Non-Magistrate Public Temples of the Republican Rome

Smorchkov Andrey M.

The article deals with one aspect of the relations between public and private levels of the sacral sphere in the Republican Rome, namely, with the character of the participation of private persons in founding public temples. Normally, this sphere was associated with magistrates' activities, the distinction between private and public sanctuaries being very precise. In a few cases, though, temples were built on public land on the initiative and with the participation of private individuals, mostly women. The best known of them are the temples of Fortuna Muliebris, Iuno Lucina and Bona Dea. Denying a private person's participation or originally public character of the sanctuaries, i.e. rejection of a part of ancient tradition, does not solve the problem. It can only be solved by analyzing the relations between public and private cults and their mutual influence. Modern research tends to oppose them to each other, though such opposition contradicts the nature of civitas. For a Roman citizen public cult was part of his life. The sources also underline the role of women in establishing peace with gods. This fact accounts for the participation of citizens in constructing and decorating temples. But since their financial resources were limited, temples built at private expenses were extremely rare. This practice could not become common from the late 4th century ВС on, when the number of buildings constructed by magistrates increased because of the growth of military spoils. But it seems that there was no regulation prohibiting an individual to take part in such activities.