Roman mythology, Saturn was a god of fertility
and agriculture. He was commonly identified
with the Greek god Cronus, and he was
an important god to worship (according
to ancient Romans) if you wanted to live
out the year with a full belly. In Rome,
the first Temple of Saturn was consecrated
in the year 498 BCE, and is/was the oldest
temple in the Forum Romanum. Located on
the west side of Forum, the Temple of
Saturn is behind the Rostra and the Basilica
Julia, across from the Clivus Capitolinus
and the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.
There have been three temples dedicated
to Saturn in the Forum Romanum. The first
was built in the last years of the Roman
Kingdom, but was first consecrated in
the first decade of the Roman Republic.
It was torn down in 42 BCE and a new temple
built in stone; this second building was
in turn destroyed by the fire of 283 CE,
which also destroyed other major parts
of the Forum Romanum. The third temple
was constructed in 42 BCE, and many of
its original pieces can be seen today.
the days before the temple decayed into
ruin there was an alter dedicated to Saturn
in front of the building; the remains
of this altar are now under a roof just
in front of the Umbilicus Urbis Romae,
near the Arch of Septimius Severus. Inside
the temple stood a statue of Saturn, which
would be carried in procession when triumphs
were celebrated. There was even a Roman
festival named after Saturn - the Saturnalia.
This festival was celebrated during the
winter, and it was a time of gift giving,
feasting, and merriment, and sacrifices
to the gods.