The temple of Dioscuri


Our author: Stefanoimage

As a continuation of a good tradition, I will keep telling you the stories of the famous places and monuments in Rome. I have already mentioned once the Dioscuri theme, but this time I would like to deepen and enrich your knowledge! So, let’s talk about the Dioscuri Temple.

The temple of Dioscuri is a temple of the Roman Forum in ancient Rome. It is better known as a temple of Càstori. 

Castor and Pollux are two characters of Greek and Roman mythology, twin sons of Zeus and Leda, known primarily as the Diòscuri, namely “sons of Zeus.”

Really, some claim that the twins would have originated from Tindaro, king of Sparta, having as sister Elena, subject of contention in Troy, and Clitennestra. Others tell that only Pollux and sister Elena were sons of Zeus, and therefore immortal; Castor and Clitennestra were therefore sons of Tindaro and intended to death.

The Dioscuri participated in many battles and many temples and statues were dedicated to them (we can remember the Dioscuri’s groups in Capitol Hill).

In Rome, the temple was the southeast corner of the square of the Forum, near the source of Giuturna, its official name was aedes or templum Castoris ( “temple” or “Sanctuary of Càstore”), but in the sources is reflected also appointed as “aedes Castorumâ€? or “aedes Castoris et Pollucisâ€? and was dedicated to Dioscuri.

The temple was built for a vote offered by the dictator Aulo Postumio Albo in 499 or 496 BC, before the famous battle of Regillo.
He was one among those who fought and won against the Tarquinio Superb in the battle of Lake Regillo between in 499 BC and 496 BC: own on this occasion was appointed dictator.
This victory earned him the triumph, which he dedicated to Ceres and the nickname “Regillense” which completed its name. He was consul in 496 BC. This victory was important immaginefor the future of Rome, much to be celebrated even in the years to come, during the empire. To understand the importance of the Temple in question, one must first understand the importance of Dioscuri. Their worship, born in Sparta, quickly spread throughout the Magna Grecia, especially given that were believed protectors of sailors: the myth recounts fact that Poseidon gave them the power to dominate the wind along the sea. They are two warriors generally represented in heroic nudity with the head frigio pointed headgear. Usually are accompanied by a horse, from a helmet-shaped shell (remember the myth that would be born from an egg together with her sister Elena) and a cloak. Many times bear with it a spear. It is said that after the battle of Lake Regillo there was an appearance of Dioscuri with their horses at the source Giuturna, precisely in the space of the temple.

The temple had a great deal of importance in the years to follow, because on July 15, the anniversary of the battle, it was tradition that the equites play a pompous procession on horseback towards the temple, as it were deemed to Temple of the Dioscuri - Tempio dei Dioscuritheir protectors. The parade was established by Fabius Maximus Rullianus in 304 BC and even then the temple was always tied to the class of equites.
It was used in 160 BC as a place of meeting of the Senate and in the same period before the temple was established an important court. Throughout the first century BC was more a function of public building, but was always linked to political life.

Currently remain, the building rebuilt by Tiberius, three columns of the side along East and the core of the podium and it can be found in the ancient city of Rome Italy, at the foot of Palatine Hill.  Commonly referred to as the “Three Sisters”, the remaining three Corinthian columns provide an indication of how beautiful the Temple of the Dioscuri must have been.