the principal temple of Isis in Rome, situated in the campus
Martius, adjoining the temple of Serapis in the same precinct (see below).
It is also referred to as fanum (Iuv.), templum, templa (Apul., Mart.,
Chron. min., Ovid, Tib.) ἰερόν
(Cass. Dio, Lydus),
and with the temple of Serapis as Iseum et Serapeum (Eutrop., Hier.,
Hist. Aug. Alex., Chronog., Not.), and τὸ σεαπεῖον καὶ τὸ ᾿ισεῖον
Dio). It stood outside the pomerium in the campus Martius (Apul. Met.
: reginae Isidis quae de templi situ sumpto nomine Campensis
; Not. Reg. IX), near the Saepta (Iuv. vi. 528-529
aedem Isidis antiquo quae proxima surgit ovili
; Mart. ii. 14
. 7), and the
evidence of fragments of the Marble Plan and sculpture (see below) makes
it reasonably certain that it was just west of the Saepta, between it and
the temple of Minerva, in the space between the Vie del Seminario,
S. Ignazio, del Gesa, and the Palazzo Altieri.
In 43 B.C. the triumvirs voted to erect a temple to Isis and Serapis
(Cass. Dio xlvii. 15
. 4), but it is not known whether this temple was
actually built or not. Tibullus (i. 3. 27-30: picta docet templis multa
tabella tuis ... ante sacras fores
) and Ovid (A.A. i. 77
: nec fuge linigerae
Memphitica templa iuvencae
; Am. ii. 13
. 7) speak of a temple or temples
of Isis as a conspicuous resort of women, especially of prostitutes, a
characteristic also of the later temple (Iuv. ix. 22
; Mart. ii. 14
. 7; x.
. I). On the other hand, repressive measures against Egyptian cults
were carried out by Augustus in 28 B.C. (Cass. Dio liii. 2
. 4), by Agrippa
in 21 (ib. liv. 6. 6), and by Tiberius in 9 A.D. (Tac. Ann. ii. 85
; Suet. Tib.
36), who is even said to have destroyed a temple of Isis and thrown her
statue into the Tiber (Joseph. Ant. xviii. 3
. 4). Between the reign of
Tiberius and 65 A.D. (Lucan viii. 831
) the cult of Isis had been officially
received in Rome, and this temple in the campus Martius, if not built
in the previous century, must have been built then, perhaps by Caligula.
It was burned in 80 A.D. (Cass. Dio lxvi. 24
. 2), restored by Domitian
(Eutrop. vii. 23
. 5; Chron. 146; Hier. a. Abr. 2110), and by Alexander
who added to its treasures of art (Hist. Aug. Alex. xxvi. 8
Isium et Serapium decenter ornavit additis signis et Deliacis et omnibus
; cf. Iuv. xii. 27
: pictores quis nescit ab Iside pasci?
219-220 the statue of Isis in this temple is said to have turned its face
inwards (Cass. Dio lxxix. 10
. I), and there are two other references to it
in later literature (Porphyr. vit. Plotin. 10; Lydus, de mens. iv. 148).
Certain inscriptions of the empire also refer without doubt to this temple
(CIL vi. 344-347
, cf. 30744; IG xiv. i. 961, 1031) and it is represented
on a coin of Vespasian (Cohen, Vesp. 484-485) struck to commemorate
the fact that Vespasian and Titus spent the night before the celebration
of their triumph for the taking of Jerusalem in 2
this temple (Joseph.
b. Iud. vii. 5
. 4). This coin shows the facade of a narrow peribolos
with four Corinthian columns and a round pediment containing the
figure of Isis on a dog. Inside the peribolos, and entirely detached
from it, is the temple proper (Berl. Sitz.-Ber. 1909, 640-648
1910, A. 7, 9 sqq.; cf. also Cohen, Faustina iunior 300; Gnecchi, Med.
. 9; PT 226-227).
It is probable that the temple of Isis was north of that of Serapis, and
that it was long and narrow and stood at one end of a long and narrow
enclosure, resembling in form and architecture the forum Transitorium.
Six of its columns have been found in situ. It is not clear whether the
entrance was on the north, or on the south toward the Serapeum. The
two small obelisks (Marucchi, Ob. eg. 91, 96, 115; BC 1896, 260
284), now in the Viale delle Terme and the Piazza della Minerva, and
probably that of the Piazza della Rotonda, were found on the site of
the Iseum and may have stood in front of it. The obelisk of the
Piazza Navona was probably first set up in the precinct (see OBELISCI
The Serapeum, although it is not mentioned alone, was a separate
building of wholly different style, as is shown by fragments of the Marble
Plan (32, 59). Its south end was formed by a large semi-circular apse,
about 60 metres in diameter, in the outer wall of which were several
small exedrae. The inner side of this apse was adorned with columns,
and a colonnade formed its diameter. Immediately north of the apse
was a rectangular area, of the same width as the apse, and about 20 metres
deep, with an entrance in the middle of the front and on each side. The
plan closely resembled that of the' Canopus ' at Hadrian's Villa (Lanciani,
BC 1883, 33-131
; 1887, 377
; Hilsen, Mitt. 1903, 17-57
, p. i., ii. ; for
the Arco di Camigliano, probably the eastern entrance to the precinct,
cf. also NS 1882, 349
; HCh 243-245).
Numerous works of art were gathered together in this precinct, many
of which have been recovered, among them the statues of the Tiber
(Louvre), the Nile (Vatican), the Ocean (Naples), and the lions (BC 1890,
; Mitt. 1891, 25
) in the Vatican. For statues, columns decorated
with reliefs, etc., found here, see Cap. 357-360; RAP ii. 107-116
, 27 ;
M6l. 1920, 279. Besides the literature already cited, see HJ 567-571;
Gilb. iii. 110-11
; WR 353, 358; Rosch. ii. 401-404
; LS iii. 242-243
PT 146-147, 149; Mem. L. 5. xvii. 572; NS 1925, 237-239