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As always, please use complete sentences and cite your sources.

Ancient historians mark 27 BCE as the end of the Roman Republic because it was that year that the senate conferred on Octavian the title of Augustus (The “Revered one”). Augustus’ ascension to the participate, where he was Primus Inter Pares (first among equals), was aided not only by the fact that he was the adoptive son of Julius Caesar, whom the senate had just deified, but also by his keen use of art and architecture as a broad part of his propaganda.


Explain how Augustus utilized art and architecture as means to his political ends using at least one example from each of the following: Kleiner, Suetonius, Augustus’ Res Gestae, and one other source from this week’s readings. In other words, how did Augustus use art to soothe the political turmoil at the end of the Republic to form his Pax Romana?


Posted at Feb 15/2011 11:01PM:
Geggie: If you have any problems, please let me know!


Posted at Feb 16/2011 02:32PM:
csmith: Augustus impressively utilized public monuments throughout his rule as an accessible means of communication to convey his political agenda and construct an image of his character to the people of Rome. Kleiner discusses how Augustus used portraiture as an instrument of social propaganda in his efforts to promote a specific image of himself and his rule to the Roman people. Since Augustus came into power at such a young age, he artfully capitalized on the opportunity to associate his reign with a sense of immortal divinity. Sculptures such as the “Bust of Augustus wearing the corona civica” (page 66-67) exemplify this calculated attempt to create an aura of ‘eternal youth’ that surrounded his empire and further secured his authority. These portraits were composed with intentional aims to link Augustus’ leadership with that of a sacred, divine higher power and the ability to retain youthful beauty in the face of time. Suetonius observed how Augustus aligned many of his architectural endeavors with his family lineage. Examples include a theater of his nephew, Marcellus, and the portico and basilica of his grandsons (page 59). By undertaking these establishments in the honor of his relatives, Augustus heightened the esteem of his family while appearing benevolent and good-natured. Substantiating the importance of his potential heirs, Augustus utilized these structures to further promote his lineage and thus expand his overall dominance by communicating virtues such as fertility and family that came to embody his empire. Augustus stated in his Res Gestae that he built the Temple of Mars Ultor “on private ground” (page 34). Augustus consciously utilized this monument to link the glory of his family with that of the state of Rome. In this open space, Augustus skillfully displayed extensive statuary lineups of the ‘great men’ of Rome with the notable members of his own family genealogy. This blending of lineages induced the public to inextricably associate Augustus’ ancestors with the recognized acclaim of ancient Rome. Furthermore, the Ara Pacis Augustae portrays a unified, stable persona of Augustus’ family that underlined his ability to effectively rule in his position of power. Diana E.E. Kleiner discusses how the south frieze depicts Augustus’ relatives conversing freely and expressively in order to convey a relatable image of secure family life to the people of Rome (page 215-216). These portrayals establish the internal strength and stability of Rome and were employed by Augustus to convey a message of dependability.


Posted at Feb 16/2011 03:40PM:
midenova: When Augustus came to power, he realized he needed to find a way to secure his position with the Roman public and the influential people surrounding him. Learning from the case of Julius Caesar, where an obvious display of power led to his ultimate assassination, Augustus decided to create a subtler persona for himself through art and architecture during his 45 year reign as emperor. This subtle portrayal communicated his authority, but also legitimized it through establishing Augustus’ destiny as ruler, his right to avenge his ancestors’ wrongful fates, and his reign as a peaceful time in Rome.

As Kleiner discusses, Augustus used portraiture to craft a careful, politically charged image of himself in the public eye; this is seen prominently in the Prima Porta Augustus statue, where he appears as imperator. This sculpture honors the past in every possibly way, because Augustus wanted to show that he has genealogical support for his claim to power. He takes on classical Greek proportions, like the broad rectangular chest and contraposto stance, to convey his connection to traditional standards. He also draws on portraits of Alexander the Great with the two locks of hair on his forehead. It communicates that he is a powerful military figure. Augustus is barefoot, which draws on the typical portrayal of a Hellenistic king. Therefore, he is making a political statement that blends his presence in the military realm with the divine realm. At Augustus’ feet is Cupid, which is a reference to his genealogical descent from the goddess Venus. This statue, overall, communicates that Augustus’ lineage legitimizes his claim to power, and that his ties with the past establish a continuity and stability of tradition.

Augustus also used public architecture projects as a way to shape his political agenda. The Forum dominated by the Temple of Mars Ultor, as Suetonius describes, is a good example of how Augustus used public architecture. The Temple itself is a statement of vivid political presence; Mars is the god of war and revenge, and Augustus dedicated this temple in honor of his defeat of Brutus and Cassius (who had betrayed his adopted father, Julius Caesar). Also, the Forum that that Augustus built is very important to the political message he was shaping. Behind the prominent colonnades of this area there were statues of great men, which fulfilled an old-fashioned statuary agenda. This type of decoration was usually reserved for villas and homes, and Augustus brought it out into the public realm. Therefore, the Forum acts as an Augustan residence, and the Roman public was invited inside this space to explore. It becomes an unusual blending of public and private. The statues he chose to place depicted men of the Augustan lineage, and also of great Roman men in general. Therefore, Augustus would reconstitute memory for the Roman people, which was a key imperial policy. By combining statuary of Roman and Augustan men, Augustus showed how his own lineage was intertwined with the Roman lineage. When people would think of Rome, they would also think of Augustus and his family; in this way, he justified and legitimized his ascent to imperial power.

Augustus also took advantage of architecture that had been constructed before his ascent to power. As he mentions in his Res Gestae, Augustus reconstructed the Theater of Pompey, “each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name”. Again, this ties into the theme of Augustus drawing as many connections as possible to the past. The Theater of Pompey was Pompey the Great’s gift to the Roman people; it was a way for him to share his war booty with the public. Augustus rebuilt it, thereby renovating this message of gift-giving to the Romans. Also, he is connecting his own reign back to the past, showing how he is legitimizing his acquisition of power. Through preserving monuments of the past, Augustus shows his respect for Rome, and also shows that he is a natural progression of the great Roman past.

Perhaps Augustus’ ultimate public propaganda project is the Ara Pacis, as described by Favro. This altar to Augustan peace is rich in visual imagery that communicates the message of peace, fertility, and continuity of the Augustan age. The ceremonial wall is decorated with garlands and patera, which are dishes used in sacrificial ceremonies. The garlands show the notion of peace and fertility, while the patera reflects that this is a religious space. Also, images of Augustus’ family are included on another side of the wall, which shows the fertility of his family, and how his reign of stability and peace will continue through his children. The back wall portrays mythological figures, like a woman surrounded by children, plants, and an abundant earth. This further communicates the message of fertility and peace.

As seen through these examples, the political monuments of Augustus were meant to communicate a message of continuity with the past, peace in the future, and stability in the present. These architectural projects spoke to a wide audience in an accessible language that everyone could relate to and understand. Through his new visual program, Augustus intertwines himself and his family with the empire of Rome, and communicates that his power is legitimate, justified, and beneficial to the empire.


Posted at Feb 16/2011 04:26PM:
zchaves:

Roman Art & Architecture QRI: February 18th, 2011 Zoe Chaves

Augustus’ campaign to rejuvenate Rome largely hinged on his uncanny ability to inextricably link the city’s aesthetic splendor to its imperial splendor. The strong connection Augustus fostered between visual and moral strength encouraged the city’s wealthy men to invest in the capital’s built environment; the Temple of Hercules and the Muses, the Temple of Diana, the Atrium of Liberty, the Temple of Saturn, and the amphitheater of Statilius Taurus are all massive projects funded exclusively by Rome’s elite (Suetonius 60). These endeavors were viewed, even in their own age, as tangible markers of Rome’s ascension to cultural prominence and the re-solidification of the Empire’s standards following the late Republic’s seemingly all-encompassing decrepitude. In his Res Gestae Augustus takes care to highlight the marble magnificence of his Rome; “I built the Senate-house…and the temple of Apollo on the Palatine with portocos…I rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey…I rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age… I completed the Forum of Julius…I built the temple of Mars Ultor…I rebuilt the Flaminian road…,” (Res Gestae) Augustus boasted at 76 years of age. Augustus casts these achievements as cornerstones of the “virtue, mercy, justice, and piety” (Res Gestae point 34) that marked his term as Primus inter pars. Celebration of the built environment was not just limited to verbal pronouncements; Augustus frequently circulated coinage around the Empire with images of completed projects or works in construction- a kind of pictorial newspaper for the masses. Not only did this strategy notify the public of the progress- it quite literally linked building projects to wealth and success (Kleiner 160).


Posted at Feb 16/2011 06:15PM:
mfinnegan: One of the major programs of the Augustan Principate was that of cultural renewal. By the 1st century BCE, Many Romans believed that the Roman populace had fallen from the "mores mairoum" or "ancestral customs" upon which the city, and through it, the empire was founded. For centuries Rome was plagued by greed, political instability and constant warfare. Upon gaining singular command and "imperium" in 27 BCE, Augustus became largely preoccupied with establishing an age of peace at Rome using this idea of cultural renewal. Augustan art and architecture usually depicted Rome's mythological origins in tandem with his own imperial lineage; with a clear Classical and Hellinstic influence, Augustus developed a kind of "pictorial language that enabled all inhabitants of the Imperium Romanum to participate in the revival of Classical culture and its ethical values while still preserving their national identity." (Zanker) Likewise, Augustus used art and architecture as a means of spreading pro-Principate propaganda and gaining public favor with his lavish, marble monuments. Suetonius credits Augustus as stating, "'I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble.'" (Suetonius) His use of Luna Marble is also a nod toward Classical influence in his program for cultural renewal. Augustus also used public works of art and architecture as a means of promoting the imperial family - in his Res Gestae, Augustus describes how he consecrates temples and theaters not in his own name, but in the name of his relatives. For instance, he states, "I built the theater at the temple of Apollo...under the name of Marcus Marcellus my son-in-law," and then on a different building, he states, "When the same basilica was burned with fire I expanded its grounds and I began it under an inscription of the name of my sons..." (Res Gestae) Just as Augustus dedicated public works in the name of his relatives, he was concerned with the imperial family's depiction in artwork as well. Augustus made sure that throughout his reign, his own and Livia's portraits depicted youthful leaders regardless of their actual ages and appearances. He also made sure that any member of the imperial family, even if not a blood relation, bore a strong resemblance to the Emperor himself. According to Kleiner, "He ingeniously conceived of expanding and coalescing the imperial family through a carefully crafted program of synchronized semblance. Augustus yearned for a greater symbiosis and skillfully fabricated a fictional family." (Kleiner) By conveying a unified, if 'fictional', family semblance and giving the imperial family a kind of immortal quality by never showing signs of aging, Augustus used artwork to reinforce his status as the destined emperor and to convey the peaceful power of his reign. Moreover, he often depicted himself in a God-like fashion, such as a panel of his Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) in which he reclines nude above the Eagle of Jupiter, seated next to a woman who could represent a multitude of deities, such as personified Roma. Neighboring panels of the altar depict the stories of Romulus and Remus - by linking the imperial family with the divine and mythological origins of Rome, Augustus alludes to the future while harkening back to the past, and by doing so establishes a kind of continuity existent in the imperial family and the ancient destiny of Rome itself.


Posted at Feb 16/2011 10:51PM:
cteitz: The various artistic and architectural projects that Augustus undertook while assuming power all worked to solidify his image of legitimacy and success. Through proving these things true to the Romans and currying their favor, Augustus and his family could remain in control of the state.

F. Kleiner brings up both coinage and portraiture as examples of “a powerful tool of pictorial and verbal propaganda.” (Kleiner, p.61) Coinage could disseminate essential messages and influence the average member of the population more easily and effectively than most other forms of imperial communication. It presented only state-approved images and circulated quickly throughout the empire, providing for some their only connection with the imperial government at Rome. In light of this, portraiture, both on coins and in statues, becomes more important as it allowed Augustus to carefully control the image he put forth. Coins, particularly as he was just rising to power, conveyed his legitimacy by connecting him with Caesar as the “divi filius” (p.61). The statues around the empire, too, were pieces of propaganda. They only showed Augustus as he wished to be seen, as “a godlike leader, a superior being who, miraculously, was eternally youthful” (p.67). With this as his public appearance, he became a man the people trusted for far longer than if they saw him age and fall victim to mortal ills.

The Forum of Augustus, as described by Suetonius, plays a significant role within Augustus’ political regime. He constructed the forum because “the two already in existence could not deal with the great number of lawsuits.” (Suetonius p.59) Through this he obviously bettered the Roman existence and integrated his own name within the typical workings of republican life, making his power seem less threatening. He also filled the porticoes of the forum with statues of great men, both generally from the Republic and specifically people he could connect his family with. This display legitimized his power in historical contexts while also reaffirming his understanding of the history’s importance and his role not as a drastic modifier of the status quo.

The Res Gestae section 20 outlines the projects Augustus undertook that did not bear his name, a significant political ploy that subtly enhanced his image. He describes how he “rebuilt the Capitol and the theatre of Pompey…without any inscription of my own name.” Through restoring relics of the old republic Augustus appeared not to be changing and challenging that government, although those kind of major renovations would only be possible for someone with sole power. He also “rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age,” a project that would greatly endear him to the people. While it was not inscribed on the arches themselves, it was obvious both that Augustus controlled the project and that he conscientious of the people’s needs, both for water and work. Augustus emphasized his real connection and understanding of Rome by allowing it to live in a fantasy that he made possible and comfortable.

The Ara Pacis, as D. Kleiner discusses in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, represents Augustus’ greatest triumph and the aspect of his reign that made it most legitimate: his ability to bring peace and a good future for the Roman Empire. The turbulent time of civil wars at home and provincial boarder problems that came at the start of Augustus’ reign made it necessary for him to reinforce his role in calming both situations. The figures along the side of the alter move with a calm and quiet demeanor, as if they know that there is little urgency to win the gods’ favor as is the case in battle. Furthermore, as Kleiner explains, Augustus uses the Ara Pacis to “relate the story of a youthful dynasty that leveraged a promising past into a vital present that presaged a visionary future.” (Kleiner p.221) The mythological characters portrayed bring to mind the promise of Rome’s future in the figure of a woman and her two sons sitting amid symbols of bounty and peace.


Posted at Feb 16/2011 11:27PM:
rmckeown: When the emperor Augustus rose to power in 27 BCE, Rome was in a state of great social and political upheaval. Having endured over a decade of civil war, the Roman civilization and the allegiance of its people hung in the balance. Due to his familial status as the adoptive son of Julius Caesar, Augustus was able to surmount all of the other rival contenders and secured his position as the supreme ruler of Rome. However, in order to remain the emperor, Augustus was required to appease the people into favoring him, lest he should end up with the same fate as his predecessor, Julius Caesar. Through his strategic utilization of art and architecture, Augustus was able to delicately groom the Roman peoples’ favor toward him, slowly enabling him to gain their support and eventually their trust. In his work “Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome,” Kleiner gives an example of Augustus’ attempts at social and political manipulation through the mass production and placement of his own youthful image on statues, coins, and other public media. Even though Augustus lived to be 76 years old, every statue of him that was ever publicly displayed was of the “Primaporta type” (Kleiner 43). These numerous images of Augustus portray him as a young, robust man with a determined and stoic demeanor, exuding the admirable traits of a leader, such as courage, fertility, and poise. By making his own youthful image ubiquitous throughout the empire and impervious to aging, Augustus was able to assert a sense of stability and legacy upon the Romans who gazed upon him, enabling him to gain their confidence and support. Favro explains in his “A Walk Through of Augustan Rome, A.D. 14,” how Augustus was able to utilize the building of the Ara Pacis to impart a feeling of placidity and safety to the Roman people (Favro 66). The Ara Pacis, which was built in honor of Augustus’ successful military campaigns in Spain and Gaul, consisted of a large altar surrounded by a protective wall; both the wall and the altar were ornately decorated with intricate Luna marble relief sculpture, depicting images of garlands, mythological scenes of Rome’s founding, and a vast procession of Augustus with his family. The purpose of this altar and its images was to act as a “concrete” manifestation of peace and serenity, which Augustus had brought through his military victories and which the Roman people could relate to and honor. The construction of this magnificent structure symbolized how Augustus, through his labors and dedication to the Roman Empire, shrouded the Roman people with protection, allowing them to live long and prosper. Thus, Augustus built the Ara Pacis to remind the people of Rome how he cared for them and kept them safe, thereby heightening his image among the people as the guardian of the Roman Empire. Suetonius describes in his The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus how Augustus attempted to secure his position both in the Roman Empire and in the minds of the Roman people by naming new buildings and renaming existing buildings after members of his family (Suetonius 30-31). For example, Augustus renamed the Theatre of Pompey after himself as well as built and named a theatre after his nephew Marcellus, porticos after his wife Livia and his sister Octavia, and a gargantuan forum after himself. By inserting his family’s name throughout Rome both through the building and renovation of many public works, Augustus was able to connect his family and his lineage to magnificent symbols of artistic and architectural grandeur in the minds of the Roman people. Through this use of subliminal association between his familial line and structures of great social and political significance, Augustus was able to increase the Roman peoples’ perception of his and his family’s wealth, status, power, and influence. Lastly, in his own Res Gestae, Augustus describes how he renovated and improved many public facilities, namely the aqueducts and others like the forum of Julius Caesar and roads (Augustus 33-34). Through the improvement of these public necessities of urban life in Rome, the Roman people were able to enjoy much more suitable living conditions. Thus, by appealing to the needs of the people, Augustus received much endorsement from the public as a defender of the people, or the “Primus Inter Pares.” Thus, Augustus was able to expertly employ numerous works of art and architecture to act as conduits through which he could connect with and placate tempers of the Roman people, thereby enabling him to form his "Pax Romana."


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:45AM:
hpassafu: Augustus stepped in to power in Rome at a time in which he needed to rebuild and revamp the structuring and security of the state. People needed a central figure to lead them, and Augustus saw himself as the perfect figure for such a job. He had faith in his lineage and in his ability as a leader to conquer other nations to further unify and strengthen Rome. In Fred Kleiner’s text, we see that Augustus was very proud of his victories over conquered lands, and made sure that Rome’s victories were made public by constructing triumphal arches. Arches were present during the Republic, but Augustus’ Parthian arch was larger than any arch Rome had ever seen. Augustus took pride in his conquests and took his role as the imperator (commander in chief) of Rome very seriously. His Primaporta statue as well as his statue depicting him as pontifex maximus (chief priest) show a trend in artwork that Augustus introduced during the Empire. This new trend was one of eternal youth, his portraits never showing any sign of aging. By doing so, Augustus shows himself, through art, as a young, intimidating, and powerful leader among the Romans. The portraits depict him as a “godlike leader” and often times are highly unrealistic, yet worked to show the Roman people Augustus’ power and influence. Suetonius focuses on three of Augustus’ main public works that he took on during his reign. Augustus set out to embellish the city with new public monuments and restore and improve ancient ones. This would become a key contribution that Augustus made during his rule, the restoration and upkeeping of monuments. Augustus claimed he “found Rome built of bricks; left it clothed in marble,” referring to the introduction of Luna Marble to the Roman art world. His three main works included the Temple of Mars Ultor, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Jupiter. The Temple of Mars was built to commemorate Augustus’ victory over Caesar’s murderers, and because of this future Senate meetings of planning to go to battle and victory gatherings were held here. Augustus’ Res Gestae continues to demonstrate how he rebuilt and maintained the monuments and projects in Rome. He rebuilt the Theatre of Pompey, completed Caesar’s forum, developed roads and bridges, and rebuilt a total of eighty two temples, and did none of this in his own name. The Res Gestae attempts to explain how Augustus was a “first among equals,” a leader who wanted to do things for the benefit of the Roman people and not just for his own self stature. However, Augustus was very connected to his lineage and his royal family ties, and made sure that his son’s names were included on some of these monuments. As stated earlier, Augustus wanted to be seen as a youthful “godlike leader” and in his Forum he had statues of great men of Rome; past senators and consuls, Aeneas, Romulus, and Julian family members (F. Kleiner). These statues reflected his traced divine descent and legitimacy of ruling. In the article by Diana Kleiner on “Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome,” one of the great pieces that depicts Augustan art and Augustan rule that Kleiner focuses on is the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace). This altar does indeed tell a story of Augustus’ rule and the way in which he viewed it as both peaceful and successful. The altar is surrounded by four walls, all with elaborate decorations celebrating Rome’s birth and rise to power, and the importance of the gods in the development of the city. It is a celebration of Augustus’ victories in both Gaul and Spain, as well as of his royal and divine family, and pays special tribute to the role that royal women play in Augustus’ family. The “imperial family glides rather than marches” on the friezes on the altar, depicting the smooth peacefulness in which Augustus and his royal family are able to rule Rome.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 01:08PM:
mschmidt-fellner: As Augustus’ rule last from 27 BCE – 14 CE, towards the end of his life few people could remember what it was like before the restoration of the Empire. However, in the beginning of his reign it was important for Augustus to propaganda art to secure his role as the sole ruler. Declaring himself Primus Inter Pares was a tough balancing act in order to ensure that the senate felt as though they still had a role. All images of Augustus show that he is a just, strong ruler.

As Kleiner discusses, Augustus uses this portraiture to carefully sculpt his image in the public eye. The most significant Augustan sculpture that completely embodies his goal was the Prima Porta Augustus. In all portraits he never ages, always pictures between 18-25 years old even when he is in his 70s. This ideal of eternal beauty is a very Greek idea of beauty, making political point by separating himself from aged Pompey portraits. There were many complex political and artistic references embedded in the portraits of Augustus, building on many different images. The sculpture drew upon the great orator, Aulus Metelus, as well as Polykleitos’ Doryphorus, a Greek sculpture that embodied strong and athletic perfection. The Augustan portrait was also barefoot like Hellenistic kings, once again drawing upon more Greek ideals. Additionally the hair of Augustus drew upon portraits of Alexander, the great Hellenistic power who was portrayed with a cowlick. At his feet there is an image of Cupid riding dolphin, calling upon his lineage. Caesar claimed to lineage to Aeneas, son of Venus, therefore Cupid would be in Octavian’s family line. In Rome there was a fictional insistence on a long family heritage, as sound ancestry important in Rome. Augustus’ breastplate additionally legitimizes his place in history. Recovering the standard lost many years earlier shows that he is addressing the long-standing desires of the Roman Republic. Military deeds are spelled out in breastplate and armor, dawn of a new age.

