Architecture under Emperor Augustus and Nero

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Architecture under Emperor Augustus and Nero The Roman architect, Vitruvius once said, “ Architecture depends on Order, Arrangement, Eurhythmy, Symmetry, Propriety, and Economy” (“Virtuvius”). Vitruvius epitomizes the characteristics of Roman architecture that was not only meant to be aesthetically pleasing, but serve a social and ideological function. The Romans were masters of utilizing architectural structures to define their own history, rule and power. Rome is called the “Eternal City” and Ancient Romans are remembered not only for the political achievements, but their monumentality of buildings such as the Pantheon and Coliseum. Roman architecture focuses on proportionality, but as a whole achieves spatial unity and are independent from natural surroundings and other solid entities. The structures are reflective of Roman ideology, inspired by Greek ideals, but independent and organized on the principles of order and clarity. Roman buildings prove to be a gateway into the disposition of the emperor at the time. Throughout Roman history, Senators were often called “the fathers of the Roman people” and the father or pater was in charge of the household and society as a whole. As Augustus was called pater patriae he used the city as his household, and blurred the line between civic and domestic space. He integrated himself into the city itself and literally built his family and himself into the city’s landscape. In his Res Gestae he refers to himself as the

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