Burcardo/Argentina: Despite what some guides and guidebooks say about the "Argentina" neighborhood in Rome's centro storrico and Torre Argentina, Piazza Argentina, Teatro Argentina, and the Scavi Argentina (directly in front of the Teatro), they have nothing to do with the location of Rome's silversmiths, they have nothing to do with Cardinal Francesco Argentino, and, most certainly, they have nothing to do with the homeland of Juan and Evita. They have everything to do with an Alsatian Bishop, Johannes Burckardt.

Burchardt was a VIP in the Rome of 500 years ago where he was known as Burcardo Argentinensis. The Argentinensis part of his name came from Argentoratum, the old Latin name of his native town, Nieder-Haslach, near Strasbourg. Burckardt was Papal Master of Ceremonies for five successive Popes (Sixtus IV, Innocentius VIII, Alexander VI (the infamous Roderigo Borgia), Pius III and Julius II), and, as Master of Ceremonies for the Great Jubilee Year of 1500, he was certainly famous in his own time. But he made powerful enemies, and almost all memory of him was abolished after he died. He would not be known at all, outside obscure Papal liturgical history circles, if he had not kept an accurate and partially documented diary from December 1483 through April 1506, which included the time of the Borgias. Although it is extremely gossipy, historians accept his Liber Notarum as the most accurate source on Papal affairs during this important period of the Renaissance in Rome. (The writings of Stefano Infessura, an anti-papal republican and a partisan of the Colonna family, are just as universally discounted.)

Burcardo's history and the present use of his completely restored Palace on Via Sudario as a world class Theatre Library and Museum is documented at http://www.theatrelibrary.org/english.htm.