Augustus In The Aeneid

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During its height, the Roman Empire spanned across the entire Mediterranean, encompassed many peoples and cultures, and contained roughly twenty percent of the world’s population (Bairoch). It follows from this fact that the portrayals of Rome from the perspective of early writers were certainly very diverse. Indeed, early writers had much to say about Rome’s history and then-present condition. These portrayals include Rome as a glorious city, Rome as a morally depraved city, contrasts between urban and rural life, and Rome as an oppressive force on the world Many writers in Ancient Rome held a positive view of their city. Virgil portrays Rome positively extensively in the Aeneid. In fact, Virgil was considered to be the “court poet” of Rome …show more content…
This works to further connect the story of Aeneas to Rome in the days of Augustus. In fact, the shield of Aeneas even contains some Augustan imagery, amplifying the connection between Augustus and Aeneas. As Aeneas is viewed as an epic hero in this regard as well as a founding father of Rome, Rome itself can be thought of as having been descended from greatness. Roman monuments also present Rome as glorious. The emperor Augustus is quoted as saying, “I found Rome of clay; I leave it to you of marble” (Zoch). The beautification of Rome during the reign of Augustus was significant indeed, as the Altar of Augustan Peace and Forum of Augustus, among many other significant monuments, were constructed (Lugli). The monuments worked to enhance the aesthetic quality of the city as well as serve as pieces of propaganda. The Altar of Augustan Peace glorifies Rome, including images of Aeneas and Romulus, two of Rome’s founding figures. In addition, it includes images of a mother with babies and animals around her, symbolizing fertility and prosperity. In this way, the Altar itself portrays Rome positively (Saltzman). Aside from glorifying Rome itself, the monuments glorify Augustus as well, as he is often their namesake. In addition, the Temple of Mars the Avenger references

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