Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium
Rome, Italy

Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium

Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium (cattle market), Rome, Italy


I have an 8"x10" photo of the above. It belonged to my grandparents, and I had no clue to the identity of the monument. I could only guess that since they lived in Indiana and had not done much traveling, it might be somewhere in Indiana. The photo has the general appearance of being old, so I guessed that it might have been taken in the 1940s or 1950s. With this meagre (and ultimately misleading) information I asked the Indiana Historical Society for assistance in identifying the mystery monument.

I soon received the following e-mail, which identified the monument as the Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium (cattle market) in Rome, Italy, which dates to the second century B.C. or earlier. I believe my grandparents must have gotten this photo when they were in Europe in about 1972.

Check the images at the links below. They are on a web page posted by Prof. James Higginbotham of Bowdoin College. I found the third image particularly interesting. It is of an etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (ca 1750) showing the Temple of Hercules Victor circa 125-100 B.C.

-- Bruce M. Bowman

   Date:          Fri, 16 Jul 1999 16:21:06 -0500
   From:          "Stephen J. Fletcher" sfletcher@statelib.lib.in.us
   Organization:  Indiana Historical Society 
   To:            bbowman@umich.edu 
   Subject:       Mystery photograph identified

   I posted your image at the Indiana Historical Society where I am Curator of Visual 
   Collections.  I believe one of our staff members has rightly identified your mystery 
   photograph.  While the momument pictured bears some resemblance to the George Rogers 
   Clark Memorial in Vincennes, Indiana, I think you'll agree it is a photograph of the 
   Hercules Victor temple at Forum Boarium in Rome, Italy.  Compare your photograph 
   to the following images:

       http://www.bowdoin.edu/dept/clas/arch102/luxuria/forum.boarium.html   [dead link replaced: July 11, 2003]

       http://www.bowdoin.edu/dept/clas/arch102/luxuria/hercules.victor.gen.html   [dead link replaced: July 11, 2003]

       http://www.bowdoin.edu/dept/clas/arch102/luxuria/hercules.victor.piranesi.html   [dead link replaced: July 11, 2003]

  Stephen Fletcher
  Curator of Visual Collections
  Indiana Historical Society

email    Bruce M. Bowman (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

URL: http://users.ms11.net/~bbowman/ind_unkn.html

Last modified: July 11, 2003