Undergraduate Seminar: The Art and Monuments of Augustan Rome
Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, inaugurated an enormous building program during his long reign that completely transformed the empire’s capital city. In this seminar we will consider some of the most famous of his constructions—his Mausoleum (the tumulus of the Julii), the temple of Palatine Apollo, the Altar of the Augustan Peace, the Augustan Forum; and we will examine the ways in which these new buildings and their associated monuments helped shape popular perceptions of the new system of government that Augustus established (—a veiled monarchy).
We will focus in particular on two aspects of the first emperor’s use of monuments: (1) his unprecedented use of his own portrait image—freestanding statues, portrait busts, and portrait head, widely disseminated on the obverse of Roman imperial coins; and (2) his use of sacred imagery, priestly costume, ritual vessels, divine symbols, and representations of the gods, in order to characterize his own political authority.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (I).