Temple of Portunus

The so-called Temple of Portunus is a temple in Rome that was probably dedicated to the port god Portunus.

temple of portunus

The so-called Temple of Portunus (Latin aedes Portuni) is a temple in Rome that was probably dedicated to the port god Portunus. It is also known under the incorrectly used name Temple of Fortuna Virilis since the Renaissance. It stands in the former Forum Boarium right next to a bridge, the Pons Aemilius, and the former city port of Rome, the Portus Tiberinus, where the goods shipped from the Ostia Antica seaport were unloaded.

A previous building measuring around 11 × 32 meters, the remains of which were discovered during excavations at the beginning of the 20th century, dates back to the turn of the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. The temple that exists today was built soon after 100 BCE. A first restoration took place in the 1st century CE. The podium temple, designed as a pseudoperipteros, rises on a podium measuring 11.87 × 25.60 meters at the base, and was consequently a little less stretched than its predecessor. The temple was accessible via an outside staircase that was once framed by cheeks.

The stylobate building, measuring 10.50 × 19.30 meters, consists of a 5.85-meter-deep vestibule, the pronaos, comprising two bays, behind which the actual cult room, the cella, opens through a door. The length of the cella including the wall thickness is 11.91 meters. Four Ionic columns, 8.22 meters high, form the temple front, with a further column connecting the long sides to the outer walls of the cella, which are divided by Ionic half-columns: including the corner columns, five on the long sides and four on the rear wall.

Portunus is a god associated with ports, keys, doors, and livestock.


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