Sei sulla pagina 1di 12

Domitian, the Argiletum and the Temple of Peace

Author(s): James C. Anderson, Jr.

Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 86, No. 1 (Jan., 1982), pp. 101-110
Published by: Archaeological Institute of America
Stable URL: .
Accessed: 12/04/2013 13:16

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Archaeological Institute of America is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to
American Journal of Archaeology.

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Domitian, the Argiletum and the Temple of Peace
(P1. 11)

Abstract provided a chance for some widening and straight-

Statius (Silv. 4.3.17; cf. 4.1.13) seems to credit the ening of the streets in those quarters of the city most
completion of Vespasian's Templum Pacis to Domi- severely damaged, and Tacitus (Ann. 15.43) makes
tian, but most topographers reject this statement. Re- it clear that people were well aware of the inade-
cent investigation on the site, however, reveals signifi-
cant Domitianic work in the remains. The Templum quacy of the old crooked lanes, for the reconstruc-
Pacis sat on the southeast side of the Argiletum, which tion was planned ".. . dimensis vicorum ordinibus et
connected the Subura to the Forum. The Argiletum latis viarum." Apparently many streets were dan-
was traditionally a bustling commercial street-the gerously overhung by excessively tall buildings, for
site, probably, of Republican Rome's most important the Neronian plan provided a building code restrict-
provisions market-noisy and crowded. It remained so
despite the encroachmentof grandiose Imperial build- ing building height and providing for open spaces
ings during the first centuries B.C. and A.C. Little and colonnades at regular intervals. Such innova-
remains today of the Temple of Peace, but its form is tions were intended as fire preventive measures, but
known from the Severan Forma Urbis and reveals a they tell us much about conditions before A.D. 64
rectangular porticus with one anomalous, inconsistent that remained in those parts of the city not so se-
wall, far narrower than the other enclosure walls. This
wall, on the northwest side of the complex facing onto verely damaged.
the Argiletum, destroys the rigid symmetryof the plan; One of the oldest and most important arteries
it was this side of the enclosure that Domitian's archi- serving the Forum Romanum was the Argiletum,
tect had to deal with when transformingthe lower end which left the northeast side of the Forum between
of the Argiletum into the Forum Transitorium. Re- the Basilica Aemilia and the Curia (where a few of
mains of marble pavement in front of the Temple of
Minerva in Domitian's Forum reveal traces of two its paving blocks may still be seen), and ran north-
separate building phases in the monumentalizationof east toward the populous quarter known as the Su-
the Argiletum: cuttings for column plinths appear be- bura, thus connecting the Forum with a major com-
neath the line of the temple's flank orthostates. Von mercial and residential neighborhood. The Argile-
Blanckenhagenintepretedthese cuttings as evidencefor tum took its character in large part from the Subu-
a Vespasianic temple, peripteral and very low-lying,
that preceded Domitian's, but the building he recon- ra, an area regarded by various authors as represen-
structs is unparalleled in Roman architecture and tative, for good or ill, of the city. We have many
somewhat unlikely. The remains may be better ex- references to it. Juvenal (3.5-9) describes a densely
plained by assuming that the northwest wall of the populated area constantly threatened by fire and
Templum Pacis originally shared the form of the other
three walls and that the column traces indicate the line collapsing buildings, a picture that suggests Nero's
and level of the original colonnadethat lined the Argi- building code had not had much effect in the Subu-
letum. This wall had to be removed to make room for ra; he elsewhere condemns its flowing sewers
the Forum Transitorium, but its paving blocks were (5.105-6), its noisiness (11.140-1) and its foul air
reused and remained in situ. By this maneuver, Domi- (11.50-1). Martial has similar things to say about
tian's architect separated the Templum Pacis from the
street and protected it. The architect also made the it, particularly its din (12.18.1-2). He describes pri-
vate houses (9.37.1-2; 12.3.9-11) and well-stocked
Temple a part of the sequence of Imperial Fora, for
which it had never been intended, and to which it fruit and vegetable markets with produce brought
bears little formal resemblance. fresh daily (7.31.9-12; 10.94.5-6); hairdressers
were common (2.17.1); and the Subura was, in par-
Many of the connecting streets between parts of ticular, the prostitutes' quarter (11.61.3-4;
Imperial Rome were extremely old ones that had 11.78.11), renowned for its market in women and
served the needs of the Republican city. These for its pimps, whom the poet characterizes as auc-
routes were sanctioned by custom and affection, but tioneers (6.66.1-3).
they could not always be accommodated in the ur- The relationship of the Argiletum to this lively,
ban schemes of the principate. The fire of A.D. 64 teeming neighborhoodwas both topographical and

