techniques or laser scanning.

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Short history of

Temple of Apollo at Pompeii

The sanctuary dedicated to Apollo is the most ancient place of worship in Pompeii. We do not know what the sacred area originally looked like. On the basis of the oldest objects found in the sanctuary’s votive deposits, we can establish that the cult dates back to the VII century BC or perhaps even the previous century.  In such an archaic period, there was no actual temple; religious ceremonies must have taken place in an open space, perhaps provided with one or more altars.

The first building was constructed in the VI century BC, but only a few of the painted terracotta panels which decorated the roof remain.  The temple we see today was built in the Samnite period by quaestor Oppius Campanus, as reported in the inscription at the cella threshold.  Shortly thereafter, the area of the sanctuary was reduced to make room for the Forum.  The senate of the Sullan colony had an altar built in honor of Apollo at the temple.  In the Augustan age, a sundial was added to the sanctuary and the western wall was raised to block nearby houses from sight.  After the earthquake in 62 AD, the whole sacred area was naturally restored with great care.

Apollo and his temple were constantly at the attention of the magistrates of the city, and this underscores the importance of the cult.  Games in honor of the god were even held during the Augustan period, called the Apollinares games.  The nature of the cult is still not completely clear, however.  Two hypotheses have been advanced: either Apollo was Pompeii‘s poliadic deity, the city’s protector par excellence, or he may have been the god who protected commercial activities, the backbone of Pompeian life and its source of wealth.