The forum temple – glorification of the state
The forum temple was a central religious site, where the emperor and the Roman state were honoured.
It stood on a podium in the middle of a temple courtyard which was surrounded by porticoes. Priests climbed a monumental flight of steps to enter the interior of the temple, the so-called cella. A statue stood here, either of the goddess Roma or of the supreme Roman god Jupiter. Sacrifices were made on the altar at the foot of the temple. This was one of the most important religious acts known to the Romans.
The altar dates from the period around AD 50. It was covered in precious slabs of Carrara marble. A relief on one of the slabs depicts an oak wreath and an eagle holding a thunderbolt in its claws. Another slab shows a laurel wreath, the emperor’s symbol, and various sacrificial implements.