Augustus also takes care in different portrayal across the Republic. Portraits in the East show him as more god-like, which would have been rejected in the West as if he was trying to seize too much influence like Caesar. Fortunately we know much about the Augustan portraiture because many of them survived. Subsequent emperors kept the images around of the first successful emperor to legitimate their power.

As discussed by Favro, Augustus’ most prominent propaganda art structure is the Ara Pacis, which shows the deeds that he accomplished for the Roman Empire. There are symbols of peace and fertility as well as people in Augustus’’ family who are included to show the family that brought upon this blissful age. Because the time of Augustus’ rule was economically prosperous, the Ara Pacis may be a way to communicate to the public that they should continue to grow their families in order to expand the great Roman Empire.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 01:23PM:
jthomas: When Augustus gained power, he had to proclaim his rule as emperor carefully. As Suetonius explains, Caesar was assassinated for trying to do the same thing that Augustus was trying to attempt. One of the places he began was rebuilding the city, as Suetonius quotes Augustus he "found Rome built of bricks, and left it clothed in marble." He built the Forum which contained the Temple of Mars, Temple of Apollo, and Temple of Jupiter Tonans. All was done for the public good, and the Temple of Mars was built for the vengeance of Caesar's death. As Suetonius explains, he encouraged others to improve or build public works ranging from temples to amphitheaters. He did even more for the city by clearing out rives, having watches at night for fires, and building better roads. This gave the appearance that everything he did, he did for the common good of the public. Augustus' Res Gestae iterates many of these ideas. It helps to explain his rise to power, and gives insight into why so many probably accepted his rise to power. He once again always makes it seem that everything he did, he does at his own expense for the people. He claims that "he freed the state" when he succeeded in battle and and as mentioned before punished the men who killed Julius Caesar. He goes on to his many triumphs from battle and the many buildings he improved, but one of the most interesting things he states is he never accepted dictatorship even when it was offered to him. However, as Kleiner explains he was really a dictator in disguise. He was commander of the military, he was head priest, and he was first among the public. He took on different roles in order to make it seem like he had less power than he really did. He related himself to the gods, which made him seem all the power and worthy to be king and was eternally youthful. As Kleiner explains he even remade the history of Rome to work in his favor. The royal family all looked similar in portraits, even if in real life they were not. He wanted to look unified, and through this Rome was unified. This can be seen on the Ara Pacis, where each woman looks the same, and each man has hair like Augustus. Also, as A Walk Through Augustan Rome explains, the overall structure of the Ara Pacis is a "paean to the fecundity, wealth, and harmony made possible by the Augustan Peace. This was the impression that Augustus wanted Rome to see, without him none of the improvements, the triumphs, the peace would have been possible without him.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 02:00PM:
tborden: The art and architecture of Augustus' reign served to perpetuate the precarious balance between holding absolute power and appearing not to hold it, or at least appearing reluctant to hold it. Augustus used the works he commissioned as propaganda, weaving himself and his legitimacy as ruler into the fabric of current and past Roman social order and traditions. His main message was that he ruled by virtue of the senate and the people, who had requested, if not demanded, that he assume his current position of power, and that slowly and reluctantly, he began to accept the roles thrust upon him, but only after the current office-holders had died and it was clear that Augustus was the only suitable candidate for the role. There are multiple descriptions in Augustus' Res Gestae of his turning down of positions of power that were legitimately offered to him, for example in item 5, "When the dictatorship was offered to me ... by the people and the senate ... I did not accept it". Augustus also makes an effort to point out other power-holders that were concurrent with him, so as to lend legitimacy to the continuing traditions of Rome, and to dissuade the people from the idea that he held sole power: "when Marcus Marcellus and Lucius Arruntis were consuls" (item 5), "when Publius Sulpicius and Gaius Valgius were consuls" (item 10), "when Quintus Lucretius and Marcus Vincius were consuls" (item 11), and so on. Augustus also drew upon the tradition of displaying the busts of ancestors in the home. Just as this display of heritage lent legitimacy to the social standing of the home's owner and his family, so too did Augustus' display of great leaders of Rome in his public architecture lend legitimacy to his social status as Rome's current leader. A prime example of this practice is the Forum of Augustus, including the Temple of Mars Ultor. Suetonius explains that "Next to the immortal gods, Augustus most honoured the memory of those citizens who had raised the Roman people from small beginnings to their present glory" (p. 61). Displaying his own image along with those of leaders past has very clear implications, as Kleiner points out: "He presented himself as ... the latest and greatest in a line of summi viri beginning with Romulus and Aeneas." (p. 77) Aeneas was especially important in this context as Augustus claimed direct lineage from him, and therefore from Venus. These images of Augustus' forebears also serve as Augustus' message to the people that he still answers to them. Suetonius claims, "Then Augustus proclaimed, 'This has been done to make my fellow citizens insist that both I (while I live) and the leaders of following ages shall not fall below the standard set by those great men of old.'" (p. 61) The chief aim of Augustus in commissioning architectural and artistic public works was always legitimacy, and an excellent means to do so was to embed his own images in evocations of Rome's past traditions and social order, perpetuating the illusion that this social order was ongoing, and had not been broken by his rise to power.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 02:07PM:
cmwu: Kleiner: Through both architecture and art, Augustus established his dominion over the Roman Empire. The Forum Romanum openly expressed the dominance of Augustus through its architectural layout, "situating the Temple of Divus Iulius at one end of the open plaza, framed by the two great basilicas to the north and sourth," making "Augustus' father's shrine the centerpiece of the symbolic heart of the city - and of the Empire" (Kleiner 63). Augustus was keen on utilizing the layout of the forum to his full political advantage. The layout not only serves a symbolic function, but it physically organizes people into groupings and focuses their attention on the literal and figurative heart of the empire, which is represented by the deified Caesar who was the "father" of their current emperor. The well-preserved "Augustus as Imperator" statue serves a multitude of symbolic purposes. For instance, "The overall shape of the head, the sharp ridges of the eye-brows, and the tight cap of layered hair...emulate the Polykleitan style" of the Greek Doryphoros (Kleiner 68). The classic Greek proportions of bodily perfection and the barefooted statue send the message that Augustus is divine, and should be respected as the rightful ruler of Rome.

Suetonius: In everyday civic life, tombs of middle-class Roman citizens featured sarcophagi with carvings commemorating battle scenes and employing images associated with the imperial family. The symbolic imagery strengthened each citizen’s tie to the empire and the imperial family, emphasizing the dominant and crucial theme of conformity under Augustus’ rule. Suetonius notes that modern viewers may be shocked to find a common, elderly woman commemorated as a god by the religious carvings on her sarcophagus, but “only when we view this visual language as a whole, reflecting both the political system and the societal compulsion to conform, can we fully grasp the meaning of such forms of internalization” (Suetonius 336). The crucial fact is that each member of Roman society was treated in the same manner, driving in the point of unity and consequently strengthening Augustus’ power as the sole ruler of a unified people.

Autustus’ Res Gestae: In Augustus’ own words, describing his deeds to his empire, “I built the temple of Mars Ultor on private ground and the forum of Augustus from war-spoils…and consecrated gifts from war-spoils in the Capitol and in the temple of divine Julius, in the temple of Apollo, in the temple of Vesta, and in the temple of Mars Ultor” (Augustus’ Res Gestae 21). The Augustus Forum served a central function in the life of the Empire as a gathering spot for legal, political, social, and religious purposes. By dedicating the forum to the god of war, Mars, Augustus expressed justification for the civil war which he instigated to avenge Julius Caesar’s assassination. A common strategy in Augustus’ political propaganda is the deification of art and architecture with a political agenda. He “consecrated” the war spoils and effectively ties military success with sacred destiny, showing the citizens of Rome that the empire under his rule is doing right in the eyes of the gods. In the temple of Mars Ultor, Augustus employs geneological imagery which deifies Julius Caesar and draws attention to his own familial ties to the ruling families of the past. He extends the domestic tradition of displaying statues of the “Great Men” of one’s ancestry to the public sphere, displaying his own family’s statues alongside prominent figures from Rome’s origins in the Mars Ultor, thus blending Augustus’ and Rome’s lineage and reconstituting the historical memories of Roman citizens.

D. Favro: The sundial obelisk of the Horologium Augusti serves a powerful political purpose which clearly solidifies Augustus’ right to rule by linking him to divine will. The obelisk’s strategic location relative to the Ara Pacis enables it to cast a shadow each year on Augustus birthday directly into the altar, expressing the message to the people that “through super human efforts, Augustus has brought peace to Rome” (Favro 264). Through the clever integration of architecture and the natural movement of the earth relative to the sun, Augustus sends the compelling message that his architectural agendas are not merely contrived, but instead receive guidance and confirmation from a higher, divine power. It logically follows that obey Augustus, who has established peace for Rome with the support of the gods.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 02:21PM:
klougheed: Rather than delivering tiresome orations, Augustus shrewdly used art and architecture as a means of advancing his political agenda. His portraiture, first of all, strategically establishes him as a strong and trustworthy leader. The Primaporta statue "depicts him as commander in chief of Rome's armies," and the style of the statue reinforces this commander image using both Augustus's posture and fashion (Kleiner 68). He is "shown addressing his troops with his right arm extended in the manner of Aulus Metellus," a speechmaking posture that evokes the power of wisdom more than brute force essential in military endeavors (Kleiner 68). Augustus not only has the manpower of Rome behind him, but also his own strategic know-how. His Alexandrian hair is additionally reminiscent of the great Hellenic military leader, while the scenes depicted on his cuirass remind the viewer of Augustus's own prowess in war. He is not only a summus vir in his own right, but also associated with the summi viri of yore. His bare feet, furthermore, elevate him to the status of a god.

But Augustus didn't only commission statues of himself--he breathed new life into the whole city of Rome, and his choice of building materials additionally has strong implications for his vision of Rome. According to Suetonius, Augustus "could justly boast that he had found Rome built of brick and left it in marble" (28). This seemingly Hellenic focus on beautifying Rome, rather than crushing revolts in the provinces, evokes the lines from Vergil's Aeneid which state that while others (the Greeks) will flourish in art and science, the Romans will take military command of the world. Augustus's Hellenistic choice to use marble, a material most prominent in Greece, suggests that his vision of Rome revolves around the peace and prosperity that produce art, not the military violence that once catapulted Rome to glory. It implies to the Roman people that the bloody era of civil war, when people like Cicero were slaughtered in their homes during the proscriptions, had come to a close, and that a new Greek-influenced age of peace had arisen.

Augustus's decorations in the Temple of Mars Ultor also speak to his newfound emphasis on peace rather than bloody war. In the Res Gestae, he says that he "deposited in the inner shrine of the Temple of Mars Ultor" "the spoils and standards of three Roman armies" which they had seized from the Romans in the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, where Crassus lost not only the Roman standards, but also his head (5.29). Although Augustus only won these standards back through clever negotiation, he treats the victory like a battle triumph, even though he merely recovered the standards through diplomacy. By glorifying negotiation as readily as he would glorify military triumph, Augustus emphasizes the peace that he wishes to bring to the Roman people.

But while Augustus's buildings and temples were stagnant objects that didn't exactly move around, coins themselves came to all members of the Roman population, and Augustus wisely chose to use these coins to perpetuate his propaganda. In his book The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, Paul Zanker deems Augustus's coins "a good example of the effective use of the new visual language used by Octavian's supporters," pointing out how one coin had a "strikingly oversized dedication 'Divo Julio'" (Zanker 35). Augustus's coins use such visual cues as size to emphasize the current emperor's connection with Julius Caesar, who was deified posthumously. Emphasizing Caesar's apotheosis makes Augustus divine by association (since Augustus was biologically Caesar's grand nephew, and Caesar was allegedly descended from Aeneas, the son of Venus). This indirect deification of Augustus, through the coins depicting the divine Julius, elevated him to the level of the gods without forcing him to declare himself a god, which would risk turning the Roman people against him.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 02:53PM:
kgroszyk: Augustus utilized art and architecture as means to his political ends in many different ways. Throughout his reign, he undertook public works projects to assert his legitimacy, ‘show off’ his wealth and military conquests, and attribute all success that has befallen the Roman state to himself.

The Forum Augustus with the magnificent Temple of Mars Ultor is a strong symbol of Augustus’ deliberate use of political propaganda. “In the porticos and exedras of the Temple, Augustus presented himself as the latest in a long line of Roman great men, including Aeneas, Romulus, and other senators and consuls of the Republic in general and of the Julian family in particular” (F. Kleiner 66). By putting himself next to these great, historical men, Augustus was declaring himself a great leader and legitimizing his power. Furthermore, with the images of members of the Julian family, he “distinguished family tree and divine descent” to further legitimize his place in power.

According to Suetonius, Augustus named many of his public works projects – including the portico and basilica of his grandsons Gaius and Lucius, the porticos of his wife Livia and his sister Octavia, and the theater of his nephew Marcellus -- after himself and his relatives (Suetonius 59). In doing so, he tied the beautification and architectural improvements of Rome to himself and his family; his name became synonymous with the grandeur and magnificence of the public works projects, and, thus, the success of Rome. Furthermore, he urged leading citizens to embellish the city with new public monuments or to restore and improve ancient ones. This allowed ordinary people to become active participants in Rome’s beautification process, and thus have a stake in Rome’s success and stability.

According to his Res Gestae, the Senate consecrated an altar to celebrate his return from Syria. Furthermore, it was ordered that priests and Vestal virgins would offer yearly sacrifices on the day he returned from Syria. This ensured that Augustus’ military accomplishments would be publicly celebrated every year, which would in turn preserve his memory and the public’s loyalty to him. Another tactic Augustus used to ensure his continued support was dedicating events and monuments to his descendants – including the Forum of Julius for his sons, and gladiator shows for his grandsons. By dedicating events and monuments to his descendants, Augustus ensured that his legacy would be preserved past his death by creating public support and admiration for his family. This tacitly implied that Augustus’ family would play a role in the stability and success of Rome in the future.

Perhaps Augustus’ greatest use of art for political gain was the construction of the Ara Pacis Augustae – which celebrated his most important achievement, the establishment of peace. D. Kleiner discusses how Augustus used the Ara Pacis to chronicle the history of Rome, from its humble beginnings that leveraged a promising past into a vital present that presaged a visionary future (Kleiner 221). Augustus seamlessly weaves together Rome’s mythological history with his own family lineage by placing images of gods and his relatives next to one another. With images of a matron with two young children and animals surrounding her, Augustus is referencing Rome’s bright and peaceful future, which of course he is attributing to himself and his conquests. Thus, the monument ties together Rome’s past, present, and – most importantly -- future to Augustus, and implies that he has been a part of all of the success attributable to these periods.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 03:09PM:
jdesrosier: Augustus used both art and architecture to smooth the transition between the Republic and the Empire. His presence was felt all over Rome, from his building projects to his portraits to his monuments. A citizen could not far in Rome without a reminder of Augustus and the peace and justice he brought to the city. One key monument was the Ara Pacis Augustae. As Kleiner writes, “the monument celebrated what most Romans regarded as his most important achievement, the establishment of peace” (Textbook 70-71). The decorations around the altar wove together Rome and Augustus’ legacy into one coherent storyline. Similar to the frieze of the Parthenon in Athens, a procession appears on the sides of the imperial family. This image of Augustus’ heirs, particularly the inclusion of children (like Lucius and Gaius), illustrated to all how the Augustan legacy had been and would continue to be well established. Another crucial landmark was the Forum of Augustus. Not only did it serve as a display for Augustus’ unparalleled wealth but it also became the center of civic life. It served as a place for public prosecution, a meeting place for the Senate, the starting point for military governors and the place where triumphal trophies were displayed (Suetonius 29). Augustus’ Forum assumed the function of several locations and buildings (like the Curia and Forum Romanum for senatorial meetings and business, respectively), illustrating that Augustus as princeps could assume the role of many previous positions (like consul, censor and pontifex maximus). Like the Ara Pacis, Augustus’ Forum united and intertwined Rome and Augustus’ past through the statues in the colonnades of the summi viri. Displayed there were not just men from Rome’s legendary beginnings like Aeneas and Romulus, but also recent heroes like Pompey, which acknowledged that every leader of Rome so far had played an important role in Roman history that culminated with Augustus. Augustus emphasized that his building projects were on behalf of SPQR, the Senate and the Roman people. In his Res Gestae he wrote, “I rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name” (20). He wanted the people to enjoy the use of these public spaces without aggrandizing himself. Thus he receives appreciation for his humble service to the Roman people for restoring these buildings without inscribing his name, but he also achieves notice by documenting his efforts. Interestingly, he mentions this work that was extremely expensive in his Res Gestae, which was highly publicized. This is similar to how Augustus truly held all the power in Rome, and though he never explicitly advertised it, every citizen knew he was the sole ruler. Lastly, Augustus smoothed the transition between Republic and Empire by smoothing away lines on his portraiture. In the late Republic, veristic portraiture indicated wisdom and capability as we saw in portraits of Julius Caesar. Augustus shifts this paradigm and like a breath of fresh air creates a new style of portraiture: the eternally youthful. Like Pompey before him, Augustus incorporated aspects of Alexander the Great into his image. As Kleiner wrote, “Octavian was the thinking man’s Alexander!” (Kleiner “Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome”, page 208). Using the image of Alexander the Great allowed Augustus to alter the tradition of portraiture without completely rejecting previous Republican styles of portraiture.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 03:26PM:
aiarocci: The practice of using art and architecture as propaganda was not a unique idea established by Augustus. His adopted father Caesar had in fact used this type of propaganda. Caesar was noted for his minting of coins of himself as a young man with the inscription of his name and divi filius, divine son of a god (Kleiner, 61). When Augustus abruptly came to power in 44 BCE, not yet 19 years old, he knew that he would need to continue to prove his right to rule the Romans. Chapter Five of Kleiner’s work emphasizes the use of carefully designed portraiture to establish his public image. His portraiture plan defied the Republican verism that was so prevalent in early likenesses of emperors (67). There are portraits of Augustus found throughout the vast Roman Empire. Augustus came to power at an extremely young age, and the image of the young head of state is what was chosen to represent Augustus for the rest of his reign. These “carefully crafted images…were designed to present the image of a godlike leader, a superior being who, miraculously, was eternally youthful”(67). The Primaporta statue from the early-first-century CE, exemplifies this ‘eternally youthful’ commander in chief of the Roman armies. The pose of this particular statue suggests he is addressing his troops. This pose is in the manner of Aulus Metellus, but is mainly drawn from the famous Greek statue ‘The Doryphoros’ by Polykleitos (68). The head is not generalized like the Greek, but clearly has the same hair and head shape as images seen all over the empire. As professor Molholt explained, the cupid at Augustus’ feet is a reference to his genealogical descent from the goddess Venus. The image would have conveyed that Augustus was a strong leader with a divine right to rule. The Forum built by Augustus was one of the ways he furthered himself and his agenda through architecture. The description by Suetonius in his work ‘The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus’ explains this great public work. The Forum was dominated by a “Temple of Mars Ultor, the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine and the Temple of Jupiter Tonans on the Capitoline”(59). The Forum was built for many reasons. The two earlier ones could not hold the ever increasing population and the corresponding number of lawsuits. The Temple to Mars, the war god, was to gain his help in pursuing the murders of Caesar. This went well wit his declaration that Senate should meet whenever war or claims for the triumphs were considered (59). The textbook by Kleiner further details that the temple of Mars used lavish colored marbles in the plaza and porticos, which further proved the power and wealth of the new emperor (64). Being responsible for the space in which politics were decided gave Augustus and his lineage a legitimatization and eternal role in the Roman Empire. At the end of his life, Augustus decided that he should not only celebrate his accomplishments through sculpture and architecture, but through the written word. He wrote the ‘Res Gestae’, which was inscribed, on two bronze columns at his mausoleum in Rome (Kleiner, 67). One of the successes that he writes about is his architectural restoration. “I rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey,” he states. He emphasizes that it was not easy or cheap and that he was humble not including “any inscription of my name.” These were gifts to the people, which helped to earn their favor and respect of his power and the right of his heirs. One of the other ways that Augustus used art as a means of propaganda was by controlling the depictions of the women in his life in art. The reading by Kleiner in the reader says that there were four women in Augustus’s life. They were Cleopatra, his wife Livia, his sister Octavia and daughter Julia. Despite repressive laws against women, according to Kleiner they had a great impact on the nation (38). The most interesting relationship in relation to art is that with his daughter Julia. She was very rebellious and when she had a series of ”adulterous and very public affairs” he decided to make an example out of her. He banished her to a remote island. However, he did decided to honor her in a way he wouldn’t even honor his wife, which was by placing her image on a coin when she gave birth to two sons. The image was of Julia with both her sons, as the ‘first mother of Rome’ (39). This shows Augustus’ desire to show his people how important his lineage would be to Rome. However, after that, the he decided to not prevent the mass destruction of Julia’s image when she was viewed as disgraceful again. This exemplifies just how controlled and calculated the use of portraiture and imagery was in the art of the Augustan age. The other most significant work that influenced the public opinion and Augustus’ role in Roman history was the Ara Pacis. The reading by Favro describes how the altar would have told the message of the peace, fertility and perpetuity of the Augustan era. The images in the frieze show sacrificial ceremonies in a religious setting. The family, including the women and future children are included in it. This beautiful altar contrasts the war inspired Temple of Mars, and shows the peaceful and fertile side of Augustus. Art as a way of furthering one’s political agenda and family name was a very effective method in an empire where not everyone was literate or spoke the same language.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 04:32PM:
nwalker:Augustus’ reign as emperor of Rome was filled with subtle attempts at portraying power without an entirely overruling stance. Augustus utilized both art and architecture to accomplish his goal of rendering himself a deity of the people, not a pure megalomaniac. As evident in the text by Kleiner, a first medium of positive portrayal by Augustus was the employment of falsely representative portraiture. Augustus harnessed manipulation in portraiture to convey an affirmative image of himself to the Roman Republic-- an image that represented the aging ruler as a ‘diety’ who maintains a youthful image throughout his life. By conveying himself as forever young in his portraiture, Augustus was able to project the idea that he would be an ever-lasting ruler who would always be visualized in his prime. Kleiner also notes that most normal members of society would never have seen Augustus or any other elite in person. Thus, most people were unaware of Augustus’ true appearance and the image of him in his youthful prime could be maintained without question. Another example of Augustus’ politically meaningful art and architecture was the Forum of Augustus. As evident by the Seutonius article, Augustus’ Forum was something he believed needed to be constructed as an independent representation of him. While there were already two other Forums in Rome, Augustus saw the opportunity to build a monument whose origins could be linked directly to him. The texts notes that Augustus believed the Forum would handle the “many lawsuits” that developed in Rome, initiating the idea that he wanted the public to believe he cared about their civic liberties. Augustus’ Forum, however, can be seen as an unnecessary building of monumental dedication to himself. Another subtle pursuit Augustus engaged in to further his status was the rebuilding of the theater of Pompey. While Augustus deemed it necessary to rebuild the theater for the furthering of public opinion and a display of the “spoils of war”, he attempted to hide his overruling spirit by leaving the building free of his name. Augustus saw the opportunity the rebuild the theater with his own vision in mind while also illustrating to the public that he had no intentions of taking credit for the drastic, pretentious changes that were taking place in Rome. However, it seems unbelievable that nobody would be aware the rebuilding was done in the name of Augustus, so the fact that he left his name off of the theater is primarily insignificant. Finally, as evident in the Favro article, Augustus constructed the Ara Pacis Augustus as an understated demonstration of his power. The Ara Pacis shows the progressive accomplishments of his family within the Roman Empire and signaled the great fertility and flourishing of the republic through sacred images of family and sacrifice for the gods. A primary motive for the artistic piece can be seen as an attempt to have the public instill trust in Augustus and recognize the facts evident on the altar.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 05:02PM:
slink:

