Media Center for Art History (images & panoramas but not a lot of variation)
The Temple of Vesta is the popular name given to the round temple near the Tiber River in Rome (now Piazza Bocca della Veritá). The association with Vesta is due to the shape of the building but in fact it is not known to which god the temple was dedicated. It may have been dedicated to Hercules Olivarius, patron of the Portus Tiberinus oil merchants, as three or four temples to the Greek hero are known to have stood in the area of the Forum Boarium where there was also a Great Altar to Hercules. The temple is Greek in style and was probably the work of an eastern Greek architect. The building also uses that quintessential Greek building material, Pentelic marble, from near Athens. At the time of construction Pentelic marble was one of the more expensive building materials and so was rarely used for large projects. The columns, entablature and cella walls were constructed with this marble whilst the inner cella wall was lined with tufa and stucco.
Ancient History Encyclopedia
The Temple of Hercules Victor (‘Hercules the Winner’) or Hercules Olivarius is a Roman temple in Piazza Bocca della Verità, in the area of the Forum Boarium close to the Tiber in Rome, Italy. It is a tholos – a round temple of Greek ‘peripteral’ design completely encircled by a colonnade. This layout caused it to be mistaken for a temple of Vesta until it was correctly identified by Napoleon’s Prefect of Rome, Camille de Tournon. Despite (or perhaps due to) the Forum Boarium’s role as the cattle-market for ancient Rome, the Temple of Hercules is the subject of a folk belief claiming that neither flies nor dogs will enter the holy place. The temple is the earliest surviving marble building in Rome. The Hercules Temple of Victor is also the only surviving sacred temple in ancient Rome that is made of greek marble.Today it remains unsolved who this temple was dedicated for and for what purpose.
With a history of continuous occupation stretching back over 2,000 years, the Temple of Hercules represents a palimpsest of architectural layers and uses. The temple is the only surviving ancient sacred structure in Rome that is made of Greek marble. It is composed of Pentelic marble that is originating in the quarries of Mount Pentelikon in the plain of Attica. The temple’s famed columns are slender that exhibit no swelling or entasis, instead extending directly upwards giving the structure a lofty appearance.
Chronology of Architecture