On Sunday, March 6, 2016, Dr. Pier Luigi Tucci, Assistant Professor of Roman Art and Architecture at Johns Hopkins University, will deliver the lecture “Ancient Libraries in Rome: Reconstruction of the Bibliotheca of the Templum Pacis” in the Washington, D.C. area. The event is hosted by the Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) and Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF).
The Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace) was built by the Flavian emperor Vespasian in 75 C.E. near the Roman Forum. It commemorated both the end of the Jewish war and the civil strife that had followed the death of Nero in 68 C.E. The complex was remodeled under Emperor Domitian and eventually restored by Emperor Septimius Severus after the fire of 192 C.E. Within this architectural complex stood the Temple Library, which had sections on medicine, philosophy and history, and served as a center of culture in ancient Rome.
Josephus described the Temple of Peace as “adorned with paintings and statues by the greatest of the old masters … There too Vespasian laid up the golden vessels from the Temple of the Jews … ” Pliny remarked, “Should we not mention among our truly noble buildings … the Temple of Peace, the most beautiful the world has ever seen?” Later, the historian Herodian described the Temple of Peace as “the largest and most beautiful of all the buildings in the city since it was adorned with offerings of gold and silver … ”
Fresh archaeological evidence and literary sources shed new light on this monument and, in particular, on the “Library of Peace.”
Masada, the mountaintop fortress that set the stage for one of the ancient world’s most dramatic tragedies, is today one of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites. In the free ebook Masada: The Dead Sea’s Desert Fortress, discover what archaeology reveals about the Jewish defenders’ identity, fortifications and arms before their ultimate sacrifice.
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