the Temple of Concordia


The period between the expulsion of the kings and the beginning of the Punic Wars was characterised by the fight between of the common population, the 'plebs', and the patricians. Their relationship had never been very good, but especially in this period serious conflicts arose.
In 367 BC an end seemed to be put to this fight. The Licinian laws were proposed, which prescribed an equal treatment of plebeians and patricians. Under great opposition of the patricians these laws were accepted in the end. In order to realise a reconciliation of the two classes, M. Furius Camillus, consul in the year 366 BC, promised to consecrate a temple to Concordia, the goddess of concord, harmony, if peace was made. He managed to reach an agreement, indeed. The patricians agreed on the election of the first plebeian consul. From now on one of the two consuls had to be a plebeian.
The temple has a conspicuous place at the Roman Forum, between the Capitoline hill and the Comitium. This way the public would constantly be made aware of the reconciliation.
In classical times this temple was a museum rather than a temple. Numerous pictures and sculptures of famous Greek artists could be admired. The Romans in the course of time stole these works of art. In this way a lot of museums were able to stock their rooms with stolen art.


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