bocca verita

The square bocca della verità rises on the area anciently denominated" Foro Boario ", a market of oxen on the shores of the ancient one I bring commercial of Rome; the Portus Tiberinus already existed before the foundation of the city, the urbanistic setup was had only under the kings etruschi, particularly with Servio Tullio with the setup of the I bring and of the sanctuaries to the sides. The plaza takes the name from the medieval custom to make to insert to the accused of a crime the hand in the famous mouth of a big mask,
the " Mouth of the Truth " (bocca della verità) a big circular stone that a howling face represents, to that times set on the external boundaries of the church of S.Maria in Cosmedin (and currently positioned under the portico of the same church)......if innocent nothing didn't happen, if guilty...........zack, cut the hand! naturally someone (the judge), well informed of the facts or convinced to know the truth, it made to put the executioner on the other side of the wall.

In the square they are present other two temples: The Temple of Ercole and the Temple of Portunus.
The temple of Portunus is devoted to the protector of the rivers and the harbors. Situated on a platform, it has four grooved ionic columns in travertino on the principal front and twelve semicolonnes set to the wall in tufo of the cell

tempio d_ercole

The Temple of Ercole, of circular form, it is the most ancient building of marble remained in Rome.A peripter of 20 columns on a crepidine to steps, with foundation in tufo of Dark Cave, it encircled the cell, that opened to east with an ample door. A restauration of the temple was had in age Tiberiana, probably after the flood of the 15 BC, You discovery of a block with registration, at the base of the statue of cult, it allows to identify the temple, devoted to Hercules Victor, said Olivarius. The building has also called, amiss, temple of Vesta, perhaps because similar to that in the forums, devoted to the goddess.


Piazza Bocca della Verità, was two meters above the actual plan of the church of S.Maria in Cosmedin, he was made to level from Clemente XI in 1715, in that occasion it made to set to the center of the plaza the fountain of the Triton, work of the perugino Carlo Bizzaccheri, which, inspiring itself to the same coat of arms of the pontiff, it drew an octagonal basin with the eight concave sides, to form a star to eight points: pope Albani's star, in the mean, above a group of rocks, adorned of aquatic grasses, and also them of travertino as the whole complex of the fountain, two mighty newts are raised, knelt and with the woven tails. The two newts, that the back is turned, with the lifted braccias they sustain on the shoulders a cup to form of shell of sea opened, from which water escapes and on whose external edge is graven the coat of arms of the same pontiff, three mounds overhung by a star.