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
functional. If barbers and hairdressers were com- A.C. they seem to have disappeared,probablyswept
mon in the Subura, cobblersand booksellersseem to away by Imperial building projects and by the fire
have lined the Argiletum; and Martial implies that of A.D. 64. The commercialcharacterof the street,
the somewhat unsavory reputation of the Subura always important, became more pronouncedduring
may have extended to the Argiletum (cf. 2.17). Es- the early Empire, as shown by the trade in craft
pecially characteristic of the Argiletum were the products such as shoes and books attested by Mar-
bookstalls where, among others, Martial's own tial.
books were sold (1.2.7-8; 1.3.1-2; 1.117.9-12). At The major feature of the Argiletum during the
the end of the Republic there had been private Republic may well have been the macellum, a cen-
houses along the Argiletum: Quintus Cicero bought tral provisions market for the city.' We can locate
one there (Cic. ad Att. 1.14.7) and the orator him- the macellum within certain topographicalbounda-
self collected rent from property on the street (Cic. ries, but thereafter only speculation is possible.
ad Att. 12.32.2). No later author mentions houses Plautus (Curc. 472) locates the forum piscarium be-
along the Argiletum itself, and by the first century tween the old nameless basilica that was replacedby

"'0 0


. . . ............

0- . ... .

n- .•-
- -

11 a

I ;;
. ue * *

Ill. 1: Fragmentsof MarblePlan (FUR 15a,b,c,16a) showingthe plan of the TemplumPacis.(A. Colini,BullComm
65 [1937]pl. 2)

I The very existence of a central macellum in Rome before the evidence from ancient sources (primarily Livy and Varro) that
first century B.C. has been questionedby Ned Nabers ("Macella: can hardly bear any other interpretation must be rejected in
A Study in Roman Archeology" [Diss. Princeton University order to accept his hypothesis.
1967] 77-90; OpusRom 20 [1978] 173-74). However, too much

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
the Basilica Fulvia and the forum infimum, either macellum to the Sacra Via (Varro, loc. cit. and
on the site of the Temple of Antoninus and Fausti- 152). If the market was northeast of the Basilica
na or (since that is beyond the Fornix Fabianus, Fulvia et Aemilia, the Corneta can only be the
which was recognized as the limit of the Forum) street to the southeast. Placidus3 seems to have de-
accessible by the little street along the southeast side
fined this as the place later largely occupied by the
of the basilica, the Corneta (Varro, Ling. 5.146). Templum Pacis. As the location of the Templum
The latter seems more probable. The macellum, of Pacis is known from the Marble Plan, this supports
which the forum piscarium (or piscatorium) formed the location
suggested'by Plautus: for the Templum
one element (Varro, Ling. 5.145-7; Livy 26.27.2 Pacis was indeed due northeast of the Basilica Ae-
and 27.11.16),2 may then be located immediatelyto milia between the Argiletum and the Corneta, and
the northeast of the Basilica Fulvia et Aemilia, with is shown by a combinationof four fragmentsof the
the line of the Argiletum forming its northwest Marble Plan to have been a rectangular enclosure
boundary. On the southeast side seems to have run surrounded by rooms opening off colonnades-a
the Corneta, given by Varro (Ling. 5.146) as the plan similar to that of a macellum of the usual
location of the Forum Cuppedinis (cf. Festus 42L; Italian type4 (ill. 1). This macellum seems to have
Donat. ad Ter. Eun. 256) and said to connect the been completedby 179 B.C. (Varro, Ling. 5.145-7),
Mercat f

... . dei:C

....... . T
c4: Frr L
46 -bit 1 ;*
in-u 000 z'?.I z~ r 1 r r 1
FO UMIUIU001F7 - 1 ' - -

.?lk, 0 . .

. . .


, ..
1. . . .

. . . . . . . . .