First, as Paul Zanker wrote, the emphasis should not be on the individual monuments or artifacts that Augustus built/constructed. Rather, the emphasis should be on the new “visual vocabulary” Augustus helped establish. This “vocabulary” entered into portraiture and statuary especially. Augustus’ portraits established the ideal representation of man- as a young, able leader with short, cropped hair. Augustus was portrayed in a series of different “outfits,” but his youth remained steadfast and his hair was always fashioned the same way. This was a great departure from Republican portraits that portrayed their leaders as old via veristic facial features. But, it was Augustus’ impetus to establish Rome as being a part of a new age, a better age, filled with economic and political success. Youth was analogous with the fresh start Rome would take in Augustan Rome. Thus, people began to fashion their own portraits in the same way- as youthful, idealized men venerating the greatness of Rome. By partaking in Augustus’ “visual vocabulary,” they were not just “copying” Augustus, but they were showing a certain fluency with Augustus’ ways of life. They were testifying to Rome’s successes by showing their involvement and dedication to its visual precedents.

As Suetonius makes clear, Augustus’ controlling and all-powerful roll was justified by his successes. Augustus did indeed convert the city from worse circumstances. He reformed Rome and made it a more livable, proud city. And as such, Seutonius remarks that “Augustus so improved its appearance that he could justifiably boast, ‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble.’” Seutonius follows this remark by reminding his reader that Augustus truly helped prevent his people from disaster- their life improved so drastically, his position would not be questioned. His architectural reform was not propaganda, but truly what the people of Rome wanted and needed.

In the same vain, Augustus’ very own “Res Gestae” serves as a justification for his powerful position. As he remarks in his 20th point, he “rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name. I rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age, and I doubled the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct…” These achievements were, objectively speaking, improvements for the Roman people. And their presences, as a part of Augustus’ architectural program, was a reminder to the Roman people of the new and better lives they enjoyed as a part of the Roman Empire.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 05:38PM:
sspiller: Augustus stepped into his role as emperor at a time when the Empire was ready for a new leader. After Julius Caesar’s death in 44 BCE, he was divinized and in his will, adopted Octavian as his son. Octavian came to power in 31 BCE and was renamed “Augustus” by the senate. Caesar’s time as sole ruler ended with him being assassinated, so Augustus took precautions to ensure that he would be well respected and not come to the same fate. He believed that the power of the city needed to be reflected in the architectureDuring his reign, Augustus restored 82 buildings and said, “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius 59). In his Res Gestae, Augustus repaired the Theater of Pompey, “each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name”. He even spent much of his own money to repave Via Flamina and other roads throughout the empire. As discussed by Favro, Augustus’ most prominent propaganda art structure is the Ara Pacis, completed in 9 BCE. This altar shows the accomplishments of Augustus for the Roman Empire. There are symbols of peace and fertility as well as people in Augustus’s family, ancestors, and priests. This and the other buildings Augustus built and refurbished were used to show the public of Rome that Augustus was doing good work for the empire. Part of Augustus’s propaganda was the use of his portraiture. He was often portrayed as a God, Neptune, because he was the “son” of divinized Caesar. He also always made himself appear young; even at age 72, he always looks between the ages of 18 and 24. In a marble statue of him, called Prima Porta Augustus, he is "shown addressing his troops with his right arm extended in the manner of Aulus Metellus" (Kleiner 68). He is also often depicted with the proportions of Greek Polykleitos Doryphoros, the hair of Alexandrian Portraits, and barefoot like a Hellenistic King. This copying of imagery, gives him the illusion that he has the power of all these other men.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 06:06PM:
nvitrano: In ancient times art and architecture were the only media available for “advertisement” and the spread of information visually. Ancient politians didn’t have television, radio, and the internet at there finger tips. Whether it be a politian running for office in the old Republic or simply the current emperor trying to validate his totalitarian rule, art and architecture were crucial in conveying messages and propaganda to the masses of the Roman Empire. Augustus, being the first emperor of the new Roman Empire, utilized art and architecture in order to justify his place as sole ruler. He used images, monuments, and buildings as a way of glorifying his divine heritage and also by glorifying Rome under his rule. It is through these art forms that the people of Rome saw Augustus, and it is because of these art forms that Augustus was revered and allowed to rule as a monarchal figure. One way in which Augustus used art to gain the respect and approval of the masses was in his own portraiture. Kleiner emphasizes the youthful appearance of all of the portraits of Augustus. The portraits were not meant to be “likenesses” of the emperor, but “carefully constructed images” (Kleiner, 67). These images evoked not Augustus as a man, but as the divi filius, son of a God. Due to the sheer size of the empire, not many people got to see Augustus in person. By creating a youthful, god-like image of himself in artistic portraiture, the people of the empire were allowed to think about and revere Augustus as a god-like, heroically youthful figure. This allowed Augustus to manipulate his image throughout the empire in order to maintain his place of power. Creating a strong public image for himself, however, was not the only thing Augustus had on his mind. Suetonius highlights the fact that many of “Augustus’ public works were undertaken in the names of relatives, such as the potico of his grandsons Gaius and Lucius, the porticos of his wife Livia, and his sister Octavia, and the theatre of his nephew Marcellus” (59). He uses public buildings as a means of glorifying not only himself, but also his heirs and family. He is not only a god-like man, but his god-like family surrounds him. He highlights and brings to the forefront “his prospective successors” (Kleiner, 63). This allows the people to have some sort of security in granting sole power to one person. If the sole ruler has divine heirs to whom the power can be given upon his death, the people can live without fear that they will be taken care of. Although glorification of his present family granted him some security, it was his divine lineage that really allowed Augustus to maintain a seat of power in the empire. The Roman people had deified Julius Caesar, and Julius being Augustus’ adopted father made Augustus the divi filius that was portrayed in his portraiture. Julius Caesar was also thought to be an ancestor of Aeneas, the founder of Rome and son of Venus. This divine lineage gave Augustus leverage with which he could convince the Roman people of his right to rule. In his own forum, as mentioned in the Res Gastea, Augustus erected a temple to Mars Ultor, which not only contained a Statue of Mars, but also statues of his divine relatives, Venus and the Julius. He overemphasized his divine lineage even in the places of worship and sacrifice as a constant reminder of the divine “protection” that came with having a demi-god of such lineage as a ruler. Augustus also lined his forum with summi viri (great men) including Romulus, Aeneas, and many senators that also alluded to Augustus’ divine and republican beginnings. Augustus’ most interesting use of architecture and art as propaganda, however, was definitely his Ara Pacis, which Favro describes in detail. The Ara Pacis was an altar built to “celebrate the greatest gift bestowed by Augustus on the residents of Rome and the Empire: peace” (Favro, 262). The altar was exquisitely designed and garnished with elaborate wreaths and garland. It was an architectural reminder of the peace Augustus had brought to the roman people. It was Augustus who allowed the Roman people to live in a time of peace, and he allowed the people to flourish in many areas of life. This form of propaganda created a sense of ease and security in the Roman people. Augustus, based upon the examples given above, skillfully utilized art and architecture to create a great platform with which he will continue to be granted totalitarian rule of the Empire. He used art to create an image of divinity, strength, security, and dependability for himself in the eyes of the Roman people. He essentially did what all politians do today, but with the media available to him at the time. He got his name out to the people in the way he wanted the Roman people to see him. He manipulated and contrived his own image in order to gain and maintain power.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 06:07PM:
nvitrano: In ancient times art and architecture were the only media available for “advertisement” and the spread of information visually. Ancient politians didn’t have television, radio, and the internet at there finger tips. Whether it be a politian running for office in the old Republic or simply the current emperor trying to validate his totalitarian rule, art and architecture were crucial in conveying messages and propaganda to the masses of the Roman Empire. Augustus, being the first emperor of the new Roman Empire, utilized art and architecture in order to justify his place as sole ruler. He used images, monuments, and buildings as a way of glorifying his divine heritage and also by glorifying Rome under his rule. It is through these art forms that the people of Rome saw Augustus, and it is because of these art forms that Augustus was revered and allowed to rule as a monarchal figure. One way in which Augustus used art to gain the respect and approval of the masses was in his own portraiture. Kleiner emphasizes the youthful appearance of all of the portraits of Augustus. The portraits were not meant to be “likenesses” of the emperor, but “carefully constructed images” (Kleiner, 67). These images evoked not Augustus as a man, but as the divi filius, son of a God. Due to the sheer size of the empire, not many people got to see Augustus in person. By creating a youthful, god-like image of himself in artistic portraiture, the people of the empire were allowed to think about and revere Augustus as a god-like, heroically youthful figure. This allowed Augustus to manipulate his image throughout the empire in order to maintain his place of power. Creating a strong public image for himself, however, was not the only thing Augustus had on his mind. Suetonius highlights the fact that many of “Augustus’ public works were undertaken in the names of relatives, such as the potico of his grandsons Gaius and Lucius, the porticos of his wife Livia, and his sister Octavia, and the theatre of his nephew Marcellus” (59). He uses public buildings as a means of glorifying not only himself, but also his heirs and family. He is not only a god-like man, but his god-like family surrounds him. He highlights and brings to the forefront “his prospective successors” (Kleiner, 63). This allows the people to have some sort of security in granting sole power to one person. If the sole ruler has divine heirs to whom the power can be given upon his death, the people can live without fear that they will be taken care of. Although glorification of his present family granted him some security, it was his divine lineage that really allowed Augustus to maintain a seat of power in the empire. The Roman people had deified Julius Caesar, and Julius being Augustus’ adopted father made Augustus the divi filius that was portrayed in his portraiture. Julius Caesar was also thought to be an ancestor of Aeneas, the founder of Rome and son of Venus. This divine lineage gave Augustus leverage with which he could convince the Roman people of his right to rule. In his own forum, as mentioned in the Res Gastea, Augustus erected a temple to Mars Ultor, which not only contained a Statue of Mars, but also statues of his divine relatives, Venus and the Julius. He overemphasized his divine lineage even in the places of worship and sacrifice as a constant reminder of the divine “protection” that came with having a demi-god of such lineage as a ruler. Augustus also lined his forum with summi viri (great men) including Romulus, Aeneas, and many senators that also alluded to Augustus’ divine and republican beginnings. Augustus’ most interesting use of architecture and art as propaganda, however, was definitely his Ara Pacis, which Favro describes in detail. The Ara Pacis was an altar built to “celebrate the greatest gift bestowed by Augustus on the residents of Rome and the Empire: peace” (Favro, 262). The altar was exquisitely designed and garnished with elaborate wreaths and garland. It was an architectural reminder of the peace Augustus had brought to the roman people. It was Augustus who allowed the Roman people to live in a time of peace, and he allowed the people to flourish in many areas of life. This form of propaganda created a sense of ease and security in the Roman people. Augustus, based upon the examples given above, skillfully utilized art and architecture to create a great platform with which he will continue to be granted totalitarian rule of the Empire. He used art to create an image of divinity, strength, security, and dependability for himself in the eyes of the Roman people. He essentially did what all politians do today, but with the media available to him at the time. He got his name out to the people in the way he wanted the Roman people to see him. He manipulated and contrived his own image in order to gain and maintain power.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 06:09PM:
becohen: Following Augustus’s 27 BCE rise to power, in the wake of civil war, it was crucial that he legitimize his own power and new position of preeminence within the Roman hierarchy in the eyes of the Roman public. To do this he embarked on an unprecedented program of artistic sponsorship and urban renewal to both reflect the benefits of the new order and glorify himself and his ancestors. Through his patronage of the arts, Augustus was able to cultivate a favorable image of himself and his regime to the Roman people and in many ways remake Rome itself. One of Augustus’s most frequently used methods of projecting a positive image of himself to the Roman people was through his ability to control the portrayal of his likeness in coins, statues, and other forms of portraiture. Despite Augustus’s forty-one year reign, official portraiture continued to portray him as a beautiful, youthful, and god-like figure even in old age. In “Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome,” Kleiner discusses the widespread production and dissemination of the Primaporta image of Augustus throughout his reign. The Primporta image was one of benevolent power and sure command that would give the Roman people confidence in the wisdom and courage of their leader (43). Through his propagation of this idealized image via coins and art, Augustus was able to maintain a public image of himself as manly, courageous, and ageless figure, regardless of what the reality may have been. Furthermore, this image of Augustus as a great and courageous leader played a significant role in effectively selling his rule to a Roman people hoping to leave behind the recent period of civil war and unrest behind them. Augustus also brought new aesthetic and practical changes to Rome, both improving the city infrastructure and creating art and architecture suitable for a new imperial capital. As stated rather succinctly by Suetonius in quoting Augustus, “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble.” This quote encapsulates the Augustan program of glorifying himself through the glorification of the city of Rome, and projecting an image of a new era through a new visual culture, which he encouraged. This program of cultural development is quite notable in the twentieth deed of the Res Gestae, in which Augustus discusses both his artistic and cultural contributions such as the rebuilding of the Capital, Theater of Pompey, Forum of Julius, and numerous temples. However, equally notable are Augustus’s practical achievements such as the rebuilding and improvement of aqueducts, roads, and bridges (33-34). Although Augustus claims to have refused to inscribe his name on these various projects, it is doubtless that the public would associate these public works with him and his reign. This mix of aesthetic enhancement and urban improvement helped Augustus win the loyalty and support of the people of Rome and greatly eased the transition from the Republicanism and civil war to Empire and peace. Most of all, Augustus portrayed himself as the peacemaker who had brought order and prosperity back to the Roman people. The Ara Pacis was a monument to Augustus as a peacemaker. As Favro states, the Ara Pacis was meant to remind a new generation to be grateful that they did not live in the tumultuous time that their grandparents endured (68). Unlike other monuments, which glorified the conquests of Augustus in Egypt, Spain, and Gaul or his ancestors, the Ara Pacis glorified a promised future of tranquility through the imagery of peace and fertility. And this, the promise of peace, was the crux of Augustus’s appeal to the war-weary Roman people.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 06:46PM:
cbahamon:

After killing Marc Antony and assuming a position of essentially sole power in Rome, Augustus walked a fine line between potentially suffering the same fate as his murdered adoptive father, Julius Caesar, and being a successful and accepted ruler. He needed the Roman people and senate not to fear that he would become a tyrant but he also needed them to revere him enough such that they would allow him to be emperor.

One way this was done was by convincing the people of Rome that Augustus was acting for their benefit and that he was constantly giving back to the citizens of Rome. This is certainly how Suetonius presents the building projects of Augustus. He raves about the emperor who decided to transform the architecturally “unworthy” city of Rome into its state of marble glory, so that Rome could rightly be called the capital of the empire (Reader, 30). He cites the construction of the Forum Augusti as a gift to the people: Augustus had the forum constructed to help handle the “increase in the number of lawsuits caused by a corresponding increase in population,” (30). When Augustus repaved the roads, it was done “at his own expense,” (31). Such a giving benevolent ruler could never be a tyrant.

Second, not only is Augustus taking on building projects for the good of the people but he was doing it with a respect for the past. As Augustus says in his Res Gestae: “I rebuilt… the theater of Pompey, … at enormous cost, without any incription of my name,” (33). When Augustus rebuilds Pompey’s theater is appears that he paying respect to the mos maiorum (so his extreme building campaign and ruling position seems less radical)—and without trying to usurp any of Pompey’s glory (or at least that is what he wants people to think).

Third, even if he does not always put his name on the structures, his building campaigns remind everyone that Rome’s glorious new face was achieved by the might of Augustus himself. Favro discusses the walk of an old man and his granddaughter through Augustan Rome. She states: “In AD 14, the old man is subconsciously aware that every view of the Campus Martius reveals a complex iconographic program affirming the connection between Augustus, the city, and the condition of the empire,” (68). For example, when gazing upon the Horologium Augusti, the viewer notes the “exotic” hieroglyphs on the obelisk and the Latin text that mentions the subjugation of Cleopatra’s Egypt both of which proclaim the glory of who could Augustus establish power over a foreign domain (68). Augustus’ power is also expressed in the way that his building campaign controls both the path and gaze of the old man; the vertical and horizontal thrusts of roads and how the buildings play off of eachother all serve to tell a story of Augustus’ glory and might (68).

Finally, Augustus “communicates his right to rule in words and pictures,” (Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, 61), by visually linking himself to the deified Julius Caesar and establishing himself as a divi filius (67). The Belvedere Altar shows the deified J.C. rising in his chariot. Augustus is to his left, showing his linkage to this divine and noble lineage (63). Augustus further sets himself apart as a divi filius by depicting himself in portraits as forever young, unlined and unlike the aged, lined, busts of old Republican Roman leaders (67). Thus though Augustus connects himself to the past he is also establishing himself as something greater, a force to be respected and hailed. However, it is important to note that in Rome itself, Augustus did not flout his god-like status in the face of the Roman citizens, who might take offense at his hubris, but he saves his more unquestionably Jupiter-like portraits for the regions outside of Rome.

In conclusion, Augustus establishes himself as a rightful sole ruler in Rome by giving back to the people, respecting the mos maiorum, reminding the people of him power, and alluding to his divine right to rule.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 07:32PM:
bchu: The Temple of Mars was another example of how Augustus used architecture to affirm his rightful place as leader of Rome. “Augustus had vowed to build the Temple of Mars during the Philippi campaign of vengeance against his father Caesar’s assassins” (Suetonius 59). Once it was built, he decreed that the Senate should meet there whenever declarations of war or claims for triumphs were considered, arguably the two most important actions that Rome could take. It was also where military governors started out and where all triumphal tokens were taken after victories. Thus, all military ventures and successes were linked to the Temple of Mars and thus Augustus. Like many other structures that Augustus built, the Temple of Mars looked both backward and forward: it connected him to Caesar and represented vengeance against Caesar’s assassins and also was where Rome’s future conquests began and ended.

Section 21 of the Res Gestae describes more ways Augustus used art and architecture to advance the Pax Romana. Augustus rebuilt many buildings, expanded the aqueduct, completed the Forum of Julius, and renovated 82 temples. Even though he did not officially put his name on the buildings that he restored, the people surely noticed the changes in their everyday lives. Because of the contrast between these improvements and the chaos that Rome experienced during the civil war following Caesar’s death, Romans likely attributed the improvements to progress under Augustus’s rule.

Augustus also used portrait statues to affirm his leadership. Early portraits of him (while he was still Octavian) portrayed him with Alexander’s hair, implying a connection with the famous Greek leader. Later, the Primaporta portrait became the way he would be portrayed for the rest of his life—the ever youthful ruler, almost godlike because he did not age. Augustus also used portraits to enhance the image of his wife. Diana Kleiner writes, “Augustus…may have encouraged his wife to work with her Rome hairstylists to create a coiffure that would appropriate Cleopatra’s” (D. Kleiner 209). Furthermore, he connected himself with his family and his presumed successors: his sons Gaius and Lucius probably did not resemble Augustus as much as they did in portraits. Regardless, other imperial family members bear unrealistic resemblances to Augustus and Livia in the Ara Pacis Augustae. Once again looking both backward and forward, these portraits served to connect Augustus to past leaders and to tie who Augustus thought the future leaders of Rome would be back to him.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 07:33PM:
bchu: The Parthian Arch commemorated the return of the military standards that the Republican general Crassus lost in 53 BCE. The incident was humiliating to the Romans, so Augustus framed their return as him restoring Rome to its past glory. The location of the Parthian Arch was also significant: it was built on the eastern entryway of the Forum Romanum. Thus, those entering the Forum from the east would pass through the Parthian Arch and emerge in the plaza beside the Temple of Divus Iulius, Augustus’s deified father. Fred Kleiner writes, “The proximity of the two structures was, of course, intentional. Augustus wished to present himself to the populace as the worthy successor of Caesar, as demonstrated by his Parthian triumph” (64).


