I visited the house of Augustus on the Palatine when it finally re-opened a few years ago, what a fantastic place.
This year is a big anniversary for all things Augustus; the two thousandth anniversary of the death of the first Emperor of Rome. To mark the occasion I was asked to write this short blog post for AIRC. The thing is, verbose as I am, on my way to completing my brief I got side-tracked down all sorts of alleyways. So I thought I’d write a longer version here.
The exploitation of art, religion, legend, history, poetry, dodgy family trees, you name it, in the relentlessly sophisticated propaganda machine of Octavian/Augustus is something I’ve always found incredibly interesting.
It was Octavian’s close friend Maecenas who sponsored Virgil whose epic poem, the Aeneid, detailed the heroic journey made by Aeneas, son of Venus, following the Achaean destruction of the city of Troy. Aeneas’ long and meandering journey across the Mediterranean knowingly echoed the voyage of Ulysses, and eventually he arrived…
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