0000000essees 0 000,4

-'ge T

er t cs Li:

Ill. 2: Overallplan of the Imperialforaafterthe time of Hadrian.(F. di Roma[Verona

Livy gives two almost identical lists of: 1) the buildings de- der Stadt Rom im Alterthum 1:3 [Rome 1907] 1, n. 2). See also
stroyed by fire in 210 B.C. (". ..septem tabernae, forum piscato- Platner-Ashby 141.
rium, atrium regium" [26.27.2]); and 2) those contractedto be 4 Compare the plan of the Templum Pacis with that of the
rebuilt (". . . septem tabernas, macellum, atrium regium" grandiose macellum at Puteoli (H. Comfort,PECS 744), or with
[27.11.16]). The change of one name in an otherwise reduplicat- examples from Morgantina (N. Nabers, OpusRom 20 [1978]
ed list certainly suggests an identificationof the fish market with 173-74), Pompeii (A. Maiuri, NSc 1942, 265; E. La Rocca and
the macellum after 210 B.C. M. and A. De Vos, Guida archeologicadi Pompei [Verona 1976]
3 GlossariaLatina 4 (Paris 1930) 56. The text of this passage 123-26), Leptis Magna (R.G. Goodchild,BSR 18 [1950] 72-77)
is corrupt and my interpretation requires accepting a standard and Saepinum (V. Cianfarani, Guida delle antichith di Sepino
emendationproposedby Ch. Huilsen(in H. Jordan, Topographia [Milan 1957] 33-36). The parallels are instructive.

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
and continued in use until late Republican times was very likely simply separated from the street by
(Cic. Quinct. 6.25) or slightly later. a bank of shops set between columns that would
The constructionof the Forum and Curia of Ju- have given the illusion of continuitywith the Forum
lius Caesar (Appian, BC 2.68-9, 102; Cassius Dio Julium's colonnade (for a hypothetical reconstruc-
44.5.1, 45.17.17-18, 47.19.1) began a new phase in tion of this side of the street, see ill. 3). The Forum
the developmentof the Argiletum. While the precise Augustum, then, had less effect on the Argiletum
location of the Curia Julia is not known,' we may than did the Basilica Paulli, Curia Julia and Forum
hypothesize that it stood north and west of the ex- Julium; in fact almost none.
tant Curia of Diocletian. Hence in Caesar's day the
Argiletum would have entered the Forum Roma- -n

num as a broad avenue passing between the Curia ---- litFlllllll iIl"i.i''
and the Basilica Paulli. The front wall of the Fo-
rum Julium stood along the Argiletum's lower end, EN

to the northeast of the Curia (ill. 2). Poor remains

of a wall that may belong to this facade (probably

little altered, if at all, by Domitian's reconstruction r

of the Forum Julium) can be seen behind the Curia

of Diocletian and, although they show several peri- TEMPLUMULUM
ods of construction,probably reveal the location of
the Forum Julium's wall on the Argiletum (pl. 11,
fig. 1). The lack of linear correspondencebetween
the wall and the Diocletianic Curia supports the
hypothesis that the latter's position was altered un-
der Domitian. The breadth of the Argiletum at this
point would have been increased by the oblique
northwest facade added to the Basilica Paulli under
Augustus, presumably to accommodate traffic (see
ill. 2). The street's dignity would be increased by a
colonnade along the Forum Julium's facade, then
by the passage between Curia and Basilica. Scat-
tered evidence for such a facade remains in the form
of a column plinth and base encased in masonry of
the Diocletianic period (pl. 11, fig. 2) that forms Ill. 3: Hypotheticalreconstruction
of originalVespasianic
designof the Templeof Peaceand its relationshipto the
part of the wall northeastof the Curia, and traces of Argiletum,the Forum of Augustusand the Forum of
other plinths that indicate a colonnade fronting the Julius Caesar(by NaomiJ. Norman)
wall that faced onto the street. Such a colonnade
would have provided a suitable architectural form
for the Argiletum as it entered the Forum Roma- As these great Imperial building projects en-
num. croached upon it, the macellum on the southeast
The Forum of Augustus probably did not con- side of the Argiletum must have contractedand be-
tinue exactly the line of the Forum Julium's facade come less viable as a central provisionsmarket. The
along the line of its southeast flank. Any continuity terrible fire of A.D. 64 swept through this part of
here would have been only illusory anyway, since Rome with particular fury (Tac. Ann. 15.38-44),
the main axes of the two complexes did not form a and it is extremely unlikely that the macellum could
true right angle even after Domitian's rebuilding of have escaped when such nearby buildings as the
the Caesarian complex. The Forum Augustum did Regia, the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of the
not in fact impinge on the Argiletum very much; it Penates on the Velia were lost (Tac. Ann. 15.41). It
I It
was probably rebuilt by Domitian (see Jerome's Chron- Jerome's text which credits the "Senatum"to Domitian's build-
icle, Olympiad 217) and its position altered. See R. Helm, "Eu- ing program. This suggestion was first advancedby L. Richard-
sebius Werke: Chronik des Hieronymus,"GCS 7 (1956) 191 for son, Jr., RamMitt 85 (1978) 359-69.

