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The Forum of the Emperor Augustus in Rome

The Forum of Augustus is one of the Imperial Forums of Rome, the second in chronological order after that of Caesar. It was dominated by the temple dedicated to Mars, inaugurated in 2 BC, and in one of the arcades there was a colossal statue of the emperor.

The construction of the complex was carried out for propaganda purposes and all its decoration celebrates the new golden age that begins with the principality of Augustus.

The two already existing forums (the Roman Forum and that of Caesar) were no longer sufficient and a third was needed; for this he hastened to inaugurate it, without the temple of Mars being yet completed and it was established that public trials were held in it.


Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus was the first Roman emperor from 27 BC. to 14 A.D. In 27 BC he returned the offices in the hands of the senate; in exchange he had a proconsular empire that made him head of the army and the Roman Senate, at the suggestion of Lucio Munazio Plco, conferred on him the title of Augustus on January 16, 27 BC, that is the most authoritative among the politicians of Rome and his official name was from that moment Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus.

3D Reconstruction Forum of Augustus

Octavian had promised to erect a temple in Rome dedicated to Mars Ultor (“Avenger”) on the occasion of the battle of Philippi in 42 BC, in which he and Marcus Antony had defeated the killers of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, and thus avenged the his death.

After the defeat of Mark Antony and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt with the battle of Actium (31 BC), the Senate conferred on Octavian in 27 BC. the highest civil and military powers and later the sacred and honorary title of Augustus (“venerated”). Consolidated his power, Augusto took care of the urban and architectural reorganization of the capital.

As Augustus himself recalls in the Res Gestae, the new monumental complex was built with the spoils of war obtained with his own victories and on land purchased at his own expense by private individuals, located on the slopes of the Quirinale, close to the populous Suburra district.

Augusto did not want to come into conflict with some reluctant owners to sell their property and the original project was downsized.

Each element of the structure is built to enhance the Iulia gens.

Overall, by mixing together influences of various origins (Italic and Roman-Republican traditions and influences from classical Greek and Micro-Asian Hellenistic art), an official Roman architectural and decorative style was developed, on the whole classicistic, which was the basis of all subsequent evolutions.

The Forum was abandoned as early as the 6th century. In the 9th century, the church of San Basilio was built on the podium of the temple. Three columns of the right side and part of the corresponding cell wall remain standing of the temple.