forum Augustum

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 dedicated in 2 bc, the vast precinct of Mars Ultor in Rome, vowed by Octavian at Philippi. The octastyle marble Corinthian temple stood on a lofty podium at the northern end; the interior of the cella, flanked by columns, terminated in an apse housing colossal statues of Mars, Venus, and Divus Julius. Caesar's sword and many works of art were kept there. The temple was set against a high precinct wall which cut off the populous Subura. Broad flights of steps flanking the temple led from the Subura into the forum through triumphal arches, dedicated to Drusus (see claudius drusus, nero) and Germanicus in ad 19. The forum area was flanked by Corinthian porticoes enriched with coloured marble, and crowned by a tall attic decorated with caryatids copied from the Erechtheum at Athens; behind these were large semicircular exedrae. Statues of Romulus and of Aeneas adorned the exedrae, while others representing the Julian family and Roman state heroes decorated the porticoes; laudatory inscriptions from the bases of the statues survive. Here youths assumed the toga virilis (the symbol of manhood) and provincial governors ceremoniously departed or returned.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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