Temple of Minerva Medica (nymphaeum)

Rome, Italy

Temple of Minerva Medica (nymphaeum)

The erroneously named Temple of Minerva Medica is, in fact, a ruined nymphaeum of Imperial Rome, lying between the via Labicana and Aurelian Walls and just inside the line of the Anio Vetus. Once part of the Horti Liciniani on the Esquiline Hill, it now faces the modern Via Giolitti. At one time, it was thought to be the temple to Minerva Medica ("Minerva the Doctor") mentioned by Cicero and other sources. In fact it is a nymphaeum, a building devoted to the nymphs and often connected to the water supply, that dates to the 4th century. The decagonal structure in opus latericium is relatively well preserved, the full dome having collapsed only in 1828. It is surrounded on three sides with other chambers added at a later date. There is no mention of it in ancient literature or inscriptions.



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