Posted at Feb 17/2011 08:22PM:
rwarner: As Primus Inter Pares, Augustus used his title and his assumed (though denied) divinity to bring a Pax Romana to the land he ruled after conquering Marc Antony and Cleopatra and regaining Egypt for the empire. With recent political turmoil and a bustling populace, he used Art & Architecture to not only to pacify the people of Rome, but also to instill this Pax association with his name for years to come. First, faced with an overflowing city, shortages and multiple lawsuits, Augustus notes in his Res Gestae the rebuilding of aqueducts which had decayed with age, and doubled the capacity of the Marcian Aqueduct by redirecting a stream into it. This act was not one of grandeur, but one of modest necessity, as Rome was facing water shortages, and a revolt from the populous could have been disastrous against a singular ruler, which is easier to overthrow than a senate. Building monuments to himself was not going to make Augustus popular with the people of Rome, which was crucial as the new consulate and singular ruler. He had to supply Rome with what it needed to win the hearts of the people. Similarly, as noted by Suetonius, he built his forum quickly, and opened it before the temple of Mars had been completed, to meet the demands of the increasing lawsuits caused by an increase in population. Both these works show a dedication to pacify the people of Rome and provide them with their needed amenities before building monuments of grandeur. Fittingly, it is these acts which will lead the people to love and worship Augustus and in turn build monuments in his name.

Kleiner notes one of the most monumental and significant additions of Architecture, the Parthian Arch, which not only restored the honor of Rome after an embarrassing incident, but solidified him as heir of the divine Julius, whose temple sat just next door. This architectural style of triumphant arches is a legacy Augustus was able to continue, and one that will be echoed throughout time in Paris, and even Washington Square Park. The Parthian Arch is a monument to Rome and its conquests, and thus signifies Augustus’ commitment to Rome’s prominence, and was more elaborate than any other triumphant arch previously constructed, notes Kleiner. It was also commemorated on a coin, which as an art piece is both commonplace and monumental, being tossed around the marketplace, and signifying Augustus’ accomplishments for the whole Republic to see. Similarly, Favro talks of his repairing of the Via Flaminia as a great public work, and notes his decorating it with embellished Hellenistic tombs to allude to this Hellenistic elitism. The view from the Via Flaminia entering the city is spectacular, and represents to all foreign travelers the splendor of Rome. These monuments are great, but are also not singularly about Augustus, as say a statue is, and reflect his dedication to glorify Rome and rise it up above the turmoil of Caesar’s death and wars abroad. It is these deeds that the people will remember and honor for centuries to come.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 08:24PM:
gwhitridge: Augustus’ rise to power was essentially a coup, he constructed and changed Rome, in order to not end up like Caesar. Augustus most famous boast was that he “found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble” (Kleiner 66). Marble used to be shipped all the way from Greece, however once the marble from Luna was found Augustus transformed the city. One of Augustus greatest architectural achievements was the Forum of Augustus with the Temple of Mars. The Temple of Mars was undoubtedly the center attraction, however along the porticos he did something that no one had ever done before. Augustus brought the Great Men of Rome outside to the public, usually these statues were restricted to homes. Not only did Augustus bring the Great Men outside in the forum but he also included his family, including Caesar, to the Great Men of Rome, essentially declaring himself royalty. Augustus is smart he names temples and theaters after relatives, further exaggerating his royalty to the throne, while not appearing as a dictator even though he was. Augustus’ portraits were always of a young man whose hair was in between Pompey’s and Alexander the Greats, this young representation was assuring to the people of Rome that their leader was youthful and always in control. Augustus transition to power was seamless, to the people of Rome everything seemed in order and many would not have believed that Augustus had come to power from a coup. Part of this was due to the immense transformation that Rome endured architecturally. The most important part was that his transition to power was peaceful, Rome only grew more beautiful during his reign. In fact Rome had never enjoyed two plus generations of peace before. Many people were tricked in the sense that they knew very little of what Rome had been before Augustus ruled.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 08:40PM:
otraynor: Much of the art and architecture that Augustus created during his reign was meant to remind the Roman public of his divine heritage, especially his relation to his adoptive father, the posthumously deified Julius Caesar. For example as the young Octavian was consolidating his power, but before he had actually been granted the title Augustus, he minted a coin that depicted both him and his father, the late Divus Julius. On the obverse Augustus is seen with a scraggly beard, suggesting that he is in mourning, and there is the inscription DIVI F CAESAR, which translates to Caesar, son of the god (Julius Caesar, that is). On the reverse he is joined by a profile of Divus Julius himself. The coin was a subtle reminder of Octavian’s heritage, in that it was not as ostentatious as a statue group of the two, but it still conveyed an obvious message: Octavian is the son of a God, and descended from Julius Caesar’s royal and holy lineage.

Continuing this theme, Augustus went on the build the Forum of Augustus, which contained statues of Augustus’s alleged ancestors. One of the two hemicycles that flanked the Temple to Mars Ultor in the rear was filled with prominent members of the Julian clan on one side and Alban kings on the other, with a statue group of Aeneas fleeing Troy with Anchises and Ascanius in tow. This group is meant to conjure up the myth of Aeneas and his son Ascanius, later given the name Iulus, who would come to found the kingdom at Alba Longa and eventually Augustus’s family, the Julian clan. Within the opposite hemicycle are housed statues of great Roman men, all flanking a statue of Romulus, the other mythical founder of Rome. Between the two hemicycles sits the Temple of Mars Ultor, which contains images of Venus, Mars, and deified Julius Caesar. All of these references to the founding of Rome surround the central courtyard, which contains a statue of Augustus himself riding a chariot. It seems as though Augustus was attempting to say that he was the product of all of these “great men” that surrounded him, and he had been destined to lead Rome from birth.

In order to keep his family’s divinity fresh in the minds of his Roman subjects, Augustus dedicated the Temple of Divine Julius Caesar in the forum. It’s central location and direct line of sight across the forum allowed it to be seen from many directions and locations. Augustus undoubtedly placed the temple in the forum so that passersby would continually connect the memory and deification of Julius Caesar with his son Augustus.

Later into his reign Augustus dedicated the Ara Pacis, which was a physical representation of the culmination of all of the ruler’s efforts to consolidate power and bring peace to Rome. Part of the whole Horologium complex, which was essentially a giant sundial with an Egyptian obelisk to tell time, the altar was covered in reliefs depicting different scenes. On the sides there was a procession of the royal family and senators, with many shrouded in the sacrificial or priestly manner. The front is decorated with images of Aeneas and the infants Romulus and Remus. The rear depicts what appears to be the goddess Tellus, as well as Roma. Taken as a whole, the reliefs bring together the royal family and the faces of Rome’s mythical origins yet again. This suggests that the viewer is supposed to see the royal family, descended from the original Romans, is responsible for the new Pax Romana. Fertility was a connotation for peace in Roman times, so the image of Tellus in the rear reinforces the peaceful nature of the times because a fertile scene surrounds her. As a final piece of evidence that Augustus was taking credit for the peace that endured during his reign, the obelisk in the Horologium casts its shadow directly toward the Ara Pacis on Augustus’s birthday.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:04PM:
asung: In Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome, Kleiner describes how Augustus employed art to allude to his association with Alexander the Great, Apollo, and the classical Greek ideal. In this way, he makes himself seem extremely powerful yet divine, athletic and worthy of ruling the Roman Empire. Augustus had portraits of himself with his hair styled in such a way that he resembled Alexander, with his locks swept to the side, symbolizing his vivacity and intellect; he also had himself sculpted as his patron god Apollo, who represents benevolent power, an image that became pervasive throughout Rome. However, in all of his portraits, Augustus is depicted as perpetually young with a muscular, athletic body in classical proportions, even when he was a 76-year-old man, demonstrating how age would not affect his ability to rule effectively.

As described by Kleiner, the Parthian Arch that Augustus had commissioned to be added to the Forum Romanum symbolized the new emperor’s ability to restore honor and prestige to the Roman Empire, thus justifying his monarchy and the disintegration of the Republic. The Parthians had previously stolen military standards from the Roman army, which had shamed and embarrassed them. Therefore, when Augustus negotiated their return, he exaggerated this small event into a profound victory, erecting this intricate triumphal arch with two smaller passageways conjoined to the main arch. The two non-arcuated passageways were topped by a statue of a Parthian prisoner while the main path was crowned by a gilded bronze statue of Augustus. As the entryway into the Forum Romanum, those who wished to access the area must see the Arch, which then led directly to the temple dedicated to Caesar. In this way, Augustus indicated that he was a worthy ruler to succeed his adopted father because of the Parthian “victory” that he accomplished.

According to Suetonius, in The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus, Augustus built the Temple of Mars, which also referenced Caesar and his murder and consequently Augustus’s right in assuming power. He had vowed to build this memorial while in the midst of hunting down Caesar’s assassins, and he declared afterwards that whenever any official activity relating to war was to be undertaken, such as declaring war or depositing spoils of war victories, they would be done here. Through this temple that he places at the center of the Forum Romanum, Augustus justifies civil war and his governmental takeover as saying it was rightfully done for the public good because of the revenge he deserved after the murder of his father.

As written by Augustus himself in Res Gestae, he worked hard to improve the public facilities, such as rebuilding aqueducts, the Capitol and the theater of Pompey and constructing sewage systems, better roads, and convenient bridges. This pleased the public and most likely persuaded them that this new governmental form and the leader at its head were beneficial to their society. Also, in the same paragraph of Res Gestae, Augustus indicates how he completed the Forum of Julius, the temple of Castor, and the temple of Saturn, all initially started by Caesar, once again referencing his newly deified father and thus how it is his right and destiny to assume the throne.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:10PM:
jpardoe: -Explain how Augustus utilized art and architecture as means to his political ends using at least one example from each of the following: Kleiner, Suetonius, Augustus’ Res Gestae, and one other source from this week’s readings. In other words, how did Augustus use art to soothe the political turmoil at the end of the Republic to form his Pax Romana? -Augustus was a very smart and savvy person when it came to using art and architecture as political propaganda and a mean to political ends. At the early and young age of 19 he had inherited Caesar’s name and pretty much ended the civil war in the Roman Empire by defeating Marc Antony and taking over Egypt. Kleiner explains how Augustus decided to create coins with images of Rome on them, while Antony created coins with images of Cleopatra and other Egyptian things. This was one example of how Augustus uses his creativity to gather the favor and pride of the masses. Once the civil war was ended, Augustus focused his attention on building and creating works of art and architecture in the city of Rome. He constructed forums, arches, temples, and theatres. He used these pieces of art and architecture to portray his political ideas and show the people of Rome that this was the way of life that they deserved. He creatively used his portraits to portray his youthfulness. This youthfulness and godlike qualities were kept in his portraitures for his entire life, even when he was in his seventies his portraits still looked as if he was twenty. Augustus was able to keep himself in the forefront of society and make people realize that things were good in the Empire. He created a way of life where political turmoil did not really exist.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:28PM:
bborgolini: Augustus strove to maintain an empire of power and success in ancient Rome, using art and architecture as a form of propaganda. Through the sheer size alone the art and architecture of Augustean Rome exemplified the legitimacy and power that Augustus wanted to depict. Throughout Rome Augustus sought to exemplify his excellence, one such place being the Campus Martius and the Forum of Augustus. The architecture in his forum is massive and depicts many of the Great Men of Rome, giving the atmosphere a distinctively exigent aura. In particular the Temple of Mars Ultor with its massive open space and statues of great men, Augustus included, is the essence of Rome itself. “In the porticos and exedras of the Temple, Augustus presented himself as the latest in a long line of Roman great men, including Aeneas, Romulus, and other senators and consuls of the Republic in general and of the Julian family in particular” (F. Kleiner 66). This shows that by placing a statue of himself personified through youth and power and aligned with the other great men, such as Gods and the founder of Rome, he gave himself the same type of prestige. Seutonius also holds the Forum of Augustus in high prestige in terms of Augustus’s political goals. “Augustus so improved its appearance that he could justifiably boast, ‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble.’” This statement shows Augustus’s desire to create an Empire of power, wealth and stature. He took something that was already developed, and made it greater, paralleling his statement of covering something made of brick with something as grand as marble. Augustus’ Res Gestae continues on the idea that Augustus took things that were already embedded in Roman culture and made them greater, reflecting his power to increase things under his rule.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:29PM:
kmanalo: Following Antony’s defeat in Egypt, Augustus acknowledged Rome’s inadequate architecture that failed to emphasize its supreme role as capital of a vast empire. In order to restore peace and order, the new emperor intended to manifest said ideals in all of the new structures commissioned. The degree to which Augustus succeeded is evident in his statement: “I found Rome built of bricks, I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius 59). Due to the increasing population, Augustus envisaged a new public meeting place that would better accommodate all the Roman people. Instead of relying on Caesar’s forum and the old Curia, Augustus’s Forum including the Temple of Mars Ultor would allow the Roman senate to facilitate more trials and other official business in a timelier fashion. According to Suetonius, “public prosecutions and the casting of lots for jury service took place only in this Forum” (59). While Augustus saw to the improvement of senatorial buildings, he also concentrated on raising religious devotion (Zanker 3). The Res Gestae indicates that Augustus “built… the temple of Apollo on the Palatine… the temple of Quirinus, the temples of Minerva and Queen Juno…” to name a few. Clearly, Augustus believed that by reviving spirituality, peace and order would come about. By constructing edifices that struck awe among the people, Augustus also built up respect and loyalty of the people under his reign. He wanted to reflect what he regarded as Roman ideals, and the magnificence substantiated by these lavish buildings echoed prosperity, which would in turn, raise public morale as well. Under a ruler that all the citizens trusted the turmoil and unrest that followed Caesar’s death subsided. The embodiment of Augustus’s reign is greatly reflected in the his tomb – the Ara Pacis, in which he underscores the peace that resulted from the war waged against Antony and Cleopatra (Kleiner 218). For example, Augustus could have had the artists carve Mars in battle; however, we actually see the “patriarchal Mars who guarded his offspring, Romulus and Remus” (Kleiner 218). Kleiner also claims that Augustus “weaved myth, legend, and current events into a dramatic narrative of Rome’s illustrious past, promising present, and visionary destiny” in order to instill hope in the people. The shower of fertile, religious, and historical imagery and dominant architecture that generated peace and order to the empire becomes ingrained in the minds of the Romans along with the name of the leader who brought it to the empire – Augustus.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:32PM:
cparker: Augustus used countless examples art and architecture, from the beginning until the end of his great reign, to bolster his appearance as a God, political position as rightful dictator of Rome and, “first among equals.” One of the first examples of art used by the young Octavian to fight for his status on the battlefield of public opinion was coinage dated from 37-31 BCE. This coinage or sestertius, stated by Kleiner, showed on one side a young Octavian wearing the mourners beard and on the other side a depiction of the recently defiled Julius Caesar appearing both youthful in complexion and godlike in appearance. Most importantly was the way by which Octavius related himself to the now god Julius Caesar. On the side featuring the young Octavian his name was shown as Caesar divi filius, rather blatantly translated to as Caesar, son of a god. Augustus made full use of his lineage to one of Rome’s greatest men. This is the first example of one of Augustus's major themes within his Art, that first theme being his lineage to the Gods. One must remember that in Rome one couldn’t just proclaim themselves living gods rather Augustus made use of his Art to draw this conclusion in the minds of Roman citizens. A second example is Augustus’s temple of Mars. What is most important is this Temple’s propagandist influence. Augustus used this temple to proclaim his own lineage both to great men of Rome including Aeneas, Romulus, and well-respected senators and heroes, but to the divine origins of the Julii Family. Two massive porticoes on the outside of the temple showed what was essentially a great many family portraits. All of this propaganda underscored the fact that Augustus’s lineage was divine not just because of his adopted father but because his family descended from the very gods that conceived Roman culture. A third example from Suetonius was Agustus’s construction of the Temple of Apollo as a part of his own residence atop the Palintine. He constructed this Temple in this location not just because it was next to his own residence, but because of the high number of lightning strikes this part of the hill experienced. It was part of mythology that lightning strikes gave an area a divine importance. Through building this temple Augustus further extended himself within the mythology of Rome. Lastly, from Augustus’’ Res Gestae, was not only the very title itself as “the Deeds of the Divine Augustus,” but from deed number 18. I found this deed of particular importance not because it was yet another proclamation of divinity, but because of its political and sociological value. This deed proclaims that when taxes fell short Augustus gave his own grain to over 100,000 men, “or many more.” For the people of Rome to see Augustus as almost a benevolent parental figure, very much like the gods the populace worshiped, was extremely important to his image. Not only this but the populous greatly respected him for his offerings of great generosity.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 09:39PM:
mstokely: With the transformation of the Roman Republic of the people, to a government under the rule of Augustus, Augustus had to be very cautious of the image he presented to the people. He had to promote a persona that was both legitimate and powerful, a man or the people, while not appearing to be too absorbed in the power that his position offered him. He had to maintain a balance in his image, where the conquered peoples of the far reaches of his empire revered him as an all powerful leader, or even a god, yet this image had to be toned down for the citizen closest to the heart of Rome. Kleiner demonstrates a good example of the balance in the discussion of two statues of Augustus, Augustus as Imperator and Augustus as Pontifex Maxmimus. In the portrait Augustus is pictured with cupid, a pointed reminder to Augustus attempt to elevate his image to god, yet the other image of Augustus shows him in a much more humble appearance. On of the most important claims the textbook makes though is that, “All Augustan portraits are essentially pictorial fiction,” which is evident in the fact that Augustus maintains a youthful face in his portraiture throughout the years. By using the arts to create a somewhat fictitious image of himself, Augustus was able to assert his legitimacy as a ruler.

Not only did Augustus use roman art and architecture to assert his ability to rule, he also used it to gain the hearts and trust of the roman people. This is very evident in the Res Gestae reading with the discussion of the temple of Mars Ultor, the theater of Apollo and the other buildings that Augustus built with the spoils of war. He makes clear to note that these buildings were built on land that was originally private, noting them as a gift to the public. He also states that the temple of Mars Ultor cost him HA 100,000,000. In this way, he suggests that these works are gifts from him to the people, with little cost to the people themselves. In essence, Augustus shapes this image of himself as gift giver, not necessarily city planner for the Romans.

