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Sacred Area of Largo Argentina

Sacred Area of ​​Largo Argentina
The “sacred area” of Largo Argentina and the temple of Via delle Botteghe Oscure. The archaeological complex known as the “sacred area” of Largo Argentina is between the current Florida streets, S. Nicola ai Cesarini, Torre Argentina and Largo Argentina. The discovery took place during construction work, which began in 1926 and continued until 1928 (but the excavation essays continue today). The Campo Marzio area where the buildings are located is well known, especially after a series of recent discoveries and studies. It is bounded to the north by the Hecatostylum (the “portico of the one hundred columns”) and the Baths of Agrippa; to the south from the buildings in connection with the Circus Flaminio; to the west from the complex consisting of the porticoes and the theater of Pompeo; to the east from a large porticoed square, the Porticus Minucia Frumentaria. In the “sacred area” there are four temples, all of republican age, named with the first four letters of the alphabet. The oldest of them is the temple C, the third from the north: it is a peripteral building without a posticum (ie the colonnade on the back side), replaced by the back wall of the cell. The high tufa podium is finished at the top by a molding of the simplest and most archaic type. The walls of the cell, in brick, and the white floor mosaic with black squares belong to a Domitian restoration, carried out after the great fire that, in 80 d. c., destroyed much of the Southern Campus Martius. The travertine paving (n ° III of the section) was then created.

Sacred Area of ​​Piazza Argentina
The appearance of the building, the fragments of its architectural decoration in terracotta and some inscriptions allow it to be attributed to a rather ancient period of the Republican age (IV or rather early III century, a.c.). Immediately following in time it is considered the temple A, the most northern, which can probably be attributed to the III century BC. Over the centuries the temple underwent some radical transformations: in its present appearance (perhaps attributable to the Pompey period) it appears as a canonical peripterum, with columns of tufa and travertine capitals. The currently visible travertine columns are to be attributed to a later restoration. Chronologically follows the temple D, the largest, which occupies the southern end of the area. It too present itself as a late republican remake, entirely in travertine, while the oldest phase probably belongs to the beginning of the 2nd century BC.

Last chronologically and temple B, circular on the podium, with front stairway. The columns, Corinthian, are of tuff, the bases and the capitals of travertine. Next to this building, between it and the temple C, parts of a female statue of Greek marble, colossal (the head alone and 1.46 m high) were found. It is certainly an acrolith: the dressed parts must therefore be metallic. Now it is preserved in the Capitoline Museums (Braccio Nuovo). This is the cult statue of the temple B, which was then dedicated to a female deity. Also this temple, which was built on a much higher level than the original one of Campo Marzio, on which the others stand, underwent important remakes: at first, the closing of the intercolumns with a wall (the emerging parts of the columns took the appearance of pillars) and the consequent enlargement of the cell, with the construction of a wider podium; in a second time, the complete closure of the external façade, certainly to be attributed also to the Domitian age. The history of the complex of Largo Argentina is very complex and made more difficult by the lack of serious stratigraphic excavations. However, it is possible to recognize some main phases, datable with relative exactness. The earliest buildings were erected on the primitive country floor (I in the section), regardless of one from the other: the temple There was separated from the later temple A by a fairly large space, which only later was filled by the building of the temple B. This isolation of the buildings was underlined by the existence of areas in front of the temples, elevated by some steps with respect to the surrounding ground, in the center of which ares were located. These are therefore autonomous cultural complexes. A total construction transformation of the area occurred instead when the area was raised about 1.40 m, probably following a fire, which is perhaps what, in 111 a.c., destroyed a large part of the city. It was then created a unitary tuff floor (II), which included the three existing temples in a single complex, probably already fenced by a colonnaded portico (of which traces remain on the north and west sides of the area). The podiums of the temples are then cut at half height: in the case of the temple C there was no transformation, while the podium of the temple Ait was clad with a new block of blocks in its emerging part, and that of the temple D greatly enlarged (perhaps a little later) in the forms currently visible, and entirely covered with travertine. In the empty space between temples A and C, an element of severe asymmetry in such a unified area, the temple B circular was then built on the new tuff floor. The chronology of this floor, which implies the unification of the previous buildings isolated in a single complex, and of great importance also for the identification of deities to whom the temples were dedicated. A capital element is provided by the inscription of the altar placed in front of the temple C, on the older level, sealed by the later tuff floor, and then to it earlier. It is not the original altar, but a remake of it, performed, following a Plaetoria law, by Aulo Postumio Albino, son and grandson of Aulus, in which we must probably identify the console of 180. We can therefore be certain that the creation of the tuff floor and the consequent unification of the area were made after this date, in a fairly advanced period of the II century BC Sacred Area of ​​Piazza Argentinail temple C with the temple of Feronia, ancient Italic divinity, built by Curio dentato after his victory over the Sabines in 290 BC, the temple A that of Giuturna erected by Q. Lutazio Catulo, after the triumph over the Carthaginians in 241. temple B The attribution to Fortuna huiusce is proposed for temple D it is proposed the identification with the Lares Permarini placed from the calendar prenestino in Augustan age in ports

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