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Ancient History: Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome Essay

  • What building was connected to Augustus’ house on the Palatine through a series of ramps?
    • Augustus’s house was connected to the Temple of Apollo though a series of ramps (Wallace-Hadrill 27). In this way, the Emperor might have emphasized his divine status.
  • Who is the first Roman woman depicted on Roman coinage?
    • Octavia is believed to be the first Roman woman who was depicted on Roman coinage (Wallace-Hadrill 33). She was perceived as a role model for Roman mothers and wives.
  • What recovered Roman insignia were depicted on the cuirass of the statue Augustus found at Prima Porta?
    • The cuirasses on the statue of Augustus depicted the recovery of Marcus Crassus’s standards. In this case, one can speak about the golden eagles or aquilae that were lost during the Battle of Carrhae. The loss of these standards was perceived as a bad omen by Roman soldiers (Wallace-Hadrill 37).
  • What did the recovery of this insignia symbolize?
    • The recovery of these standards was considered to be a great military success that Augustus achieved. To a great extent, their return symbolized the Roman Army restored its moral dignity. Apart from that, this event was supposed to end the era of civic strife within the Roman Empire (Wallace-Hadrill 37). This is why the retrieval of these standards was so significant.
  • What title did Gaius and Lucius receive when they were teenagers and what did this title signify?
    • Gaius and Lucious received the title of Princepts iuventutis when they were only teenagers. This title meant that these boys had been chosen as the heirs to the throne of Augustus (Wallace-Hadrill 37).
  • Briefly describe two consequences of palace politics at the end of Augustus’ reign?
    • The so-called palace politics lead to several important consequences. One of them was declining importance of open forum discussions (Wallace-Hadrill 42). The citizens of Rome could no longer affect the decisions that political leaders took. Secondly, it resulted in the continuous struggle between various factions of the court (Wallace-Hadrill 42). Thus, one can argue that the political power of Rome weakened.
  • Briefly describe two different ways Augustus cultivated a strong following among the Roman people.
    • Augustus attempted to cultivate a strong following among the Roman people in several ways. In particular, he undertook a variety of building projects in the city. They were supposed to highlight his military successes and political power (Wallace-Hadrill 42). Apart from that, he carried out numerous military campaigns which were mostly aimed at suppressing various rebellions within the state. So, in this way, he attempted to demonstrate that Rome could control its provinces (Wallace-Hadrill 42).
  • List two ways Augustus turned away from the tradition of popular self help in times of crisis to a more militaristic solution.
    • Augustus turned away from several traditions of popular self-help. First of all, one should focus on the creation of fire-fighting corps. Previously, these brigades were formed by volunteers (Mommsen & Demandt 88). Secondly, Augustus formed the Praetorian Guard that was separate from the Legions. These soldiers had to maintain to order within the city.
  • What was Augustus’ ultimate goal in his efforts to reorganize Rome?
    • Augustus’ reorganization of Rome was aimed at increasing the efficiency of the state. In particular, one can speak about its ability to address internal conflicts within the state and withstand the foreign enemies of the Empire (Mommsen & Demandt 88). More importantly, these initiatives were supposed to strengthen the power of Augustus.
  • How did Augustus present himself on his Parthian triumphal arch in the Forum?
    • The Parthian Arch of Augustus shows how the Emperor receives the lost standards of Crassus. Augustus is depicted in a triumphal chariot and such a portrayal emphasizes his similarity to an ancient god Mars (Elsner 47).
  • In the Forum of Augustus, how did Augustus identify himself with the past?
    • The Forum of Augustus was supposed to demonstrate Augustus had been a rightful heir of the Rome’s founders and the major leaders of the state (Elsner 48). This forum included the statues of Aeneas, Romulus, as well as Julius Caesar.
  • What was inscribed on two bronze pillars at the entrance to Augustus’ mausoleum?
    • The two bronze columns bore the inscription which was known as Res Gestae. This Latin expression can be translated as the things done (Elsner 48). This inscription was supposed to highlight the major achievements of Augustus, for instance, his military successes.
  • Briefly describe Augustus’ new moral laws. What did they attempt to control?
