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Area Sacra di Largo Argentina - Description
The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina was discovered in Rome between 1926-29 when the area was being prepared for a new building. This is not that unusual in Rome where millennia of history are buried under the current level. The Area Sacra Argentina changed from construction site into an archaeological dig. It contains four temples 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 (has a single row of columns on all sides) in design. Most of the columns and stylobate (colonnade foundations) have been preserved. In the Middle Ages the church of St. Nicholas was built over the site, only the apse remains visible.
Temple B - Area Sacra dell Argentina: This is the most recent temple, which was circular. Six columns, the original flight of steps and the alter are visible. 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: The oldest temple on the site dating 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 and a portion of it still lies buried under Via Florida to the south.
The Torre del Papito was also excavated in the Area Sacra Argentina. 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 from Imperial Roman times are also visible.
On the west side of Largo Argentina is the Teatro Argentina built in 1730. The façade was added in 1826 by Pietro Holl. The premier of Rossini's Berber of Seville in 1816 took place in the Teatro Argentina in 1816, and the premier of Verdi's Rigoletto in 1851. The Teatro di Roma is the current resident company There is a small museum here too.