Lecture 27 Augustus.docx

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Classical Studies
Course Code
Classical Studies 2300
Charles Stocking

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Lecture 27 Augustus Second Triumvirate – after Caesar’s assassination - At 44 BCE, Marcus Antonius (Antony) was co-consul with Caesar - Antony (Caesar’s co-consul), Lepidus (master of cavalry), and Octavius (Augustus) appointed by Senate as triumvirate with the power to make laws without the approval of Senate and Assembly and to nominate all magistrates - 42 BCE Caesar deified o Cult of Divus Julius – first Roman historical figure to be deified o Octavius (adopted son of Julius Caesar) = Divii Filius = son of god Octavius vs. Antony - Antony marries Cleopatra  accused of becoming “foreign” and “non-roman” in habits and customs - Caesarion (son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra) is declared “King of Kings” in the “Donations of Alexandria” o Direct threat to Octavius (adopted son of Caesar) who is the official heir - Octavius (with the support of Rome) pursues Antony - 31 BCE Battle of Actium – Octavius wins - Cleopatra send messengers to Antony saying that she was committed suicide  Antony kills himself; Cleopatra still alive  eventually Cleopatra kills herself Octavius becomes Augustus - Octavius separated powers from their offices - 27 BCE Gains title Augustus – religious connotations o Tribunical power was given to him, without becoming Tribune (makes him sacrosanct) o Was given Proconsular imperium (military control) without holding office of consul - During Augustus’ rule, offices of Republican government existed, but were rendered useless Suetonius, Divine Augustus (on spectacles) “In the number, variety, and magnificence of his public spectacles, he surpassed all former example. Four and-twenty times, he says, he treated the people with games upon his own account, and three-and-twenty times for such magistrates as were either absent, or not able to afford the expense.” “He entertained the people with wrestlers in the Campus Martius, where wooden seats were erected for the purpose; and also with a naval fight, for which he excavated the ground near the Tiber, where there is now the grove of the Caesars. During these two entertainments he stationed guards in the city lest, by robbers taking advantage of the small number of people left at home, it might be exposed to depredations. In the circus he exhibited chariot and foot races, and combats with wild beasts, in which the performers were often youths of the highest Suetonius, Divine Augustus (on Social stratification) “Augustus corrected the confusion and disorder with which the spectators took their seats at the public games, after an affront which was offered to a senator at Puteoli, for whom, in a crowded theatre, no one would make room. He therefore procured a decree of the senate, that in all public spectacles of any sort, and in any place whatever, the first tier of benches should be left empty for the accommodation of senators. He would not even permit the ambassadors of free nations, nor of those which were allies of Rome, to sit in the orchestra; having found that some freed slaves had been sent under that character.” “He separated the soldiery from the rest of the people, and assigned to married plebeians their particular rows of seats. To the boys he assigned their own benches, and to their tutors the 1 seats which were nearest it; ….. none clothed in black should sit in the centre of the circle. Nor would he allow any women to witness the combats of the gladiators, except from the upper part of the theatre, although they formerly used to take their places promiscuously with the rest of the spectators.” Augustus, Virgil’s Aeneid, and the “Trojan Games” - Romans thought themselves ancestors of the Trojans - Aeneas, a Trojan, is considered the mythic founder of Rome (son of Aphrodite and Anchises) - Aeneid o Latin epic poem about Aeneas travelling from Troy to Rome o Book 1-6: Journey to Italy o Book 7-12: War in Italy o Written during the rise of Augustus – promotes the reign of Augustus as new era of peace that reflects the foundations of Rome o Legitimated the reign of Julius Caesar – ancestor of Caesar was thought to be Iulus, child of Aeneas Virgil’s Aeneid Book 5 Trojan Funeral Games on anniversary of Death of Anchises: Aeneas:
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