The Capitolium of Brixia was the main temple in the center of the Roman town of Brixia (Brescia). It is represented at present by fragmentary ruins, but is part of an archeological site, including a Roman amphitheatre and museum in central Brescia.
The temple was built in 73 AD during the rule of emperor Vespasian. The prominent elevated location and the three identifiable cellae, each with their own polychrome marble floor, all help confirm that this temple would have represented the capitolium of the town, that is the temple dedicated to the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The Capitolium replaced an earlier set of temples, a 'Republican Sanctuary', consisting apparently of four discrete temples that had been erected around 75-90 BC, and refurbished during the reign of Augustus.
The three cellae of the capitolium have been rebuilt, and the walls of the left cella are used as a lapidarium to display local epigraphs found during the 19th centuries. In front of the cellae, are the partially reconstructed remains of a portico, which was composed of Corinthian columns that supported a pediment with a dedication to the Emperor Vespasian.
The complex, and other Roman ruins are located at one end of Via dei Museii, once the original Decumanus Maximus of Brixia, which coursed some 5 meters below the present street level, and along the route of the . Broad stairs rose up to portico from the Decumanus.
Almost entirely buried by a landslide of the Cidneo Hill, the temple was rediscovered in 1823. Reconstruction was performed soon after by Rodolfo Vantini. During excavation in 1826, a splendid bronze statue of a winged Victory was found inside it, likely hidden in late antiquity to preserve it from pillage.
Capitolium of Brixia is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 AD).References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.