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

is never mentioned again in our sources; construc- lateral one in its spacing) set before six columns in
tion of Nero's Domus Aurea must have rendered it the opening to the exedral naos. FUR 15c shows
inaccessible from the eastward residential areas on some sort of formal arrangementof the area of the
the Velia and the Caelian hill, and the Palatine res- open square framed by the colonnade:on either side
idences had been destroyedtotally by the fire (Tac. of the central axis, which was left clear except for a
loc. cit.). The area was not incorporated into the large rectangular altar before the temple steps
Domus Aurea, which never extended so far north- (shown on FUR 15b and 15c) and possibly a foun-
west, so perhaps a makeshift market of barrows and tain near the front entrance (Procop. Goth. 4.21),
trestle tables was organized in the old macellum were located six rows of rectangularshapes in units
area after the fire, but the obsolescenceof the loca- of four rectangles apiece, the long dimension paral-
tion as a market must have become increasingly lel to the main axis (see ill. 1). What these rectan-
obvious. gles represent is a mystery, possibly a series of for-
Vespasian probably announced his Temple of mal gardens or shrubs, or (by analogy with the long
Peace as part of the joint triumph he celebrated narrow pools of the so-called schola Traiani at O-
with his son Titus for their victory in the Jewish stia) symmetrical ranks of narrow pools of water
Wars, and work began shortly thereafter (Joseph. intended both for decorationand cooling. Such pools
BJ 7.158). Its location is well establishedadjacentto might well have formed the central element for a
the Forum Romanum (Suet. Vesp. 9.1; Procop. formal garden, dedicated to Pax and the fruits of
Goth. 4.21.11), and Martial describes it (1.2.8) as peace, which would have given the courtyard before
the next-door neighbor of the Forum Transitorium the temple naos a resemblance to a public park.
built subsequently by Domitian. Statius (Silv. Unfortunately excavation has done nothing to clear
4.1.13) speaks of the Janus Quadrifrons that stood up the mystery of these rectangles,and similar fea-
at the opposite end of the Forum Transitorium from tures on fragments of the Marble Plan showing the
the Temple of Minerva as standing near the Tem- Temple of Divus Claudius and the Temple of Her-
plum Pacis. This location just across the Argiletum cules Musarum do not help, as neither complex is
from the Forum Augustum and abutting on the well enough known to be a useful comparandum.
Forum Transitorium is confirmedby the unusually [Ed. See Lloyd, supra pp. 91-100].
well preserved fragments of the Marble Plan, and The original form of the northwest side of the
by remains of architecturefound in excavationsdur- precinctis uncertain,probablybecause of alterations
ing the 1930s and subsequently buried beneath the necessitatedby constructionof the Forum Transito-
Via dei Fori Imperiali.6 Since extensive remains of rium. The architecturalform of the southeast side
the Augustan and Domitianic fora are still visible of the Templum Pacis consisted of the temple itself
(e.g. the foundationsof the Torre dei Conti, the hall flanked by four rectangularrooms. The temple was
of the Marble Plan incorporatedinto the monastery a large apsidal hall, ca. 34 m. x 22 m., either
of SS. Cosma e Damiano, some masonry and paving hexastyle or tetrastyle in antis, and resembling not
revealed in the north corner and in the park to the so much a temple as a great apsidal exedra at the
north of the Basilica of Maxentius), its location and end of the main axis.' In the apse at the rear of the
overall dimensions are certain, and it can be convin- naos the cult statue presumablystood on the rectan-
cingly reconstructedon paper (ill. 1). gular base shown on FUR 15a. The lack of a tem-
The complex was strongly symmetrical, laid out ple podium sets the Templum Pacis apart from the
on a northwest-southeastaxis, a rectangle ca. 110 Imperial fora in its architecture.The character of
m. x 135 m., with the principal facade to the north- the cult of Peace may have been responsiblefor this
west facing toward the Argiletum. The interior feature: Pax did not ordinarily receive temples, so
courtyard consisted of a nearly square colonnade far as we know.
with twenty-four columns on the northeast and The most striking feature of the plan of the Tem-
southwest sides. On the southeast the temple facade plum Pacis is its differencefrom the other Imperial
was emphasized by six columns set at slightly wider fora. Rather than long colonnadesflanking the two
intervals (but in line with a colonnadematching the long sides of the piazza, it had a porticus that sur-
A.M. Colini, "Forum Pacis,"BullComm 65 (1937) 7-40. suggests an apt comparisonto the so-called Curia in the Porticus
7 F. Coarelli, Guida archeologica di Roma (Verona 1974) 133, of Pompey.