    • The so-called moral laws introduced by Augustus were aimed at controlling the family life of Roman citizens (Bowman 101). According to them, marital infidelity was a public and private crime. Additionally were supposed to promote the population growth. For example, a marrying-age individual was not allowed to received heritage, if he/she refused to marry.
  • What is the moral message of the Ara Pacis?
    • Ara Pacis was supposed to convey a message about the moral and cultural values of Rome. For instance, the sculptural complex includes the statue of Livia Drusilla who is supposed to represent the moral codes that Roman women had to adhere to (Bowman 102). Again, one should focus that Augustus paid attention to marital fidelity and willingness to support the initiatives of the emperor.
  • According to Wallace-Hadrill what were the two golden Rome’s?
    • According to Wallace-Hadrill, the rule of Augustan could be called the golden Rome for several reasons. First of all, one can speak about the military and political stability of the state that could sustain internal conflicts and wars with foreign enemies. Secondly, it is important to note that during this time, the city was a real architectural showplace that appealed to many people (Wallace-Hadrill 42).
  • List three ways Augustus promoted himself as a model of piety.
    • Augustus attempted to act a role model of piety. First of all, he tried to act as a religious devotee who stressed his humility and dedication to gods. Secondly, he strictly punished those of his relatives who were accused of adultery, for example, one can mention his daughter Julia. Finally, he penalized his friends who were convicted of bribery. In this way, he tried to show that he adhered to the moral laws that he introduced.
  • List two ways Augustus claimed promotion to the status of god.
    • Nevertheless, very often Augustus stressed his god-like status. For instance, he was always portrayed by sculptors by as an eternally young person. Secondly, he was often compared to a two-faced god Janus, who could look in several directions at the same time.
  • List two ways Augustus was promoted as a savior of the Roman people.
    • Augustus wanted other people to perceive him as the savior of Rome. This is why he stressed his military successes that ended the conflict within the state. Secondly, he often emphasized the laws that he introduced and the importance of these laws for the survival of the state.
  • Using four examples from Suetonius’ biography of Augustus answer the following question. Do you think Suetonius depicts Augustus as a good role model for future emperors? Why or why not?
    • In his biography Suetonius creates a very appealing image of Augustus. In most cases, he is portrayed as a true leader of the state. In particular, the writer says that “Augustus fought a total of two foreign wars in his personal leadership” (Suetonius 61). Overall, it is a very small number, and in this way, the writer stresses the diplomatic skills of the emperor and his ability to avoid conflicts. Secondly, the biographer emphasizes the idea that Augustus was able to take strong-willed decisions. This is why the author mentions that he “gave the dishonorable discharge to the entire insubordinate Tenth Legion” (Suetonius 63). Finally, this historian points out Augustus could keep his friends at a distance so that they could not affect his political decisions. In particular, Suetonius writes that Augustus “never called any of his generals comrades-in-arms” since in such in this way one could undermine military discipline within the army. Finally, as an emperor Augustus could give credit to other people who supported. According to the author, “Augustus honored the memory of military leaders almost as much as he honored the immortal gods” (Suetonius 69). Overall, these are the character traits that are important for leaders. Suetonius’s biography portrays Augustus as a role model for other political leaders of Rome.

Works Cited

Bowman, Alan, The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge: CUP 2002. Print.

Elsner, Jas. Art and Text in Roman Culture, Cambridge: CUP Archive, 1996. Print.

Mommsen, Theodor and A. Demandt. History of Rome Under the Emperors, New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.

Suetonius, The Caesars, London: Hackett Publishing, 2011. Print.

Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew. Augustan Rome, London: Bristol Classical Press, 1993. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ancient History: Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ancient-history-periclean-athens-and-augustan-rome/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ancient History: Periclean Athens and Augustan Rome'. 13 January.

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