In his own forum Augustus added a Temple of Mars Ultor- the Avenger- vowed before Philippi; three of its majestic columns stand. One end of its cella was a semicircular apse, an architectural form destined to become the chancel of early Christian churches. On the Palatine Augustus built entirely of marble a sumptuous temple to Apollo for the god’s help at Actium; he adorned it with sculptures by Myron and Scopas, added a splendid library and an art gallery to its enclosure, and did all he could to make men feel that the god had left Greece for Rome and had brought with him the spiritual and cultural leadership of the world. It was even whispered by Augustus’ friends, now that his mother was safely dead, that Apollo, disguised as an agile snake, had begotten the subtle prince. In the northwest part of the city was a great shrine to Isis, and on the Palatine a spacious sanctuary for Cybele. Handsome shelters were provided for personified abstractions- Health, Honor, Virtue, Concord, Faith, Fortune, and many more. Nearly all of these contained galleries of statuary and painting. In his great Temple of Peace Vespasian gathered for the general eye many of the art treasures of Nero’s Golden House, and some of the relics of Jerusalem. The Temple of Fortuna Virilis, in the Forum Boarium, has the distinction of being the most completely preserved of the pre-Augustan buildings in Rome. The ladies of the capital frequently worshipped there, for the goddess, they believed, would teach them how to conceal their defects from men.
© 2022 ELLOPOS