Temples

ROME - Temple of Janus Geminus
In AD 64 Nero closed the doors to the small shrine to Janus Geminus signifying that the empire was at peace. The event of closing of the temple doors goes back to the Sabine War when the enemy was rushing into the city through the Portus Janualis when they were overwhelmed by a torrent of boiling water coming from the Tempe of Janus. It was therefore decreed that when the empire was at war the temple doors should be kept open.

The form of the temple on the coins varies. Sometimes the door is shown on the left, sometimes on the right. Similarly the doorway can be shown either with or without a garland. The structure itself is shown with a deceptive perspective and was probably a doorway arch connected by walls so what we see on the coins is both the door and the side wall. 

 Nero, AE Sesteretius, RIC......

Nero, AE As, RIC 306

ROME - Temple of Juno Martialis
The circular temple of Juno Martialis occurs on the Rome mint coins of Trebonnianus Gallus and his son, Volusian, in the early 250’s. The temple sits above some steps and around the dome garlands hang.  In the centre is a statue of Juno, seated, sometimes with, at others without, a peacock by her side.

 Trebonnianus Gallus, AE Sestertius, RIC 110a
Volusian, AE Sestertius, RIC 252a

Volusian, AE As, RIC 252b
Volusian, AE Sestertius, medallion reverse die

ROME - Temple of Roma
The Temple of Roma stands back to back with the Temple of Venus in the Forum. That they stand back to back allows a play on words, ROMA / AMOR. The decastyle temple, with Corinthian columns, was built on the site of Nero's Golden House and construction began on the first temple at the site in 121 AD.
The temple appears on the coinage of Philip that celebrated the millennium of the foundation of Rome.  In order to display the central statue four of the columns are removed from the depiction.
 
 Philip I, AR Antoninianus, RIC 25b

 Philip I, AE Sestertius, RIC 164

 Probus, AR Antoninianus, RIC 196

The temple of Rome features on the coinage of the early fourth century struck under Maxentius and Constantine, commemorating the reconstruction of the temple following the fire of AD 307.

 
Maxentius, AE Follis, RIC VI Rome 258

ROME - The Sacellum Genii Senatus
The shrine of the Genius of the Roman Senate is a coin type from the reign of Antoninus Pius known from coins dated 158-9 AD. The depiction is of a cult statue of the “Genius” or spirit of the Senate on a pedestal, togate and holding a branch and wand. All this is framed by columns and a domed ceiling.

The actual location of the shrine in Rome is not known, although it could have been part of the palatine complex. Nor is the reason for the type being used only in 158-9 known.

Antoninus Pius, AE Dupondius, RIC 1014

ROME - Temple of Romulus Caesar
Romulus, the young son of the emperor Maxentius, died at a young age, perhaps in his very early teens. Some authors confuse a temple dedicated in his memory with his sepulcheral temple, both on the Appian Way. It may also explain the variety of temple form that occurs on the coinage, where some have a facade with columns, whilst others do not.

Deified Romulus, AE Denarius, RIC VI Ostia 59

Deified Romulus, AE Follis, RIC VI Rome 207
ROME - Temple of Vesta
The small domed temple of Vesta was located at the northern end of the house of the Vestals. It is thought that seven temples to Vesta have been on the site, many being devoured by fire. The seventh (and probably last) temple was probably Severan in date, partially explaining its presence on the coinage of Domna. Here the temple is relegated to the background and a devotional ceremony around an altar is brought to the fore.
Julia Domna, AE As, RIC 607

ROME – Temple of Venus Erycina
The reverse of this coin shows the temple precinct of Venus Erycina, a goddess whose cult originated at the town of Eryx in Sicily. Lucius Porcius Licinus dedicated the temple of Venus Erycina outside the Colline Gate in Rome in 181 BC. Strabo said that it was a copy of the temple at Eryx in Sicily.
 
C. Considius Nonianus, AR denarius, Crawford 424/1

Rome - Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
The temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus was located on the Capitoline Hill in Rome in Regio VIII. A number of incarnations of the temple existed, the fourth being built during the reign of Domitian after the great fire of AD 80. Many of the ceremonies and sacrifices for the saecular games of 88 AD during the reign of Domitian took place before the temple and these were depicted on the coins. On the full coin, an as, Domitian is pouring a libation onto an altar accompanied by musicians. On the fragmentary coin, a dupondius, a victimarius holds a bull ready for sacrifice is added to the scene.

