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What was the purpose of Augustus' building programme?

Firstly, it is clear that Augustus' building programme addressed the practical issue of a lack of public space. The Forum Augusti, for example, provided a public space open to everyone to go about their daily lives, and acted as an overflow from the existing Forum which was becoming overcrowded.

Nevertheless, the building programme was so much more than simply practical - it was a public statement of wealth, power and of Augustus' divine ancestry. The Temple of Mars Ultor, for example, housed three statues of Venus Genetrix, Mars and Divus Julius - an unmistakable claim to divine ancestry which trumped all other claims to power in Rome. 

The building programme was also a means of presenting Augustus as a generous benefactor, which in turn, would guarantee a wide base of support for him. His introduction of an aqueduct system, with the assistance of Marcus Agrippa, provided clean and plentiful water to all people in Rome. By positively impacting the daily lives of the Roman people, Augustus secured support and admiration which would help solidify his position as the Princeps.

Thus, it is important to look at the various motives Augustus may have had in introducing the building programme; looking beyond face value is crucial to identifying these factors. 

Issy W. GCSE History tutor, A Level History tutor, GCSE Classical Civ...

3 weeks ago

Answered by Issy, an A Level Classical Civilisation tutor with MyTutor

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Hebe B.

Degree: Ancient History (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered: Classical Civilisation, Extended Project Qualification+ 1 more

Classical Civilisation
Extended Project Qualification
-Personal Statements-

“About me: I am a third year student at the University of Birmingham studying Ancient History. I fell in love with Classical Civilisation when I was introduced to the subject at 13 years old and that passion has led me to studying it a...”

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Degree: Classical Archaeology and Classical Civilisations (Bachelors) - University College London University

Subjects offered: Classical Civilisation, Law+ 1 more

Classical Civilisation
Law
Geography

“About Me I'm Toby and I'm a second year student at UCL studying Classical archaeology and Classical Civilisations. Outside of this my interests include music, I write and perform my own, sports (Massive Arsenal Fan), socialising with ...”

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Annika M.

Degree: Classics 3 Year course (Bachelors) - Cambridge alumni University

Subjects offered: Classical Civilisation, Latin+ 2 more

Classical Civilisation
Latin
Classical Greek
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“About Me:I recently graduated from Cambridge University where I studied Classics at Fitzwilliam College. This year I am volunteering for the year teaching English and assisting in the running of cultural activities for children at th...”

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Issy W.

Currently unavailable: until 30/01/2017

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Classical Civilisation, Religious Studies+ 6 more

Classical Civilisation
Religious Studies
Philosophy and Ethics
History
German
Extended Project Qualification
English Literature
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“About me: I am a history student at Bristol University. I have always loved the humanities subjects such as history, classics and languages too, and I hope I can encourage others to share this attitude through my tutorials. I am very...”

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