On the Ides of March (March 15th), 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated in the heart of Rome. He was attending a meeting of the Senate when the assassins, a group of his fellow senators, struck.
On that fateful day the senators were meeting in part of the complex of the Theatre of Pompey, as the Curia, their normal meeting place in the Forum, was being rebuilt. What little is left of the building where they met survives in the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina. The site is marked by one of Rome's iconic pine trees.
The death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history and yet there is not so much as a plaque to mark the spot where it took place!
Largo di Torre Argentina, to give the piazza its full name, is home to what survives of four ancient temples, dating back to the time of the Roman Republic, well as the scant remains of Pompey's theatre.
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 (c. 1450-1506), who hailed from Strasbourg and was known as 'Argentinus', built a house in via del Sudario (44), to which the tower is annexed.
The other tower in Largo Argentina is the medieval Torre del Papito (Tower of the Little Pope).
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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