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
rounded all four, or at least three, of the sides its extensive collectionsof works of art on display in
equally. Most important, it lacked the dominating the courtyard (as in the Porticus Philippi), and its
temple set on a high podium that served as the focal Greek and Latin libraries (as in the Porticus Octa-
point of the plan in the fora built by Caesar, Augu- viae) further connect it to the porticus tradition in
stus and Domitian. The literary sources reveal an the architectureof the first centuryA.C.
interesting fact: the Templum Pacis was not re- Another element in the plan of the Templum
ferred to as a "forum"until the fourth century A.C., Pacis sets it apart from the Imperial fora: the tem-
three hundred years after it was built and two hun- ple is set almost in line with the colonnades,rather
dred and fifty years after the sequence of Imperial than raised on a high podium and flanked by them.
fora had been completed. Latin writers consistently Such apsidal chambers behind colonnades were a
refer to it as "templum"(Suet. Vesp. 9.1; Pliny, NH common feature of porticus: the so-called Curia in
36.102) or "aedes" (Aur. Vict. Caes. 9.7), while the Porticus of Pompey seems to have been set in
Ammianus Marcellinus calls it "forum Pacis" relation to its courtyard much as the naos of the
(16.10.14). Greek writers consistentlyuse "temenos" Temple of Peace was. In its original Vespasianic
(Joseph. BJ 7.158; Cass. Dio 65.15.1; Herod. form as a porticus, the Templum Pacis represented
1.14.2; Gal. Nat. Fac. 1.1) until the sixth century a typical and highly successfulRoman answer to the
A.C. when it is once called "phoron"(Procop. Goth. problems of a suitable design for a public monu-
4.21.11). The combinationof this tradition with the ment that would serve a variety of functions. Porti-
design of the edifice suggests that the Templum cus had proven immensely adaptable according to
Pacis was not conceivedas a forum at all, but as a the needs of the individual complex in Augustan
distinct type of building. architecture, and Vespasian's architect recognized
The central concept of a colonnaded courtyard the possibilities inherent in the form. The architect
was variously employed in Roman Imperial archi- was eclectic: he seems to have kept the basic shape
tecture. The reason for its use in the Templum of the area available to him and designed his porti-
Pacis must have been influenced by the topography cus to fit it. In this form, the Templum Pacis could
of the area available to it, a large rectanglethat may serve the variety of functions traditionally possible
have been filled previously by a macellum. Unques- in a porticus: as a public park protected from the
tionably the building type to which the temple is bustle of an important and busy city artery, as a
most comparable is the porticus. The architectural library (Gell. NA 5.21.9 and 16.8.2), and as a re-
form of several important porticus of Rome is pre- pository of art works and a sculpture garden for
served to us in fragments of the Marble Plan (the their display (Plin. HN 36.27; Joseph. BJ 7.161).
Porticus Philippi, Porticus Pompeianae, Porticus Since it was limited in size by its location,the build-
Divorum and Porticus Liviae) and some remains of ing was of necessity something of a hybrid as, in
the Porticus Octaviae remain in situ beside the addition to the functions of a porticus, it also served
Theater of Marcellus. The Porticus Liviae is partic- as an important cult center and temple precinct,
ularly well preservedon the Marble Plan (FUR 10 celebrating both the external peace achieved at the
l,p,q and 11). It was a rectangleca. 115 m. x 75 m., beginning of Vespasian's principate with the settle-
with a double colonnade on all four sides of the ment of the Jewish rebellion and the internal peace
interior, three niches in each of the long sides, and a signalled by his emergence as princeps after the
semicircular apse on the south. A comparison with internecine power struggles of the Year of the Four
the plan of the Templum Pacis reveals striking sim- Emperors. The tradition that Pax did not receive
ilarities. In addition the Porticus Liviae is said to temples may have affected the design used for this
have contained formal gardens (Plin. NH 14.11) building: the temple itself is not a dominant feature
and a fountain (elements of importanceto the Tem- of the porticus, but rather a quiet culminationof the
plum Pacis); indeed it may have been a templum.8 architectureset at the far end of the main axis. In
Such features of the Templum Pacis as its exedras addition, the attempt to achieve a peaceful setting in
on the long lateral walls behind the colonnades the bustling heart of the city was a suitable design
(seen also in the Porticus Liviae and Pompeianae), conceptionfor a precinctto Pax.
8 See G. Carettoni et al., La pianta marmorea di Roma Antica
Jr., ParPass 33 (1978) 260-72.
2 (Rome, 1960) pl. xviii; Platner-Ashby,p. 423; L. Richardson,

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


..'I. ' x -
I A N , *.

