Temple of Peace (Forum of Vespasian)

Temple of Peace (Forum of Vespasian)


Temple of Peace (Forum of Vespasian)

The third of the imperial fora, the Forum of Vespasian was known until late antiquity as the Templum Pacis after the Temple of Peace that dominated the complex. It was begun by Vespasian in AD 71 after the capture of Jerusalem the year before and dedicated in AD 75, the year after Masada finally fell, ending the Jewish War. The forum consisted of a large square with a formal garden and was enclosed on three sides by porticoes. On the fourth side, facing the Forum of Augustus, was the temple, itself, the fa'ade in line with the colonnade. Flanking it were large halls, one of which housed a library, the Bibliotheca Pacis.

The temple was considered by Pliny to be one of the three most beautiful buildings in Rome. The treasures from the Temple of Jerusalem were deposited there, as were the works of Galen and the finest masterpieces of Greek art, including, says Suetonius, a copy of Praxitles’s Venus, as well as art from the Golden House, which Nero had gathered from throughout the empire.

Virtually nothing of the forum now remains except remnants of the library wall and an exedra off the colonnade.

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