Augustus Architectural Impact Essay

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Essay Topic 4: Augustus made significant urban and architectural interventions on the city of Rome. Choose three buildings/monuments related to his reign and discuss how they reflect his impact. What representational messages were they designed to convey?

Many architectural and urban forms and elements that we witness today are largely influenced by how buildings were design and laid in Rome. Not only in terms of its external design that brought upon important messages but the design of interiors and the significance of spatial arrangement of spaces exist within them has created the sense of physical experience in the buildings as well. Rome’s urban development and the rise of architectural movement began during the time of Augustus
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14 As Stamper argues, this is a significant aspect of portraying authority when one an emperor uses precedent of Rome’s founding 15 and this is shown by Augustus in commemorating the temple to Julius Caesar as a sign of celebrating his own triumph. The Temple of Julius Caesar sat on an elevated podium with rostra in front of the colonnade where prows of the ships captured from the Battle at Actium were hung.16 Similarly, the public rostra erected at the opposite site of the Forum also consist of captures obtained from the Battle of Actium and these rostra that faced each other act as a reminder of the glories of the old Republic and the achievements of the restored Rome under its new leader, Augustus.17 To reflect more of the idea of power, Augustus uses different architectural elements to deliver them. Similar to the nearby Temple of Castor and Pollux erected during the Republic, the Temple of Julius Caesar had a pycnostyle composition that consisted of six closely arranged columns with


Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 106. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 109 Frank Sear. Roman Architecture (London: BT Batsford Ltd, 1989), 59. Darryl A. Phillips, “The Temple of Divius Julius and the Restoration of Legislative Assemblies under Augustus”, Phoenix 65 (2011): 382 Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 130 Sear, Roman Architecture, 58 Sear,
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