Domitian, AE as, RIC 385a
 
Domitian, AE dupondius (fragment), RIC 382

PAPHOS in CYPRUS - Temple of Aphrodite
The coin, of the emperor Augustus from the island of Cyprus, features the temple as its reverse design with, at its centre, the conical meteoric stone that was the main feature of devotion at the temple site.

The Histories of Tacitus record a visit by the emperor Titus to the site in the first century AD:

“While he was in Cyprus, he (Titus) was overtaken by a desire to visit and examine the temple of Paphian Venus, which was famous both among natives and strangers. It may not prove a wearisome digression to discuss briefly the origin of this cult, the temple ritual, and the form under which the goddess is worshipped, for she is not so represented elsewhere."

Augustus, AE19mm, Paphos, RPC I 3906

OLYMPIA in GREECE - Temple of Zeus
The temple of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia housed the colossal statue to Zeus by the sculptor Phidias that was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The temple was constructed by the architect Libon, with carved metopes and triglyph friezes, topped by pediments filled with sculptures in the Severe Style, now attributed to the "Olympia Master" and his studio.

The main structure of the building was of a local limestone that was unattractive and of poor quality, and so it was coated with a thin layer of stucco to give it an appearance of marble like all the sculptural decoration on the temple. The Roman general Mummius dedicated twenty-one gilded shields after he sacked Corinth in 146 BC; they were fixed at the metopes of the eastern front side and the eastern half of the south side.

Augustus, AR Denarius, RIC 472
 

ALEXANDRIA in EGYPT - Temple complex of Caesarea

Antoninus Pius, AE Drachm, Milne 2251


ALEXANDRIA in EGYPT - Temple of Serapis
 Antoninus Pius, AE Drachm, SNG Glasgow 4211, Koln 1620

ANAZARBUS in CILICIA - Temple to ?
 Commodus, AE 30mm, Zeigler 264-6

BERYTUS in PHOENICIA - Temple of Marsyas
Tetrastyle temple/gateway with central arch, surmounted by statue of figure riding lion right, statue of Marsyas with wine skin on plinth in central archway.
 
Elagabalus, AE 24mm, BMC 204, SNG Cop 116

BERYTUS in PHOENICIA - Temple ofAstarte

Tetrastyle temple containing bust of Astarte facing, flanked by aquilae, galley below.

Gordian III, AE 27mm, SNG Cop 122

BOSTRA in ARABIA PETRAEA - Temple of Zeus Ammon/ Zeus Epikoos
Umm el-Jimal (ancient Bostra) is a village in Northern Jordan approximately 17 kilometers east of Mafraq. It is primarily notable for the substantial ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town which are clearly visible above the ground, as well as an older Roman village (locally referred to as al-Herri) located to the southwest of the Byzantine ruins.

Due to the tolerant nature of the early Roman occupation, little was contested during this period. The people of the region were able to continue their religious practices they had followed prior to the Roman occupation. Many of the regional gods like Zeus Epikoos were still worshiped as the local deities and that temple is likely to be the temple to Zeus depicted here.

 Elagabalus, AE 19mm, BMC 20, SNG ANS 1212, Spijkerman 40

CARTHAGE - Temple of Carthage
Contemporary with the issue of Maxentius commemorating the rebuilding the temple of Roma in Rome is a series from Carthage that features a temple dedicated to Carthage. Whether there was a programme of restoration at this time is uncertain but the must have been some trigger to generate the issue.

 

Maxentius, AE Follis, RIC VI Carthage 60

CARTHAGO NOVA in SPAIN - Temple to Augustus
 
Time of Augustus, AE 21mm, RPC I 174-5

DEULTUM in THRACE - Temple of Tyche

Tranquilina, AE 23mm, SNG Bulg I 1525

DIUM in MACEDONIA - Temple of Asklepios
The cult of Asklepios played an importnt role as Dium. Although the actual location of the temple has not been found several reliefs of Asklepios have been found along with statues to the Children of Asklepios. The coin shows some detail, the fluting on the frontal columns and a representatoin of the cult statue contained within.
 Gordian III, AE 24mm, Varbanov (Engl.) 3536

EMERITA in SPAIN - Temple.........

