HST353 15

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Published on February 14, 2008

Author: Urania

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Mixed Signals: The Ara Pacis and the Prima Porta Statue :  Mixed Signals: The Ara Pacis and the Prima Porta Statue The Symbolism of Augustan Art and Architecture Historical Cycles and the Urbs Aeterna (“Eternal City”):  Historical Cycles and the Urbs Aeterna (“Eternal City”) "The Great Year" and Ekpyrosis ("Fiery Cataclysm"). Neo-Pythagorean Metacosmesis = the periodic renewal of the world. Urbs Aeterna- First Attested in Augustus' Reign: Tibullus, 2.5.23. “The cyclic theory makes its appearance with Heraclitus (fr. 66 [22 Bywater]), who will later greatly influence the Stoic doctrine of the Eternal Return. We find the two mythical themes-the Ages of the World and the continuous cycle of creations and destructions-already associated in Empedocles….the Stoics took over from Heraclitus the idea of the end of the World by fire (ekpyrosis) and…Plato (Tim. 22, C) already knew, as an alternative, the End by flood. These two cataclysms in a measure determined the rhythm of the Great Year (magnus annus).” Mircea Eliade, Myth and Reality (1963) Tibullus (died 19 BCE), Carmina, 2.5.23-6:  Tibullus (died 19 BCE), Carmina, 2.5.23-6 Romulus aeternae nondum formaverat urbis moenia, consorti non habitanda Remo; sed tunc pascebant herbosa Palatia vaccae et stabant humiles in Iovis arce casae. Romulus had not yet formed the walls of the eternal city, which could not accommodate his brother Remus; but then cattle grazed on the grassy Palatine, and humble homes stood on Jupiter’s heights. Historical Reconstruction: The Augustan Forum:  Historical Reconstruction: The Augustan Forum The Temple to Mars Ultor ("Mars the Avenger"), dedicated 2 BCE Exedrae and Colonnades Flanking the Temple. Left: Statues of Augustus' Family and the Aeneas group; Right: Famous Generals from the Roman Republic and Romulus and kings of early Rome "The juxtaposition of the two portrait galleries...justified the position of the princep's family in the new Rome by proclaiming its unique historical importance. The reality of competition between Rome's leading families stretching back for centuries...and the relative insignificance of the Julii from the fourth to second centuries B.C. were all thereby obscured. In this version, the Julii had always been Rome's most important family, for this family would produce her savior." (P. Zanker, Power of Images, 211) Slide5:  Temple of Mars Ultor Slide6:  Temple of Mars Ultor on the Capitol Slide7:  Forum of Augustus Slide8:  Model of Augustan Forum Slide9:  Ground Plan of Augustan Forum The Mausoleum of Augustus (Campus Martius):  The Mausoleum of Augustus (Campus Martius) Political Propaganda Warfare against Antony. illegal publication of Antony's will: desire to be buried beside Cleopatra. charges that Antony intended to transfer the capital to Alexandria. mausoleum as expression of Octavian's loyalty to Rome and Italy. On Augustus' Funeral (CE 14): "...an ex-praetor actually swore that he had seen Augustus' spirit soaring up to Heaven through the flames. Leading knights, barefoot, and wearing unbelted tunics, then collected his ashes and placed them in the family Mausoleum. He had built this himself during his sixth consulship...at the same time converting the neighborhood into a public park" (Suetonius, Augustus, 100). Slide11:  Ruins of Augustus’ Mausoleum Slide12:  Reconstruction of Mausoleum The Ara Pacis (“Temple of Peace”):  The Ara Pacis (“Temple of Peace”) Dedicated January 30, 9 BCE to celebrate Augustus' subjugation of Spain and Gaul (Campus Martius). West Face: Lupercal and Aeneas sacrificing; East Face: Roma and Tellus (Mythological). North and South Faces: Foundation and Inauguration (constitutio) of Temple in July, 13 BCE (Historical). "Through ritual, profane time and space are transcended into mythical-or, rather, sacred-time and space....Each time the rites described on the small altar frieze were enacted, the diachronic passage of time was suspended: the cycle of profane time was regenerated with the dawn of an aurea aetas; the Augustan peace was renewed" (P.J. Holliday). Slide14:  Ara