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
). 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.
. 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 ὅ τε γὰρ τοῦ ῎Αρεως ναὸς ὁ 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.
: 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
, 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.