Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Area Sacra Argentina - Rome

Area Sacra Argentina - Rome
Originally uploaded by ptr.watts.
The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina is one of the locations featured on the PanoramicEarth.com tour of Rome, where you will find panoramic photographs of this and other Roman locations.

Full 360° panorama of the
Area Sacra di Largo Argentina

The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina contains four temples discovered between 1926-29 when the area was being prepared for a new building. This was not uncommon in Rome and the site turned from construction to Archaeology. The temples are labeled A to D as it is not yet known who they were dedicated to. All the temples face a courtyard to the East paved with travertine.

Temple A - Area Sacra dell Argentina: Built in the later part of the 3rd Century BC. It is hexagonal and peripteral in design. Most of the columns and stylobate have been preserved. In the Middle Ages the church of St. Nicholas was built over the site. The apses are the only remains of this church and are still visible.

Temple B - Area Sacra dell Argentina: This is the most recent temple, which was circular. The remains include six columns, the original flight of steps and the alter. Behind temples B and C are the remains of a platform built of tufa blocks. These formed part of the Curia of Pompei which was rectangular and contained a statue of Pompey. It was here that the Senate met, and here that Julius Caesar was killed on March 15, 44 BC.

Temple C - Area Sacra dell Argentina: This, the oldest temple, dates from late 4th or early 3rd century BC. During the Imperial era the cella was rebuilt and the columns and podium were covered in stucco. In 1935 an altar was discovered with an inscription dating to 180 BC, though this altar was also a replacement of an earlier one.

Temple D - Area Sacra dell Argentina: Temple D is the largest temple. Part of it still lies buried under Via Florida to the south. The Torre del Papito was also excavated and preserved during this time.

The column stumps to the North behind temple A belonged to the great Hecatostylum Portico which had 100 columns. The remains of one of the two lavatories built here in Imperial times can still be seen.

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