Temple of Fortuna Virilis (Temple of Portunus)

c. 100 B.C.E.

This small temple on the banks of the Tiber was dedicated to the Roman god of rivers and seaports, Portunus. Originally this deity protected doors ("portus") but when the meaning of the word changed to harbor, his guardian function also changed. It was built of tufa and travertine blocks which had been originally been coated with a fine layer of stucco. It is in a good state of preservation because it was converted to a Christian church in the 9th century.

The style represents a merging of both Etruscan and Greek temple styles. Like Greek temples, it has a porch (pronaos) with free-standing columns but has only slender engaged Ionic columns on the sides and back since the cella wall is moved toward the outside--a type called the "pseudoperipteral".
In plan, it is like Etruscan temples, with a clear front and rear facade. On a high podium, it has stairs only on the front facade.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Copyright © Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan