Augustus Architectural Impact

Topics: Augustus, Roman Empire, Ancient Rome Pages: 14 (4128 words) Published: August 20, 2013
Essay Topic 4: Augustus made significant urban and architectural interventions on the city of Rome. Choose three buildings/monuments related to his reign and discuss how they reflect his impact. What representational messages were they designed to convey?

Many architectural and urban forms and elements that we witness today are largely influenced by how buildings were design and laid in Rome. Not only in terms of its external design that brought upon important messages but the design of interiors and the significance of spatial arrangement of spaces exist within them has created the sense of physical experience in the buildings as well. Rome’s urban development and the rise of architectural movement began during the time of Augustus from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. 1,2 Born Gaius Octavious, known as Octavian in his early years rose to become the first emperor of Rome after ending the second triumvirate through defeating Antony and Lepidus.3 When Octavian returned to Rome, he was honoured by the Senate and the Roman citizens for bringing peace and prosperity to a war-weary Roman world.4 He was then granted the name “Augustus” which is an important symbolic act to legitimize his political control as an emperor over Rome.5 Augustus’ main intention is to establish a stable Rome under his authority and this is largely shown through his restoration of incomplete buildings by Caesar. During his reign, as stated in his bibliography, Res Gestae, he claimed that he “repaired eighty and two temples of the gods in the city, … omitting none which at that time needed repair”.6 However, he also erected four new temples during his reign and these temples largely convey the message of him wanting to show that he was a dependable and better ruler.7 Stamper argues that the building of temples in Rome by various rulers form a large connection of showing power and authority over the city.8 Thus, based on this intention of Augustus, this essay will analyse three different temples completed during Augustus’ period and will discuss how it is represented through the architectural elements and their relations to the urban context. 1

John Stamper. W. The Architecture of Roman Temples: The Republic to the Middle Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 105 2 John Bryan, Ward-Perkins. Roman Imperial Architecture (Victoria: Penguin Books Australia, 1981), 21. 3 4 5 6

Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Augustus, Monumentum Ancyranum, 97

7

Oliver Hekster and John Rich, “Octavian and the Thunderbolt: The Temple of Apollo Palatinus and Roman Traditions of Temple Building, The Classical Quaterly 56 (2006): 153 8 Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 105.

Name: Huang Shen Shen @ Apple Tutor: Frank Vitelli

Student ID: 551099 Tutorial Day: Monday

Subject Code: ABPL20030 Tutorial Time: 1-2pm

The Temple of Julius Caesar dedicated in 29 B.C. by Augustus at the eastern end of Forum Romanum has brought upon the underlying message of lifting himself as a “son of god” which qualified him as the great emperor of Rome. Augustus was the nephew of Julius Caesar who was a significant Roman Senate during that period.9 He was greatly favoured by his uncle and had participated in Caesar’s triumph even when he was a young man.10 Moreover, after Caesar’s assassination, his position was elevated when Romans admitted his uncle into state cult in which he was given the benefit of being divi filius, the son of the deified Caesar.11 This has led to the building of Temple of Julius Caesar that was built on the spot where his body was cremated to commemorate him.12 According to Sear, even though the temple seems to acknowledge his uncle, the underlying message of lifting himself as a “son of god” is the main idea that Augustus intended to convey in this temple.13 Phillips suggested that the idea of dedication comes from the footsteps of...


Bibliography: “Apollo, Augustus and Actium: Emerging imperial themes in Temple of Apollo”. M. Fabius, Ancient Worlds: The Roman World. http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/1208292 (accessed on May 12, 2013) Augustus, Monumentum Ancyranum edited by E. G. Hardy. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1923. Crouch, Dora. P. History of Architecture: Stonehenge to Skyscrapers. USA: McGraw-Hill, Inc, 1985 Gurval, Robert Alan. Actium and Augustus: The politics and emotion of civil war. USA: The University of Michigan Press, 1998 Grundmann, Stefan, 2nd revised ed., The Architecture of Rome: An architectural history in 402 individual representations. London: Edition Axel Menges, 2007. Hekster, Oliver and John Rich. “Octavian and the Thunderbolt: The Temple of Apollo Palatinus and Roman Traditions of Temple Building. The Classical Quaterly 56 (2006): 149168 Phillips, Darryl A. “The Temple of Divius Julius and the Restoration of Legislative Assemblies under Augustus”. Phoenix 65 (2011): 371-388 Roller, Duane W. “The Temple of Mars Ultor: What Was Being Avenged?”. Ohio State University(2009), http://www.camws.org/meeting/2009/program/abstracts/09C1.Roller.pdf (Accessed on May 12, 2013) Sear, Frank. Roman Architecture. London: BT Batsford Ltd, 1989. Stamper, John. W. The Architecture of Roman Temples: The Republic to the Middle Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Thorpe, Martin. Roman Architecture. London: Bristol Classical Press, 1995. Ward-Perkins, John Bryan. Roman Imperial Architecture, Victoria: Penguin Books Australia, 1981
Name: Huang Shen Shen @ Apple Tutor: Frank Vitelli
Student ID: 551099 Tutorial Day: Monday
Subject Code: ABPL20030 Tutorial Time: 1-2pm
Image Sources
Fig. 1. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 110 Fig. 2. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 109 Fig. 3. Sear, Roman Architecture,55 Fig. 4. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 117 Fig. 5. Temple of Apollo Palatinus, http://www.lookandlearn.com/historyimages/M075219/Temple-of-Apollo-Palatinus Fig. 6. “Apollo, Augustus and Actium: Emerging imperial themes in Temple of Apollo”, M. Fabius http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/1208292 Fig. 7. “Apollo, Augustus and Actium: Emerging imperial themes in Temple of Apollo”, M. Fabius http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/1208292 Fig.8. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 131 Fig.9. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 137 Fig. 10. Temple of Mars Ultor, University of Chicago, http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/imperialfora/augustus/mars. html) Fig. 11. Sear, Roman Architecture,65
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