Finally, Augustus also uses the art and architecture of the time to set a precedent for a power lineage. First, Suetonius notes that Augustus’s public works began to be attached with the name of his relatives, a characteristic of a many monarchs throughout history. For instance, there are the porticos of his wife and his sister. In this way, his family begins to attain the same fame and affection that he has as ruler. A more interesting piece to look at from this perspective is the Apotheosis of Caeser. Not only does this piece carry the same insinuations of Augustus as more than a mere mortal, but it also serves the purpose of the, “presentation of his prospective successor(s).” (63, Textbook) Augustus has note only set himself up as ruler in the artwork, but also established the rule of his family for many years after his death.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:30PM:
hschreiber: Augustus utilized art and architecture to create a political image for himself. He used his portraits to present himself as a “godlike leader, a superior being, who, miraculously, was eternally youthful” (Kleiner, p. 67). Similarly, Augustus also used his portraits to present images of himself in his various key positions that included princeps (or first citizen), consul, imperator (or commander in chief), and pontifex (or chief priest of the state religion). Augustus made sure that the Roman public knew of his various prominent positions within the Roman government through statues of himself which depicted him in each role. One example of this type of statue is Augustus as imperator which was found at the Villa of Livia in Primaporta (Kleiner, p. 68). Here Augustus is in a speech-making pose with an outstretched hand. Augustus has bare feet and so, he was supposed to be perceived as a god. Additionally, Augustus has the eternally youthful face which is the signature style of his portraits, or any representation of him for that matter. This sculpture also has Greek elements as his stance is copying a Greek-type model that was used in Polykleitos’s Doryphorus. Augustus’s hairstyle is also similar to that of Alexander the Great whom he often imitated. Like many of Augustus’s statues, the one at Primaporta was meant to have as many associations as possible – such as relations to the Greek style and also Alexander the Great. Augustus’s breastplate in the sculpture contains an image of dawn and this was meant to represent the start of a new era in Rome with Augustus as leader. Augustus wanted the Roman people to see that he would bring good things to all of Rome – he hoped that this would solidify their allegiance to him. Suetonius documents that Augustus did enhance Rome and made it a great city. The Roman historian says that Augustus improved the approaches to Rome by repaving Via Flaminia at his own expense and restored and beautified ruined temples. According to Suetonius, Augustus lived up to his famous boast: “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius, p. 59). Augustus left his indelible mark on Rome through the many buildings he constructed (such as the Forum of Augustus), sculptures and portraits he commissioned, and coins he minted. Thus, Augustus made sure that his image was prevalent not only in Rome, but also throughout the Roman Empire. In his Res Gestae (“The Deeds of Divine Augustus”), Augustus describes his achievements and the advancements he made for the Roman Empire. Such achievements include conquering Egypt and expanding the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct. Through his Res Gestae, Augustus also illuminates his great architectural achievements such as the temple of Mars Ultor and the reconstruction of the Theater of Pompey. He also notes that he brought many spoils of war back to Rome and thus, greatly increased the Empire’s wealth. In “A Walk Through Augustan Rome,” Favros describes two remarkable monuments which were constructed by Augustus: the Ara Pacis and the Horologium Augusti. The Ara Pacis represents the peace that Augustus brought to Rome. The Horologium Augusti is comprised of an obelisk which was brought back from Egypt – thus showing the expansive nature of the Empire. The Horologium Augusti was so carefully engineered that it pointed to the Ara Pacis on Augustus’s birthday. Lastly, Augustus used art and architecture to enhance his status in the political realm. He created an image for himself through art, which was an eternally youthful one, and disseminated this image across the Roman Empire. This image served both to solidify the empire and institute the peace that Augustus is known for.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:43PM:
schimeneweiss: In a variety of ways, Augustus utilized art and architecture to soothe political turmoil at the end of the Republic in order to solidify his own power and to make the Roman Empire more prosperous and stable. First, in portraiture Augustus sought to call attention to his connection to Julius Caesar, his late (adopted) father, and thus portray himself as the rightful ruler of Rome. After his death, Caesar was deified, and so Augustus sought to portray himself as the “son of god” (Kleiner). He sought to portray this image in portraiture—for example, by a sestertius (bronze coin) that Augustus had struck sometime between 37 and 21 BCE (this was approximately ten years before he became emperor and took the name Augustus, at the time he went by Octavian). On one side of the coin, he’s presented with a mourner’s bead, presumably mourning Caesar, and his name is given as Divi Filius (son of God). The other side shows Caesar, his father, as a young man. Using coinage as propaganda was a tool first used by Caesar as emperor. Though Octavian was not yet emperor when this coin was struck, it puts forth to the public the image of his “right to rule” (Kleiner). His nemesis and competition for the throne, Mark Antony, also struck a coin, but Antony put Cleopatra on the other side of the coin, attempting to emphasize his connections with Egypt (Kleiner). Ultimately, Octavian’s method, of emphasizing his Roman heritage, won out. In art, Augustus also sought to further his ends by presenting himself to the public as a peacemaker. Augustus had a bust constructed of himself (figure 5-10 in Kleiner) wearing the corona civica, the laurel wreath awarded to a Roman who had saved the life of another Roman in battle. By having this constructed, Augustus attempted to put forth the idea that he had “saved the lives of thousands by bringing peace to the Mediterranean after 13 years of civil warfare” (Kleiner 68). Augustus also used the construction of beautiful public works and buildings in order to further his political goals and to stabilize the Empire. In Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus, the author attributes this quotation to Augustus: “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble”. Augustus sought to make Rome a grand capital city, that its citizens could take pride in (Suetonius). Symbolically, it was also important for the heart of the Roman Empire to be beautiful, grand, and praise-worthy. Augustus himself restored ruined the city’s temples with his own money, and beautified them with lavish gifts. For example, he donated 16,000 pounds of gold to one temple, in addition to pearls and gemstones worth 50 million sestertius (Suetonius). By patronizing art and architecture, thus making Rome more beautiful, Augustus stabilized the city and empire, and furthered his own goals. The beautifying of temples and public buildings extended beyond Rome. For example, in his Res Gestae, a list of his deeds, Augustus mentions that he replaced ornaments that had been taken from temples in cities throughout Asia. Augustus also used art and architecture to redistribute wealth, thus quelling unrest (Zanker). In the years leading up to his ascension to power as emperor, unrest grew in Rome as the inequality of wealth distribution increased. Wealthy citizens grew wealthier as the spoils of war came into Rome, while poor citizens grew even worse off (Zanker). However, Augustus used much of the wealth resulting from military conquest to build public buildings and art, which everyone in the city could use and appreciate, thus quelling unrest and stabilizing Rome and his own power (Zanker). He also encouraged other wealthy citizens to spend their money on public art and buildings, and many beautiful buildings and art works resulted (Suetonius).


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:44PM:
schimeneweiss: In a variety of ways, Augustus utilized art and architecture to soothe political turmoil at the end of the Republic in order to solidify his own power and to make the Roman Empire more prosperous and stable.

First, in portraiture Augustus sought to call attention to his connection to Julius Caesar, his late (adopted) father, and thus portray himself as the rightful ruler of Rome. After his death, Caesar was deified, and so Augustus sought to portray himself as the “son of god” (Kleiner). He sought to portray this image in portraiture—for example, by a sestertius (bronze coin) that Augustus had struck sometime between 37 and 21 BCE (this was approximately ten years before he became emperor and took the name Augustus, at the time he went by Octavian). On one side of the coin, he’s presented with a mourner’s bead, presumably mourning Caesar, and his name is given as Divi Filius (son of God). The other side shows Caesar, his father, as a young man. Using coinage as propaganda was a tool first used by Caesar as emperor. Though Octavian was not yet emperor when this coin was struck, it puts forth to the public the image of his “right to rule” (Kleiner). His nemesis and competition for the throne, Mark Antony, also struck a coin, but Antony put Cleopatra on the other side of the coin, attempting to emphasize his connections with Egypt (Kleiner). Ultimately, Octavian’s method, of emphasizing his Roman heritage, won out.

In art, Augustus also sought to further his ends by presenting himself to the public as a peacemaker. Augustus had a bust constructed of himself (figure 5-10 in Kleiner) wearing the corona civica, the laurel wreath awarded to a Roman who had saved the life of another Roman in battle. By having this constructed, Augustus attempted to put forth the idea that he had “saved the lives of thousands by bringing peace to the Mediterranean after 13 years of civil warfare” (Kleiner 68).

Augustus also used the construction of beautiful public works and buildings in order to further his political goals and to stabilize the Empire. In Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus, the author attributes this quotation to Augustus: “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble”. Augustus sought to make Rome a grand capital city, that its citizens could take pride in (Suetonius). Symbolically, it was also important for the heart of the Roman Empire to be beautiful, grand, and praise-worthy. Augustus himself restored ruined the city’s temples with his own money, and beautified them with lavish gifts. For example, he donated 16,000 pounds of gold to one temple, in addition to pearls and gemstones worth 50 million sestertius (Suetonius). By patronizing art and architecture, thus making Rome more beautiful, Augustus stabilized the city and empire, and furthered his own goals.

The beautifying of temples and public buildings extended beyond Rome. For example, in his Res Gestae, a list of his deeds, Augustus mentions that he replaced ornaments that had been taken from temples in cities throughout Asia.

Augustus also used art and architecture to redistribute wealth, thus quelling unrest (Zanker). In the years leading up to his ascension to power as emperor, unrest grew in Rome as the inequality of wealth distribution increased. Wealthy citizens grew wealthier as the spoils of war came into Rome, while poor citizens grew even worse off (Zanker). However, Augustus used much of the wealth resulting from military conquest to build public buildings and art, which everyone in the city could use and appreciate, thus quelling unrest and stabilizing Rome and his own power (Zanker). He also encouraged other wealthy citizens to spend their money on public art and buildings, and many beautiful buildings and art works resulted (Suetonius).


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:47PM:
cklimansilver: Roman art is steeped in history and supported by a unified pride for Rome's past. By playing to his people's interest in their forefathers, Augustus was able to elicit their support and gain confidence his power. He poured money into the construction of buildings, statues, and art work all meant to commemorate Rome's history. Of course, Augustus was in charge of a vast empire and struggled to balance absolute power while maintaining the semblance of holding none at all! His effort was especially important given that Caesar's downfall largely rested on his pursuit of total power, marked in particular by a coin that proclaimed "Dictator in perpetuo." Although Augustus did wish to commemorate himself, too, he did manage to avoid Caesar's mishaps by building a number of projects (such as the Theatre of Pompey) that did not bear his name, inscription or otherwise (Res Gestae, Section 20). However, Augustus subtly (or otherwise) tried to assert his godliness without actually proclaiming himself a deity. Most of the statues carved in Augustus' likeness during his lifetime portrayed him in eternal youth.

He also continued to honor himself through the construction of monuments specifically for his use: of course, he did hope that they would reflect back on the people. After all, teaching the Romans about their history––and weaving himself into it––would only incite their sense of nationalism and pride in their city (Kleiner 82). Other works included the Ara Pacis, the altar which, among other things, sought to honor his wife, and, implicitly, Augustus himself (Ibid 70). But he also did pay respect to the gods whom he yearned to emulate. He constructed temples to Mars, Apollo, and Jupiter because, to be a good leader, it was important to appreciate the culture which was so important to his people (Suetonius 59).

Augustus' efforts nudged people under his political domain, for through Roman eyes, art and power are interlinked. His projects convinced Romans to believe in his power, ensuring the peace and prosperity for which he had schemed and dreamed.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:56PM:
caronson: Throughout his rein Augustus used art and architecture to his advantage; conveying himself and his family is such a way that allowed him to remain in political control for his entire lifetime. Kleiner explains that Augustus did all he could to show himself as a fusin of Alexander and Apollo, as well as the ideal human figure. This strategy allowed for Augustus to take on a god like form. A great example of this is the Ara Pacis Augustae, the east and west side of which portray Roman myths and legends, however on the other sides depict the consecration ceremony of 13 BC. Augusts successfully writes himself directly into Roman myths and legends in order to give himself a god-like air. Similar to this is Augustus’s choice to link himself to his Caesar by making coins with his face on one side and Caesar’s on the other. Both these pieces were created to strengthen Augustus’s air of god-like everlasting youth and power. We can also see his brilliance in his public architecture such as the Temple of Mars and the Temple of Apollo. All this can be seen as a strategy of Augustus to not only stay in power, but also to keep himself and his family in good light, and this keep Rome at the top.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 10:56PM:
icanal: With the beginning of a new era under Augustus, Roman art entered a new time where the majority of the resources of the state were directly put into promoting his political ideology, artistic taste and redesigning of the history as the single ruler. As Augustus portrayed himself with his eternal youth emphasizing the Hellenistic ideology of youthful, eternal divine- being and his depiction as the son of a god, he justified his position and his power over the state. One example to this in Kleiner’s book would be the completion of architectural projects Ceasar had begun. These include the Forum Iulium, Curia Iulia in the Republican Forum Romanum.With the new temple he erected for the worship of Divus Iulius and other projects including the rebuilding of the Basilica Iulia, Augustus aimed giving a new shape to the venerable center of ARoman republic life. By situating the temple of Divus Iulius at one end of the open plaza, Augustus made Ceasar the centerpiece of the city and of the Empire.(p63) In Suetonius’ article, it says that Augustus placed the standards recovered from the Parthians in the Temple of Mars Ultor that the emperor had vowed to build in 42 BCE when he sought the war god’s aid in pursuing Ceasar’s assasins.Augustus employed large quantities of Luna marble in his building program. In Augustus’ Res Gestae, Augustus explains in his own words, ‘I built the senate-house and the Chalcidicum which adjoins it and the temple of Apollo on the Palentine with porticos, the temple of divine Julius, the Lupercal, the portico on the Palatine with porticos, the temple of divine Julius, the Lupercal, the portico at the Falmian circus, which I allowed to be called by the name Ovtavian, after he who had earlier built in the same place, the state box at the great circus, the temple on the Capitoline of Jupiter Subduer and Jupiter Thunderer, the temple of Quirinus, the temples of Minerva and Wueen Juno and Jupiter Liberator on the Aventine, the temple of the Lares at the top of the holy street, the temple of the gods of the Penates on the Velian, the temple of Youth and the temple of the Great Mother on the Palatine’. (Reader, p33) Whereas in Favro’s article, it’s told that Augustus not only built new temples and forums but also improved the city’s overall life standards. Not only he did the repayment of the Via Flaminia but he also called other men who won triumphs to spend their share to put roads into better condition (Reader, p62) Using art and architecture, Augustus rewritten the history for Romans and created the divine yet ‘one of us’ image that was aimed to save him from the threats that ended Ceasar’s life.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:00PM:
ereese: Though the name Augustus does not come readily to mind when describing art and architecture for propagandistic purposes to the modern viewer, he very well should have a place with the best of them due to his cunning use of these mediums to craft himself into a leader of the one of the world’s most substantial empires. Augustus took upon his shoulders the complicated task of reinventing what it was to be a leader in the eyes of the Roman people; the importance of appearances was a key thread underlying every project he undertook. Though he improved such practical necessities such as aqueducts, sewage, drainage systems, and other endeavors that benefited his people (recounted in his Res Gestae), these are not among his most astounding nor grand revolutionizations. More impressive is how he used public spaces to look back in time and revere his ancestors (both divine and human) and pay homage by portraying the past as an omen of good fortune in the future. For example, as Suetonius points out, Augustus used his Forum as a means to this very specific end. A great deal of sculptural agenda was used therein; this extensive decorative program is perhaps most striking in the huge lines of statues of great men. Family tradition is blended seamlessly with representations of grandeur; Augustus combines his history with the history of Rome (ex., the statues of Aeneas and Romulus in the exedras), as if to imply they could not exist independently. Kleiner writes “Augustus’s forum became, in a sense, an atrium filled with ancestor portraits, which served to underscore the emperor’s distinguished family tree and divine descent” (Kleiner 66). Lastly, in the center of the forum, one finds the chariot of Augustus coming through in what seems to be a permanent state of victory. Augustus has clearly created an iconography of sorts, a new role for art and architecture in which it would be used to create an entire identity of leadership. As Paul Zanker writes, “Even those in power are affected by the image they project. Their image of themselves and of the role they play in public life are strongly influenced by their own slogans...” (Zanker 3). Even such small tokens as coins would bear forth these general ideas. One can see on the coin of Augustus and a shield in the Forum the letteres “S.P.Q.R”, or Senatus Populusque Romans. This translates the “Senate and People of Rome” and perpetuated that both the Senate and, crucially, the Roman people were responsible for this decoration. Not only were they a cause for it, but they could also benefit from it as a result of the peace brought forth by this one man, Augustus Caesar.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:03PM:
sengle: Augustus was arguably the most brilliant political propagandist from antiquity. At the core of his agenda was his desire to dramatically tip the balance of power in the Roman government in his favor without appearing to do so. In “The Twelve Caesars,” Suetonius highlights how the Roman people were incredibly enraged by Julius Caesar’s outright tyranny and how they feared he had stolen from them their “ancient liberties” (p. 37). Augustus was aware of not only how threatening and unattractive dictators were to the Roman people, but how possessing visibly dictator-like qualities could lead him to a fate similar to that of his adopted father. Therefore Augustus made a calculated effort to appear primus inter pares (first among equals), when, in reality, he was the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. To further his image as the rightful emperor of Rome, Augustus powerfully manipulated the public’s image of him through various forms of visual communication.

One way that Augustus illustrated his divine lineage and destiny to rule Rome was via carefully destined self-portraits (notably statues) that were disseminated throughout the empire. In the Augustus of Prima Porta, Kleiner explains how the statue of the emperor, in typical eclectic Roman artistic fashion, is an amalgamation of the best traits of Alexander the Great, Apollo and idealized Greek athletes. Augustus adopts Alexander’s characteristic hairstyle in order to tangibly connect himself to the omnipotent ruler. Allusions to Apollo serve to strengthen Augustus’ claimed link to the gods as does the face on his statuaries, which remains perpetually youthful throughout his years. His body, with its rippling muscles and idealized proportions, conveys the physical strength behind a man of extreme emotional and intellectual fortitude.

Augustus also utilized his extensive public building program to further his personal and political agenda. One of the greatest architectural examples is the Forum of Augustus, which housed the Temple of Mars Ultor constructed to pay homage to the god of war for his aid in avenging the murder of Julius Caesar. The subtle insertion of the word “Ultor” (avenger) in the temple’s name is clever and calculated, because it emphasizes Augustus’ reactionary role, as opposed to one of military aggression, against his fellow Romans in the civil wars preceding his rule. Therefore the forum and it temple were partly erected in order for Augustus to justify the civil wars he waged as actions that were divinely supported in order to avenge his family and help save the Roman state. Favro explains how easily it would have been to “succumb to the spell” (p. 276) of the spectacular and beautifully decorated Forum of Augustus. Indeed, a trance-like state of blind obedience was what Augustus intended to invoke in the visitors of his Forum.

Although not a piece of visual art, Res Gestae Divi Augusti should be included in Augustus’ vast repertoire of propagandistic works. Res Gestae gives a first person account of Augustus’ life and his accomplishments. However the "history" that Augustus recounts is highly selective, for example he glosses over his role in the brutal years of civil wars and he does not refer to Marc Antony by name. He paints himself as a fair and just ruler who exudes compassion (“…when taxes fell short, I gave out contributions of grain and money from my granary and patrimony, sometimes to 100,000 men, sometimes to many more’’). He writes that “my power is no greater than my colleagues in office,” despite the fact that he essentially was an absolute dictator backed by purported divine right. The bias, intentional disregard of facts, and exaggeration that are found in Res Gestae are merely additional examples of Augustus’ concerted effort to further his personal agenda.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:05PM:
cwelling: Augustus ingeniously used beautiful artwork and intricate, detailed architecture to rebuild Rome in a time of need and utilized his creativity to show the people of Rome how qualified he was for the position of imperator or commander in chief of Rome. Gaius Octavius, later named Augustus, is the adopted son of Julius Caesar and was emperor for over 40 years; his entire reign is known as the “Augustan Age” for its political stability and prosperity. His success as Rome’s leader comes from his ability to “communicate his right to rule in words and pictures,” (Kleiner 61). Kleiner also discusses how Augustus used portraiture as a way of advertising his efforts to promote a specific image of himself and his rule to the Roman people. Image in society, even today is essential to public figures because reputation and image are key components in maintaining a solid foundation in leadership; “They only showed Augustus as he wished to be seen, as ‘a godlike leader, a superior being who, miraculously, was eternally youthful’” (Kleiner 67). Additionally, Augustus was extremely crafty in the way he went about displaying his power. One of the most important pieces of work Augustus built was the Forum, which contained the Temple of Mars, Temple of Apollo, and Temple of Jupiter Tonans, and implored the people of Rome to also improve the cities architecture whether it was a temple or even an amphitheater. The Forum dominated by the Temple of Mars, is an example of how Augustus used public architecture because the Temple itself is a statement of vivid political presence; Mars is the god of war and revenge, and Augustus dedicated this temple in honor of his defeat of Brutus and Cassius who also betrayed his adopted father, Julius Caesar. Suetonius again quotes Augustus he "found Rome built of bricks, and left it clothed in marble", which clearly shows Augustus’ drive to drastically change Rome for the better throughout his reign as emperor. Augustus also was not in search for recognition for his feats, but rather wanted the exact opposite. As he mentions in his Res Gestae, Augustus reconstructed the Theater of Pompey, “each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name”. He knew the importance of honoring the great Roman past and that drawing a massive amount of attention to himself would not have been a smart political move. Instead he made decisions that benefitted the masses, such as repairing the Marcian Aqueduct by redirecting a stream into it, ultimately doubling the capacity which generously benefitted the community. By completing more philanthropic gesture, it again boosted Augustus’ image in the eyes of the Roman people.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:10PM:
nfadaifa: Augustus aimed to convince the public that Roman Imperial strength could be measured by architectural and artistic achievement, this and relating himself to Greek Gods and Roman founders were his means of ensuring political success and public support. Public spaces and the construction of the architecture of the time were considered representative of the success of a city. Augustus used public forums and city hubs as his own media outlet. Kleiner discusses how portraiture was one medium through which Augustus used to associate himself with the Roman greats. Augustus is always seen seamlessly mingling with the Gods, relaxed and reclined, and statues and images of his family were frequently intertwined with that of the historical Roman ancestors such as in the long portico colonnades in The Temple of Mars.

In his Res Gestae, Augustus claims to have found Rome as a city of Brick and left it a city of marble. Augustus ability to give the public the impression that they were greatly contributing to the great aesthetic marvels of Rome as opposed to the overly extravagant homages of Augustus to himself is impressive and testifies to his popularity and influence.

Augustus also tactfully borrowed stylistic and architectural elements from other cultures. For example, in campus Martius, the obelisk sundial is a stylistic element imported from Egypt. Egypt was the concurred area that made Augustus emperor.

Suetonius further mentions that with the creation of great public gathering spaces, Augustus uses another means to further manipulate and shape his public image and political ends. An example of this is in the stylistic details of the Temple of Mars. The decorative elements in the temple, specifically in the long portico colonnades containing rows of statues of great roman men and family members of Augustus is one way that he is making his past and the past of Rome historically intertwined and interchangeable. Another example of great monuments used for propaganda is the Ara Pacis is with one carving showing Augustus as just a regular man; barely recognizable in the crowd makes him seem like a relatable ordinary man to the public.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:11PM:
fstrauss:Augustus was not the first Roman politician to use art architecture to aid his political campaign. Rome and her provinces were always receptive to generous gifts of roads, aqueducts and civil buildings. Public benefaction was important to pleasing the citizens and gaining their respect and support.

Suetonius states that with regards to Rome, “Augustus so improved her appearance that he could justifiably boast:’I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble.’” Suetonius mentions a few of Augustus’s additions to Rome’s architectural landscape. Augustus built the Forum of Augustus to help the two existing forums with the overload of law-suits. The forum is a good example of Augustus’s political generosity. The forum is asymmetrical on the eastern side as Augustus did not want to dislodge people form the public housing which already existed there. He therefore built around it demonstrating his concern for his citizens. The forum contained the Temple of Mars Ultor, a temple which Augustus had promised to build during the Battle of the Philippi. The temple served as a reminder that enemies of Rome, in this case Julius Caesar’s killers, will be avenged. The temple was not just a symbolic construction, it would be used to make important political decisions for years to come, such as the decision to go to war.

In his Res Gestae, Augustus states that he restored the Capitol and the Theatre of Pompey. He indicates that both were a huge expense but he funded them himself. These projects would have aided his public appearance because it demonstrates his consideration for Rome’s past and tradition. It also demonstrates his wealth, and being wealthy was a requirement for higher political positions. He also states that although he spent so much money on these projects, he did not attach his name to either, which shows his generous and pious nature.

