|Summary:||Temple dedicated to Hera, adjacent to the older Temple of Hera I in the southern religious sanctuary of the site.|
|Date:||ca. 460 BC|
Overall dimensions of stylobate 24.26 m. x 59.98 m. Dimensions of cella building 13.49 m. x ca. 45.30 m. Width of ptera 4.83 m. (east); 4.38 m. (west). Axial intercolumniation of exterior columns: 4.47 m. (fronts); 4.295 (contracted intercolumniation at front corners); 4.50 m. (flanks); ca. 4.36 m. (contracted intercolumniation at flank corners). Lower column diameter of exterior columns 2.11 m. (fronts); 2.04 m. (flanks); lower column diameter of upper columns of interior colonnade 1.49 m. Height of exterior columns 8.88 m.
If the proposed unit of measurement of 30 cm. = 1F is accepted, derived from an average intercolumniation of 4.50 m.,
The temple is peristyle, with 6 x 14 columns, a distyle in antis pronaos, and a distyle in antis opisthodomos. To the right of the cella door, a staircase led to the roof; to the left was a small utility room. Inside the cella, a double colonnade of seven columns divides the cella into a nave and two side aisles. Above the lower colonnade, an upper colonnade of smaller columns helps support the roof. Double angle contraction is employed in the temple: the corner intercolumniations at the flanks and fronts are reduced, in order for the triglyphs in the frieze above to be centered over the columns. This contraction is distributed over the first two intercolumniations at the corners. Certain optical refinements are also employed: the stylobate is curved upwards slightly towards the center, to avoid an impression of sagging; the horizontal cornices are also slightly curved; and the columns incline slightly inwards. These features suggest that the architect was influenced by developments in mainland Greek architecture.
The evidence for the date of the temple is based on perceived similarities between it and the
The temple was constructed in ca. 460 B.C. There is no evidence of substantial later repairs or restorations, with the exception of the addition of a semicircular flight of steps at the east fac\ade in the Roman period. Although the cella walls were removed to provide building material in the Byzantine period, the temple today is extremely well-preserved, with all columns of the peristyle in situ, and the superstructure preserved up to the horizontal and raking cornices.
The temple contains some archaizing features, such as the low profile of the echinus of the column capitals, the use of 24 flutes on the columns instead of the canonical 20, the presence of fourteen columns along the flanks instead of thirteen, and the generally squat proportions of the columns and entablature. However, the optical refinements, and the knowledge of the theory of angle contraction, compensate for these archaizing features and lend a dynamic and harmonious aspect to the temple. The temple is devoid of sculptural decoration: neither the metopes nor the pediments were sculpted.
Due to its large size, the temple was believed by early travellers to have been dedicated to Poseidon, titular divinity of the site of Poseidonia. The presence of numerous terracotta votive reliefs, however, indicate that the temple was the second temple to be dedicated to Hera at Paestum, adjacent to the