9 Augustus Assembles Rome

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By Diana E E Kleiner | Roman Architecture Lecture 9 of 24

Lecture Description

Professor Kleiner discusses the transformation of Rome by its first emperor, Augustus, who claimed to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble. The conversion was made possible by the exploitation of new marble quarries at Luna (modern Carrara) on the northwest coast of Italy. The lecture surveys the end of the Roman Republic and the inauguration of the Principate and analyzes the Forum of Julius Caesar and the Forum of Augustus. Professor Kleiner shines a spotlight on Caesar's attempt to link himself to his divine ancestress Venus Genetrix and on Augustus' appropriations of Greek caryatids and other decorative motifs that associate his era with the Golden Age of Periclean Athens. Finally, she analyzes the Ara Pacis Augustae, a monument commissioned upon Augustus' return to Rome after achieving diplomatic victories in Spain and Gaul, and serving as the Luna marble embodiment of the emperor's new hegemonic empire.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner's personal collection.

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