Largo di Torre Argentina, Temple A (to Juturna) in the distance, Temple B in the center, Temple C to the left. In the distant left, the Teatro Argentina
|Location||Comune di Roma, Lazio, Italy|
|Founded||4th century BC – 1st century AD|
|Periods||Roman Republic, Roman Empire|
|Website||AREA SACRA DI LARGO ARGENTINA|
Largo di Torre Argentina is a square in Rome, Italy, with four Roman Republican temples and the remains of Pompey's Theatre. It is in the ancient Campus Martius.
The name of the square comes from the Torre Argentina, which takes its name from the city of Strasbourg whose Latin name was Argentoratum . In 1503, the Papal Master of Ceremonies Johannes Burckardt, who came from Strasbourg and was known as "Argentinus", built in via del Sudario a palace (now at number 44), called Casa del Burcardo, to which the tower is annexed.
The other tower in the square is the medieval Torre del Papito ("Little Pope's Tower"), attributed by tradition to Antipope Anacletus II Pierleoni, allegedly not a tall person.
After Italian unification, it was decided to reconstruct part of Rome (1909), demolishing the zone of Torre Argentina. However, during the demolition work in 1927, the colossal head and arms of a marble statue were discovered. The archeological investigation brought to light the presence of a holy area, dating to the Republican era, with four temples and part of Pompey's Theatre.
Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of the Theatre of Pompey, and the spot where he is believed to have been assassinated is in the square.
The Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, announced in February 2019 that by late 2021 the site will be installed with walkways and the general public will be able to tour the ruins for the first time.
The four temples, originally designated by the letters A, B, C, and D, front onto a paved street, which was reconstructed in the imperial era, after the fire of AD 80. The area was delineated to the North by the Hecatostylum (one-hundred columns porch) and the Baths of Agrippa, and to the South by the buildings related to the Circus Flaminius, to the East by the great porched square of Porticus Minucia Frumentaria, and to the West by the Theatre of Pompey.
Temple A was built in the 3rd century BC, and is probably the Temple of Juturna built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus after his victory against the Carthaginians in 241 BC.It was later rebuilt as a church, the apse of which is still present.
Temple B, a circular temple (tholos) with six columns remaining, was built by Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 101 BC in fulfillment of his vow at the Battle of Vercellae.The temple (aedes) was devoted to Fortuna Huiusce Diei , "the Fortune of This Day." The colossal statue found during excavations and now kept in the Centrale Montemartini of the Capitoline Museums was the statue of the goddess herself. Only the head, the arms, and the legs were made of marble: the other parts, covered by the dress, were of other materials, probably a wooden frame. This is known as an acrolithic statue.
Temple C is the most ancient of the four, dating back to 4th or 3rd century BC, and was probably devoted to Feronia the ancient Italic goddess of fertility. After the fire of A.D. 80, this temple was restored, and the white and black mosaic of the inner temple cella dates back to this restoration.
Temple D is the largest of the four, dates back to the 2nd century BC with Late Republican restorations, and was devoted to Lares Permarini (Lares who protect sailors), but only a small part of it has been excavated (a street covers the most of it). It was vowed by the praetor, Lucius Aemilius Regillus, while engaged in a naval battle with the fleet of Antiochus the Great in 190 BC, and dedicated by M. Aemilius Lepidus, when censor, on 22 December, 179.On the doors of the temple was a dedicatory inscription in Saturnian metre. It is recorded as standing in porticu Minucia and therefore its exact site depends on that of the porticus.
The Teatro Argentina is an 18th-century opera house and theatre located in the square. The premieres of many notable operas took place there. They include Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville in 1816and Giuseppe Verdi's I due Foscari in 1844 and La battaglia di Legnano in 1849.
The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is located in Temple D of the Largo di Torre Argentina. The cat shelter was founded in 1993, and offers sterilization and adoption programs that house an estimated 350 cats. The shelter operates as a no-kill shelter under Law no. 281, enacted by the Italian Parliament in 1991. These laws introduced: (i) the cats’ rights to live free and safe, (ii) institutionalization of cat caretakers. The shelter remains active, despite archaeologists protests to dismantle the shelter in favor of protecting the excavation.
In the myth and religion of ancient Rome, Juturna was a goddess of fountains, wells and springs, and the mother of Fontus by Janus. Jupiter turned her into a water nymph – a Naiad – and gave her a sacred well in Lavinium, Latium, as well as another one near the temple to Vesta in the Forum Romanum. The pool next to the second well was called Lacus Juturnae. A local water nymph or river-god generally presides over a single body of water, but Juturna has broader powers which probably reflect her original importance in Latium, where she had temples in Rome and Lavinium, a cult of healthful waters at Ardea, and the fountain/well next to the lake in the Roman forum. It was here in Roman legend that the deities Castor and Pollux watered their horses after bringing news of the Roman victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC.
In ancient Roman religion, Tempestas is a goddess of storms or sudden weather. As with certain other nature and weather deities, the plural form Tempestates is common. Cicero, in discussing whether natural phenomena such as rainbows and clouds should be regarded as divine, notes that the Tempestates had been consecrated as deities by the Roman people.
