Undergraduate Seminar: Commemorating Augustus
The year 2014 marks the 2000 anniversary of the death of the first emperor of Rome, Augustus. Even before his death, Augustus was the subject of a great number of commemorative monuments and memorials in a variety of genres such as statuary, coinage, inscriptions, marble freezes, (lost) paintings, honorific poems and diplomatic, honorific communications. He profoundly re-shaped the Roman world politically, geographically, governmentally, religiously, and artistically. Paul Zanker’s thesis in The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus argues that Augustus Reid built downtown Rome in his own vision to demonstrate Rome’s power and prestige as the capital of a world Empire.
The course will be structured as a series of topics which build on each other. Each will focus on a particular work or topic from Augustus’ life. We will examine the ancient evidence (the buildings themselves and representations of them in art and literature) as well as a diversity of current interpretations.