The Arapacis During the period from Sulla to Caesar (c.90-40bc). artists in Rome from the Greek cities of southern Italy and Sicily had concentrated on the revival of parts of ancient Greek culture. This trend culminated in the Ara Paris, or Altar of the Augustan Peace, erected in 13bc to celebrate the era of prosperity and security during the rule of Augustus. The sculpture, which blends Hellenistic influence with the universal message of Periklean Athens, is an Italic-style realistic-record of the consecration ceremony and was dedicated on 30 January, 9bc. It shares the same formal treatment as Phidias' Panathenaic processional frieze
in the Parthenon. On the northern face is a procession, perfectly ordered by family and rank, of the principal figures: priests, augurs, lictors (attendants). Octavian, flamens (priests). Agrippa, the young Cains Caesar, Livia, Tiberius, Antonia Minor and Drusus with their son Germanicus, Domitia and Domitius Ahenobarbus, and Maecenas. For many centuries to come, this composition typified dynastic propaganda. The arrangement of acanthus scrolls crowded with small animals beneath the figures brings together patrician traditions and the new order of the principate.
Augustus Certain motifs from the Hellenistic-style imagery of Octavian remain in official portraiture created after 27bc, when he was honoured with the title of Augustus. However, these Greek influences are tempered by the Roman preference for specific detail in portraiture. This is typified in the impressive marble statue of Augustus from Prima Porta, dating from after 17bc. which although based on a classical model has been modified in order to capture the actual features of the emperor. In Greece, among the many conventional images, there is an extraordinary bronze statue, depicting Augustus on horseback with military and religious attributes.
Among these can be seen the sheath of his sword and the lituus (a staff used for divination) of the augurs on the mount of his ring — Augustus was appointed Chief Pontiff in 12bc. His neck is long and the fringe of hair is typically forked above the brow us in the earlier portraits. The bodv is thin under the mantle, the face is bony, and the skull irregularly broad. An air of defiance is suggested by the prominent chin, the lips pursed by the nervous contraction of the cheeks, and the tension in the eyes. The memory of youth contrasts with the harsh truth of a man in advanced age. The principal representation of Augustus and other images of him are cast aside by the artist, who shows the disturbing truth, far removed from the image favoured for propaganda purposes - the signs of an unhappy adolescence, the mental turmoil of an ageing man who, behind the unyielding mask of power, never reached full maturity.
Gratidii group, restored relief. Museo Pio-Clementino. Vatican City (formerly Mattel Collection) Characteristic of the Roman world, clientes (or freedmen) were literally the plebeian followers of the patricians, who gave service and loyalty in return for protection. The career of a rising politician depended on the number of clientes he had. so maintaining them was regarded as an economic investment along with property. The freed slaves became citizens and remained followers of their patronus (manumitter).
freed slaves became citizens and remained followers of their patronus (manumitter). Even in death, they continued to enhance the patricians prestige, with their funerary monuments lining the roads outside the city, which bore inscriptions proclaiming the bonds made through manumission. During the time of Augustus, Luni marble replaced travertine stone for these sculpted portraits. Cutting off the figure at the base of the chest was a legacy of the Etruscan tradition. Busts were sculpted in deep frames, as if they were facing outwards from inside a window, from the tomb towards life. Family members were placed close together or shown in embrace.
Portraits of freectmen. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, (formerly Mattei Collection) Children born of a freedman after his manumission were free of all special restrictions and the son of a freedman gained the right to join the army. Alongside representations of toga-wearing men and women wrapped in mantles were the citizens in arms, in the heroically nuked pose of Greek derivation.
The number of individuals represented, including those still living, and the size of the monument, constituted a metaphor of pride and hope for the growing family. The figures vary greatly: each one has a story to tell: it is a record of the past and a model for the future. For example, the gestures of the married couple in the Gratidii group tell a love story. The static, frontal representation of individual faces derives from Italic tradition, but the overall composition has elements both of classical nobilitv and Greek sentiment.
Marble bust of Octavian, Fondi. National Archaeological Museum, Naples. The young adopted son of Caesar is portrayed as a Hellenistic prince The portraits of Augustus embodv the heroic and the divine aspects of the "actions" ( res gestae ) of the man who performed them. Crossing the "city of marble" from the Palatine to the Capitol and the Campus Martins, one is surrounded by buildings and monuments that culminate in the Mausoleum of Augustus, where the apotheosis of the Emperor fulfilled the legend of his origins: the entrance to the mound was in line with the Pantheon, the place where Quirinus, at Rome's beginning, ascended to the skies. Virgil's Aeneid projects the message into the future. The Ara Pads, the altar set up to commemorate the rule of Augustus, transmits the tidings of messianic
investiture and discloses the eternity of Rome, as do the Carmen Saeculare (a choral lyric) of Horace and the fourth Eclogue of Virgil. Henceforth, no public monument would fail to reflect in the actions of the heroes being portrayed or in its allegorical decoration faith in the sacred, everlasting essence of Rome. Marble bust of Octavian, Fondi. National Archaeological Museum, Naples. The young adopted son of Caesar is portrayed as a Hellenistic prince
Marble statue of Titus Ftavius Vespanius, Lateran Palace, Rome. Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican City From the reign of Augustus, the wearing of the toga became increasingly popular. The balteus , the sweep across the chest, became looser with a tuck in it ( umbo ); another fold of material ( sinus ) hung at knee-level. In the marble statue of Titus (ad79-81), which came from the Lateran Palace, the line of the drapery runs from the right foot to the left shoulder, over which the end ( lacinia ) falls. The shadows are so dense and the folds so fine that it resembles a work in bronze. The artist has combined the emperor's coarse features with an elegance achieved through the delicate carving; which in the skilfully rendered folds reveals the pose of the body beneath.
