Temple of Janus (Forum Holitorium)

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Temple of Janus (present church of San Nicola in Carcere) San Nicola Giano.JPG
Temple of Janus (present church of San Nicola in Carcere)

The Temple of Janus (Latin: aedes Jani), [1] is a temple to the Roman god Janus in the Forum Holitorium, Rome.




The temple was built by Gaius Duilius after the Roman victory at the battle of Mylae. [2] Its position is defined as 'ad theatrum Marcelli', [3] iuxta theatrum Marcelli, [4] 1 and extra portam Carmentalem [5] The day of dedication was the Portunalia, 17 August [6]


Augustus began a restoration of the temple, a project completed by his heir Tiberius in 17 AD. [7] The re-dedication day of the structure was 18 October. [8] According to Pliny the Elder, [9] Augustus brought a statue of Janus, a work either of Scopas or Praxiteles, [10] to be dedicated in this temple.


  1. Fest. 285 states that the senate was forbidden to meet in this temple due to their decree that the Fabii should go forth to the siege of Veii was made in aede Jani; but this is probably apocryphal, for there is no evidence of an earlier temple of Janus in Rome in which a meeting of the senate could have been held. The structure of Duilius, however, was probably on the site of an earlier shrine (HJ 508; Rosch. II.26; Gilb. I.260‑265; iii.380; Jord. I.2.347).
  2. Tac. Ann. II.49.
  3. Fast. Allif. et Vall. ad XVI Kal. Sept., CIL I2 p217, 240; Fast. Amit. ad XV Kal. Nov., CIL I2 p245, 325, 332
  4. Serv. Aen. VII.607, which is an interpolation in Jordan's opinion, though this is not warranted by Thilo's apparatus criticus. It is much more likely that a scholar confused this temple with the Janus at the bottom of the Argiletum, and accordingly wrote 'sacrarium hoc, id est belli portas, Numa Pompilius fecit circa imum Argiletum iuxta theatrum Marcelli' (cf. LIV. I.19.2). This is the second of the alternatives suggested by Wissowa in Gött. Gel. Anz. 1904, 562.
  5. Fest. 285.
  6. See Fast. Allif. et Vallens.; and for the significance of the fact, Pais, Fasti Triumphales Capitolini, ii.474‑478.
  7. Tac. loc. cit.
  8. Fast. Amit
  9. NH xxxvi.28
  10. Probably Scopas's Έρμης δικέφαλος (Hermes Dicephalus, Two-headed/two-faced Hermes, appropriate to Janus) - WR 106; Jahr. d. Inst. 1890, 148‑149.

Coordinates: 41°53′28.6″N12°28′48″E / 41.891278°N 12.48000°E / 41.891278; 12.48000

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