In Piazza Bocca della Verità is this small rectangular temple dedicated to Portunus, the divinity of river ports, also known as the Temple of Fortuna Virilis.
It stands in the Foro Boario, the area intended for the cattle market, near the ancient Portus Tiberinus, the first commercial port on the Tiber. It is one of the best preserved buildings of Ancient Rome and, together with the nearby Temple of Hercules Victor - the first marble building in the city - represents a precious testimony of the architecture of the time. It dates back to the 4th or 3rd century BC, even if its present appearance probably dates back to the second half of the 2nd century, with renovations in the 1st century BC.
The temple stands on a high podium with steps covered with travertine slabs and four Ionic columns on the front facade. Its sides bear two travertine columns and five semi-columns in Aniene tuff on the walls of the cell.
Extraordinarily preserved, it keeps inside some wonderful frescoes from the Byzantine age with the stories of the life of Mary. In the 9th century, the structure was transformed into a Christian church, first as Santa Maria de Gradellis, or de Secundicerio, then, in the 15th century, as Santa Maria Egiziaca. This latter title was maintained until 1916 when the church was deconsecrated and the ancient temple restored.
The Temple of Hercules Victor
The Forum Boarium
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
L'edificio è visibile anche dall'esterno.
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