The temple of Venus (goddess Aphrodite), centrally positioned within the Dodoni sanctuary, is situated near the temple of the goddess Themis. Its identification followed on base of the earthen figurines, that were found around the temple and on its interior. They represent a feminine figure holding with her right hand a dove in front of her breast - the dove is a symbol for the goddess Venus. On the base of certain constructional details and of the findings that were taken from its interior, the temple can be dated to the fourth or the early third century BC; however, this should not exclude the possibility of an earlier cult in this location. The worship of Venus in Dodoni is also confirmed by inscription testimonies, but the time in which it was established remains unknown. It had been apparently anterior to the time of king Pyrrhus, but it is certain that in the early third century BC there was a fusion with the adoration of Venus Aineiada, introduced by king Pyrrhus, who ?imported? this cult from the city of Egesta, in western Sicily. This particular deity is related to the Trojan hero Aineias and the legend of Troy, who were incredibly dear to the tribe of the Molossoi, because, according to earlier traditions, the Molossoi originated from Troy through Andromache, the wife of Hector.

This is a small temple in Doric rhythm, 8.50 x 4.70m in dimensions, but it slightly differs from the type and style established in Dodoni. It is a simple distyle construction in antis, with a pronaos (anteroom) and a cella building; between the pilasters of the pronaos are two eight-sided Doric columns instead of four Ionic columns, which is the case of the other temples. Two of the column drums are built-in (encastr?) into the square edifice of the Roman years that stands immediately to the east. At the middle of the wall that separates the cella from the pronaos was an entrance with a one-leaf door, 1m in width, of which only the broken threshold survives. The walls of the temple were manufactured with small stones, as in Building M, while soft sandstone had been used for the capitals of the columns. Among the findings related with the building, are included lead inscriptions and figurines depicting a feminine figure, an earthen lion's head, dated to the fourth century BC, as well as a marble fragment from the trunk of an archaic feminine statue, of smaller dimensions than the natural size of a feminine body. This fragment presumably belonged to the ceremonial statue of the goddess Aphrodite.
Mythological / Historic Persons