 
Tiberius, AE XXmm, RPC I XXXXXX

EPHESUS in IONIA - Temple of the Ephesian Artemis
The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was located in Ephesus (near the modern town of Sel├žuk in present-day Turkey), and was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401. Only foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples at the site remain.

The first sanctuary (temenos) antedated the Ionic immigration by many years, and dates to the Bronze Age. Callimachus, in his Hymn to Artemis, attributed it to the Amazons. In the 7th century BC, the old temple was destroyed by a flood. Its reconstruction began around 550 BC, under the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes, at the expense of Croesus of Lydia: the project took 10 years to complete, only to be destroyed in an act of arson by Herostratus. It was later rebuilt.


Antipater of Sidon, who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders, describes the finished temple:


“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand."
 
 Antoninus Pius, AE 34mm (Robert Ready electrotype), cf BMC 234

HADRIANOPOLIS in Thrace - Temple of Artemis
Gordian III, AE 26mm, Varbanov (Engl.) 3850

HADRIANOPOLIS in Thrace - Temple of Tyche
Gordian III, AE 26mm, Varbanov (Engl.) 3857

LONDON in BRITANNIA - Temple of Roma
Allectus, AE Antoninianus, RIC - (cf 40)

  NEOCAESAREA in PONTUS - Neocorate Temple

Caracalla, AE 30mm, Rec Gen 22

NEAPOLIS in SAMARIA - Temple of Zeus Hypsistos
The coins of Neapolis (modern Nablus) show the temple of Zeus Hypsistos that was situated on top of Mount Gerizim. The sacred grove, colonaded walkway and stairway leading to the summit are all visible in hte design. There are other monor shrines on the way up and a secondary peak with a smaller temple atop. The archaeological remains of the smaller temple have been found at Tel er-Ras on the northern ridge of Mount Gerizim facing Neapolis.
 Elagabalus, AE 21mm, Sofaer 92-6

Besides being used as the main design on coins a representation of the mountain and temple complex can form a subsidiary part of the design, as on the coin below where Nike is holding the mountain and temples aloft.
 Trebonnianus Gallus, AE 25mm, Sofaer 229

NICAEA in BITHYNIA - Tetrastyle Temple
 Geta, AE Assarion, Rec Gen 522

NICAEA in BITHYNIA - Hexastyle Temple
Severus Alexander (as Ceasar), AE 23mm, Rec Gen 579var

NICOMEDIA in BITHYNIA - Neocorate Temple
Caracalla, AE 30mm Rec Gen -, cf246-7

NISIBIS in MESOPOTAMIA - Temple of Tyche
 Philip I, AE 25mm, SNG Cop 240

PERGA in PAMPHYLIA - Temple to the Artemis of Perga
 Philip I, AE 26mm, BMC 56a


 Salonina, AE 29mm, SNG von Aulock 4741.

PERGAMUM in MYSIA - Temple to the Deified Augustus
 Tiberius and Livia, AE 21mm, RPC I 2369

PETRA in ARABIA PETRAEA - Temple of Roma
Geta, AE 26mm, BMC 28; countermark Howgego 126

SAGALASSUS in PISIDIA - Temple
 

Valerian, AE 30mm, SNG Cop 215

SMYRNA in IONIA - Temple of Tyche of Smyrna
Gordian III, AE mm, .............

TRIER in GAUL - Temple of Vulcan
A crude depiction of a tetrastyle temple of Vulcan. The central figure of Vulcan is depicted holding a hammer and an anvil to the left. This was the only mint to strike this type for Valerian and so we may assume that the monument was local to the mint city, rather than being the temple to Vulcan in the Campus Martius in Rome.
 
 Valerian, AR Antoninianus, Gobl 884d

TRIER in GAUL - Temple of Mars
As with the temple of Vulcan above this is a crude representation of a temple of Mars. Again, this was the only mint to strike the type for Gallienus so it is likely to be a monument local to the mint city, rather than the temple from Regio 1 in Rome on the Appian Way.
 
