Temple of Saturn Rome

The Temple of Saturn is one of the monuments in the Roman Forum in Rome. Thanks to its eight proudly standing granite columns, it is among the most striking buildings in this Forum.

Temple of Saturn Rome

Practical information

Temple of Saturn Rome
Temple of Saturn

For practical information about the Temple of Saturn and the Roman Forum, please see the information on the Colosseum, as the ticket for the Palatine, the Forum and the Colosseum is a three-in-one.

History Temple of Saturn Rome

Construction of the Temple of Saturn began during the period when Rome was still ruled by kings, but completion did not occur until the early years of the Republic, probably in 498 BC.

Lucio Munazio Planco paid for a restoration in 42 BC with using the spoils of war from a dispute in Syria.

Another restoration followed in 283, after a fire, this time paid for by the Senate.

The result of this restoration is what remains of the Temple of Saturn today, namely eight granite columns with Ionic capitals of white marble, an architrave decorated with palm trees in relief and the pediment, which was made by reusing older material.

The inscription on the frieze refers to this latest restoration by means of the words Senatus Populusque Romanus Incendio Consumptum Restituit, or “The Senate and People of Rome Restore what was destroyed by the Fire.”

The large podium clad in travertine marble dates from the earlier restoration, under Munazio Planco. In front of this, there used to be an almost completely collapsed structure where the treasury of the empire was kept, along with legal texts and other important documents.

On the eastern side one can see numerous holes in the wall. It is here that public documents were attached.

Saturn was the Roman God of agriculture and was glorified as the representative of prosperity since a mythical Golden Age had taken place during his reign, with no private property and therefore no theft, wars and slavery. Saturn was the Roman version of the Greek God Kronos, who had been driven to Italy by Zeus. Kronos hid in the region around Rome and thus was also responsible for the name Latium, a corruption of the Latin word for hide, later.

Every year, in the week between Dec. 17 and 23, a feast known as the Saturnalia was held in honor of the deity. Slaves took the places of their masters and rulers donned civilian clothes. All public buildings were closed for a week and war could not be declared. At home, people exchanged gifts and played board games.

Temple of Saturn, Rome

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