Favro discusses the Ara Pacis 14-9 BC is a perfect example of Augustus’s use of art as political propaganda. The Altar symbolizes the peace that Augustus brought to Rome after the years of civil war. The altar is covered in images symbolic of peace, prosperity and fertility, all promised by Augustus in his political campaigns. It includes, for example, the procession of the imperial family, where Augustus appears not in military attire but in the garments of Pontifex Maximus, a peaceful, religious and spiritual ruler. The goddesses Tellus and Roma are depicted once again promising peace and prosperity to Rome. There are also references to Aeneas, the divine lineage Augustus claims to be descendant from. In addition the altar is adorned with various relief of flora and fauna which are all symbolic of golden age under Augustus’ reign.

Kleiner discusses the portrait of Augustus at Prima Porta. The sculpture combines all the elements that a great political leader should possess. His stance resembles Classical Greek sculpture, in particular the Doryphorus, one of the most famous works of art at the time. His gesture is that of an orator, a political leader should be a good speaker. The outfit, the armour, a good leader would have a military background. Additionally the cuirass is decked with symbolic images of Tellus holding a cornucopia and Caelus god of the sky, alluding to Augustus’s promise of prosperity as well as his favour with the gods. He is not fully military however for his feet are bare. This not only represents the peace he promised Rome but it also deifies Augustus by likening him to the barefooted statues of the gods. Acting as a pedestal is a Dolphin, respresenting Venus, to whom Augustus traced his lineage and a small boy, most likely Cupid.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:13PM:
JMorris:Augustus used art and architecture to confirm his legitimacy to ruling Rome. From the subtle details in the statuary that depicted him to the large public works named after family, Augustus did everything to make sure his rule went smoothly. He wanted to be remembered as the person who improved Rome “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble”(Suetonius). Kleiner says that August mass produces his image all over public works to help make himself something that could be messed with Rome(43). In the east he would show himself as a god and in the west he would have statuary that made him look modest and priest like. Never aged in his statuary making him seem like steady part of Rome. Also says that August incorporated Rome’s history and his history on the Ara Pacis meshing them trying to make them one thing. By having his family history on one side and the history of Rome on the other. He also put this building in the campus marsh that was where all the military drills happen outside of the city. He would dedicate gladiatorial fights to family and have national holidays for family to ensure his legacy. Favro talks about how the Ara Pacis was built with the intention of convincing Romans that August had brought peace to the Romans.August built the Temple of Mars Ultor, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Jupiter. All of these were to further August and had references to him. With a lot of the public works he had built like the theatre of Marcellus he named a lot of public projects after family members to mesh his family to Rome(Suetonius 59). He also allowed anyone to improve existing buildings and create new things letting the people participate in improving the city. The Res Gustae talks about the senate consecrating his Ara Pacis Alter helping his agenda of having the senate seem to like him and celebrate all his military victories. Res Gustae was used to show his legitimacy as a ruler and show his power from a very certain angle. It even list things he did and didn’t take credit for. Although he was taking credit by having it written about in the Res Gustae.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:41PM:
amarks: Augustus set out to create an Empire of tremendous wealth, power, and stature. Augustus was definitely a guy that loved Rome and loved to boast and show off about it. As the text says, “I found Rome built of brinks, I leave it clothed in marble.” (Kleiner). With that said Augustus wanted to uphold Rome’s reputation of success and supremacy, with the use of art and architecture as misinformation. With Rome being so big and having so much art and architecture already, what Augustus did was made all the art and architecture portray excellence and superiority. This was the case with many places throughout Rome, mainly the forums. He believed in depicting the greatness of the previous great men of Rome. This was a common theme with Augustus; he loved to make massive and colossal works of art and architecture. This gave Rome a certain essence about its self. He liked to include himself also in this great line of Roman rulers. He did so by having statues made of him and placed next to the great rulers, gods, etc. Again he loved to group himself with the group of great Roman icons. Even in his later years later years as he aged he had statues made to look like he was young to portray his god like qualities. With that said you could get the idea that he would take something great and make it better. Such the case with Rome; Rome already a great power was taken over by Augustus and simply made better, especially in art and architecture. Also the case with the Roman culture always adapting and improving in different ways. Augustus kept himself in the forefront of the Roman people by always portraying Rome as a great supremacy.


Posted at Feb 17/2011 11:56PM:
mziff: Augustus’ main ambition was to not only obtain ultimate sole power over the vast Roman Empire, but to also maintain and create a dynasty to rule Rome. Even before he had defeated Mark Antony, his last obstacle to total control over the empire, he utilized propaganda in the art and architecture he commissioned to sway the Roman people in his favor. As mentioned in Kleiner, Augustus issued coins with his likeness and the phrase divi filius, or son of a god. He was referring to his adopted father Julius Caesar who had been deified shortly after his dramatic death on the Ides of March 44 B.C.E. Augustus utilized the magic of his father’s name to his full advantage. For instance, while combating Lepidus’ army in Sicily, Augustus, then still Octavian, simply invoked his father’s name, and Lepidus’ troops switched to his side. They were fiercely loyal to his father and felt inclined to serve Caesar’s son. In minting coins with his divine image and issuing them to soldiers and citizens all across the Mediterranean, Augustus’ likeness and godly lineage convinced Romans of his destiny to become sole ruler and bring peace to civil war ravaged Rome.

During his long forty-one year reign as emperor Augustus underwent a massive building and beautification project of Rome. He felt that as the capital of the entire Mediterranean world, Rome should be the grandest of all in the empire. As Suetonius mentions, Augustus’ last words were “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed of marble.” He improved Rome in every way imaginable, not just focusing on making it visually more beautiful, but also instituting massive infrastructure enhancement. Aqueducts ran clean water into fountains and baths in the city, new roads were paved making transportation much more comfortable thereby encouraging trade, and the sewer system was cleaned. Ordinary Romans could feel the effects of his remarkable reign in their every day lives. In his Res Gestae, Augustus mentions all of the buildings and public works projects he instituted. He had tremendous pride in making Rome a worthy seat of its widespread domain and unabashedly proclaims his achievements.

In one of Augustus most well known commissions, the Ara Pacis Augustae, Augustus displays his intention to link Rome’s legendary beginning with his own family and divine roots. The altar commemorates the peace which he brought upon the empire after centuries of bloodshed and war. In the panels of marble relief we see the entire royal family processing solemnly. On the other side of the monument, mythical scenes of gods and goddesses are portrayed. Although the altar is dedicated to the spirit of peace, Augustus’ agenda to glorify his reign and leave behind a stable dynasty are evident.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:25AM:
milardi: Augustus’s resources allowed him to build massive public projects, and commission various works of art to promote his image. As Paul Zanker said, “through visual imagery a new mythology of Rome and, for the emperor a new ritual of power were created.” (pg 26). Augustus skillfully used art to achieve his political agenda, and set a standard for emperors to come.

Art and architecture were a vital part of Augustus’s strategy for justifying his takeover of the Roman Empire. The temple of Mars, which was the center of Augustus’s new form, was something that he had promised to build after the Philippi campaign. It was dedicated to Mars in order to thank him for helping Augustus to avenge Caesar (Suetonious, page 30). In this way Augustus was showing all the people that his rule was for they’re benefit and for Rome’s benefit. He was Julius Caesar’s rightful successor and his rule helped right the wrong that was Caesar’s assassination. In fact, Augustus used his status as Caesar’s adopted son to his great advantage; since Caesar was deified after his death Augustus was the “son of a god,” of diving lineage and fit to rule Rome. This is a fact that Augustus enforced with the minting of coins, such as coins minted with the deified Julius on one side, and himself on the other. (Kleiner, 61). It is also important to note that while it was fine for Augustus to claim to be the son of a God he never claimed to be a God; Augustus was cautious not to repeat Caesar’s mistakes of claiming too much power, too obviously for himself.

Augustus additionally used architecture to glorify Rome and therefore gain the favor of the populace. In his Res Gestae Augustus mentions that he “built aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age, and I doubled the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct by sending a new spring into its channel.” (page 33-34). These sorts of massive public works projects had a direct effect on the everyday lives of many people. The people would know that these works were commissioned by Augustus, and would appreciate him as a great leader. Additionally, Augustus used art and architecture to just contribute to Rome’s overall glory. His buildings were highly influenced by Greek art and architecture, and he tried to convey a sense that in Rome this Greek culture could experience a renaissance “combined with a world dominance based upon the highest moral principles and universal prosperity” (Zanker, 28). Also, as Diana E. Kleiner states Augustus was “resolutely proud of Rome’s history and presented the Romans as a kind of chosen people who had both come from Troy to Italy and who had also seemed to have emerged naturally from the rock of the Palatine hill.” (pg 40).

Another important way which Augustus used art was to glorify his family, and to intertwine the history of Rome with his own family history. Often Augustus would create public works in the names of his relatives; in his Res Gestae Augustus mentions the theater at the temple of Apollo, which he built under the name of his son in law, Marcus Marcellus.

Finally, Augustus used art to glorify himself. In his forum he erected many statues of great men, and proclaimed “This has been done to make my fellow citizens insist that both I (while I live) and the leaders of following ages shall not fall below the standard set by those great men of old.” (page 31) Perhaps most important was the fact that Augustus’s portraits portrayed him as a godlike leader. His portraits portrayed him as forever young, and instead of being crafted based on reality they were modeled on figures such as Alexander, Apollo and Greek athletes. (Kleiner, 67). These along with his other commissioned statues and buildings were vital in justifying his rule. Augustus’s use of art and architecture was a brilliant strategy for achieving his political agenda.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:28AM:
mmcvicke:After 13 years of civil war, Rome looked as if it was on the edge of destruction when Augustus came to power. However, it was completely revived and sent into a 45-year period of peace and security with the help of Augustus’ masterful use of art and architecture. He propelled Rome into the world of Hellenistic culture and away from the old Republican order and his actions gave the Roman people the impression that they lived in the best of all possible worlds in the best of all times.

Augustus used his statues to portray an image that, through imperial mythology and symbolism, could convey a range of civic virtues and values. His portraits never showed any signs of age. He did not want to be seen as Augustus the man but as Augustus the divi filius. And because most people knew only his official image, it could be manipulated at will. This is easily noticed when comparing the statues of “Augustus as Imperator” and “Augustus as Pontifex Maximus”. Not only did he use this technique for himself, but also for his predecessors and living family members to emphasize the strength and righteousness of the royal family in which Augustus came. He also urged leading citizens to embellish the city with new public monuments or restore and improve ancient ones. Along with statues, Augustus used coinage as a powerful tool of pictorial and verbal propaganda because of its exposure to every Roman citizen.

Augustus thought that Rome was architecturally unworthy of its position and changed that by completing Julius Caesar’s architectural projects while also constructing a new forum dominated by the Temple of Mars Ultor, building the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine, and also building the Temple of Jupiter Tonans on the Capitoline. He built all of these temples using marble from the local and newly excavated quarry in Luna, drastically reducing construction costs. He also boasts the fact that he rebuilt 82 temples of the gods, while omitting nothing that should have been rebuilt at the time giving every Roman citizen an ample place to worship. All of these building gave shape to the venerable center of Roman public life.

With an increase in population, Augustus needed an increase in order and security. He did this by holding public prosecution and casting lots for jury service in the newly built forum. He had locally elected “supervisors” to help govern certain areas. Augustus even hired men to watch for fires during the night and clear rubbish from the Tiber to prevent floods. The biggest achievement was the improvement of roads and doubling the capacity of aqueducts throughout the empire. So not only did Augustus build wonderful works of art, but he protected them and made them accessible to all Roman citizens

The Reason Augustus was able to complete so much because of the humble manner in which he approached all things. He always emphasized that large projects were done at Augustus’ “own initiative” and “own expense”. Some of the things that Augustus did at his “own expense” to appease the people were gladiator battles, athletic games, and even circuses. These kinds of things characterized very well manipulation that Augustus was able to create through artistic events and objects that kept the Roman Empire peaceful and happy during his reign.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:32AM:
JGorelick:

Augustus utilized art and architecture as a means to his political ends in many aspects, touching almost every facet of Roman art and architecture accessible during his reign. Very aware of the reasons behind Julius Caesar's downfall, Augustus maneuvered his way into power while maintaining an air of generosity, equality, and humbleness. He eventually calls himself "First Among Equals".

In art and portraiture, Augustus tailors his image as an instrument of social and political propaganda. Kleiner discusses this phenomenon in different works of art, highlighting the image of "Augustus the divi filius" (Kleiner 67), as the eternally youthful dictator in his portraits and statues, even into old age. Other portraits such as Augustus as Imperator at Primaporta, we see many different cultural elements melded into an image of Augustus, honoring the past, and solidifying his place and position in Roman history. In this portrait, we see August with "the bare feet of a god instead of military boots" (Kleiner 68), Cupid riding a dolphin in reference to his lineage from Venus, and even the shape of his cowlick, referencing both Pompey and Alexander the Great.

Suetonius notes that August used public architecture to support his political agenda. The Temple of Mars Ultor especially plays an important role in paying respects to Rome, while incorporating and forever solidifying his families place alongside the great men of Rome. He actually places portraits of these great men alongside those of his family members, and dedicates a temple in honor of his defeat of Caesar's killers, showing his power, but also honoring those that stood for Rome.

Augustus also managed to associate himself with other great leaders, public figures, and Rome itself by restoring or rebuilding already existing works. In Augustus' Res Gestae, he subtly incorporated his image into the face of Rome by rebuilding many necessary pieces of public infrastructure, including roads and aqueducts. One project in particular which would have definitely remained in the minds of most Romans of the day was his work on the already magnificent Theater of Pompey.

Favro discusses the Ara Pacis, the Altar of Augustan Peace, which is a monument recognizing Peace in the Roman Empire. The incorporation of symbols for prosperity, growth and fertility are meant to convey to the future generations of Romans the prosperous times under the imperial rule of Augustus, while also again maintaining his place and his family's place in history.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:34AM:
pmeehan: As the first Roman emperor, Augustus navigated a tricky political agenda, seeking to at once capitalize on his powerful role as imperator and yet avoid the supremely negative connotations of monarchial power. His program of public art and architecture served a fundamental role in the shaping of his self-image and in manipulating the public space to articulate a revitalized paradigm of Roman ideals with which he legitimized his rule and forged a strong connection between the populace and the state. A prime example of his ambitious architectural program was the Forum Augustum, which Suetonius mentions in his history. Suetonius writes that he founded the forum because of the great swell in population and need for lawsuits. In this capacity, the forum was a gesture of goodwill towards the people of Rome indeed, as it provided another venue for public exchange of goods, services, and justice. The Forum was also significant to Augustus’s agenda because it provided a medium to visually present his image to the people through statuary and architecture, particularly the Temple of Mars Ultor, a testament to his family and to the greatness of his “father”. A civic center of shining marble, the Forum enhanced the status of Roman civic life, rivaling it with great cities like Athens and Alexandria. In his Res Gestae, Augustus himself lists the many works he sponsored. Of these is the theater of Pompey, which he boasts to have rebuilt, along with the Capitol, “without any inscription of my name” (33); he also notes the enormous cost of both works. In rebuilding the theater of Pompey, Augustus first of all demonstrated his dedication to the Roman people through spending a great amount of money to give them culture and entertainment. Furthermore, he was able to essentially commandeer the efforts of Pompey, subordinating the great man’s celebrated structure and its political implications to himself; cleverly, Augustus diminished Pompey’s image to both enhance his own and to lay claim to the space in which his adoptive father was notoriously murdered. Another important landmark of Augustus’s reign is the Ara Pacis, which D. Kleiner discusses in her article. A monument to peace, the Ara Pacis articulated traditional Roman ideals and mythologies and melded them with the lineage of Augustus himself, thereby connecting the success of his rule with a core of revitalized Roman identity. For example, the relief sculpture on the west façade portrays Aeneas, hero of a celebrated founding myth and a figure significant to Augustus because of his supposed ancestry of the Julian family. Accompanying other images of the imperial family, Aeneas represents the Augustan self-association with the heroic foundations of Rome, emphasizing his own role as a founder of a new Rome. In addition, the monument portrays imagery of fertility, attesting to the abundance and growth enabled by the pax augusta after the divisive darkness of civil war. Finally, the religious function of the monument recalled Augustus’s role as pontifex maximus. A last monument to consider is the theater of Marcellus which echoed the eclecticism of Roman artistic style. Rather than the Luna marble with which Augustus clothed Rome in Hellenistic magnificence, the theater recalled more traditional Roman architecture of vaulted concrete construction. Furthermore, innovations in the use of concrete include a network of ramps which facilitated large crowds of spectators. The façade consists of engaged Greek columns, a typical example of Greco-Roman stylistic fusion, of differing orders (Doric on the first floor, Ionic on the second). The structure was iconic in its appropriation of traditional, if innovative and eclectic (ideals of Augustus’s reign) styles of architectural design which clothed a building whose function was a significant accessory to cultured and cosmopolitan Roman lifestyle.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:35AM:
Arodriguez: Augustus cleverly used art and architecture as a means to spread his image and power around the Empire while creating a new image for the leader of Rome. Taking the fatal death of Julius Caesar as a lesson, he proclaimed himself supreme leader while convincing the people that without him Rome would not be as great. One example of how Augustus changed his image was through portraiture. Since he was a young man when he assumed power, sculptors had to record the likeness of a youthful leader. Nevertheless, Augustus portraits never showed him as an old man because he wanted to present himself as a “godlike leader, a superior being who, miraculously, was eternally youthful” (Kleiner 67). This is seen in the bust of Augustus wearing the corona civica, from the early first century, where he seems young and powerful like the god Apollo. (Kleiner 67). Other than equaling his image to that of gods, Augustus praised the memory of the great leaders who had contributed to Rome’s glory. Therefore, he restored many public buildings erected by men of great history with their dedicatory inscriptions, and raised statues of them in his Forum (Suetonius 7). Along these projects he proclaimed, “this has been done to make my fellow citizens insist that both I and the leaders of following ages shall not fall below the standard set by those great men of old” (Suetonius 7). His propaganda not only legitimized his rule over Rome but also reminded the people of the city’s greatness and history. Augustus also organized three gladiator shows under his name and five times under the name of his sons and grandsons, where about 10,000 men fought (Res Gestae 32). By naming the gladiator competitions under his family’s name he assured the legitimacy and glory of his ancestry lineage. Another example of how Augustus glorified the history of Rome and his family’s achievements was through narratives such as those carved on the Ara Pacis panel. For example, in the southeastern panel there is a seated female, variously identified as Pax, Italia, Venus, Ilia, and Tellus. This link Augustus to Venus, a goddess who is also his ancestor (D. Favro 71). As Favro states, “virtually every image they have seen celebrates the life and achievements the now deified princeps” (Favro 70). Therefore, Augustus used art to soothe the political turmoil at the end of the Republic by not only glorifying himself as divine ruler but by praising Roman’s military, historical and political achievements. He not only made himself great but also reminded the people that they were worthy of admiration for being a part of the Roman Empire.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 12:50AM:
c.hoffman:

It was quite the telling time when Octavian came to power. His “father”, Caesar, had been proclaimed a “divus”, deified mortal in 42 BC (Kleiner 61). Octavian was thus initially set up for success, being that he was the “son of a god”. Instrumental in building a name for himself was a coin that was struck sometime between 37-31 BC showing on one side a young Octavian, inscribed under “Caesar Divi Filus”. On the reverse side Julius Caesar was depicted with all of his signs of age. Even before Octavian’s defeat of Marc Antony at Actium in 31 B.C., Octavian was using art as a way of spreading a certain message about himself; that of being of divine lineage. This coin is a prime example of how Roman emperors used coinage as a powerful tool of pictorial and verbal propaganda. This coinage was particularly important on the battlefield of public opinion with Augustus (Octavian).

Once Augustus was deemed to be “Augustus”, he felt the need to secure all positions of power for himself, according to Kleiner. Further, Augustus had different statues and portraits made of him as each type of ruler. His carefully crafted image of himself is well seen in the Prima Porta Augustae. Very prominent in this sculpture is that of Augustus’s divine lineage. At Augustus’s foot, there is a small portrayal of cupid riding a dolphin, a key reminder that Augustus was a descendent of the god Venus. He takes on classical proportions, reminiscent of the Classical Greeks. However, he is also shown addressing his troops with his right arm extended, similar to that of the “Aulus Metellus” statue. However, the shape of the head with its sharp ridges of the eyebrows and tight cap of layered hair also emulate the Polykleitan style. This amalgamation of styles further depicts Augustus as a man of tradition and legitimizes his claim as ruler.

With regard to architecture, Augustus’s Forum helped further along Augustus’s political agenda. Seutonius describes the Temple of Mars Ultor which dominated the Forum. The temple itself is a statement of political presence; Augustus dedicated this temple to Mars, the god of war and revenge in honor of defeating Caesar’s murderers: Brutus and Cassius. This temple contained many statues of great men, further contributing to the image Augustus was trying to paint of himself: a descendant of great man and divinity. A decorative strategy usually used in private home was now exposed in a public venue. When entering people would relate Roman history with the Augustan family. Augustus was successfully in fusing his own personal history with Roman history.

As mentioned in the Res Gustae, Augustus revamped the Theater of Pompey and turned it into the Theater of Marcellus. In the same fashion as Pompey, Augustus gave this theater as a “gift to the Roman people”.

However, Augustus’s most successful piece of architectural propaganda as described by Favros, was the Ara Pacis. This altar of peace was possibly the most rich in visual imagery describing each message Augustus wanted to promote. Featured on these walls were images depicting peace, fertility, and family.