Gallienus, AR Antoninianus, Gobl 889h

TRIER in GAUL - Temple to Segetia
Completing the seies of three temple types for Valerian and his family is a temple dedicated to Segetia, perhaps the only time she appears on a Roman coin. Segetia may have been an archaic corn goddess, a precursor to Ceres. Stevenson suggests that Salonina built a temple to her near her altar adjacent the Circus Maximus. Yet again, this was the only mint to strike the type for Salonina so it is perhaps likely to be a monument local to the mint city

The tetrastyle temple shows Segetia with hands raised in prayer.  
 Salonina, AR Antoninianus, Gobl 902c

TRIER in GAUL - Temple of Hercules Deusoniensis
Hercules was the patron of the usurper Postumus. The incarnation of Hercules is a local variation from Deuso (modern Deutz). Whether the temple on the coins represents the temple in Deuso or is a monument constructed in the mint city of Trier is uncertain. The central cult figure of Hercules, although still leaning on a club, appears to strike a slightly different pose to the HERC DEVSONIENSI coins where the standing Hercules is the main theme of the design.
 Postumus, AR Antoninianus, Cunetio 2409

TRIPOLIS in PHOENICIA - Temple of Zeus Hagios
Altar or monument to Zeus Hagios in the form of a tetrastyle temple. Figures of Sol and Luna between the columns to the left and right.
 Elagabalus, AE 23mm, BMC 110-7

TYRE in PHOENICIA- Temple of Astarte
Elagabalus, AE 29mm, BMC 393, Rouvier 2363


ZEUGMA - Temple of Zeus Kataibates
On the coins of Zeugma is a four columned temple of the Corinthian order to Zeus Kataibates (although some writers suggest that it is a temple of Tyche). The form of the temple roof changes between Antoninus Pius, where the roof appears flat to being pointed by the time the temple appears on the coinage of Elagabalus, some eighty years later. This may be evidence of reconstruction, perhaps after earthquake damage in a region known to be active.

The site of Zeugma is dominated by a tall hill, and this may be what is represented on the coins, with colonnaded stairways to the summit, as on the coins of Neapolis. Others interpret the reverse as being a walled temple precinct shown in false perspective.
Antoninus Pius, AE 24mm, BMC 2; SNG Hunter 2631-2


 Elagabalus, AE 32mm, CRS 29


 Philip I, AE 30mm, Butcher CRS 31a, BMC 29


 Philip I, AE 18mm, Butcher CRS 33a, BMC 47 (Philip II in error)


 Philip II, AE 30mm, Butcher CRS, not recorded with this bust type

HYPAEPA in LYDIA - Temple of Artemis Anaitas
Hypaepa was a city in ancient Lydia, near the north bank of the Cayster River, and 42 miles from Ephesus. Its name was derived from its situation at the foot of Mount Aipos, itself a foothill of Mount Timolus, The women of Hypaepa were reputed to have received from the mythological Aphrodite the gift of beauty of form and dancing. Ovid placed at Hypaepa the home of Arachne before she was turned into a spider.

Trajan Decius, AE 22mm, SNG von Aulock 2971

HELIOPOLIS in COELE-SYRIA - Shrine of Tyche
I procrastinated whether to include this coin in temples or whether it needed to be somewhere else. The scene is not a temple as such but possible a scene within one. What we see is Tyche standing facing, holding rudder and cornucopiae; male figures standing to either side, each holding a wreath; all within billowing canopy held by two Nikai, each standing on a cippus. Whether the canopy is fabric or is a more solid material is open to conjecture.

Philip I, AE 26mm, SNG Cop 434


TARSOS in CILICIA - Shrine of Sandon
A pyramidal monument for Sandon over a base decorated by horned animal heads (oxen?) and covered by a round canopy supported by two figures wearing large mantle and Phrygian helmet; above eagle.

Sandon was a god in ancient Tarsus, visually represented as a mitre-wearing human form carrying a sword, a flower or (commonly) an axe who stands on the back of a horned and winged lion. Associated primarily with war and weather, Sandon was the chief god in the Cilician pantheon from at least the beginning of the second millennium BC. A large monument to Sandon existed at Tarsus at least until the third century AD.

Herennius Etruscus, AE 26mm, SNG France 1781, SNG Righetti 1706