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Augustus Of Primaporta Analysis

Decent Essays
Rome was a very large and powerful city by the first BC but the reign of Augustus transformed it into an imperial city. In 31 BCE, Augustus became the supreme commander of the Roman Republic. During the Augustan Revolution, art and architecture pushed a political agenda. Art portraying Augustus remains common throughout his reign. The art and architecture helped reinforce Augustus’ political message that he was the restorer of Rome.
An example of Augustus’ artistic propaganda is the statue Augustus of Primaporta from 20 BCE. The statue is a depiction of Augustus as commander of the army. Augustus is depicted as very youthful and perfect. The statue is very idealized but does include some of Augustus’ true features. He is dressed in military clothing while standing in a pose as if he is addressing his troops. Augustus is portrayed barefoot with cupid riding a dolphin at his side which represents his divinity. His armor also endorses the political agenda that the gods are
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The top register depicts the sky god, Aurora along with another god that suggests celestial approval. The middle register alludes to Augustus’ foreign diplomacy and defeat of a foreign enemy. Apollo who represents the east and his twin sister Diana who represents the west are portrayed on the bottom register to signify Augustus’ control of the world. Augustus of Primaporta is not only a portrait but illustrates Augustus’ military victories and connection to the gods. The statue of Augustus portrayed as Pontifex Maximus or “chief priest” from 12 BCE is also a propaganda-driven portrait. August is displayed with his head covered and wearing a robe. He looks to be dressed for a sacrifice. The statue is still very idealized with Augustus looking strong and youthful but true features still present. The statue itself displays that Augustus is not only the ruler of Rome but also the religious leader as
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