Transition to Empire

Though Rome fan its prosperity to profession in the early years, that was battle which would make the city a powerful force in the old world. The wars v the north African city the Carthage (known together the Punic Wars, 264–146 BCE) consolidated Rome’s power and also helped the city grow in wealth and also prestige. Rome and also Carthage to be rivals in trade in the western Mediterranean and, through Carthage defeated, Rome held virtually absolute prominence over the an ar (there were still attacks by pirates i beg your pardon prevented finish Roman control of the sea). Together the Republic that Rome flourished in power and prestige, the city that Rome began to suffer from the results of corruption, greed and the over-reliance on international slave labor.

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Gangs of unemployed Romans, put out of occupational by the influx of slaves brought in with territorial conquests, hired themselves out together thugs to execute the bidding of everything wealthy Senator would pay them. The affluent elite the the city, the Patricians, ended up being ever richer at the cost of the working reduced class, the Plebeians. In the 2 ndcentury BCE, the Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, two Roman tribunes, command a activity for land reform and political revolutionary in general. Though the brothers were both eliminated in this cause, their initiatives did spur legislative branch reforms and also the rampant corruption that the Senate to be curtailed (or, at least, the Senators became an ext discreet in their corrupt activities). By the time of the very first Triumvirate, both the city and the Republic the Rome to be in complete flourish.

The demand of the roman allies proved another source of unrest. For years, the roman inn allies had paid tribute and detailed soldiers because that war yet were not thought about citizens. Favor their plebian kindred year earlier, they wanted representation. It take it a rebellion for points to change. Although the Senate had actually warned the roman citizens the awarding these human being citizenship would be dangerous, full citizenship was ultimately granted come all human being (slaves excluded) in the entire Italian peninsula. Later, Julius Caesar would expand citizenship past Italy and also grant it to the civilization of Spain and also Gaul.

About this time the city witnessed a serious threat to its really survival when Marcus Tillius Cicero, the roman statesman and poet, uncovered a conspiracy led through the roman senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the roman inn government. Cicero additionally believed that the Republic was declining due to ethical decay. Difficulties such together this in addition to fear and also unrest pertained to the fist of three males in 60 BCE: Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus. Crassus had got fame through his loss of Spartacus and his followers in 71 BCE. Pompey had distinguished himself in Spain as well as in the East. Caesar had proven himself together an able commander. Together, the three men formed what historians have named the an initial Triumvirate or gang of Three.

Tensions ultimately an installed between Pompey and also Caesar. Pompey was jealous of Caesar’s success and also fame if Caesar wanted a return to politics. Eventually these differences lugged them to battle, and in 48 BCE they met at Pharsalus. Pompey to be defeated, escaping to Egypt where he was eliminated by Ptolemy XIII. Caesar fulfilled his destiny through securing both the east provinces and also northern Africa, returning to Rome a hero just to be declared dictator for life. Countless of his enemies, as well as several allies, observed his new position together a major threat to the foundation of the Republic, and also despite a number of popular reforms, his assassination top top the Ides of march in 44 BCE carried the Republic to its knees. His heir and also step-son Octavian subdued note Antony, eventually coming to be the an initial emperor the Rome together Augustus. The Republic to be gone and in its ashes climbed the roman Empire. (61)(65)

The Roman realm Under Augustus

Augustus rule the empire from 31 BCE until 14 CE when he died. In that time, as he claimed himself, the “found Rome a city that clay yet left that a city the marble.” Augustus reformed the legislations of the city and, by extension, the empire’s, secured Rome’s borders, initiated vast building jobs (carried out largely by his faithful general Agrippa, who developed the an initial Pantheon), and secured the empire a lasting surname as among the greatest, if no the greatest, political and social powers in history. The Pax Romana (Roman Peace), additionally known as the Pax Augusta, which he initiated, to be a time the peace and also prosperity hitherto unknown and also would last end 200 years. (68)

Art throughout the age of Augustus

During his reign, Augustus spreading an effective propaganda campaign to promote the legitimacy of his rule as well as to encourage moral and civic ideals amongst the roman inn populace.

