Cult of SaturnEdit

The Roman god of agriculture concerned with the sowing of the seeds. He is regarded as the father of Jupiter, Ceres, Juno and many others. His wife is the goddess Ops. Jupiter supposedly chased him away and he was taken in by the god Janus in Latium where he introduced agriculture and viniculture. This event heralded a period of peace, happiness and prosperity, the Golden Age.

In memory of this Golden Age, each year the Saturnalia was observed on December 17 at his temple on the Forum Romanum. This temple, below the Capitoline Hill, contained the Royal Treasury and is one of the oldest in Rome. The Saturnalia was one of the major events of the year. Originally only one day, it was later extended to seven days. During this festival, business was suspended, the roles of master and slaves were reversed, moral restrictions were loosened and gifts were exchanged. Offerings made in his honor were done with uncovered heads, contrary to the Roman tradition.

In contrast to his festival, Saturn himself was never very popular. From the 3rd century on, he was identified with the Greek Cronus, and his cult became only marginally more popular. That he ruled over the Golden Age is an extension to the Greek myth. Saturday is named after him.

Office of the Quaestores of Nova RomaEdit

History of the TempleEdit

Alternate names: Temple of Saturn, Aedes Saturni

Temple to cult of Saturn, it also housed the public treasury and the headquarters of the quaestors. The Temple of Saturn was dedicated in the early Republic and was the oldest temple on record. It was rebuilt in 42 BC by L. Munatius Plancus and was damaged by fire and restored (as the inscription on the entablature records) at an indeterminate time in the fourth century AD. The gable supported acroterial statues of Tritons blowing trumpets; the cella had a statue of the god whose feet were confined with wool bindings, except on his festival (the Saturnalia). The fabric of the building was made of pepperino tufa and travertine, which was revetted with marble. It was 22.5 meters wide and 40 meters long and stood on a high podium. The order is Ionic; the pronaos was hexastyle with columns of gray granite. The front staircase has disappeared. Under it was the aerarium, or state treasury. The temple seems to have survived fairly intact until the early fifteenth century; by 1447 it had been largely destroyed.

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