Festivals in ancient Rome were a very important part of Roman religious life during both the Republican and Imperial eras, and one of the primary features of the Roman calendar. Feriae were either public (publicae) or private (privatae). State holidays were celebrated by the Roman people and received public funding. Games (ludi), such as the Ludi Apollinares, were not technically feriae, but the days on which they were celebrated were dies festi, holidays in the modern sense of days off work. Although feriae were paid for by the state, ludi were often funded by wealthy individuals. Feriae privatae were holidays celebrated in honor of private individuals or by families. This article deals only with public holidays, including rites celebrated by the state priests of Rome at temples, as well as celebrations by neighborhoods, families, and friends held simultaneously throughout Rome.
The Campus Martius was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about 2 square kilometres in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome. The IV rione of Rome, Campo Marzio, which covers a smaller section of the original area, bears the same name.
Gaius Lutatius Catulus was a Roman statesman and naval commander in the First Punic War. He was born a member of the plebeian gens Lutatius. His cognomen "Catulus" means "puppy". There are no historical records of his life prior to consulship, but his career probably followed the standard cursus honorum, beginning with service in the cavalry and continuing with the positions of military tribune and quaestor.
The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, also known as the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was the most important temple in Ancient Rome, located on the Capitoline Hill. It was surrounded by the Area Capitolina, a precinct where numerous shrines, altars, statues and victory trophies were displayed.
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the latter part of the Roman Republican era by Pompey the Great. Completed in 55 BC, it was the first permanent theatre to be built in Rome.
Sant'Angelo is the 11th rione of Rome, Italy, located in Municipio I. Often written as rione XI - Sant'Angelo, it has a coat of arms with an angel on a red background, holding a palm branch in its left hand. In another version, the angel holds a sword in its right hand and a scale in its left.
The Forum of Caesar, also known by the Latin Forum Iulium or Forum Julium, Forum Caesaris, was a forum built by Julius Caesar near the Forum Romanum in Rome in 46 BC.
A forum was a public square in a Roman municipium, or any civitas, reserved primarily for the vending of goods; i.e., a marketplace, along with the buildings used for shops and the stoas used for open stalls. Many fora were constructed at remote locations along a road by the magistrate responsible for the road, in which case the forum was the only settlement at the site and had its own name, such as Forum Popili or Forum Livi.
The Teatro Argentina is an opera house and theatre located in Largo di Torre Argentina, a square in Rome, Italy. One of the oldest theatres in Rome, it was constructed in 1731 and inaugurated on 31 January 1732 with Berenice by Domenico Sarro. It is built over part of the curia section of the Theatre of Pompey. This curia was the location of the assassination of Julius Caesar.
Hercules of the Forum Boarium is one of two gilded bronze statues of Hercules found on the site of the Forum Boarium of ancient Rome. The two statues were both placed in the Palazzo Dei Convervatori for safe keeping in 1950 and remain there today. The Hercules of Forum Boarium was likely to have been a cult image of Temple of Hercules that stood by the ancient cattle market.
Marcus Marius Gratidianus was a Roman praetor, and a partisan of the political faction known as the populares, led by his uncle, Gaius Marius, during the civil war between the followers of Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. As praetor, Gratidianus is known for his policy of currency reform during the economic crisis of the 80s.
The House of Augustus, or the Domus Augusti, is situated on the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy. This house has been identified as the primary place of residence for the emperor Augustus.
The Curia of Pompey, sometimes referred to as the Curia Pompeia, was one of several named meeting halls from Republican Rome of historic significance. A curia was a designated structure for meetings of the senate. The Curia of Pompey was located at the entrance to the Theater of Pompey. While the main senate house was being moved from the Curia Cornelia to a new Curia Julia, the senate would meet in this smaller building. It is best known as where members of the Roman Senate murdered Gaius Julius Caesar. It was attached to the porticus directly behind the theatre section and was a Roman exedra, with a curved back wall and several levels of seating. In "A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome" by L. Richardson, Jr., Richardson states that after Caesar's murder, Augustus Caesar removed the large statue of Pompey and had the hall walled up. Richardson cited Suetonius that it was later made into a latrine, as stated by Cassius Dio.
The Porticus of Pompey was a large quadriporticus located directly behind the scaenae frons of the Theatre of Pompey. It enclosed a large and popular public garden in the ancient city of Rome. The porticus was finished in 62 BC. and has a history spanning hundreds of years. The colonnades contained arcades and gallaries that displayed sculptures and paintings collected from years of war campaigns of its patron and builder, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Over time the site became rows of shops that occupied what were the galleries and arcades. As the ground level rose from constant flooding from the Tiber River, much of the original architectural elements were re-used by shop owners to adhorn their structures at higher levels. Today, many of these shops still exist and fragments of the old theatre and porticus can be seen embedded in the ancient walls of many of the buildings.
Fortuna Huiusce Diei was an aspect of the goddess Fortuna, known primarily for her temple in the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina at Rome. Cicero lists her among the deities who should be cultivated in his ideal state, because "she empowers each day". She thus embodies an important aspect of time as it figures in Roman religion: every day of the year had a distinct and potent nature, which the public priests were responsible for knowing and aligning the community with by means of the religious calendar.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Rome:
The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is a cat shelter in Rome, Italy, that makes use of the ancient ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina by providing a home within them for around 150 cats.
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