After spending our two free days locked in our respective apartments to finish our papers on Etruscan tombs, we began our first class of the week in the Largo Argentina, located in the ancient Campus Martius. We saw the remains of four partially excavated Republican temples, helpfully labeled Temples A, B, C and D. We had some time to look at the temples by ourselves to test our ability to identify various building materials (tufa, concrete, travertine, brick, marble…we saw them all!!) and temple structures. Professor Ulrich gave us helpful handouts (not without eliciting horrified whispers of “Is this a quiz?”) about the various opera in Roman architecture. We learned from Prof. Ulrich's lecture that these four temples were most likely built by individual families to celebrate a particular military victory and to fulfill a vow to a particular god.
After our morning lecture in the Largo Argentina, we had a two-hour lunch break during which some of us roamed around the open-air market in Campo dei Fiori while others rushed to the Rome Center to prepare for their upcoming presentations.
We reconvened in a classroom in the Rome Center so Prof. Ulrich could take a break from speaking above the sound of honking traffic and roaring street sweepers. He gave us an introduction to Republican Roman temples Part II, and we listened to a lovely presentation by Bridget-Kate on the three temples in the Forum Holitorium. Our favorite TA Katelyn also gave a preview to her presentation on the Temple of Portunus and the Round Temple in the Forum Boarium.
Shortly after, we headed over to see the temples themselves near the Theater of Marcellus. We saw the columns of the Temple of Juno and the Temple of Janus built into the present church of San Nicola in Carcere. We went down into the crypt of the church to see the podium of some of the original columns, and we even had special permission to go up onto the terrace of the church to see the entablatures of the two temples right in front of our very eyes!
After leaving the church, we crossed the street and came to our last site of the day, the Round Temple and the Temple of Portunus, which are still well preserved and great examples of Hellenistic and Italic-Hellenistic architecture. The Temple of Portunus, with its Etruscan temple layout and Hellenistic decorative friezes and engaged columns, gets a check plus as the best (preserved) example of Republican Roman temple architecture!
Photos (with some contributions from Lucas):