I / X iiEE -x~c-7~i

. 'IA4-
4C - o
04- ....
/- (x-... ---
---XX ,Sxi-
xltx xtxr? xrr~tg
0",s - E7 ?

, ,,,1

--'VIA --(1
•_.• Marmr A

0 1Gm
E. u~tc0

~s , Repe i n


E~~I~ Travertiti
~ 1Ziegvl
-.-.~O-.--. )pus incrtum

Ill. 4: State plan of remains at the northeast end of the Forum Transitorium drawn by H. Fuhrmann. (P.H. von
Blanckenhagen,Flavische Architektur[Berlin 1940] pl. 43)

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
But the vital and noisy Argiletum must have con- southeast lateral wall (commonlycalled "Le Colon-
tinued to intrude upon the precinct of Peace. Per- nacce"). It must have run down both long sides of
haps in order to protect his father's monument, as the Forum Transitorium and replaced both a part
well as to create a sanctuary to his patron goddess of the facade colonnade of the Forum Julium that
Minerva, Domitian instituted changes to the Tem- was now included in the new Forum, and whatever
plum Pacis by altering the northwest side and the (shops, colonnade) had lined the lateral wall of the
entrance to the precinct from the Argiletum, and it Forum Augustum (see ill. 2 for the post-Domitianic
is his version of the Templum Pacis that is pre- relationship between these buildings). This device
served in the design on the Marble Plan. It seems was clearly introduced simply to provide sufficient
likely that originally there had been a deep colon- open space for the Forum itself. But can we tell
nade matching the others on the interior of the exactly what architecturalchanges took place along
northwest side of the precinct, and on the exterior the northwest wall of the Templum Pacis, and what
another line of columns probably providedspace for elements were originally Vespasianic? Von Blanck-
a row of tabernae that faced out onto the Argiletum enhagen has advanced elaborate arguments for as-
and were rented to shopkeepers (Martial signing the design of the southeasternlateral wall of
1.117.10-12, describes a bookstall there in A.D. 85 the Forum Transitorium (i.e. the design of "Le Co-
or 86, set between columns or pilasters, prior to lonnacce") to Vespasian. But the evidence is far
construction of Domitian's Forum Transitorium). from unequivocal, and admits of a different inter-
This hypothesis is corroboratedby the evidence of pretation.
the back of the precinct where a row of tabernae Two pieces of evidence suggest that Vespasian's
faced out onto the Clivus ad Carinas, a street lined architect lined the Argiletum with responsivecolon-
with shops on both sides (see ill. 3). nades that provided the framework for banks of
In order to construct a temple and forum in the shops in front of the Forum Julium, the Forum
very narrow space available (basically little more Augustum and (across the street) the Templum Pa-
than the width of the Argiletum itself), Domitian's cis (as reconstructedin ill. 3). First, the state plan of
architect must have dismantled the northwest wing the northeastend of the Forum Transitorium (ill. 4)
of the Templum Pacis, moved the circuit wall (now shows two marble slabs, much mutilated but clearly
made thicker and stronger) to stand just behind the once a stylobate since the cuttings for column
line of the interior colonnade,and against this erect- plinths are still visible on them (pl. 11, fig. 3), par-
ed addorsedcolonnades on both sides. It is to these allel to the northwest wall of the Templum Pacis at
extensive Domitianic alterations of the Templum a distance of ca. 13 m. from the wall.9 On the basis
Pacis that Statius must refer (Silv. 4.3.17; cf. Silv. of these and similar marble slabs across the Forum
4.1.13), although in flattering exaggeration the poet from them (S1 through S6 on ill. 4) all lying at a
confuses Domitian's changes with the original con- level just below the lowest course of the podium of
struction. The nature and extent of these changes the Temple of Minerva, von Blanckenhagenpostu-
can be discoveredfrom a variety of evidence. lated a Vespasianic temple preceding Domitian's on
As a plan of the existing remains at the northeast the same site, and with much the same plan. His
end of the Forum Transitorium shows (ill. 4), the dating of this constructionwork is acceptable; the
northwest wall of the Templum Pacis (Al to A2) conclusion he draws from the remains is debatable.
was a strong (ca. 0.95 m. thick) wall punctuated at There is no evidence in our sources to indicate that
intervals of 4.50 m. by columns set close to the wall Vespasian built a temple to Minerva between the
(ca. 1.75 m. from column plinth to wall, a figure Templum Pacis and the Forum Augustum. The
that would have been even smaller when the wall plan of this temple, as von Blanckenhagen recon-
was properly revetted) and connected to it at the structs it (ill. 5), is unlikely because the level of the
level of the entablature by breaking the entire en- marble slabs, which lie below the base of the podi-
tablature from architrave to attic out over the col- um of Domitian's temple, forces him to postulate a
umns, as shown in the existing fragment of the hexastyle temple without lateral columns and set
The plan (ill. 4) was drawn by H. Fuhrmann, and pub- and pl. 43. My wife and I checked the positions and measure-
lished by P.H. von Blanckenhagen, Flavische Architektur und ments of all remains discussed (November 24-26, 1978) and
ihre Dekoration untersucht am Nervaforums (Berlin 1940) 147 found Fuhrmann'splan to be extremely accurate.

