Temple of Minerva Medica – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Temple of Minerva Medica

Believed to be the remains of the lost Temple of Minerva, this nymphaeum has been known by its misnomer to this day. 


Constructed during the age of Imperial Rome, the Temple of Minerva Medica once stood on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. It was mentioned by Cicero and several other sources but eventually became lost at some point.

However, the Temple of Minerva Medica is still on the Roman map. Except it’s not really the Temple of Minerva Medica—but a ruined 4th-century nymphaeum building, consecrated to the mythical nymphs and connected to the water supply. No ancient literature or inscriptions mention it in any way.

It was wrongly identified as the temple during the 17th-century, based on the belief that the Athena Giustiniani statue had been found at the ruins. Even after it was confirmed to be false, the name stuck and the nymphaeum is still known as the Temple of Minerva Medica.

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July 24, 2020

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