Essay1 - Professor Anthony J Boyle ARLT 100g 25 September...

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Professor Anthony J Boyle ARLT 100g 25 September 2007 Cultural and Political Function of the Forum of Augustus in Rome Architecture and art are two of the most important tools at a propagandist’s disposal when attempting to win the favor of the people and shape notions of cultural identity. Augustus, no doubt, realized this fact early in his time as Princeps and throughout his reign built magnificent structures, the greatest of which was arguably the Forum of Augustus. The Forum of Augustus was structurally crafted to inspire awe among the people of Rome and speak volumes of greatness about their leader, their Pater Patriae, through magnitude and architectural design, and strategic placement of sculptures and historical plaques. These aspects of the Forum of Augustus created a gathering center for the people of Rome and more importantly shaped the politics and culture of generations of future Romans. The Forum of Augustus and the Temple to Mars Ultor were initially promised by Augustus prior to the Battle of Philippi (48 BCE). Augustus strategically chose to build his Forum close to Julius Caesar’s Forum, which can be construed as an attempt to show the people that the age of Caesar was gone and he was now the leader of Rome. Actual construction on the forum likely did not begin until 20 BCE because Augustus first had to finish many buildings Caesar had begun. The Forum was officially dedicated in 2 BCE, still not entirely finished. [2]
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The Forum of Augustus was a massive building with many unique architectural aspects. The Forum was rectangular in shape, about 125 meters long and 90 wide. [1] Although smaller than the Forum of Caesar, it effectively controlled the space it occupied and provided the Roman public with another awe-inspiring spectacle brought to them by Augustus. In comparison to the Forum of Caesar it was squarer, which provided a sharp visual contrast to that of his adopted father’s. Two exedra on opposing sides of the Forum serve as places for statues of Roman historical figures, most importantly Romulus and Aeneas. These exedra flare out on both sides and visually provides balance for the Forum. To promote the frontality of the Forum there is a large firewall that is over one hundred feet high that runs along the backside of the Forum. This wall serves two purposes. First, it protected the Forum of Augustus from fires that continually
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ARLT 100g taught by Professor 02:00-03:20pm during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Essay1 - Professor Anthony J Boyle ARLT 100g 25 September...

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