Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus2016-11-01T10:47:20+00:00

Roman Building Projects

A Marker of Social Organization and Military Success


Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus

  • The Temple was maintained in its original Etruscan (archaic) form until 83 BC when it was destroyed by fire
  • A new version was completed in the Greek style in 69 BC
  • Greek artisans were hired to do the work
Model of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus, found in the Museum of Roman Civilization, EUR Rome. It was Etruscan in style with terra cotta statues, terra cotta roof tiles, podium and wall made of large tufa stones, and wooden columns. This temple, dedicated in 509 BC, lasted until 83 BC, when it was destroyed by a fire.
The rebuilt temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus was finished in the Hellenistic style. It was hexastyle (portico with six columns) and peripteral (a portico around the outside of the temple) with ten columns on a side. The roof was eventually covered in bronze tiles with gold gilt.
The model of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is in its Hellenistic form. The model was built by Italo Gismondi and is located at the Museum of Roman Civilization in the EUR.

Political and Military Implications

  • The taking of precious materials from cities in the east in order to enhance the beauty of the temple was an exercise in naked power
  • The temple was at the epicenter of the Roman state; it symbolizes the divine favor of the three most important gods in official Roman religion; Jupiter, Juno and Minerva
  • The Roman senate and certain assemblies (such as the Comitia Centuriata) met in the temple precincts
Platner, SB. Platner’s Topography and Monuments of ancient Rome. Second Edition. Allyn and Bacon. Boston. Norwood Press JS Cushing Co.–Berwick and Smith Co. Norwood, Mass. 1904, 1911. Pages 297-300.