Sacred area of largo Argentina

3d model and reconstruction

Sacred area of largo Argentina

The reconstruction of what is now Piazza Argentina in Rome and of the complex of the Republic Temples shows the ruins still visible today from the time of Emperor Augustus. Looking at this area, now familiar to many Romans, it is possible to view architecture which no longer exists, most notably the structures related to the theatre of Pompeo, whose gardens and arcades are visible today.

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Short history of

Sacred area of largo Argentina

The archaeological remains known as “sacred area” include the ruins of four temples and constitute the most important complex of sacred buildings of the Republican era.

Between the late fourth and early third century BC. in this central area of Campo Marzio a peripteral temple sine postico (named C) was built on a high podium which could be identified as the one dedicated to an ancient Italic goddess linked to water, Feronia, in 290 BC by Manlius Curio Dentato, after a victorious war against the Sabines.

After about a generation, during the mid-third century BC, a second, a smaller temple was built on the same level as the previous: in the Augustan age it appeared as a pure periptero (temple A). It is likely that the temple should be identified with the one dedicated to Juturna, by Quintus Lutatius Catulus after his triumph over the Carthaginians in 241 BC, during the First Punic War.

At the beginning of the next century a third tuscanic temple (temple D) was joined to the C temple and the three monuments were reunited for the first time in a unique architectural complex of a new pavement. The square with its sanctuaries was also surrounded by a colonnade, perhaps called by the Romans porticus Minucia. The temple could be identified with the one of the Lares Permarini dedicated in 179. C.

Probably after the fire in the 111 a. C. a new floor was built in the porch and the remaining free space between the temples was filled by the construction of a fourth temple (temple B), a circular monopteros one with sixteen Corinthian columns on a high podium, preceded by a staircase flanked by two Aniene tuff cheeks. Most scholars identify it with the Temple of Fortuna Huiusce diei ( “the luck of the present day”), which was dedicated by Q. Lutatius Catulus, Mario’s colleague, after the battle of Vercelli in 101 BC, that ended the war against the Cimbri.

The last building in the sacred area was built in the Augustan period between the temples A and B: in this construction, made of two connecting rooms, we maybe recognize the oldest “statio aquarum,” the office that controlled the aqueducts in Rome and the flow of water in the city that in the late imperial period was transferred to the source of Juturna.