Not only were these architectural splendors meant to appease Roman citizens, but also they were meant to help preserve the Augustan line of rule. These projects were successful because they communicated with each type of Roman inhabitant.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 01:09AM:
nelder: Augustus had a unique challenge when he came to power. Up until he took the throne Rome had been a Republic, ruled by the people. With his new title of Emperor, Augustus was now faced with the task of uniting a people that were somewhat hesitant of this new type of power. Augustus came to the conclusion that the best way to capture of the hearts of the Roman people was to create a narrative of himself, and his past, that would reflect the new wave of greatness he believed he was about to usher in; and he would do this through the arts and architecture. Paul Zanker wrote, “through visual imagery a new mythology of Rome and, for the emperor, a new ritual of power was created. Built on relatively simple foundations, the myth perpetuated itself and transcended the realities of everyday life to project onto future generations the impression that they lived in the best of all possible worlds in the best of all times (4). During the early stages of the formation of this new mythology, Augustus focused on this relationship to the recent deified Julius Caesar. Augustus minted coins of both Caesar and himself with the inscriptions divus (deified mortal) and divi filius (son of a god) to propagate the idea that not only he, himself a god, but that he was descendant from gods (Kleiner 61). He completed the Forum of Caesar and built the Forum of Augustus, onto which he built the Temple of Mars Ultor. This temple is of particular importance because it was built to honor the god that had helped Augustus defeat those who had assassinated Caesar (Suetonius 59). In this temple he also placed the recovered standards from the Parthians (Kleiner 64). He also decreed that the Senate should meet there whenever declarations of war or claims for triumphs were considered, and that this should be both the starting point for military governors, when escorted to their provinces, and the repository of all triumphal tokens when they returned victorious (Suetonius 59). In these ways, Augustus was successfully able to mesh together the perception of his godly power with practical achievements and real power. He perfectly brought together his myth by empathsizes his achievements under the backdrop a majesty history.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 03:37AM:
chuang: Augustus used art and architecture to create a divine link between him and the gods and to justify his actions and decisions. Augustus also created an everlasting legacy through art and architecture. He basically built his reputation with this form of political propaganda. He never aged in marble. And he was a generous fellow who was humble (did not inscribe his name into some public works) and caring for the people (bringing peace). Kleiner discusses that Augustus used portraiture to create his public image of supremacy and divinity . The most famous sculpture of him that conveys this was the Prima Porta Augustus. The sculpture encompasses several different techniques and styles to carve Augustus's public image. Two locks of hair on his forehead draws a resemblance to the iconic face of Alexander the Great. His barefoot stance is typical of a Hellenistic king. And Cupid near his feet conveys his link to the divine. Suetonius describes Augustus's use of public architecture, especially The Forum, as part of his political propaganda. The Forum was the central gathering area for the Empire. People gathered to socialize, and the Senate had meetings there. It also housed the Temple of Mars Ultor, the god of war, which Augustus used to commemorate the defeat of those who betrayed Caesar, Brutus and Cassius. He portrayed himself next to great figures of history to declare himself as one of them. The "Res Gestae" reveals that Augustus continuously dedicated public projects, events, and monuments to his family and descendants. By doing this, he ensured the preservation of his legacy. He also rebuilt and improved public architecture. These large and expensive acts highlighted his generosity and humbleness. (He did not inscribe his name, something people would usually do on projects that cost large sums of money.) Lastly, Favro describes Augustus's "Ara Pacis", an altar that celebrated Augustan peace, as well as fertility, and perpetuity. The frieze, decorated with elaborate wreaths and garlands, depicts sacrificial ceremonies, as well as Augustus's family and ancestors. All these pieces of art and architecture was Augustus's way of communication with the people of Rome. Because he created a benevolent figure of himself, the Romans almost worshiped him like they did the gods. Through his use of art, he commanded respect and love.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 03:56AM:
jmiranda:

Augustus used art and architecture to promote his both backward and forward looking political agenda – the imagery he created bound together his family’s heritage, and the heritage of Rome, as well as his family’s future and the future of Rome. He carefully controlled his image as a ruler by dictating his appearance in works of art distributed throughout the empire. How he appeared in Rome would be far different from how he was represented in Egypt. Augustus took particular advantage of the imagery on coins. The design of coins was used to publicize recent military victories, reinforce the image of heirs as similar to him and more. As coins spread quickly throughout the empire, this was an effective way to link his name to both prosperity and accomplishment (Kleiner 160).

Closer to home, Augustus solidified his position in Rome by leaving a visible mark on the city. According to Suetonius, Augustus once said “I found Rome built in bricks; I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius). In reading Augustus’ Res Gestae we learn of the many changes he wrought on the city: “The Capitolium81 and the theatre of Pompey… I rebuilt without any inscription of my own name. I restored the channels of the aqueducts…and doubled the capacity of the aqueduct called the Marcia … completed the Julian Forum84 and the basilica which was between the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn” (Res Gestae 20). And the list continues. The transformation of the city was a constant visual reminder of the presence of Augustus, and the wide influence he yielded – but also the improvements he provided to the everyday people.

One of the most politically charged monuments he erected was the Ara Pacis. It was an altar to peace commissioned by the Roman senate after his triumphant return from Spain and Gaul. Favro discusses the many depictions of peace and fertility on the altar. It was a monument that spoke to a wide audience in an accessible language – and one that once again asserted Augustus’ ties to the history of Rome with its depictions of Rome’s foundation myths.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 08:10AM:
kdesimone: One important way in which Augustus used art and architecture for his political means was his portrayal of the imperial family. In particular, the procession of Augustus’s family on the outside of the Ara Pacis demonstrates how Augustus wanted the Roman people to view them. In “Semblance and Storytelling in Augustan Rome,” Diana Kleiner claims that the imperial family acted as certain characters in the “self-consciously fashioned…family legacy” (203) where the viewer is constantly reminded of their divine and mythological ancestry; they act as gods in well-known legends, or are juxtaposed with images of Romulus and Aeneas. Their procession on the Ara Pacis suggests that their authority is the natural progression of destiny, starting with the legendary founders of Rome. Even though there was no blood relation between some members of the family, “all members were depicted as if interchangeable” (212) which was “a means by which all members of the imperial family were coalesced into a unified image of Empire” (217). This image suggested that the divine connections the family enjoyed had justified and made possible their ascent to become the ruling elite. According to Fred Kleiner in A History of Roman Art, Augustus additionally had the social agenda of wanting the number of families in the nobility to increase, which is why children are depicted on the Ara Pacis, contrary to precedent in state-sponsored Roman art; this “portrayal of men with their families on the Altar of Peace was intended as a moral exemplar” (Kleiner, 72). Therefore, the Ara Pacis confirms the imperial family’s right to rule while promoting a political agenda. A simple yet powerful statement of the authority of Augustus was the city of Rome itself. Suetonius credits Augustus with greatly improving the appearance and functioning of the city, suggesting that the renovations enjoyed by inhabitants and visitors alike were constant reminders of Augustus’s influence. He lauds Augustus for “repaving the Via Flaminia as far as Ariminum at his own expense, and calling upon men who had won triumphs to spend their share of the plunder on putting the other main roads into good condition” (The Twelve Caesars, 60), as well as restoring failing temples while overseeing the construction of many more, so that Augustan architecture visually dominated the city. Though in the “Res Gestae” Augustus states that he “rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name” (Reader, page 33), he didn’t need his name inscribed on buildings for the people to associate them with him. He also writes of how he avoided using his own image in a way that would seem too proud: “Silver statues of me…were erected in about eighty cities, which I myself removed, and from the money I placed golden offerings in the temple of Apollo under my name and of those who paid the honor of the statues to me” (34). Augustus knew that the presence of the majestic architecture itself would remind the people of his dominance, but without the overt statements of his personal glory he managed to maintain a careful image of being humbly indebted to the Roman people. This image allowed him to remain in good standing with his citizens, since he did not evoke the haughtiness and dangerous ambition that was the downfall of his adopted father, Julius Caesar.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 08:22AM:
clebovit: 1. Given the tumultuous times following Julius Caesar’s assassination, Augustus needed a means to demonstrate to the Roman people not only his character but also his plans for the nation. Art and architecture provided the perfect venue for Augustus to present his ambition symbolically. Kleiner discusses two ways that Augustus used his connection to Caesar as a means to solidifying his standing among the Roman people: coinage and building a temple in the Forum Romanum in honor of his father. Being a divi filius, or son of a god, carried obvious status and Augustus based his image upon that title, printing coins with both his and his father face adorning a side. Augustus also constructed a temple worshipping Divius Julius reinforcing the elevated status of Augustus’ breeding and character, a necessary factor in furthering one’s poltical ambitions. (61-64)

According to Suetonius, Augustus personally paid for restoration for temples in disrepair. For example, he paid 16,000 pounds of gold to the Jupiter Capitolinus. These large-scale donations had the benefit of securing the support of the organized religion, gaining as allies the powerful priests of the empire. Revitalizing these churches also had the benefit of gaining the admiration of the citizenry who appreciated the new aesthetics of the city. (31)

Building upon the idea of gaining the Roman people’s admiration, according to Augustus’ Res Gestae, Augustus rebuilt numerous aqueducts throughout the empire. Such public works may not have been as aesthetically pleasing as Augustus’s other project, but they vastly improved the lives of ordinary Romans, and by attributing his name to these projects; Augustus was symbolically making the life of the average Roman better. By gaining the loyalty of the masses, Augustus was able to prevent any potential uprisings and impediments to his rule. (33)

Finally D. Kleiner reinforces the point that Augustus used art to cement his position as a vibrant leader. D. Kleiner notes that Octavian “chose not to emphasize the long experience by affecting the requisite Republican crow’s feet, but instead celebrated a refreshing youthfulness.” This youthfulness is embodied in Octavian’s comparison’s of himself to Apollo, Alexander the Great, and Greek athletes. Each one of those figures represented power either militarily or religiously, yet again portraying Alexander as a powerful leader. (43)


Posted at Feb 18/2011 08:27AM:
jconnuck: Following the assassination of Julius Caesar and the ensuing civil war, Rome desperately looked towards a leader who could restore stability and the confidence of the people of Rome. Augustus proved to be exactly that type of ruler. He cunningly used art and architecture to shape his own perceived image as well as the image of Rome itself.

In order to rebuild a defeated sense of Roman national pride, Augustus invested a good deal of his resources towards rebuilding the architecture of Rome. As Suetonius puts it, “Aware that the city was architecturally unworthy of its positional as capital of the empire,…Augustus so improved its appearance that he could justifiably boast, ‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble,’” (p. 59 – reader 31). By renovating the aesthetic sophistication of Rome he not only helped to restore the city’s grandeur and importance as capital of the Empire as it had been formally, but he also raised it to new heights previously unmet.

The shrewd decision on Augustus’ part was to reinvest Rome’s war earnings, tax dollars, and at times private wealth, back into rebuilding Rome itself. As Augustus outlines in his Res Gestae, he, “built the temple of Mars Ultor on private ground and the forum of Augustus from war-spoils,” (21, reader p. 34). By starting this project, called publica magnificentia, building these and other public monuments and spaces, Augustus was able to rejuvenate the city and instill a feeling of transparency and productivity in the Roman people who could now see their previous fighting turning into a rebuilt city.

But Augustus would not let the opportunity go to waste. He used these public works as canvases for propaganda. In Paul Zanker’s The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus he points specifically to a shift in public art, and art in general, towards Roman mythology and symbolism, which Augustus used to constantly legitimize his rule. By likening himself to the gods, and depicting his divine heritage, he was able to lend credence to his total control of power.

One element of this movement by Augustus was to redesign the Roman portrait bust. Instead of glorifying his wrinkles and receding hairline as Julius Caesar did, and as was standard, as a sign of wisdom and authority, Augustus opted for what is now referred to as the Primaporta type. Kleiner notes that this portrait style, which depicts a youthful ideal, regardless of the age of Augustus at the time, matches his “philosophy and eminence,” (p. 208, reader p. 43). By alluding to his own immortality, Augustus again tied himself to the gods, using his portraits as subtle propaganda.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 08:42AM:
jwang: Augustus infused the city of Rome with pictorial propaganda to manifest who he is, what it is to be the leader of the Roman Empire, and the prospect future and eternity of his Empire.

Through sculpture, coins and civil projects, Augustus emphasized his divine and prestigious imperial lineage to demonstrate that his rulership of Rome. He paid lots of homage to his deified adopted father, Julius Caesar. Coins of the portrait of Caesar circulated in Rome and Augustus completed the architectural projects that Caesar had begun, presenting himself as the worthy successor of Caesar. (Kleiner 62-64) Meanwhile, Augustus undertook many public projects in the name of his relatives to position his lineage as the authority and ruling class of Rome. (Suetonius, 59) Portraits and sculptures of his family members and divine ancestors scattered around Rome were crafted in synchronized semblance and physical interchangeability to enhance the impression of the Augustan imperial lineage. (Reader, 45) Some sculpture figures from the Ara Pacis Augustae became too idealized for the citizens to recognize easily. (Reader 71)

Architecture especially various temples in the city of Rome are vehicles for Augustus to intertwine his own genealogy with Roman genealogy, presenting his rulership as the destiny of the Roman Empire. Ara Pacis Augustae was the apogee in this storytelling. Chronology and history of Rome is narrated with city-founders, gods, and heroes resembling Augustan family. (Reader 49-50) Augustus built the forum of Augustus from war spoils and placed standards of three Roman armies from his military triumphs in the sanctuary of the temple of Mars Ultor. (Res Gestae, 21, 29) His military triumphs are now remembered as the honor and glory of Rome, and of the entire Roman race. Therefore the day Augustus returned from Syria was named Augustalia when priests and Vestal virgins would offer yearly sacrifice. (Res Gestae 11)

The statement of Augustus that “I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius) demonstrated how through building infrastructures, architectures and art works, he established stable foundation, prospect future and eternity for Rome. Augustus’s portraits never showed any sign of age, always representing a miraculous ruler who is eternally youthful. (Kleiner, 67) His choice to break radically from Republican likeliness of portraits symbolized his hope for eternity and stability of Rome.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 09:47AM:
rcuellar: Augustus utilized art and architecture in Rome to guide people’s perceptions of himself, his family, and his leadership in this vast empire. As seen in (Kleiner) Augustus was a master of using the arts as well as mythology to express his political agendas and to give pedigree to his right as the heir of Rome. By utilizing his talents to symbolize himself and his family into Gods, heroes and myths they were immortalized in a way and the feeling of peace in their ruling was given. This can be seen in places such as the Ara Pacis Augustae, where the east and west side of which portray Roman myths and legends. Even though these depictions are not historical events Augustus uses them to casually enter himself and his family into the past of Rome itself. (pg. 222 Kleiner). Through depictions such as this and similar ones giving him characteristics of Gods (as he aged statues of him never seemed to take on his aging looks) and placing his statue among gods Augustus embellishes his right, ability, and power to rule the vast Empire of Rome. All this work to convey himself and his family as godlike and destined to be in rule not only helped Augustus stay dictator. It also allowed people to forget the turmoil of his coming to power and lead them to believe that he was not a dictator, rather chosen by the gods to rule.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 09:50AM:
hstrausser: When Augustus came to power as the first emperor of the Roman Empire after Julius Caesar’s death, he needed to instill in his people a sense of security not only in the state of Rome but in his ability to serve as their sole leader. Even before his ascent to the throne, Augustus (as Octavian) understood the importance of using coinage as a means of propaganda and a way to convey messages to his people to promote his own self-image and his victories. The front of the coins minted during Augustus’s time show an image of his face, which was shown, as in all of his portraiture, as the eternally youthful son of a god (F. Kleiner 63). The backs of the coins generally showcased various achievements that Augustus made and wanted to share with his entire empire. In addition to promoting his own image and accomplishments, Augustus used public architecture to restore and improve the city and make it “worthy of its position as capital of the empire” (Suetonius 59). Suetonius specifically mentions three public works: the Temple of Mars Ultor in the Forum, the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine Hill, and the Temple of Jupiter Tonans on the Capitoline Hill. The temple of Mars was built to commemorate his avenging of his uncle, Julius Caesar, and it served as a meeting place for the Senate to discuss war and triumphs, and also the starting point for military conquests and triumphal parades. Augustus describes these three temples as well as many of his other public works in his own Res Gestae. Other architectural accomplishments include the rebuilding of Pompey’s theater, the construction of the Senate House, the completion of the Forum of Julius, and more. The goal of this document is to justify Augustus’s position as “first among equals;” a leader who did things not only for personal gain but for the good of his people. One of Augustus’s most notable public works, the Ara Pacis, or altar of peace, has many functions. It was built to commemorate his return from and pacification of Spain and Gaul, and depicts the imperial family on two of its sides. In addition to its commemorative function, the Ara Pacis also depicts the history of Rome and connects its “promising past into a vital present that presaged a visionary future” (D. Kleiner 221). Augustan public works are among some of the most impressive in existence to this day, and Rome’s first emperor will always be remembered for these projects.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:17AM:
lpress: Augustus’ remarkable transformation of the city of Rome through art and architecture not only brought Rome to its high position but also strengthened Augustus’ political agenda. “‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble’” (Suetonius, p. 59), the leader is famously known to have said. While Augustus’ claim may sound arrogant, the work he did truly made an intense impact on both the actual city and the people within it.

Much of the architectural progress Augustus made in Rome was in rebuilding and renewing many of the buildings and monuments, as well as eighty-two temples of the gods, that had been brought to ruins during the war. Two of the biggest and most costly of these projects were “the Capitol and the theater of Pompey…without any inscription of my name” (Augustus’ Res Gestae, p. 33). Not only did Augustus rebuild the city, but he did so while taking on a “humble” air. He especially used his connection to Julius Caesar to win over the Roman public, as he spent much of his time rebuilding and finishing projects that had been started by his father, such as the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn (Augustus’ Res Gestae, p. 34).

Augustus also did his best to honor the rulers before him, those who brought Rome from a village to a flourishing city. He raised statues to these men in order to “‘make my fellow citizens insist that both I (while I live) and the leaders of following ages shall not fall below the standard set by those great men of old’” (Suetonius, p. 61). In a way, this was another tactic for how Augustus solidified his place in the history of Rome. By preaching the importance of honoring the men who came before him, Augustus was setting up a tradition in which he would be honored once gone.

While Augustus found importance in honoring those of the past, he also managed to solidify his and his families place as rulers on the present. The Ara Pacis Augustae, a sculpture which depicts the entire imperial family, is the epitome of Augustus’ attempt to make a personal impact on Rome. All members of the family in the image on the Ara Pacis are dressed in proper clothing and made to look like Augustus. “Real and imagined semblance is the goal, melding the imperial family into a unified ruling elite that, in its indivisible concord, ensures the stability and flourishing of Rome” (Kleiner, p. 216).

Augustus’ use of art and architecture in his political agenda in Rome did not fall just within city limits. Before Augustus, Along with the many buildings and works of art he erected, Augustus created a sophisticated and useful highway system that surrounded the city. “Rome was a jumbled, illegible, unimageable Republican city” (Favro, p. 59). The highways Augustus created increased accessibility to Rome, which enabled commerce and strengthened relations with other nations. Augustus knew that Rome must use its valuable location in the Mediterranean to continue to grow and thrive. Augustus also used these highways to make his mark even outside city limits—at the entrance to the city, “a representation of the princeps himself benevolently looks down upon the two figures and all who approach his capital” (Favro, p. 62).


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:19AM:
emilygilbert: When Augustus came to power, he had to reunite Rome and win the hearts of the Roman people. After overthrowing Marc Antony, Augustus aimed to represent himself as the legitimate and successful ruler of Rome. He did this using politically themed art which aimed to sway the public’s opinion in his favor. Statues, coins, and buildings were all used to gain support, and Augustus’ strategy worked as he truly “found Rome a city of brick, and left it a city of marble”.

One statue that was made during Augustus’s rule “represents Augustus in his role as pontifex maximus, the sacred office he assumed in 12 BCE” (Kleiner 69) while another “depicts him as commander in chief of Rome’s armies” (Kleiner 68). It was important that the people of Rome be able to see him as both the spiritual and militaristic leader of the empire. Both statues show Augustus as a powerful man, but are made true to his appearance with his distinctive wavy hair. In the statue of Augustus as Imperator, Augustus is shown with Cupid and is barefoot, reminding Romans of Augustus’ divine roots.

Statues of Augustus were made in a new style to represent the new Roman rule. “Eschewing the pragmatic portraits of senatorial compatriots, Octavian modeled himself on a triumvirate of archetypes – the charismatic Alexander, the radiantly divine Apollo, and strapping Greek athletes of the fifth century B.C.” (D. Kleiner 43). Augustus wanted his people to know that he was powerful, and he demonstrated this frequently in statues.

Augustus showed his appreciation to his people through his public art pieces as well. “Next to the immortal gods, Augustus most honoured the memory of those citizens who had raised the Roman people from small beginnings to their present glory” (Suetonius 61). By showing his appreciation toward the people, Augustus was perceived as caring and considerate.

Augustus won the hearts of the people by building temples and other buildings they would see everyday. He “rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost” (Res Gestae 33). People could see these changes every day, so they knew that their ruler was hard at work and looking to improve life in Rome.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:37AM:
ylee: When Julius Caesar was assassinated in March 44 BCE, the city of Rome was suddenly plunged into political turmoil due to abrupt vacancy in leadership. During the triumvirate of Marc Antony, Octavian and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Octavian seemed too young to be a grand threat to other leaders. Nevertheless, Octavian successfully defeated the allied power of Marc Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 30 BCE, and rose to the sole power of Rome. As he got the title of Augustus from the senate, he started utilizing art and architecture as means to his political ends: shaping his public image of a grandiose and generous ruler who shaped and maintain Pax Romana for Roman citizens.