Marble statue of Titus Ftavius Vespanius, Lateran Palace, Rome. Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican City The large head is modelled with incredibly light touches. The small, rather disquieting eyes are surrounded by tiny wrinkles and framed by a square face. The smile on the prominent mouth suggests both sensuality and amiable optimism. Near the left foot lies a wasp's nest; this is a reference to Titus' grandmother Vespasia Polla, who derived her name from the insect, vespa (wasp), and from his father's surname Vespasian. The log. inside which is a honeycomb ( favus , another phonetic allusion to the family name Flavius), serves, therefore, not merely as a physical prop: it is his family tree.
Wall-painting of theatre scene, from the Room of the Masks. House of Augustus, Rome Octavian, renamed Augustus in 27bc, originally lived near the Forum but later moved to the Palatine, where he bought the house that belonged to the orator Hortensius. After the victory over Semis Pompeius (36bc), he purchased nearby buildings and had them demolished, donating the land to the state for the Temple of Apollo.
On the ground floor of his house, in the western sector that was intended for private use. the decorative paintings of the so-called Room of the Masks still appear remarkably fresh and bright. The walls represent, by means of skilful illusion, the outlines of a theatre stage. The structure appears superimposed on the permanent background of stone, which is enlivened by recesses and projections. The central area reproduces the painted fabric curtain covering the door to the stage, with a reference to the work being performed. On the western wall is a sacred landscape that alludes to a satirical play.
The horizontal lines, which in reality come towards the foreground, converge at a vanishing point set at the eye-level of anyone entering the room, in accordance with the theory of geometric perspective outlined by the Greek philosopher Democritus in Aktinographia . Equally rigorous rules applied to the depiction of shadows. In this "second style" decoration of the House of Augustus, perspective of what was much later termed the Brunelleschi type was generally superseded by a system of different viewpoints for the three horizontal sections (plinth, central fascia, and cornice) of the wall. In the Room of the Masks, adherence to the theoretical model is attributed to a painter from the court of Cleopatra, who followed the victorious Octavian from Alexandria (28bc).
Greek mythology the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars refer to the myths and study them in an attempt to throw light on the religious and political institutions of Ancient Greece and on the Ancient Greek civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself
Pax Romana (Latin for "Roman peace") was the long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire in the first and second centuries AD. Since it was established by the Emperor Augustus it is sometimes called Pax Augustea . Its timing was approximately from 27 BC to 180 AD.
Alexander the Great (Greek: Αλέξανδρος ο Μέγας or Μέγας Aλέξανδρος Megas Alexandros ; July 20, 356 BC – June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γ' ο Μακεδών ) was an ancient Greek king (basileus) of Macedon (336–323 BC). He was one of the most successful military commanders in history, and is presumed undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks.
Antonia Minor. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome (formerly Ludovisi Collection) Daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia (sister to Augustus). Antonia Minor married Drusus Minor (second son to I.ivia), by whom she bore Claudius. As emperor, Claudius dedicated coins inscribed "Antonia Augusta" to her after she died in ad37, their image corresponding to that of the large bust known as the Ludovisi Juno . The woollen band, adorned with pearls and beading that surrounds the diadem of Juno is appropriate to her role as priestess to the Divine Augustus. Hellenic queens were often exalted in this ambiguous manner, both as priestesses and divinities. A perfect example is provided by this courtly sculpture in Neo-Attic style.
Compared with models of the classical age, the effect of light and shade-in the coiffure becomes more prominent here and charming ringlets appear behind the ears and trail down the neck, alluding to the style introduced by Agrippina the Elder. The head, inclined slightly to the left, was inserted into the drapery of a colossal statue of the imperial cult. As Seneca declared in his Apocolocynthosis ("The Pumpkinification of Claudius"), an irreverent comment on the deification of the late Emperor, the step from the sublime to the ridiculous is a small one. Antonia Minor. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome (formerly Ludovisi Collection)
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa ( c. 63 BC–12 BC) was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and minister to Octavian, the future emperor Caesar Augustus. He was responsible for most of Octavian’s military triumphs, most notably winning the naval Battle of Actium against the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Augustus ( c. 63 BC–12 BC) was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and minister to Octavian, the future emperor Caesar Augustus. He was responsible for most of Octavian’s military triumphs, most notably winning the naval Battle of Actium against the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII of Egypt.