forum of augustus

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    • Julius Caesar began forum in 48 BC- completed by Augustus.
    • Inspired by the agorae of the Greeks and ancient Etruscan temples.
      • porticoed colonnade in HELLENISTIC STYLE. enclosed three sides of a rectangular area, On fourth side was a temple dedicated to Venus genetrix.
        • Built against flanks of Capitoline hill.
      • fulfilled a real need in the city whose population increased every day.
      • form of political propaganda- expressed political goals and linked him with mythical and divine ancestors.
        • SUETONIUS: 'he built his Forum because the two already in existence could not deal with the recent increase in the number of lawsuits caused by a corresponding increase in population... Augustus had vowed to build the Temple of Mars during the Phillip campaign of vengeance against Julius Ceasar's assassins.'
    • inaugurated in AD 2- the year in which Augustus was awarded the title 'pater patriae' - 40 years after his vow to build the temple of Mars.
      • 'I built the temple of Mars the avenger on private ground from the proceeds of booty.'
    • LAYOUT
      • CONSISTED OF: forum as a whole formed a forecourt for the temple of Mars Ultor- backed up against huge stone wall separating it from the lower class rome.
        • two exedrae had statues of Aeneas and Romulus inside.
        • at end of western portico- in huge square hall was a colossus of Augustus.
      • Temple podium rose behind a large stairway of tufa stone and finished with marble.
      • encircled on three sides by 24 columns of carrara marble.
      • two porticoes with large exedrae formed the long sides of the forum.- exedrae marked off by rows of columns.
      • beside the statue of Mars in the temple there were statues of venus and the divine Julius.
        • niches contained statues if illustrious romans, on one side were statues of Augustus' family with Aeneas in centre and on the other side (either side of Romulus) there were statues of the leading men of other great families. under each statue was an inscription/ elogia.
          • SUETONIUS: 'next to the Immortals, Augustus most honoured the memory of those citizens who had raised the Roman people from small beginnings to their present glory; which is why he... raised statues to them, wearing triumphal dress, in the twin colonnades of his Forum. then he proclaimed 'this has been done to make my fellow citizens insist that both i while i live and my successors shall not fall bellow the standards set by great men of old.'
    • in centre of forum- statue of Augustus, riding in a chariot bearing the title 'father of his country'.
      • RG- 'in my thirteenth consulship the senate, the equestrian order and the whole people of Rome gave me the title of father of my country, and resolved that this should be inscribed... in the forum august below the chariot which had been set there in my honour by decree of the senate.
    • REVEALS AUGUSTUS AS: a victorious general, a bringer of peace and the new golden age, reviver of the traditional way of life. was meant to legitimise the principate by stressing compromise between roman traditions and deeds of the julian gens.


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