The Temple of Portunus, which stands next to the river in what was once the Forum Boarium (Meat Market), is dedicated to the ancient Roman god of keys, doors, livestock and ports. During the Renaissance it was known as the Temple of Fortuna Virilis.
Dating back to the 1st century BCE, its form is pseudoperipteral, in other words the temple seems to be surrounded by a colonnade, but, in fact, only the front columns are freestanding; the side columns are embedded in the walls of the cella.
In 872 CE the Temple of Portunus became the church of Santa Maria Egiziaca. In the 1920s the church was deconsecrated and the building was restored to its original function.
Blogging about Rome,
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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