The Augustan City

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The Augustan City. Res Gestae 20. Consul for the sixth time (28BCE), I rebuilt eighty-two temples of the gods in the city by the authority of the senate, omitting nothing which ought to have been rebuilt at that time. Res Gestae 20.
The Augustan CityRes Gestae 20 Consul for the sixth time (28BCE), I rebuilt eighty-two temples of the gods in the city by the authority of the senate, omitting nothing which ought to have been rebuilt at that time.Res Gestae 20 Consul for the seventh time (27BCE), I rebuilt the Flaminian road from the city to Ariminum and all the bridges except the Mulvian and Minucian.Augustus and the Arts
  • Fostered a sense of interest in a morally superior past that had seen sacrifice for the building of Rome
  • Fostered a sense of restoration of that past, in art, architecture and in literature
  • The AeneidVergil wrote the Aeneid during the 20s BCE.
  • after the end of the civil wars.
  • It was unfinished at his death in 19BCE.
  • He asked that it be burned; Augustus did not honor that request.
  • Iliad: the epic of the individual man
  • Odyssey: the epic of the household
  • Aeneid: the epic of the city
  • Arma virumque cano…1.1-4: I sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive; he was the first to journey from the coasts of Troy as far as Italy and the Lavinian shores.He faces challenges:1.5-8 Across the lands and waters he was battered beneath the violence of High Ones, for the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger; and many sufferings were his in war.--and many sufferings were his in war--until he brought a city into being [dum conderet urbem]and carried his gods to Latium;from this have come the Latin race, the lords of Albus,and the ramparts [moenia] of high Rome.Urbs antiqua fuit…The most important reason:1.There was a city they called CarthageAnd some old, really obsolete, reasons: 2. The judgement of Paris3. The honors given ravished Ganymede1.27-29: Even then the goddess had this hope and tender plan: for Carthage to become the capital of nations, if the Fates would just consent.Aeneas never founds RomeHe never founds a city in the epic.He sees the cities of others.Buthrotum and CarthageAeneas at CarthageThey press forward on their path. They climb a hill that overhangs the city, looking down upon the facing towers. Aeneas marvels at the enormous buildings, once mere huts, and at the gates and tumult and paved streets.The eager men of Tyre work steadily: some build the city walls or citadel--they roll up stones by hand; and some select the place for a new dwelling, marking out its limits with a furrow…Some make laws, establish judges and a sacred Senate; some excavate a harbor; others lay the deep foundations for a theater, hewing tremendous pillars from the rocks, high decorations for the stage to come.What is a City?
  • city walls or citadel
  • dwelling
  • laws
  • judges
  • senate
  • harbor
  • theater
  • A city is more than just buildings
  • laws, judges, senate
  • people acting toward a common goal
  • And then, a simile…Just as the bees in early summer, busy beneath the sunlight through the flowered meadows, when some lead on their full grown young and others press out the flowing honey, pack the cells with sweet nectar, or gather in the burdens of those returning; Some, in columns, drive the drones, a lazy herd, out of the hives; the work is fervent, and the fragrant honey is sweet with thyme. Why Bees?
  • Georgics, Book 4
  • “They alone of animals hold their children in common; share the buildings of their city; live their lives under great laws; have a fatherland and household gods.”
  • Why Bees?
  • They are hardworking.
  • They live in a community.
  • hierarchical and orderly
  • drones; workers; a leader
  • They reproduce asexually.
  • (Georgics, Book 4, again)
  • “How fortunate are those whose walls already rise!” Aeneas cries while gazing at the rooftops of the city.This is the city that Aeneas’ descendents will destroy; that conflict will stem from his actions in this city.What might be the effect of the description of Carthage on a Roman audience?
  • Why a theater?
  • An anachronistic picture
  • Rome’s first stone theater was built in 55BCE
  • Augustan RomeThe Campus MartiusThe MausoleumThe HorologiumThe Ara Pacis87-89 meters in diameter
  • height (without the crowning bronze statue of Augustus) 44 meters
  • bronze tablets with Res Gestae were affixed to it somewhere
  • First person buried
  • Augustus’ nephew and son-in-law, Marcellus
  • Vergil mourns his death in Aeneid 6 and mentions the “new-built” tomb near the Tiber on the plain of Mars.
  • Recyled as:
  • a fortress of the Colonna family
  • an amphitheatre and bullring
  • a garden
  • a concert hall
  • dismantled in 1936
  • It has been plundered for building material
  • The Horologium
  • obelisk was the first brought to Rome, from Heliopolis in 10BCE
  • inscriptions of some of the signs of the zodiac have come to light
  • The PantheonThe one we see in Rome today was built during the reign of HadrianAgrippa built one on the same spot in 27BCE (finished in 25BCE).Agrippa built nearby:
  • baths
  • the Basilica of Neptune
  • the Saepta Julia (a voting enclosure)
  • Forum AugustumBoys assumed the toga virilis in it
  • Governors made it their starting point when they left for their provinces
  • Senate was to debate on war and the award of triumphs
  • Triumphators dedicated their crowns and scepters to Mars
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