This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
It was in this year that the temple of Juno Lacinia was unroofed. Q. Fulvius Flaccus, the censor, was building the temple of Fortuna Equestris and was quite determined that there should be no larger or more magnificent temple in Rome. He had vowed this temple during the Celtiberian war, whilst acting as praetor in Spain.  The beauty of the temple would be enhanced, he thought, if it were roofed with marble tiles, and with this object he went down to Bruttium and stripped off half the roof from the temple of Juno Lacinia, as he considered this would furnish sufficient tiles to cover his temple.  Ships were in readiness to transport them, and the natives were deterred by the authority of the censor from any attempt to prevent the sacrilege.  On the censor's return the tiles were unloaded and carried to the new temple.  Although no hint was dropped as to where they came from, concealment was impossible. Protests were heard in the House, and there was a general demand that the consuls should bring the matter before the senate. The censor was summoned, and his appearance called forth still more bitter reproaches from all sides.  Not content, he was told, with violating the noblest temple in that part of the world, a temple which neither Pyrrhus nor Hannibal had violated, he did not rest till he had cruelly defaced it and almost destroyed it. With its pediment gone and its roof stripped off, it lay open to moulder and decay in the rain.  The censor is appointed to regulate the public morals; the man who had, following ancient usage, been charged to see that the buildings for public worship are properly closed in and that they are kept in repair-this very man is roaming about amongst the cities of our allies ruining their temples and stripping off the roofs of their sacred edifices.  Even in the case of private buildings such conduct would be thought disgraceful, but he is demolishing the temples of the immortal gods.  By building and beautifying one temple out of the ruins of another he is involving the people of Rome in the guilt of impiety, as though the immortal gods are not the same everywhere, but some must be honoured and adorned with the spoils of others.  It was quite clear what the feeling of the House was even before the question was put, and when it was put they were unanimous in deciding that those tiles should be carried back to the temple and that expiatory sacrifices should be offered to Juno.  The religious duty was carefully discharged, but the contractors reported that as there was no one who understood how to replace the tiles they had been left in the precinct of the temple.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.