Augustus Architectural Impact Essay

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Essay Topic 4: Augustus made significant urban and architectural interventions on the city of Rome. Choose three buildings/monuments related to his reign and discuss how they reflect his impact. What representational messages were they designed to convey?

Many architectural and urban forms and elements that we witness today are largely influenced by how buildings were design and laid in Rome. Not only in terms of its external design that brought upon important messages but the design of interiors and the significance of spatial arrangement of spaces exist within them has created the sense of physical experience in the buildings as well. Rome’s urban development and the rise of architectural movement began during the time of Augustus
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1. The Temple of Julius Caesar, plan, Rome, 42 B.C. - 29 B.C. (Source: Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples, 110)

blank walls on the sides and rear (Fig. 1).18 The columns are suggested to be a mixture of Ionic and Composite order with Corinthian capitals

and it is claimed that Augustus’

architects have invented the Composite order and developed the orthodox Roman Corinthian Order.20 In light of Hellenistic models, the idea of portraying “distinguish authority” showing in the establishment of public order suggested by Vitruvius was the factor that led to the architecture of temples during Augustus’ period.21 The cella walls were made of travertine, while the entablature and columns were marble which one of the common characteristics was during his period as he said he “found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble”.

Such action in introducing the most expensive material has set

him an opportunity to demonstrate his power to the Roman Populace as an emperor. Furthermore, his intention of victory and triumph is also shown through the sculptural reliefs on the temple. The frieze decorated with winged female sculptures linked with scroll pattern is reminded of Caesar’s triumphs and subsequently depicting his own success as well. 23 The statue of Caesar with a star placed on its head is associated an event in 44 B.C. when a comet was visible

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