The date of the foundation is unknown. However, the cult was introduced in Rome after 272 BC, and the sanctuary was founded in that century. It is mentioned to have been repaired by the empress Livia, spouse of Emperor Augustus.
The sanctuary was a center of healing in Rome. Domesticated snakes were housed in the temple, and medicinal herbs were sold. It was the center of the cult of the festival of Bona Dea, which was celebrated on 1 May. During the festival, no men were allowed within the borders of the sanctuary.
The Temple of Bona Dea was still in use during the 3rd century. If still in use by the 4th-century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. A church was erected in the area of the temple in the 5th-century.
- Samuel Ball Platner, "Bona Dea Subsaxana", A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, Oxford University Press, Londra, 1929