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

upon a low-lying platform of (probably) a single The northwest side of the Templum Pacis would
step. Such a Greek tradition as a low-lying platform have been a colonnade of the same depth as the
is unlikely to have been combined with a non-peri- others surroundingthe courtyard,because the exte-
pteral temple, and such a temple is certainly unpar- rior wall of the complex would have stood nearer
alleled in Flavian Rome. This reconstructionmust the line of the Argiletum, and would have been
be doubted. There is no evidence for a temple of faced by a line of columns and shops along its exte-
such design anywhere in Roman architecture. rior. Hence, the original roof of the northwest col-
onnade would have correspondedto those of the
other colonnadesof the Templum Pacis, possibly a
double pitched roof sloping both outward and in-
ward. This hypothesis can be tested by referenceto
the fragments of the Marble Plan that show ele-
ments of the Templum Pacis and Forum Transito-
rium (ill. 1). FUR 15b shows the depth of the
surroundingcolonnadesof the Templum Pacis at a
point just to the southwest of the temple cella; FUR
15c shows the depth of the colonnadeon the north-
east side of the precinct. On the fragmentsthe actu-
al depth of the colonnade is representedas 4.9 cm.
on FUR 15b, and 5.05 cm. on FUR 15c. In view of
the schematic nature and scale of the Plan, these
two fragments can be accepted as showing a colon-
nade of the same depth on adjacent sides of the
complex. FUR 16 shows the southeast flank of the
I _L0 - Temple of Minerva in the Forum Transitorium,
and the anomalous northwest side of the Templum
Pacis. The distance between the side of the temple
(00 and the precinct wall adjacent to it is 5.1 cm. on
a FUR 16, close to being the same width as the colon-
nades of the Templum Pacis. The oddity of the
front wall of the Templum Pacis (see ill. 1) is out of
keeping with the design of the complex for it de-
stroys the symmetryof the porticus, which ought to
Ill. 5: Hypotheticalreconstruction
of a Vespasianictemple surround the open courtyard with colonnades of
to Minervaadjacentto the TemplumPacis. (P.H. von
equal width on all four sides. Such irregularitywas
Blanckenhagen, Flavische Architektur [Berlin 1940] pl.
45) unnecessarywhen Vespasian built the complex. The
anomalous treatment of the wall must have been
These marble slabs must be part of a stylobate,as introduced subsequently to obtain sufficient space
the cuttings for metal dowels show (see pl. 11, fig. for the Forum Transitorium, long and narrow as it
3). My suggestion is that they reveal the location of had to be between the Templum Pacis and the Fo-
the colonnade that ran the length of the original rum Augustum. The design of "Le Colonnacce"was
facade of the Templum Pacis and respondedto an- adopted to make the most of the area that could be
other colonnade with banks of shops across the Ar- gained by rebuilding the facade of the Templum
giletum along the flank of the Forum Augustum. Pacis. Vespasian's original plan is indeed still read-
Slabs S1 through S6 (ill. 4) represent the stylobate able from the evidence;Domitian's architect substi-
that carried this responding colonnade. Such colon- tuted the much tighter design we still see.
nades with shops set between the columns would There is some corroborativeevidence for this the-
have given the Argiletum the character, popular in sis. The excavator mentions two fragments of ma-
Roman architecture in the east, of a colonnaded sonry observed during the excavations of the 1930s
street while preserving its commercial character. in the vicinity of "Le Colonnacce"that might be

