The Image Of Roman Leadership Through Art And Architecture Essay

The Image Of Roman Leadership Through Art And Architecture Essay

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Augustus changed the image of Roman leadership through art and architecture. Prior to Augustus gaining power, his great-uncle and adopted father, Julius Caesar was killed. Caesar’s death marked great change for the history of the Roman Republic. Augustus, then named Octavian went to Rome to avenge Caesar’s death and soon became a great warrior involved in the Second Triumvirate. Not long after forming alliances with Mark Antony and Lepidus, Augustus gained full control of all Roman territories. When he gained power of Rome, the influence of art was used differently. Art was used as a tool to show his political image across the population. Additionally, one of the most important aspects of Augustus’ rule is showing his relationship to Julius Caesar. He maintained that his power was rightfully earned because of his association with Caesar. Augustus used art as propaganda in architecture and sculpture to show his dominance and influence.
Architecture throughout the empire was built dramatically. Whether it was finishing works or building new public spaces, Augustus made it known that he was building. He even bragged of his own accomplishments in a text he wrote (p. 111). Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, claimed he restored 82 temples in one year. One of his greatest pieces of architecture created was the Forum of Augustus. Influenced by the Forum of Julius Caesar, Augustus used the rectangular forum as the basis for his Forum. One new feature was the semi-circular apse or exedra and this design was used later on in other emperor forums including, Trajan and Nerva. Throughout the empire, public buildings were founded to show Augustus’ influence. The forum was decorated with Augustus trying to link his family lineag...


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... the prophecy that he would find Rome. The settlement of Rome was when Aeneas finds a sow. Augustus again shows his relationship with the founding of Rome in a different story but he still relates his ancestry in some way.
Coinage was also important for an emperor to show their dominance and power. The coins that were made by Romans had inscriptions and portraits on them. Portraiture was used to determine the emperor on each coin and to compare it sculptures. Another link to Augustus maintaining his ancestry to Julius Caesar is when he minted a coin. On one side of the coin was a portrait of himself and on the other side a comet. Symbolically, the comet is a reference that the comet that appeared in 44BC was Julius’ rising soul. Also, written on the coin is “DIVUS JULIUS” (divine Julius), showing that since Julius was deified then he descended from a god (p.130).

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