Vesta's Temple, Rome, Italy


This photochrome print of the Temple of Vesta in Rome is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites in Italy” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The temple is dedicated to Vesta (in Greek, Hestia), the goddess of the hearth. Located on the eastern side of the Roman Forum, the temple originally was built in circa the third century BC with reeds and a straw roof, the style of many Latin dwellings of the period. Because of its susceptibility to fire, the temple was rebuilt around the third century AD. The temple is a cylindrical structure with a colonnade of pillars and a simple, low metal-covered cupola. The guardians of the temple, the six Vestal Virgins, or priestesses, maintained the sacred fire that was said to represent the endurance and strength of the Roman state. The temple also contained the Palladium, the protective wooden statue of the goddess Minerva (in Greek, Athena), brought by Aeneas from Troy, that was said to have protected the city during the Trojan War. The temple was excavated and identified in 1877 by the Italian archeologist Rodolfo Lanciani (1845–1929).

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J--foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.
  • Print no. "1098".

Last updated: July 3, 2014