Temple of Venus Genetrix

3d model and reconstruction

Temple of Venus Genetrix

The temple of Venus Genetrix closed the Forum of Caesar towards the saddle which led to the Capitol Hill: the remains currently preserved include most of the podium and three large columns with part of the trabeation, the latter dating back to restoration in the age of Trajan.

Numerous fragments of the temple are kept in the Musei Capitolini. The cella, with apse, included the deity’s statue by the neo-Attic sculptor Arcesilaus.

Our reconstruction shows the Forum and the temple at the time of their restoration by Trajan, who dedicated the new temple in 113 BC.

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Short history of

Temple of Venus Genetrix

This temple was voted by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, before going into battle against the army of Pompey at Pharsalus, in Asia Minor.

According to the myth, Venus had married Aeneas and from their union was born Iulus, patriarch of the Julii, the family of Caesar. The dedication of the temple in the new forum built by Caesar thus had a clear significance of dynastic celebration.

It was peripteral, with eight columns on the façade. The raised podium helped to emphasize the temple’s dominant position inside the monumental complex. As often happened with temples in Rome, this one too became a sort of art gallery, whose collection included a bronze statue of Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, whom Caesar loved.