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Regio V - Insula XI - Tempio Collegiale V,XI,1

The masonry of this Guild Temple (opus latericium) has been dated to the end of the second century. It was accessible from the Decumanus along a staircase running parallel to the facade, leading to a door 3.50 wide, at a much higher level than the street. Behind the entrance is a large hall, At the back are three brick piers, supporting masonry arches. Through the arches a courtyard is reached with a temple. The temple is on a podium and was reached along a wide staircase. The pronaos and cella have disappeared. A fragment of a marble architrave was found, with a frieze of bucrania and cult-vessels. Through a door in the west wall of the podium rooms below the temple could be reached, receiving light through six slit-windows. In the south wall of the back room is an apse. Here the floor of the temple has disappeared.

The courtyard had a marble floor. In the centre is an altar. The podium of the temple, the altar and the walls of the courtyard were decorated with marble. In the lateral walls of the courtyard are square wall-niches at a height of c. 1.20: four at the west side, three at the east side (w. 1.30, d. 0.50). At the east side is also a semicircular floor-niche (w. 1.80, d. 1.00). The latter niche and the north-westernmost niche were certainly fountains, the other ones perhaps as well. A door in the north-west corner of the courtyard leads to some small rooms that were set against the west facade. Among these rooms is a staircase accessible from Via degli Augustali.

The entrance of the building was decorated with a porch that supported an architrave with an inscription, fragments of which have been found on the Decumanus, opposite the temple, and (reused) on the intersection of the Decumanus and Via della Foce (they can now be seen opposite the temple). The distance between the columns of the porch can be deduced from the places of attachment on the bottom of the architrave, and is identical to the width of the main entrance of the building.

COLLEG(ium) FABR(um) [TIGNV]AR(iorum) O[ST(iensium)
(line 3 continued) L(ucio) FAIANIO OLYMPO,
(line 3 continued) MAG(istris) Q(uin)Q(uennalibus) LVST(ri) X[XVIII]

The inscription is a dedication to the deified Pertinax and should be dated to 194 AD, that is to the reign of Septimius Severus. It is contemporaneous with the building. Apparently the temple is a counterpart of the Caseggiato dei Triclini, the guild seat of the builders (fabri tignuarii). Here a dedication to Mars was found, not surprising, because the builders were organized in a military way. The Guild Temple may also have been dedicated to Mars. The attention paid by Pertinax to the grain supply is documented by the ancient historian Dio ("While Pertinax was at the coast, investigating the grain supply"; Dio 74, 8, 2).

Plan of the building. After SO I.

Photographs and drawings

Reconstruction drawing of the temple, seen from the north-west, by Italo Gismondi.
Sopr. Arch. di Ostia, neg. C 501

The facade of the building, seen from the Decumanus. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The altar and the steps of the temple, seen from the north-west. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The rooms below the temple, seen from the north-west. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

A room below the temple, seen from the south. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The two fragments of the dedicatory inscription, now opposite the temple.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.

[jthb - 12-Feb-2005]