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Temples A-B-C-D of Largo Argentina

Temples A-B-C-D of Largo Argentina

This sacred area contains four republican temples (labeled A to D, from north to south). The best preserved is Temple A, dating to the third century B.C., because it was once incorporated into a medieval church. Temple B is circular and was the last to be built, dating to 101 B.C. The first phase of Temple C dates to the third century B.C., but much of what is preserved dates after the fire of A.D. 80. D is the largest temple and still mostly unexcavated. B is the only shrine that can be securely identified: it was the Temple of Fortuna Huiusce Diei (Good Fortune on This Day). Remains of the colossal, 8-meter cult statue of Fortuna can be seen in the Montemartini Museum.

Aedes Fortuna Huiusce Diei

From Samuel Ball Platner, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, rev. Thomas Ashby. Oxford: 1929, p. 216.

A temple vowed by Q. Lutatius Catulus on the day of the battle of Vercellae, 30th June, 101 B.C. (Plut. Mar. 26: Τύχη τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης), and dedicated by him on an anniversary of the battle (Fast. Allif. Pinc. ad III Kal. Aug., CIL i2. p. 217, 219, 323). It was in the campus Martius (Fast. locc. citt.: in campo), but the exact site is unknown. This Fortuna is clearly the deity to whom the happy issue of each day is owing (Cic. de leg. ii. 28: Fortunaque sit vel Huiusce diei, nam valet in omnis dies, etc). Certain statues by Pythagoras of Samos stood ad aedem huiusce diei in Pliny's time (NH xxxiv. 60), but whether this temple is meant or that on the Palatine is uncertain (see below). In the sixth century (Procop. BG i. 15. II) there was a stone replica of the Palladium which Diomede had brought from Troy to Italy ἐν τῷ τῆς Τύχης ἱερῷ, and it is generally assumed that this temple is referred to, although without much reason (HJ 491; Rosch. i. 1514; RE vii. 32).

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Additional source material

  • Ancient Library Sources (from Peter Aicher, Rome Alive: A Source Guide to the Ancient City, vol. 1, Bolchazy-Carducci: 2004) [Works cited]

    86. The Porticus Minuciae and the Four Republican Temples (Largo Argentina). Sources.


    [In 179 BC] the censor Marcus Aemilius dedicated the Temple of the Lares Permarini in the Campus. Lucius Aemilius Regillus had vowed the temple 11 years earlier, during a naval battle against the generals of the Seleucid king, Antiochus III.

    Livy, History 40.52.4

    [More primary sources and commentary]

  • Stanford Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project
  • German Archaeological Institute
  • Flickr images
  • Wikipedia

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