The Map of The Ancient Roman Empire

Brief Explanation of The Map

The map above may be unclear. However, basically, the whole territory includes the whole Mediterranean sea, from Mesopotamia to Britania at that time, covering a space of 6.5million km2 The largest territory was reached during the Pax Romana period under the leadership of the famous Augustus Caeser, ruled from 27BC to 14AC. After the Pax Romana period, the empire broke down and started to lose the territory to both threats from within and without. Finally, the empire was broken in Western and Eastern Empire and slowly led to the diminish of the entire Roman Empire out of the world map.

The Temple Of Castor And Pollux

Facing on the square of the Roman Forum to the west of the Arch of Augustus, the temple is separated from the Vicus Tuscus by the east side of the Basilica of Gaius and Lucius.

Tradition connects the founding of the temple to a popular legend in ancient Rome: during the battle of the lake of Regillus in 496 B.C. between Romans and Latins, two unknown young horsemen with a burst of energy led the Romans to victory and immediately thereafter the two were seen in the forum watering their horses at the fountain of Juturna and after announcing the route of the enemy they disappeared in thin air. They were identified as the Dioscuri and in thanks for their aid the dictator Aulus Postumius Albinus vowed to build them a temple. The building was dedicated by his son, duumvir in 484 B.C. and completely rebuilt in 117 B.C. by L. Cecilius Metellus Dalmaticus, after his victory over the dalmations, enlarging the podium.

The temple was once more restored by Verres (governor of Sicily, attacked by Cicero in the Verrine) in 73 B.C. The last definitive reconstruction was by Tiberias after the fire of 14 B.C. with a new dedication of A.D. 6.

What remains dates back to this time. The temple was peripteral with eight corinthian columns on its short sides and eleven on its long sides and with a cella on a concrete base (opus caementicium) (m. 50x30x7), originally faced with tufa blocks which were removed in modern times and reused. In the Forma Urbis (marble plan of Rome from the age of Septimius Severus) the building has a central staircase not found by the archaeologists who uncovered two lateral flights of stairs. It may have been eliminated in one of the restorations to make room for the tribune of the Rostra, which together with the one in front of the Temple of Divus Julius and the Rostras of the Comitia, comprised the “Rostra Tria” mentioned in the sources for the Forum.

The podium we now see dates to the restoration carried out by Metellius in 117 B.C. as do the stretches of black and white mosaic on the floor of the cella.

During the republican period senate meetings were held in the temple and after the middle of the 2nd century B.C. the podium also became a tribune for magistrates and orators in the legislative meetings that took place in this part of the forum square. It was from here that Caesar proposed his agrarian reforms. The building became the headquarters for the office of weights and measures as well and during the period of the Empire part of the treasury of the tax office was kept in rooms in the long sides. Some of these were also bankers offices.

The cult of the Dioscuri was originally Greek and it was imported into Rome via the cities in Magna Graecia. These twins, sons of Zeus and Leda, were skillful horsemen both in war and in competitions and therefore were the patrons of the Olympic Games, and in Rome, of the Circus games. This is why both in Magna Graecia and in Rome they were the tutelary gods of the equestrian aristocracy. In front of the temple in the Forum, the cavalry corps orrefed a sacrifice in their honor and passed in review before the censors.