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the ancient altar, which was the earliest cult centre of Mars in the campus Martius, mentioned first in what purports to be a citation from the leges regiae of Numa (Fest. 189: secunda spolia in Martis ara in campo solitaurilia utra voluerit caedito <qui cepit ei aeris cc dato>?). Its erection belonged undoubtedly to the early regal period. In 193 B.C. a porticus was built from the PORTA FONTINALIS (q.v.) to this altar (Liv. xxxv. 10. 12: alteram (porticum) a porta Fontinali ad Martis aram qua in campum iter esset perduxerunt), and it was customary for the censors to place their curule chairs near it after the elections (Liv. xl. 45. 8 (179 B.C.): comitiis confectis ut traditum antiquitus est censores in campo ad aram Martis sellis curulibus consederunt). These are the only passages in which the ara is expressly mentioned, and indicate a site not too far from the porta Fontinalis-probably on the north-east side of the Capitoline hill-to be reached by a porticus of that early date, and relatively near the place of holding the comitia (OVILE, q.v.).

Two other passages mention a templum or ναός of Mars in the campus Martius (not that in circo Flaminio, see above), one referring to an occurrence of 9 A.D. (Cass. Dio Ivi. 24. 3: 8 τε γὰρ τοῦ ῎Αρεως ναὸς ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ αὐτοῦ ὤν ἐκεπαυπωνήθη), and the other a little later (Consol. ad Liv. 231: sed Mavors templo vicinus et accola campi). A line in Ovid (Fast. ii. 859-60: ex vero positum permansit Equiria nomen / qua deus in campo prospicit ipse suo) also seems to refer to a statue of the god looking out from a shrine. Whether Livy's statement (vi. 5. 8: eo anno (388 B.C.) aedes Martis Gallico bello vota dedicata est) refers to such a temple or to the temple of Mars outside the porta Capena is uncertain.

There are two views as to the relation and site of altar and temple- one that the original ara was situated just east of the site of the existing Pantheon, in the Via del Seminario, and that a shrine was afterwards built close to it, making one cult centre; the other that the ara was near the present Piazza del Gesu, and the temple much further north, perhaps halfway between Montecitorio and the Piazza Borghese. (For an elaboration of these views, see CP 1908, 65-74; and for the subject in general, HJ 475-477; Rosch. ii. 2389-2390; WR 142-146; Gilb. i. 289-290; iii. 143, 145; for a fanciful interpretation of Liv. xxxv. 10. 12, see BC 1906, 209-223.)

Anti maintains that the well-known frieze in Paris and Munich (Ant. Denk. iii. 12; SScR 10-14), generally supposed to have been set up by Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus near the circus Flaminius, really belongs to a monument dedicated at this altar by a censor who had special reasons for devotion to Neptune-therefore, probably, P. Servilius Isauricus, who triumphed over the Cilician pirates in 74 B.C., and as censor in 55-54 B.C. carried out a new terminatio of the banks of the TIBER (q.v.). See Atti d. Inst. Veneto lxxxiv. (1924-5), 473-483; YW 1924-5, 85; SScR 416; Weickert in Festschrift f. Paul Amdt (1925) 48 ff.; Mon. Piot xvii. (x910), 147-157.

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