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CLITUMNUS Temple of Jupiter-Clitumnus, Umbria, Italy.

On the Clitumnus river ca. 4 km below Trebiae (Trevi), the most important of the many shrines to various divinities of the springs and waters that dotted the river's course. The god was represented not as a fluvial divinity reclining full length but standing in a purplebordered toga praetexta. He gave oracles through leaves and foretold the future by lots. Votive inscriptions and symbols of answered prayers covered the temple's walls. Coins were commonly thrown into the water nearby. A bridge separated the sacred area from that across the stream for public use, and no swimming was allowed between it and the source. A special society, the Hispellates, was entrusted by Augustus with operating an inn and baths at the site free to all. Several villas were beautifully situated along the river's banks.

Parts of this major temple seem to be built into a Christian church of the Savior still standing at the site, apparently constructed in the 4th or 5th c. A.D.—though some consider it 8th c. Carolingian. It is in the form of a small temple in antis with four Corinthian columns, those on the outer edges contacting the antae. There is ornate molding on the architrave and pediment. The cella is lighted by two pairs of windows and contains an altar. The whole structure is elevated on a platform at the front, with an arched door beneath the facade, but it fits into the hillside at the back. There are no stairs along the front facing the river, but on either side of the cella, a third of the way back, is a door with enclosed porch and steps leading down to the ground. Some 7th or 8th c. frescos of Christ, Saints, and angels are faintly visible on the niche and altar walls. Most of the structural material is clearly ancient limestone from the Clitumnus temple.


Verg. G. 2.146-48; Prop. 2.19.25-26; Stat. Silv. 1.4.129; Sil. Ital. 4.545-46, 8.451; Juvenal 12.13; Plin. Ep. 8.8; Suet. Calig. 43.

H. Holtzinger, “Der Clitumnus-Tempel bei Trevi,” Zeitschrift Bild. Kunst 16 (1881) 313-18; Pila-Carocci, Del Tempia e Fiume Clitunno (1895); W. Hoppenstadt, Die Basilica San Salvatore bei Spoleto und der Clitunnotempel bei Trevi, Halle (1912); A. P. Frutaz, “Ii Tempietto del Clitunno,” Rivista Arch.Crist. 17 (1941) 245-64; EAA 2 (1959) 723I.


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