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Temple of Minerva, Assisi: Raking view of the temple facade, to the right of the Torre del Popolo
This temple, which stood in the forum of Roman Asisium, was probably built soon after the Perusine Wars (41 BCE). It is probably the most complete survival of its kind after the Pantheon in Rome, and it survived for the same reason: it was later adapted as a church. The French archaeologist Charles Victor Famin carried out the first excavations here in 1836. The temple seems to have been modeled on the Temple of Divus Julius (42-29 BCE), which the Emperor Augustus built in the forum of Rome in honour of the deified Julius Caesar. The Caesii brothers (donors) probably adopted this design as a means of ingratiating themselves with Augustus. The earliest surviving documentary reference to the temple dates to 1212, by which time it had been adapted as the church of San Donato. The building was restored and reopened as church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in 1539.