One of the most prominent schemes of Augustus was instilling an image of a descendent of God to public. As Julius Caesar’s adopted son, Augustus was in a lineage of Goddess Venus; now he wanted to proclaim that he is the son of a god (divi filius), and make the public to accept that idea. He completed the architectural projects Caesar had begun, including the Forum Iulium and the adjoining Curia Iulia. More significantly, he erected a temple for the worship of Divus Julius. By situating the Temple of Divus Iulius at one end of the open Forum Romanum, framed by the two great basilicas to the north and south, Augustus made his father’s shrine the centerpiece of the symbolic heart of the city and of the Empire (Kleiner, 63). Moreover, he built Forum Augustum after his name where he set public display of arrays of statues of not only divine figures but also “Great men” of Rome. Augustus “did not compare himself to any Greek statesmen of heroes but instead himself as the latest in a long line of Roman summi viri, including Aeneas, Romulus, and a host of senators and consuls of the Republic in general and of the Julian family in particular, which traced its origins to Aeneas.” (Kleiner,66)

Although Augustus tried to use art images as means of political propaganda, he was also very careful not to impose an image of a dictator which created Caesar’s assassination. Augustus always tried to make his art works and architectural projects as works of and for Roman citizens. Suetonius notes that when Augustus built Forum Augustum, he built it because “the two already in existence could not deal with the recent great increase in the number of lawsuits caused by a corresponding increase in population,” a nice way to cover his inner desire to set his divine image. “Next to the immortal gods, Augustus most honored the memory of those citizens who had raised the Roman people from small beginnings to their present glory; this was why he restored many public buildings erected by men of this caliber, complete with their original dedicatory inscriptions, and raised statues to them, wearing triumphal dress, in the win colonnades of his Forum.” In this way, Augustus was able to gain respect and ardor from Roman citizens without creating political enemies who would be jealous of his central power.

In the year 14 C.E. the emperor Augustus reflected on his achievements during his 76 years of reign and summarized them for posterity in a lengthy document inscribed in two columns, called Res Gestae, set up in the Campus Martius. While Augustus boasts on his successes in political, military, religious, economic, social and artistic arena, he keeps emphasizing how he refused some grand titles the senate offered: “5. When the dictatorship was offered to me, both in my presence and my absence, by the people and senate, I did not accept it.” ; “10. I was unwilling to be high priest in the place of my living colleague; when the people offered me that priesthood which my father had, I refused it. And I received that priesthood with the death of him who had occupied it since the opportunity of civil disturbance.” Thus, Res Gestae also implies his careful attempt not to create an image of central power which might create political enemies, but to secure his image as a leader who achieved much of greatness during his reign.

D. Favro’s A walk Thorugh Augustan rome, A.D. 14 describes how Augustus’ such an attempt of using art and architecture as his political means was indeed successful. As an old politician and his granddaughter walk around the Campus Martius, they are ceaselessly in a state of awe and pride looking at all those grandiose architectural works Augustus had reconstructed and built. The part in which the old man tries to recollect his earlier memories of Campus Martius when he was a young boy but fails was noteworthy in that Augustus rebuilt the public center of Rome in such an astonishingly innovative way that after his long reign of two and half generations, citizens of Rome became natural to think of Rome as a place always had been prosperous and peaceful as it was in A.D.14 forever under Augustus and his lineage’s rule.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:39AM:
mhorn: Kleiner: Octavian Augustus was deemed a divi filius, a son of a god. In his sculptural propaganda he immortalized his youth throughout the Roman Empire. When plebeians in Rome, Spain, or Egypt would interact with Augustus face and body, they would see the face of a youthful Augustus, a body of Greek warrior, and the bare feet, to symbolize his likeness to a roman god. This was one of Augustus’ most persuasive propaganda tools, as Kleiner clarifies, “few people ever saw the emperor. Because most people knew only his official image, it could be manipulated at will.”(p. 67)

Res Gestae: In a lengthy document known as the Res Gestae Divi Augistus engraved on two bronze tablets Augustus enumerates his achievements as emperor. Of the many accomplishments he states that he “rebuilt in the city eighty-two temples of the gods, omitting none which at the time stood in need of repair.” In Res Gesae Divi Augustus his work as emperor acts as a justification contra the senate. He proudly harnesses absolute power and control of the republic, but only with the approval of the senate. This of course he includes in his tablature with nothing less than heralding the senate’s honorific label of Octavian as Augustus, or the honored one.

Suetonius: As a central feature of Augustus rule, he reconstituted the city center. To One of his major works was the Temple of Mars Ultor, a tribute the god the of war. Common in Roman history it was looked down upon to rebuild the city center in one’s own name. The construction of Julius Cesar’s forum provided a catalyst for his assisination. To couter-play this event, Augustus built his own forum. Its dedication to Julius Cesar not only served as a justification for Julius construction, but was also filled with statues in the porticos. Typically statues garnered the gardens of private homes. When Augustus placed the statues in the porticos on his temple, it was as act to invite the citizens into his home. The statues asserted his claims as emperor in that it connected him not only to Cesar, but also to the founders Romulus and the Goddess of Rome, Roma.

Favro: To celebrate the peace that Augustus enabled, he built the Ara Pacis. The alter was erected on the Via Flaminia, but during the fascist year of Italy under Mussolini’s rule, the alter was moved to a site next to the Tiber river. The alter communicates ideas of peace, fertility, and continuity. The altar was commissioned by the senate upon Augustus return from military victories in Gaul and Hispania. Favro explains how the construction of the altar stabilized a feeling of harmony and peace in the Roman people (page 66). Augustus altar was also constructed in conjunction with a horologium with an obelisk as its time indicator. On Augustus birthday, the horologium pointed to Augustus’ altar to further his connections with divine rule.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:42AM:
lwsnyder: Augustus skillfully made use of art architecture to accomplish his political goals at the end of the Roman Republic in 27 BCE. His works assisted in the settling of political turmoil and eternalizing his name as the “Revered One.” With Augustus, we see some of the earliest examples of art and architectural works being used as political propaganda.

In “The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus,” D. Kleiner highlights art’s storytelling purpose. Visual narrative pieces such as the Ara Pacis, were Rome’s best method of recording and portraying its historical image. The royal family, as depicted on the Ara Pacis, “glides rather than marches, engaged in nothing more tazing than quiet conversation,” conveys the sense of “quietude,” to further emphasize the altar’s theme of peace (Kleiner, 230).

Favro highlights how Augustus “brought peace to Rome,” (264) with further commentation on the frieze of the Ara Pacis. When compared with the Temple of Mars, which is meant to represent the powerful Roman warring nation, the Ara Pacis showcases an entirely different message and tone of peace. Women and children of the imperial family are included in the frieze, adding to its gentle nature and references of fertility and a successful Roman nation.

Suetonius’ “The Twelve Caesars: The Divine Augustus” discusses the importance of the city’s architecture. Augustus is known for declaring, “I found Rome built of bricks, I leave it clothed in marble” (Suetonius, 59). By beautifying the city and undertaking major public works, Augustus was able to establish the Roman state as a powerful leader amongst its contemporaries. Works such as the Temple of Mars Ultor, the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine, and the Temple of Jupiter Tonans on the Capitoline improved the city’s appearance and often served a commemorative purpose, further defining Rome’s historical narrative. Upkeep of the city was important to Augustus, as he often “urged leading citizens to embellish the city with new public monuments or to restore and improve ancient ones, according to their means” (Suetonius 60). This demonstrates Augustus’ belief that the architectural works and outward appearance of the city maintained its powerful reputation.

In Augustus’ Res Gestae, he describes his accomplishments. Amongst numerous achievements, mentioned are several of his architectural projects. He notes that he “rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of his name.” In addition, he enhanced civic structures such as aqueducts and “doubled the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct.” These works further improved the city and placed importance on keeping his people happy while improving their quality of living. This is an example of Augustus putting his fellow Romans before his own self, living up to his reputation of “Primus Inter Pares (first among equals).”


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:52AM:
mmanella: Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman world, transformed the stylistic tendencies of propagandist art and architecture to support his political agenda. Augustan Rome grew to become an elaborate, imperial canvas on which the emperor used powerful colors of divinity, strength, and new leadership. His brushstrokes were bright, thick, and sweeping as his political ideology was supported by his emphasis on the divinity of his family lineage, personal military accomplishments, and most importantly, his repeated messages of gift and fortune bestowed upon the people of Rome.

Kleiner notes that Augustus communicated his assertion of power “in words and pictures.” Suetonius also discusses this strategy in the temple of Mars Ultor built in the forum of Augustus, the emperor commissions a sculpted narrative that visually highlights the divinity of his family line by placing sculpted portraits of Venus and recently divinized Julius Caesar beside his own portrait in the temple. Augustus, who traced his lineage back to both Aeneas and Romulus, wanted to increase the importance of his rise to power. He did so not only by pushing in the senate for Julius Caesar to be divinized, thus making Augustus a living god, but also reminding the older generations of Rome of a great leader of the past whose reign is now being continued more peacefully in a new era of Roman leaders.

Further, because of his military accolades, Augustus felt he had earned the right to bring back with him from the far reaches of the empire spoils of war that could be used as propagandist art. The emperor was very fond of Egyptian architecture and culture, so he returned to Rome with many Egyptian obelisks to be erected in public spaces like the Forum Romanum. These foreign works were symbols of military success, but also the inheritance of the best parts of other cultures. Some obelisks were used as sundials, for example, in the Campus Martius, and the Roman citizens were constantly assisted by and reminded of the successful campaigns and leadership abilities of the emperor.

Lastly, Augustus managed in his Res Gestae to portray a message of civic responsibility. Augustus not only commissioned art and architecture to be erected for his own glory, but also for the support of the Roman populace. His many building projects included much need work on sewage and drainage systems and aqueducts that specifically benefited his people. The Res Gestae gives a small-scale view of one of Augustus’s main political messages as he worked to achieve his political ambitions.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:57AM:
dporitz: In very strategic ways Augustus used public art and architecture to calm social turmoil, retain his political power and bring stability and growth to the Roman Empire.

Recognizing the power of his relationship to Julius Caesar, Augustus worked diligently to continue the legacy of his non-biological father by completing architectural projects that Caesar had begun but not finished during his time in power. Examples include the Forum Iulium, the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn (Augustus’ Res Gestae). He also constructed a memorial to his father which was called Temple of Divus Iulius, which came to dominate the forum. Due to the prominence of the forum as a center of public life in Rome, this project was of specific strategic importacne as the shrine became the de facto heart of Rome, which was also the center of the larger Empire (Kleiner). In addition to completing the architectural works of his father, Augustus also constructed buildings that were directly dedicated to himself. One such example was the Roman forum of jury duty and public persecution (Suetonius). By creating public buildings that were used on a daily basis he was successful in further elevating his power as Romans were forced to interact with his presence through the use of building that bore his name.

In order to bring further stability to the Roman Empire and move forward his goals through art was also his decision to present himself as a “breath of fresh air” (Kleiner). Prior rulers had emphasized experience, but Augustus represented himself as young and lively in sculpture and other public art. He sought to present a story of regeneration and peace in Rome, as such he promoted the creation of public forums that were places of tranquility further promoting peace and stability in the empire.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 10:57AM:
haoki: In 27 BCE, Octavian was given the title of Augustus, or the “Revered one.” He would later become a divi filius with the deification of his adoptive father Julius Caesar. As Emperor, Augustus represented a permanent Republican ideal by communicating with the Roman people—as well as foreigners—through art and architecture. He was extremely careful in forming his public image so that no one would take offense or interpret his message in the wrong way. To provide the Roman people with a sense of hope in the dawn of the new empire, Augustus infused three themes into his public art: destiny, revenge, and peace (Class Notes 16/02/11). He honoured his divine predecessor and emphasised his entitlement to rule as emperor by presenting himself as “a godlike leader, a superior being who, miraculously, was eternally youthful” (Kleiner, 67). However, he was careful to paint a more modest picture of himself in Rome compared to the countryside and other areas far away from the city. He showed his loyalty to the Empire and its people by presenting his prospective successors, or his sons and grandsons in public art. In Res Gestae, he says, “Three times I gave shows of gladiators under my name and five times under the name of my sons and grandsons… Twenty-six times, under my name or that of my sons and grandsons, I gave the people hunts of African beasts in the circus, in the open, or in the amphitheatre (No.22). This confirmed a continuous prosperity for years to come. But of course, in order to gain the acceptance of the individual people, Augustus turned brick into marble and improved the aesthetics, sanitation and organisation of the city. He introduced the city to districts and watchmen to look out for fires at night. He also fixed roads, cleared the Tiber channel to protect the city against floods, restored crumbling temples, and continued Caesar’s architectural projects (Suetonius, 60).


Posted at Feb 18/2011 04:10PM:
lfernandez:

In 27 BCE the Senate awarded Octavian the title of Augustus, “the revered one.” This event highlighted the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. As the first Emperor, Augustus had the important task of reinventing what it meant to be a leader. Throughout his reign, Augustus used art and architecture as propaganda, a means of advancing his political agenda, which simultaneously revived Rome. The Emperor communicated his new ideals to the Roman people, as well as foreigners, through art and architecture; however, he, unlike Julius Caesar, took caution while creating a public image for himself.

Paul Zanker asserts that an emphasis should be placed on the new “visual vocabulary” Augustus established, rather than individual monuments he constructed. Augustus’ new “visual vocabulary” is especially notable in portraiture and statuary. Augustus’s own portraits, according to chapter 5 of the Kleiner textbook, “broke radically from Republican verism.” Instead, Augustus commissioned portraits that depicted him as an eternally youthful ruler and supreme god-like leader – they were not intended to capture his likeness. The bust of Augustus wearing the corona civica is one of numerous portraits depicting Augustus as a youthful head of state.

Suetonius makes it clear that Augustus’ all-powerful role was justified by his remarkable successes. He discusses how Augustus put his stamp on Rome by utilizing the arts. It is evident that through various architectural projects Augustus was able to transform Rome, bringing peace and justice into the city. For example, he dedicated the Ara Pacis, celebrating the establishment of peace in Rome, established enormous libraries, which competed with those in Alexandria, erected vast theaters, and completed his own Forum. Suetonis asserts, “Augustus so improved its appearance that he could justifiably boast, ‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave it clothed in marble.’” Thus, Augustus’ architectural reform brought the change that Rome itself, as well as its inhabitants, truly needed in order to prosper.

Augustus’ “Res Gestae” serves as a testament to his architectural projects and justifies as his powerful position. He states: “I rebuilt the Capitol and Theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name. I rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age…” In addition, he declined the dictatorship offered to him. It is evident that his achievements were also achievement for the Roman people, for they improved their every day lives, and his declination of a dictatorship reveals that he was conscious of his public image; he did not want to endure the same fate as Julius Caesar.


Posted at Feb 18/2011 06:28PM:
lwilliams: When Augustus came to power, he was facing a society that was reeling from years of civil war and cultural turmoil. In such an unstable environment, Augustus, needed to lodge his image as ruler in an obvious an undisputable manner. With such an extensive empire, Augustus faced many interesting challenges in this pursuit. On the one hand, it was particularly useful to stress his right as the son of a god and even descended in the lineage of Venus. On the other, he did not wish to overstate his importance as a god-like figure, as this had proved a fatally offensive track for Julius Caesar.

As F. Kleiner points out, Augustus was able to control and distribute his image through various types of portraiture. Kleiner goes so far as to state that, “all Augustan portraits are essentially pictorial fictions” (Kleiner, 70). Where appropriate, Augustus would be sculpted with god-like characteristics. In Rome, where it was essential that he maintain a more humble profile, statues portrayed Augustus as a priest. The Primaporta statue of Augustus reminds the Romans that he is also ruler by right of his military achievements and for restoring honor to Rome. In portraiture throughout his life, Augustus maintains a youthful face, further emphasizing his god-like qualities. Extensive portraiture of Augustus’s family also served to enforce the importance of the imperial family, and suggest a a stable and fertile, firmly Augustan future.

In the Res Gestae, we see that Augustus also promoted his image of power and piety through architectural works. Augustus made ostentatious shows of wealth and culture by building numerous temples and other large works. However, he again downplays his role as he states that he patronized many of these works “without any inscription in (his) name” (reader, 33).

The writings of Seutonius provide further evidence of these large projects, stating that Augustus found Rome built of bricks, and left in made of marble (reader, 30). Seutonius also points out that Augustus won favor with the people of Rome by taking on large civic works, like improving public roads and improving the state of canals (reader, 30). The built projects were displays of Augustus’s power, and also convincing statements of the improvements that would come with his reign.

D. Kleiner ponts out that the art produced during this time had a primary purpose of story-telling, and Augustus was in command of what stories were disseminated to elevate the image of Rome and himself. She states, “Augustus was not just the leading protaganist in the play of Augustan life, but the author of dynasty’s history and legacy” (reader, 48). One example of this story-telling that mixed heroic history with images of future fertility is the Ara Pacis Augustae. This monument bears eclectic images from mythology, Roman history, and Augustus’s own dynasty, with equal importance.


Posted at Feb 23/2011 07:42PM:
jman: Augustus comes into power by stating that he will change the Rome from a city of brick to a city of marble. With this, it is clear that he has an agenda to change the art of Rome.

In Kleiner, the Prima Porta is piece that is seen as propaganda that Augustus uses to promote his own self-image. In fact, in the text, Kleiner focuses on how Augustus, not only used art to embellish the city of Rome, but as a source of propaganda to further promote an image and an ideal of himself. With the Prima Porta, he wanted to show his military strength. In military gear, he wears a chest piece that depicts Rome defeating other nations. With this, he reiterates that the city of Rome will be safe because of his rule and military prowess. Furthermore, he has a cupid at his foot to show his divine genealogy and link to the goddess of Venus. His youthful face tells the people that he is immortal and will always be there to protect them, even through civil war.

The Forum of Augustus is discussed in Suetonius. What is noteworthy about this structure is that it was built so that people of Rome could come in and out and discuss important city affairs in something that surrounded Augustus. This way, it seems as though he is always around what is being talked about. Additionally, on the sides of the Forum, Augustus has one side that is lined busts of great gods and another that is lined with busts of great men of Rome. The great gods align Augustus to his divinity, thereby claiming that he is a relative of them and really is Caesar’s son. With the great men of Rome, Augustus says that he is part of them and will be just as great as them. Although not directly blood related to either of these, Augustus places up these pieces of art and the Forum of Augustus to make the claim that he is a family member of these people and will do as they did.

The Res Gestae is a form of art in itself. By writing his accomplishments in front of his mausoleum, Augustus was very clever in making sure that his achievements would be remembered forever, as they are even today. In doing so, the people of Rome got to see the list grow longer and longer and to read the actual achievements of Augusts. Therefore, citizens were soothed into knowing that Augustus was doing things for their good, protecting them, and executing his job as an emperor.

Favro talks about the Ara Pacis, an altar of Peace created by Augustus. A shrine inside with protective paintings, the altar really is a monumental piece of architecture. Not only does Augustus depict himself, but also his wife and two sons. In depicting his two sons, he reassures the Roman people that there is a lineage set—they do not have to worry because even if Augustus dies, there will be someone present to replace him. It also shows the Roman life as being prosperous and containing much fertility. By naming it an altar of peace, he also notes of Rome’s harmony. Moreover, even outside of the Ara Pacis, is an obelisk sundial that points to the altar on his birthday. It further emphasizes Augustus’ need to create his identity and to make sure that people of Rome then and even today remember what he did for them.


Posted at Mar 08/2011 04:01PM:
aantar: Augustus used architecture as his primary tool in conveying the power and refinement of Roman culture and way of life. In Augustus' Pax Romana, he expanded the empire throughout the Mediterranean buying out towns peacefully and forcefully if they refused until the region was full of Roman cities. Augustus used roads as a way to connect the towns and facilitate commerce and communications between cities and rulers. Augustus' use of architecture in new towns was his way of bringing vital resources and civic services to city-states that did not previously have them. The Pont-du-Gard aqueduct is an example of a huge plumbing project bringing fresh water to thousands of residents. Augustus also built amphitheaters like the Colosseum and chariot raceways like the Circus Maximus. Augustus was able to win over the hearts and minds of the people who inhabited the towns which he took over. Augustus used the platform of peace and economic development over war and pillage to build his empire. Through economic development, Augustus spread the Roman architectural identity and aesthetic throughout the world simultaneously.


Posted at May 13/2011 09:20PM:
rvillene: Augustus undoubtedly had a profound lasting impact on Rome. The amount of change that occurred during his reign, that is, from the beginning of his rule to the end, is enormous. Although, somewhat underscored, Augustus’s utilization of propaganda, through art and architecture, was enormously important to his success. Art and architecture was omnipresent in Rome, and this, Augustus rationed, was a perfect way to spread his identity and image as a great, powerful and strong ruler. Kleiner articulates that Augustus uses his portrait as a careful and meticulous method of sculpting his image for the public opinion. The Prima Porta Augustus embodies this theory. The God like influence in his naked lower half, accompanied by Cupid, resembles a God like image, whereas the toga emits Roman humbleness. Furthermore, it is important to identify how ageless Augustus is through out his art, despite his actual aging. He is constantly portrayed in the ideal age, that of the late teen, and early twenties. This is an ideal derived from the Greek ideal of eternal beauty and further articulates his power as an ageless ideal ruler. Also, Kleiner points to further propaganda in how Augustus manipulates society through the political craft of producing mass quantities of coins to be used as currency for the people of Rome. Augustus’s image appears on the coin as youthful and thus spreads his image throughout Rome. Suetonius further observed Augustus’s alignment of architectural projects with his family lineage. Honoring pedigree, and where one came from is of enormous importance to sculpt an image of greatness. Augustus even deified, and then adopted Caesar as his father. Adoption of parents, strangely enough, was not uncommon. Augustus mentions, in Res Gestae, that he took architecture that was already in existence, and made it greater, thus reformulating these architectural objects. Important to notice is how Augustus commemorates architectural endeavors not in his name, but in the names of relatives. This is interesting, as one would expect Augustus to want to take credit for these architectural works, but interesting enough, Augustus takes the humble side and reflects to the past in order to illuminate the present. Example of this are the theatre of Pompey and Ara Pacis that contains images of Augustus’s family on one side of it. Favro further discusses Ara Pacis. Favro discusses how Augustus formulated the Ara Pacis as a way to give back to the Roman People. This architectural location offered a location where all Roman people could go to and be in tranquility. Ara Pacis appealed to the Roman notion of “otium,” which means peace.



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