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Porticos

portico, paintings, erected, near, enclosed and temples

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PORTICOS were numerous buildings in Rome for the con venience of the public in sultry or inclement weather ; dis tinguished from those which formed the vestibules, or which decorated the entrance of temples. Some of the principal were the porticus duplex, so called from its double row of pillars, erected by Cneius Octavius, near the Circus Flaini Mos, after the defeat of Perses ; it was of the Corinthian order, and ornamented with brazen capitals ; the walls were decorated with paintings representing the achievements of the founder. The portico of Pompey, annexed to his theatre, was supported by 100 marble columns ; opened on both sides into groves of plane-trees, was refreshed by fountains and streams, and, in summer time, was the favourite resort of the young, the gay, and the gallant. Augustus erected several porticos; and, prompted by his example, many of his most distinguished and opulent friends vied with each other in similar works of magnificence. Among the former were the porticos of Caius and Lucius, with a basilica annexed to it ; that of Octavia, which rose near the theatre of and contributed not a little to its beauty as well as conve nience ; that of Livia, near the Roman Forum. This latter was ornamented with a collection of ancient pictures, and shaded by a vine of prodigious luxuriance. Ovid alludes to it in his usual lively manner. But this, and every edifice of the kind prior to this wra, was eclipsed by the splendour of the Palatine portico, dedicated to Apollo. It was sup ported by pillars of Numidian marble, enlivened with exqui site paintings and statues, and emblazoned with brass and gold. It enclosed the library and temple of Apollo, so often alluded to by the writers of the Augustan age, and was deservedly ranked among the wonders of the city. It is described by Propertius, lib. xi. 81. Another portico, erected by this emperor, was called Ad ...Vationes, from the statues with which it was furnished, representing various nations in their respective habits. It was, perhaps, still more remark able for a statue of I Iercules, lying neglected on the ground, though it had been brought from Carthage, and was that to which the Carthaginians were accustomed to otli.tr human

victims. The Porticus Septorum was finished, or repaired, by Agrippa, as Pliny says, and enclosed not the Septa Tri beta Comitii, where the people assembled to vote, but Dirt bitorium, or place where the legions were mustered and paid. These edifices were all of marble, and the latter, in particular, unusually magnificent. Agrippa also built and gave his name to another portico, which, as some suppose, was connected with the present portico of the Pantheon, and carried around it. Rut as he had erected Thema', and other noble fabrics near that edifice, it is more probable that his portico enclosed the whole, and united them together in one grand circum ference. That it was extensive, is evident from Ilorace, who represents it as a public walk, much frequented. The mate rials were, as in all Agrippa's works, rich marbles. and the ornaments, paintings and statues. The portico of Hercules, or of Phi/ippus, was so called because it was rebuilt by the latter at the instigation of Augustus, and dedicated to Her cules, whose temple it enclosed, under the appellation of .11usalletos, a leader of the Muses. It was erected solely for the ornament of the city, and of course was decorated with an unusual profusion of splendid objects ; the paintings of ApeIles, Zeuxis, and Antiphilus, forming part of its furniture. Several porticos took their names from the temples to which they were annexed, and seem to have formed either vast squares or courts before, or immense galleries round their respective temples, thus detaching them from ordinary build ings, and giving them a distinguished and solitary grandeur. The porticos of Quirinus and Europa, are mentioned by Martial as fashionable places of resort, and must consequently have been very spacious. That of Isis was remarkable, not only for paintings but mosaics.

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