Fortuna Virilis: Roman, Greek, and Etruscan Features

Published 28 Mar 2017

During the history of Rome, a race of people called the Etruscans flourished in an exceedingly civilized state. They are people who possessed a good deal of talent when it comes to construction and they also have a special kind of artistic perception which they used to apply on the earlier architectures of Rome. One of these architectures, called the temple of Fortuna Virilis was a structure that has been richly influenced by the designs of the Etruscans. While this temple was naturally famous for its Ionic order, and was more Greek in character than anything else, its square cell and deep porticos are elements that were derived from the type of architecture practiced by the Etruscans.

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The basic design of the temple, on the other hand, was derived from the style of the Greeks which they call as the peripteros style. The Greek design primarily gives importance to its artistic use of columns in its architectures. The temple of Fortuna Virilis was erected upon a lofty kind of podium that needed a flight of steps to reach its higher floor level. It consists of a tetrastyle portico and alongside it were side columns together with what they call as engaged columns that were placed on the temple as decorative features. (“History of Roman Architecture: Temple of Fortuna Virilis,” 2007)

The Roman type of architecture, however, can be said to have been made from the mixing of the styles of the Etruscans and the Greeks. The only difference of it from the Greek architecture was that unlike the Greeks who give importance to columns, the Romans pay more significance to its use of arches. Also, the Romans were the ones who started using different materials in constructing their buildings like travertine, peperino and tufa. The features of the temple of Fortuna Virilis that were derived from the style of the Romans were its porticos and engaged columns that were made out of travertine and tufa. (“Etruscan and Roman Architecture,” 2007)


  • Etruscan and Roman Architecture. (2007).
  • History of Roman Architecture: Temple of Fortuna Virilis [Electronic (2007).
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