Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Prof: Good morning everyone. Back to Rome today, back to Rome, which was beginning to emerge as the world's, or the ancient world's, greatest superpower, an emergence that we're going to see had a profound impact on Roman architecture. And we'll also see that there were a number of men who effected this superstardom for Rome, and they're men that I'm going to talk about with you today. These included Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Mark Antony, and Octavian Augustus, especially Octavian Augustus: Augustus, first emperor of Rome, and it's the reason that I have decided to call this lecture today "From Brick to Marble: Augustus Assembles Rome." You see on the left-hand side of the screen a portrait of Julius Caesar. It's a green diabase portrait of Caesar. It's now in Berlin, and I believe actually that it is a portrait that was commissioned by Cleopatra herself. She commissioned it for a building that she and Caesar were putting up in Alexandria, called the Caesareum that honored Caesar, and you can see that he is represented as he was-- it's a quite realistic portrait with the lines and wrinkles, with his receding hairline and so on accentuated in this portrait. On the right hand-side of the screen we see an image of Pompey the Great, a marble portrait that is now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, in Copenhagen. And a portrait that shows that Pompey the Great very much wanted to ally himself with Alexander the Great, because if you look at his very full head of hair, you can see that he wears it in the center, pushed up in a kind of pompadour, which is a reference to the same kind of upsweep that was worn by Alexander the Great. I want to give you a little bit of information about Caesar, about his life, about some of his accomplishments, because these are going to have an impact on the architecture, on our discussion of the architecture that he commissioned in Rome. We know that Caesar was elected consul, in 59 B.C. He then joined with Pompey the Great, and with a man by the name of Crassus, to form what is known as the First Triumvirate. The result of that First Triumvirate was in part that Caesar received a consulship in Gaul. But despite all good intentions, just a few years later, in 54 B.C., the Triumvirate fell apart. Difficult times were the case in Rome between 53 and 50 B.C. There were food shortages and riots in the city, and the Senate was very concerned that these uprisings would lead to a takeover by the populace of the city. Pompey took charge. He took control of the Senate and he restored order, and his reward for so doing is that the Senate was willing to work with him to try to overthrow his rival, that is, Julius Caesar. Crassus, the other member of the Triumvirate, had since died. But Caesar got the upper hand, at the end of the day, and it was Caesar who defeated Pompey the Great at a very famous battle, the Battle of Pharsalos, which took place in 48 B.C. After the Battle of Pharsalos and his defeat by Julius Caesar, Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered, and in fact the Egyptians slit Pompey's head, put it on a plate and presented it to Caesar. Now you'd think Caesar would have been happy about that. He wasn't, because although he was thrilled to have defeated Pompey the Great, he did not like seeing the head of a fellow Roman delivered to him on a plate. Caesar, at that point, despite his victory, what was foremost in his mind was his affair with Cleopatra, and he stayed in Egypt with Cleopatra for a period of time. But in 45 B.C., by 45 B.C., he had returned to Rome. He was acclaimed Dictator in that year, in 45, and after that he pursued fiscal reforms for Rome, and also he commissioned a number of very important public works, and that's where Roman architecture obviously comes into play. Despite the fact that he initiated those reforms and built buildings and built up the city in interesting ways, the aristocrats in Rome considered Caesar a tyrant. They considered him a tyrant because they felt that the influence of Cleopatra had rubbed off too much on him and his ambitions were too monarchical, and the aristocrats encouraged his murder. And he was assassinated, as all of you know, by Cassius and Brutus in the year 44 B.C., on the Ides of March, and he was divinized by the Senate, he was made a god by the Senate, in the year 42 B.C. In his biography of Julius Caesar, the writer Suetonius, who was a secretary and a biographer to the emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., Suetonius wrote a biography of the Twelve Caesars, a very famous biography that many of you may know served as the basis for Robert Graves' very well-known Claudius, which also accentuates again the biographies of those first Twelve Caesars. And although Caesar himself was dictator, not emperor, he is the first of the Caesars who is covered by Suetonius. And in Suetonius' biography of Julius Caesar, he tells us about some of these major architectural commissions that Caesar embarked on in Rome. And it's interesting to read about these because we'll see that all of them seem to have been the best and the greatest. And I think one of the explanations for this is the time that Caesar spent in Alexandria, in Egypt, with Cleopatra. She wanted to show him the sites, and in fact they went on a very famous barge trip together, down the Nile, in which she showed him the pyramids and the sphinxes that were there to be seen. And he was extremely impressed by what he saw in Egypt, and decided that one of the most important things that he could do, that he could contribute to posterity vis-à-vis Rome, was to make Rome into a city that was the equal of Alexandria, that had similar large-scale buildings and impressive monuments, the way Alexandria did. So he came back to Rome, he undertook this major building project, and Suetonius tells us that he built-- he wanted to build, he started to build a Temple to Mars that Suetonius describes as the biggest in the world. Why? To compete with the buildings of Alexandria. A vast--not just a theater--a vast theater. Greek and Latin public libraries. We know, of course, that the greatest library in the ancient world at this particular time was the Library at Alexandria. So he wanted libraries in Rome that could compete with the great Library of Alexandria. And he was also particularly interested in engineering marvels. He built, or he began to build, a highway from the Adriatic, across the Apennines, to the Tiber, and then most famously a canal cut through the Isthmus of Corinth. That was, in large part, achieved, and one can still see that canal, if one visits Corinth in Greece today. So he had vast ambitions. But many of these ambitions were cut short by his assassination in 44 B.C. He was not able to achieve architecturally all that he had hoped. One building that he was able to complete, or almost complete, was a forum in Rome. The Forum Iulium, I-u-l-i-u-m, which is after his family name Iulius. The Forum Iulium, or as we usually call it the Forum of Julius Caesar in Rome was a building that he was able to begin in the year 52 B.C., and then it was inaugurated in 46 B.C., which is a couple of years before his assassination. It wasn't quite finished at the time of its inauguration and it was left to Caesar's follower, Augustus, first emperor of Rome, to actually complete some of the details of the forum. But for all intents and purposes it was done by 46. I show you a Google Earth aerial view of the Roman Forum, as you see it here--we've looked at this before-- the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, just for you to get your bearings, the Circus Maximus, the Palatine Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Victor Emmanuel Monument here, Mussolini's Via dei Fori Imperiali here, the so-called Imperial Fora, of which Augustus' forum, which we're also going to talk about today is a part.