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

fragments of the earlier wall; an observer at that architectural history of both the Templum Pacis
excavation speaks as if he had seen the remains, but and of the Temple of Minerva adjacentto it may be
both reports are vague and confusing.10 Such a better understood.The reasons for the alteration of
foundation wall might well be the original line of the Temple of Peace so soon after its initial con-
the northwest side of the Templum Pacis, but no struction were probably three: to obtain sufficient
one provides a plan of the remains nor are they now room to accommodatethe Forum Transitorium; to
visible. Their reported existence does slightly removetradesmenand their activities from the Argi-
strengthen the case for a Domitianic reconstruction letum and the vicinity of the Forum Romanum and
of the wall into its present form. More helpful is a the Imperial fora by closing the Argiletum to all
poem of Martial (1.117.9-12) that describes one of such commercial traffic; and to try to protect the
the bookstalls along the Argiletum during or prior Templum Pacis from such worldly intrusions by
to A.D. 85 or 86 (when the first book of the Epi- joining it to the earlier Imperial fora by means of a
grams was published): new forum, thus greatly expanding the Imperial ar-
Argi nempe soles subire Letum: chitectural showplace on the northeast side of the
contra Caesaris est forum taberna Forum Romanum. Domitian's rehandling of the
scriptis postibus hinc et inde totis, Argiletum thus made a significant difference in the
omnis ut cito perlegas poetas. whole sequence of Imperial fora. The Temple of
This shop is apparently permanent and displayed Peace, initially a separate entity both architecturally
its wares by posting them upon its doorframe, and topographically,was bound into the group and
whether columns or pilasters or posts. It was located connectedintimately with it by the Forum Transito-
opposite the Forum Julium, very likely in front of rium until it came to be consideredan integral part
the northwest wall of the Templum Pacis at the end of the sequence. Only long afterwardsdid the Tem-
nearest the Basilica Paulli and the Forum Roma- plum Pacis come to be called a forum, however, and
num. If the facade of the edifice took the form of a its design neverjustified such a label.
colonnade (as seems likely), the spaces along it To this ingenious and totally original plan to
might well have been appropriatedor rented to the transform the Argiletum into an Imperial forum
cobblers and booksellersof the Argiletum. Martial's and alter the Templum Pacis to become part of a
testimony, and its date, seem to confirm the exis- much larger architecturalcontext, we may probably
tence of a Vespasianic phase of the northwest wall attach the name of Rabirius as architect, on the
of the Templum Pacis different in design from that evidence of the use of distinctive decorative details
still in situ." (e.g. the anelli or spectacles inserted between the
Although the standard handbooks of Roman to- dentils of the entablatures, still visible in "Le Colon-
pography tend to rejecthis testimony, it seems likely nacce" and well-known from many other Domitia-
that Statius (Silv. 4.3.17) was correct in attributing nic contexts), and a manipulation of spatial illusion
completion of the Temple of Peace to Domitian. If in the Forum Transitorium similar to that em-
we accept that Statius does refer to this probable ployed in his masterwork: the great Imperial palace
alteration of the precinct fifteen to twenty years built for Domitian on the Palatine (Martial 7.65;
after it was built-and if the alteration was a fairly 10.71).
radical one and resulted in the creationof an impor-
tant new forum and temple complex-we are saved DEPARTMENTOF CLASSICS
from rejecting a piece of topographical information UNIVERSITYOF GEORGIA
from an ancient author, and at the same time the ATHENS, GEORGIA 30602

Colini (supra n. 6) 22. The observerwas H. Riemann, who location of Martial's book on the columns separated by space
describes the material briefly in RE 18.4 (Stuttgart 1942) 2114. between ("nempe soles subire") and opposite ("contra")the Fo-
These reports are mentioned and accepted by H. Bauer, Rend rum Julium. This device was pointed out to me by my colleague,
PontAcc 49 (1976-77) 142, n. 36. Kristina P. Nielson, whose help I gratefully acknowledge.I also
it Martial's use of tmesis in line 9 of the poem may corroborate wish to thank my colleague Naomi J. Norman for her kindness
the picture of the street and its shops. The device describes the in drawing the hypotheticalreconstruction(ill. 3).

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


~ It

~ ~j~~*~~ Fr~


s:1- .%



FIG. 2. Column base and plinth of Forum Julium

facade, encased in later masonry. (Photo author)


FIG. I. The Argiletum passing along the facade of the

Forum Julium toward the Curia and Basilica
Aemilia. (Photo author)




FIG. 3. Remains in situ before the Temple of Minerva

podium in the Forum Transitorium. (Photo author)

This content downloaded from on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:16:54 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions