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The southern summit of the Capitoline Hill at Rome, separated from the arx or northern summit by a saddle, on which were the asylum and the temple of Veiovis. The Capitol was approached by a road mounting in several zig-zags from the Forum. On the highest point of the southern top was the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, begun by the Tarquins, but not finished till the first year of the Republic (509 B.C.). The temple was quadrangular and nearly square, with three rows of columns in front, six in each row, and four columns on each side. They were in the Doric, or rather the Tuscan, style. The interior was divided by parallel walls into three cellae or chambers. The central chamber was dedicated to Jupiter, and contained a statue of the god in terra-cotta. The senate sometimes held its sittings here, particularly at the opening of the year, and on occasions when war was declared. The right-hand chamber was sacred to Minerva, the left-hand to Juno. The entablature was entirely constructed of wood; the pediment was of terra-cotta, as was the quadriga or four-horsed chariot, with the figure of the god, above. After the Third Punie War the entablature was gilded. In 83 B.C. the whole temple was burnt down to the vaults in which the Sibylline books and other consecrated objects were preserved. Sulla rebuilt the structure strictly on the lines of the old one, though with much greater splendour in detail; but the new temple was not consecrated till 69 B.C. A statue of Jupiter in gold and ivory, on the model of the Olympian Zeus, by Apollonius, was substituted for the old image of terra-cotta. A hundred years later the building was again burnt down, in the civil war of Vitellius and Vespasian. Vespasian restored it, but the new structure was again destroyed by fire in 80 A.D. In 82 Domitian erected a new temple, a Corinthian hexastylos, which survived unhurt till the 5th century A.D. This was gradually destroyed, partly by the invading barbarians who plundered it, and partly in the dissensions of the Middle Ages. The Palazzo Caffarelli now stands upon its foundation.
Type: Standard
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