Apollodorus of Damascus | Photo: Gun Powder Ma | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Living at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, Apollodoros of Damascus was one of the most famous architects of antiquity. He worked for Emperor Trajan, for whom he was extremely useful, e.g. during the so-called Dacian Wars – designed a bridge that was thrown over the Danube to enable the Roman legions to cross the river. In addition, he designed the Trajan’s Forum, the emperor’s triumphal arches in Benevento and Ancona, perhaps he participated in the creation of one of the wonders of ancient architecture – Pantheon1.
His career ended when he was asked by the successor of Trajan – Hadrian to evaluate the imperial project of the double temple of Venus and Roma. He criticized e.g. the place planned for construction, as well as the wrong proportion between the dimensions of the sculptures of the deities and the height of the entire building. For now, if the goddesses wish to get up and go out, they will be unable to do so – this is how Cassius Dio gave his opinion. Apollodoros “as a reward” for his professional opinion was exiled, and in the near future also murdered.
The first building was built in 27 BCE, on the initiative of Marcus Agrippa. The temple was destroyed in a fire in 80 CE. The reconstruction of the structure took place in 125 CE, at the request of Emperor Hadrian; Cassius Dio, Roman history, LXIX.4
Cassius Dio, Roman history
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