Tribunal Praetorium

Richardson, L. jr

Tribunal Praetorium: Lugli (Lugli 1947, 62-63) wished to identify remains in front of the Temple of Castor with the tribunal of the praetor urbanus after it was moved from the Comitium to the neighborhood of the Puteal Libonis. These remains consist of four shallow steps leading up from the southwest and foundations of a platform that would fill the area in front of the Temple of Divus Iulius, together with some fragments of columns of verde antico and granite and fragments of a fine cornice in white marble. Lugli proposed that these last elements were used for a pavilion to cover the praetor's sella curulis, presumably set at the end of the platform so as not to interfere with the view of the façade of the temple. But the evidence for such a pavilion is nugatory, and the pavilion would run counter to Roman religious dictates. And the platform looks rather like an apron in front of the temple, working together with it, than a separate entity. In its present state it is not high enough to give the praetor the distinction his magistracy requires, and if it were built higher it would interfere with the view of the temple. It is better to think of this as the place for a court, or courts, whose presiding praetor(s) sat on the rostra of the Temple of Divus Iulius, a space marked off from the rest of the forum but not significantly elevated.

S. Stucchi, I monumenti della parte meridionale del Foro Romano (Rome 1958), 76-81; Nash 2.482-83.

© The Johns Hopkins University Press