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The Temple of Castor and Pollux in Rome

  • Thomas Ashby


A remark which I made in regard to Tenney Frank's article on the first and second temples of Castor at Rome, to the effect that its conclusions are based on inaccurate drawings, seems to call for some justification on my part. I may say that I had fully intended to discuss the matter in print long before this, and that it was only the impossibility of offering a more satisfactory solution that prevented me from doing so. But, if the truth is ever to be reached in this difficult problem, we must first clear away mistakes and misunderstandings; and it is with this object in view that I am publishing this note at the present time.

A careful examination of the existing remains seems to establish the following points with regard to the earliest temple. (As I have not been able to give a fresh series of drawings, I have adhered closely to the order of Frank's argument.) The first point of divergence is in regard to the interpretation of the walls e and d. The former is no less than 3·24 metres in thickness, the latter 1·54 m.; and they are supposed each to carry a line of four wooden columns only 0·77 m. in diameter. The adaptation of means to ends is entirely out of all proportion.



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page 161 note 1 In Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, vol. v, pp. 79–102.

page 161 note 2 Platner and Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome p. 104 n. 1. I would add that, whereas in the title of the article the drawings are attributed to Gorham Phillips Stevens, the state of things is more fully and accurately explained on p. 79, n. 1; and that it is with figs. 1 and 4, for which Stevens was not responsible, Stevens was not responsible, that my main quarrel lies.

page 161 note 3 I have had the opportunity of examining the temple, first with Professor Rhys Carpenter and then with Dr. Gilbert Bagnani, to both of whom my best thanks are due.

page 161 note 4 A minor point is that on p. 79 the third note should be divided into two parts, the second referring to the text two lines lower down. Then, it is in the first reference to Festus (p. 265— Lindasy) that the letters stor occur. Further, to the references to Festus one to p. 290 should be added.

page 161 note 5 P. 8l, fig. i; P. 83, fig. ii.; cf. Platner and Ashby, op. cit. ill. 12, for a view of the west side of the west side of the podium.

page 161 note 6 Cf. Delbrück, Apollotempel plates i, ii and iii, for walls of the same material and of the same general period in the temple of Apollo, in the Comitium, in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinusu, and on the Palatine.

page 162 note 1 We may cite as examples those of Jupiter Capitolinus (Not. Scavi 1921, p. 45); of Lanuvium (Bendinelli, in Mon. Lincei vol. xxvii (1922), plate ii —cf. Galieti, in Bull. Com. vol. lvi (1928) p. 81, fig. 1); of Signia (Delbrück, Capitolium von Signia plates i and iv); and of Norba (Not. Scavi 1901, pp. 524 and 535).

page 162 note 2 Cf. his article in Classical Review vol. xx (1906), pp. 77 sqq.; cf. p. 184.

page 162 note 3 For the use of the aedituus’ (p. 102)—a singularly infelicitous conjecture.

page 162 note 4 Vide Richter, Top. 2 p. 86 fig.

page 162 note 5 In fig. iv, on the (spectator's) left of the ‘platform,’ there is a vertical line. Here we can see that all the six courses of cappellaccio have been smoothed down almost vertically: but this cannot possibly have been a wall-face, for, in the third course up, the end block is only 17 cm. wide, and in the fifth 26 cm. The space to the left of them is 43 cm. wide; and it may be explained by supposing that the builders of the Metellan temple put in a course of brown (?) tufa- (anyhow harder tufa-) blocks of this width when they laid the Metellan concrete, and that these blocks, together with some of the cappellaccio-blocks, were removed by mediaeval seekers after building-material.

page 163 note 1 Jahrb. d. Inst. vol. xiii (1898), plate 8, M: (M. cf. p. 101— ‘innerhalb des Pronaos eine Reibe von kleineren Mauern, die teils aus Tuff, teils aus Travertin bestehen (ihre Erklärung ist schwierig)’).

page 163 note 2 Capitolium von Signia, p. 22: he has some further remarks in the same volume (Apollotempel, p. 14).

The Temple of Castor and Pollux in Rome

  • Thomas Ashby


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