Temple of Saturn

Coordinates: 41°53′33.07″N 12°29′3.06″E / 41.8925194°N 12.4841833°E / 41.8925194; 12.4841833

The Temple of Saturn (Latin: Templum Saturni or Aedes Saturnus, Italian: Tempio di Saturno) is a monument to the agricultural deity. The Temple of Saturn stands at the foot of the Capitoline Hill in the western end of the Forum Romanum in Rome, Italy.


Gradual collapse has left nothing but the remains of the front portico standing, but the eight surviving columns and partially intact pediment (displaying the inscription Senatus Populusque Romanus incendio consumptum restituit, meaning "The Senate and People of Rome restored what fire had consumed") represent one of the iconic images of Rome's ancient architectural heritage.


The location of the Temple is connected to the much older Altar of Saturn, which tradition associates with the god's founding of the settlement on the Capitoline Hill. Construction of the temple is thought to have begun in later years of the regal era under Tarquinius Superbus, with its inauguration by the Consul Titus Lartius taking place in the early years of the Republic. The temple was completely reconstructed by Munatius Plancus in 42 BC.

The present ruins represent the third incarnation of the Temple of Saturn, replacing the second incarnation destroyed by the fire of Carinus in 283 AD. The extant inscription on the frieze (Senatus Populusque Romanus incendio consumptum restituit) commemorates the restoration undertaken after the fire.


According to the sources, the statue of the god in the interior, veiled and provided with a scythe, was wooden and filled with oil. The legs were covered with linen bents, which were released only on December 17, the day of the Saturnalia.

While dedicated to the god Saturn, the temple's chief use was as the seat of the treasury of the Roman Republic (aerarium), storing the Republic's reserves of gold and silver. Also the state archives, the insignia and the official scale for the weighing of metals were housed in the temple. Later, the aerarium was moved to another building, while the archives were transferred to the nearby Tabularium. The temple's podium, in concrete covered with travertine, was used for bill-posting.