Il Santo Sepolcro Di Gerusalemme, Vol. II, Plate 68

Plan of Hadrian’s pagan temple. Built by the Roman emperor in the second century A.D., this temple stood where, two centuries later, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre would be built by Constantine. The reconstruction is by Father Corbo, who proposes that Hadrian’s temple included a tripartite rectangular structure with three niches in which stood statues of Venus, Minerva and Jupiter. BAR’s reviewer Dan Bahat suggests that Hadrian’s temple may well have been a rotunda, similar to the Roman temple of Hercules Victor (see illustration), rather than a rectangular structure, and that the Hadrianic rotunda was probably dedicated to Venus/Aphrodite, rather than Jupiter, Venus and Minerva, as argued by Father Corbo.

Of special interest is Wall 408, lower right. This is an extant portion of the Hadrianic enclosure wall. The small white indentations on the south (outer) side of that wall indicate that the wall had pilasters, or engaged columns, protruding from the wall as they did on the outer wall of Herod’s Temple Mount.