Augustan sculpture contains the well-off iconography the Augustus’s regime with its solid themes the legitimacy, stability, fertility, prosperity, and religious piety. The intuitive motifs employed within this iconography ended up being the requirements for imperial art. (69)

Ara Pacis Augustae

The Ara Pacis Augustae, or Altar the Augustan Peace, is one of the best examples the Augustan artistic propaganda. Not just does it demonstrate a brand-new moral code advocated by Augustus, it also established royal iconography. That was commissioned by the Senate in 13 BCE to honor the peace and bounty established by Augustus complying with his return indigenous Hispania (Spain) and Gaul; it to be consecrated top top January 30, 9 BCE.

The marble altar was erected just external the boundary of the pomerium come the north of the city along the Via Flaminia on the Campus Martius. The actual u-shaped altar sits atop a podium within a square wall that demarcates the precinct’s sacred space. (69)

Figure 5-20: Ara Pacis Augustae by Manfred Heyde is license is granted under CC BY-SA 3.0
Figure 5-21: The processional step on the south wall of the Ara Pacis Augustae by MM indigenous Wikimedia website is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The north and also south wall surfaces depict a procession the life-sized figures on the top register. This figures include men, women, children, priests, lictors, and identifiable members that the politics elite during the Augustan age. The elite incorporate Augustus, his mam Livia, his son-in-law Marcus Agrippa (who died in 12 BCE), and also Tiberius, Augustus’s adopted son and follower who would marry the emperor’s widowed daughter in 11 BCE. If the altar together a whole celebrates the Augustus as a peacemaker, this step promotes him together a pious family man. (69)

Imperial Portraiture

Augustus really carefully controlled his imperial portrait. Abandoning the veristic layout of the Republican period, his portraits always showed him together an idealized young man. This portraits linked him to divinities and also heroes, both mythical and also historical.

He is often displayed with an identifiable cowlick that was originally shown on the portraits the Alexander the Great. His absence of pair of shoes signifies his an alleged humbleness in spite of the great power the possessed. Two portraits the him, one as Pontifex Maximus and also the other as Imperator, depict two various personae the the emperor.

Augustus’s portrait together Pontifex Maximus mirrors him attired v a toga over his ever-youthful head, one attribute the serves to repeat viewers of his own extreme piety come the gods. (69)

Figure 5-22: Augustus together Pontifex Maximus From the Via Labicana, Rome is license is granted under Public Domain
Figure 5-23: Augustus of Prima Porta by unknown from Wikimedia website is licensed under Public Domain

The Augustus the Primaporta mirrors the influence of both Roman and Classical Greek works, consisting of the Spear Bearer by Polykleitos and also the Etruscan bronze Aule Metele. Assuming the role of imperator, Augustus wears army grab in a pose known as adlucotio, addressing his troops. Regardless of his poor health, which left him with a frashill body, he shows up healthy and also muscular.

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Cupid rides a dolphin at Augustus’ feet, a symbol of his magnificent ancestry. Cupid is the kid of Venus, as was Aeneas, the legend ancestor that the roman people. The Julian family traced their ancestry back to Aeneas and, therefore, take into consideration themselves progeny of Venus

As Caesar’s nephew and embraced son, this usage of iconography enables Augustus to remind viewers that his divine lineage. In enhancement to adopting the body language and attire the a general, the relief top top the cuirass shows among Augustus’ biggest victories — the return the the Parthian standards.

During the civil wars, a legion’s criter were shed when the legion was defeated by the Parthians. In a good feat of diplomacy, and also curiously not army action, Augustus was able to negotiate the return that the criter to the legion and to Rome. Extr figures top top the cuirass personify roman gods and the arrival of Augustan peace. (69)