Two joining sculpture fragments Images of Empire: Flavian Fragments in Rome and Ann Arbor Rejoined

5. Relief Fragment with Representation of the Temple of Quirinus (MNR 310251)

inv. no. 310251
max. h. 0.40 m; max. w. 0.31 m; max. d. 0.17 m
Pentelic marble
The fragment is broken on all sides. Chips at many points.

MNR 310251Depicted on this fragment is the head of a flamen, who wears the characteristic headgear, the spiked galerus, in front of the central part of a temple identified as the Temple of Quirinus on the Quirinal. Preserved are two columns of the Tuscan order, part of the isodomic masonry of the wall of the cella, part of the cornice of the doorway, and almost all of the pediment decorated with a complex figural scene. If one reconstructs the facade of the building, four columns result, while Vitruvius (III,2,28-31) states that the temple was octastyle. What has come into play here is an example of the simplification often found in Roman representations of architecture. Behind the head of the flamen one can detect traces of the right shoulder of another individual. An object that obscures the top of the column can be interpreted as a priestly attribute or a sacrificial instrument held by the flamen.

Scholars have advanced many interpretations of the scene represented on the pediment; all involve the theme of the foundation of Rome.

The appearance of the temple is that of the Augustan restoration of AD 16. The figure of the flamen was 1.36 m in total height (h. chin to cranium 17 cm).


Hartwig 23-37, pls. III, 5 and IV; Koeppel (1984) 13-15, 19; 51-53, cat. 21, figs. 30-31; Paris 1988 (for the pediment); Di Mino and Bertinetti (1990) 139-40, fig. 117a (R. Paris), with earlier bibliography; Maier 38-39; Simon (1986) 95-96, fig. 121; Ziolkowski 139-44.

Catalogue entry by Rita Paris


Copyright ©1997, 2002 Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

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