Planche VI

houel plate 5

The unfinished Doric temple of Segesta still stands on a hill. Never completed, only the outside was finished and it is preserved today as it was left in the late fifth century BC. It was built with travertine, the local limestone, outside the city walls, and orientated East-West, as was usual in that period. We do not know if the building was dedicated to local-indigenous divinities or perhaps to Venus, Diana, Ceres or Aesculepius, Roman divinities already venerated in Segesta.

The temple has six columns on the front and fourteen along each side; of the columns are not fluted. A fronton crowns both the front and the back façades. The proportions of the architectural elements indicate a deep-rooted knowledge of the contemporary attic architecture. Although politically and administratively speaking the island became a province of Rome in 241 BC, Sicilian architecture was not under the influence of Rome until the end of the 1st century BC. Scholars believe that the temple of Segesta was erected by the inhabitants of Western Sicily, who, according to Tucidides, considered themselves to be descendants of the Trojans.

Planche V

houel plate 6

Hoüel provides very precise details on the architectonic descriptions of this building. His illustrations show the meticulous work of an enlightened architect and painter.