Pacis Slide15:  Ara Pacis- Aeneas Sacrificing (West Face) An Augustan ‘Golden Age’: Images of Fecundity:  An Augustan ‘Golden Age’: Images of Fecundity “There are two main ways in which…maps and moralities could be constructed out of a living ethnic past….The first way was through a return to ‘nature’ and its ‘poetic spaces’. This nature and these spaces are quite specific; they constitute the historic home of the people, the sacred repository of their memories. They have their own historical poetry, for those whose spirits are attuned to them. The homeland is not just the setting of a national drama, but a major protagonist, and its natural features take on historical significance for the people.” “The basis of…commitment is a belief in the importance of residence and propinquity… ‘Living together’ and being ‘rooted’ in a particular terrain and soil become criteria for…the bases of political community. Often such criteria are wedded to notions of return to agrarian simplicity and self-sufficiency and to the rustic virtues corrupted by urban luxury.” ~Anthony D. Smith, National Identity (1991) 65, 117 Slide17:  Ara Pacis- Pax (Tellus- Venus) (West Face) Stopping Historical Time: The Myth of the Eternal Return under Augustus:  Stopping Historical Time: The Myth of the Eternal Return under Augustus “Here is Caesar and the whole progeny of Iulus, destined to come under the great vault of the sky. This, this is he, the man you have heard promised to you so often, Augustus Caesar, son of a god, who will once again establish the Golden Age in Latium, in the region once ruled by Saturn.” ~ Vergil, Aeneid 6.789-94 “It was decreed by the Greeks in the province of Asia….Whereas the providence which divinely ordered our lives created with zeal and munificence the most perfect good for our lives by producing Augustus and filling him with virtue for the benefaction of mankind, blessing us and those after us with a savior who put an end to war and established peace; and whereas Caesar when he appeared exceeded the hopes of all who had anticipated good tidings, not only surpassing the benefactors born before him but not even leaving those to come any hope of surpassing him; and whereas the birthday of the god marked for the world the beginnings of good tidings through his coming…Paullus Fabius Maximus, proconsul of the province…suggested for the honor of Augustus a thing up until now unknown by the Greeks, namely, beginning their calendar year with the god’s birthday” (September 23 [63 BC]) ~OGIS 458 Slide19:  Solarium Augusti Slide20:  Egyptian Obelisk, Rome On the Function of Myth and Ritual Reenactment in Stabilizing the World:  On the Function of Myth and Ritual Reenactment in Stabilizing the World “If it is probable that the intuition of the “Year” as a cycle is at the bottom of the idea of a Cosmos that periodically renews itself, in the mythico-ritual New Year scenarios another idea, an idea different in origin and structure, is discernible. It is the idea of the “perfection of the beginnings,” the expression of a more intimate and deeper religious experience, nourished by the imaginary memory of a “Lost Paradise,” the state of bliss that preceded the present human condition. It is possible that the mythico-ritual New Year scenario has played such an important role in the history of humanity principally because, by ensuring renewal of the Cosmos, it also offered the hope that the bliss of the “beginnings” could be recovered…. For the flux of time implies an ever greater distance from the “beginnings,” and hence loss of the original perfection. Whatever endures wastes away, degenerates, and finally perishes….Fullness and force are at the beginning…fullness, though very quickly lost, is periodically recoverable. The Year has an end, that is to say, it is automatically followed by a new beginning.” ~ Mircea Eliade, Myth and Reality (1963) The Prima Porta Statue:  The Prima Porta Statue Augustus as Imperator Republican General-Military Garb. Augustus as Man-God Associations with Venus; Bare Feet (Hero). Return of the Parthian Standards (cuirass). Slide23:  Prima Porta Statue Slide24:  Detail of Cuirass, Prima Porta Statue

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