Temple of Antoninus & Faustina in the Roman Forum
Today, the remains of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina can be seen inside the archaeological area of the Roman Forum in Rome. The temple stands in the northern area of the Regia, between the Basilica Aemilia and the Temple of Romulus.
|Credits: image by @Roma_Wonder|
|Location: in the Roman Forum|
|Tickets: Free to visit from Via Dei Fori Imperiali / Tickets needed from the Roman Forum|
|Accessibility: Partially Accessible|
Origin of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
At the beginning, the temple was dedicated just to Faustina, Emperor Antoninus wife. It was built just after her death, in 140 A.D. at the behest of the Roman Senate as the inscription suggests. Indeed, Antoninus died only 20 years later, and the epigraph with his name was added posthumously.
Antoninus & Faustina: a couple of modern times
Not far from the temple archaeologists have found the remains of sculptural elements, probably belonging to statues representing the imperial couple.
It is worth mentioning some interesting details of the marriage between Antoninus and Faustina.
Faustina married Antoninus in 110 and gave birth to two sons and two daughters. One of them, Faustina Junior was meant to become future empress of Rome. When Antoninus became Emperor, Faustina obtained the title of Augustae. According to some sources, the couple had an happy marriage. Faustina unfortunately died young, at the age of 35 and following the will of her husband was commemorated as Diva. After her death, Faustina played a prominent symbolical role in Antoninus’ regime. The emperor was devastated for the death of his wife and took several significant steps to honor her memory.
First of all, he dedicated to her the Temple in the Roman Forum and obtained the favor of the Senate to make gold and silver statues of her. Her image and name, “Diva Faustina” were impressed on various coins.
Moreover, Antoninus also established a charity in her name, called “Puellae Faustinianae”, which can be translated as “The Girls of Faustina”, to assist orphan Roman girls. Thus, the cult of Faustina spread and became exceptionally popular during Antoninus principate.
Structure of the Temple of Antoninus & Faustina
The temple of Antoninus and Faustina stands on a high base, which can be accessed to through a stair made of bricks, recently reconstructed. Six impressive columns in onion marble grace the facade.
A Church inside the Temple
The original roof of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina was destroyed during the transformation of the building into the Church of San Lorenzo, along with the marble decorations that used to adorn the temple.