Garden of the Divorum
- altar (religious fixture)
- canal (waterway)
- column (architectural element)
- exedra (site element)
- temple (building)
- triumphal arch
The Divorum, also known as the Templum Divorum (Degrassi 13.1.103, 233) and the Porticus Divorum, was a porticus with two small temples built in honor of Titus and Vespasian by Domitian, who constructed the complex after the first of 80 CE on the site of the Villa Publica (Chronographer of 354 CE). The Divorum, known from its depiction on the Severan Marble Plan (FUR) (Fig.1), is located on the eastern Campus Martius among other religious structures, including the Temple of Minerva Chalcidica, which visually integrated with the Divorum.
The porticus complex (220 x 55m) (Fig. 2) consists of a northern entry in the form of a triumphal arch, flanked on the inside by two small temples (Fig. 2, a and b), while at the southern end of the central axis lay a stepped altar or pool (Fig. 2, c). The enclosing porticoes featured 30-33 columns on the east and west sides, with 16-17 columns on the south. The porticoes, as depicted, featured only two exedrae: one irregularly placed on the east side, and one terminating the central axis at the south. Shaded walks are indicated on the Marble Plan by dots representing ranks of trees in the central space: two rows of 13 trees lined the western side, while one row of 12 and one row of 11 lined the eastern side (Fig. 3). The lack of symmetry may have been intentional: the open space permits a clear view and movement between the entrance and the front of the east exedra. Perspective studies indicate a visual relationship between the southern exedra, the altar/pool, and the framed view of the Temple of Minerva Chalcidica from within the strolling grounds.
From the northern exedra, a water channel appears to lead to the altar or pool, which is stepped up or down on the north and south, depending upon the interpretation of the feature. Another water channel appears along the interior western edge of the porticus. The Amnis Petronia passes by the complex at the northwest corner.
- L. Richardson, Jr., “The Villa Publica and the Divorum” in In Memoriam Otto J. Brendel, Eds. L. Bonfante and H. von Heintze, Mainz, 1976, pp. 159-163. (worldcat)
- R. H. Darwall-Smith, Emperors of Architecture: A Study of Flavian Rome, Collection Latomus 231 (1996), pp. 125-7, 139-40, 157-9, 172-7. (worldcat)
- J. B. Ward-Perkins, Roman Imperial Architecture, Yale, 1981, pp. 20, 50-1, 74-5. (worldcat)
- A. Degrassi (ed.), Inscriptiones Italiae XIII: Fasti et Elogia, Rome, 1937. (worldcat)
17 April 2021