Built in the late Republican period in the 1st century BC, this temple was erected by the quatorvirates Gneus Cesius and Titus Cesius Priscus at their own expense.
When a female statue was unearthed here it was thought the temple had been dedicated to Minerva, although the subsequent discovery of a votive plaque to Hercules makes it more likely that the temple had been dedicated to him.
The facade has survived surprisingly well, with its six fluted columns supporting corinthian capitals and standing on plinths that rest on the steps leading to the pronaos for lack of space.
In 1539 the inner sanctum of the temple was transformed into the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
, with further alterations added in the Baroque style during the 17th century.