The topography of A. Sempronius Asellio‘s death (89 BCE) confused me. Where were the shops between the temple of Castor and the Vestals? The distance is very short, 50 meters or so and there was the lacus Juturna there. Could the text mean that he turned and ran all the way back to the tabernae veteres in front of the Basilica Sempronia? Would not going up into the temple of Castor have been a better place to seek sanctuary? But the course of action need not be logical. There have been many excavations in and around the Temple of Castor in recent years. I wonder if they might shed light on where Asellio might have fled. I also wonder if the mob that attacked him might not have been bankers and money changers working in the same area who made an opportunistic attack when the Praetor was in their vicinity.
I’m recalling also the work of Kondratieff on the topography of this region. I must check if he discusses this passage.
Kondratieff, Eric. “Finding Libo: numismatic, epigraphic and topographic evidence for the « cursus honorum » of L. Scribonius L. f. Libo, cos. 34 B.C.E.” Historia 64, no. 4 (2015): 428-466.
Kondratieff, Eric John. “The urban praetor’s tribunal in the Roman republic.” In Spaces of justice in the Roman world, Edited by De Angelis, Francesco. Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition; 35, 89-126. Leiden: Brill, 2010
Kondratieff, Eric John. “Reading Rome’s evolving civic landscape in context: tribunes of the plebs and the praetor’s tribunal.” Phoenix 63, no. 3-4 (2009): 322-360.
1 thought on “Tabernae in the Forum”
[…] trying to address financial tensions as typified by the murder of the praetor Asellio in 89 BCE (last blog post). Frank connects the Asellio incident with Senatorial attempts to regain control of juries, […]