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Actium: The Birth of Augustan Literature. 753 BC509 BC The Age of Kings 146 BC The Roman Republic 44 BC31 BC 63 BC-AD 14 The Empire Begins Battle of Actium.

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Presentation on theme: "Actium: The Birth of Augustan Literature. 753 BC509 BC The Age of Kings 146 BC The Roman Republic 44 BC31 BC 63 BC-AD 14 The Empire Begins Battle of Actium."— Presentation transcript:

1 Actium: The Birth of Augustan Literature

2 753 BC509 BC The Age of Kings 146 BC The Roman Republic 44 BC31 BC 63 BC-AD 14 The Empire Begins Battle of Actium Augustus Golden Age Literature

3 The Founding of Roma According to the Roman historian Livy (59 BCE-17CE), the city that we now refer to as and became the center or the western world emerged from extremely humble beginnings. Numitor, the king of the neighboring city of Alba, was murdered by his jealous brother Amulius and the former kings daughter, Rhea Silvia, was forced to become a priestess of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth fire. This act guaranteed that Rhea Silvia would never bare rightful heirs to the throne of Alba. Even so, Rhea Silvia miraculously became pregnant after a visit from the ancient Italian war god Mars.priestess of Vesta Rhea Silvia gave birth to twins. Of course, Amulius was furious and had the babies, Romulus and Remus, exposed. They were placed in a basket and cast into the River Tiber which today still flows through the heart of Rome. According to legend, a she-wolf discovered the abandoned infants on the shore of the Tiber and was found suckling them by a local farmer. He adopted the twins and they grew to manhood. As adults Romulus and Remus, having discovered their true identity, returned to Alba and deposed their devious uncle. The brothers then founded a settlement on the famous seven hills around the river Tiber. The Saga of Romulus and Remus Continues Archaic Roma

4 The Ascension of Romulus Livys Ab Urbe Condita 1.6: Romulus and Remus marched with their men through the midst of the assembly and saluted their grandfather as king. From the entire crowd arose a unanimous shout of assent, thus ratifying the kings name and his power. After entrusting the government of Alba to Numitor, Romulus and Remus were seized by a desire to establish a city in the places where they had been exposed and raised. The number of Albans and Latins was more than enough; in addition to this group, there was also the sheperds. All of these mean easily created the hope that Alba and Lavinium would be small in comparison with the city that they were founding. But their thoughts were interrupted by the ancestral evil that had beset Numitor and Amulius – desire for kingship. From quite a harmless beginning, an abominable conflict aroese. Since Romulus and Remus were twins and distinction could not be made with respect for age, they decided to ask the protecting gods of the area to declare by augury who should give his name to the new city and who should rule over it aft its foundation. Romulus took the Palatine and Remus the Aventine, as the respective areas from which to take the auspices. Ab Urbe Condita 1.7 Remus is said to have received the first augery, six vultures. The augury had already been announced when twice the number appeared to Romulus. Each man was hailed as king by his own followers. Remus men based their claim to the throne on priority; Romulus followers on the number of birds. Arguments broke out and the angry conflict resulted in bloodshed. Amid the throng, Remus was struck dead. The more common story is that Remus leaped over the new walls, jeering at his brother. He was killed by the enraged Romulus, who added the threat, So perish whoever else shall leap over my walls. Thus Romulus became the sole ruler and the city, so founded, was given its founder s name. Translation courtesy of: Livy, The History of Rome. Books 1-5. Translated, with introduction and notes by Valerie M. Warrior. Hacket Publishing. Indianapolis, Cambridge, 2006, pages 12-13 Back to Timeline

5 The Legacy of Lucius Brutus For many years after the foundation of the settlement of Rome by Romulus, the Romans were ruled by a more advanced Italian people known as the Etruscans. In 509 BCE, Lucius Brutus expelled the last of the Etruscan kings, L. Tarquinius Superbus. As a result, the age of kings ends and the Roman Republic is established. Lucretia and the Republic!

6 The Rape of Lucretia The story of the Rape of Lucretia was a popular Roman tale which explained the downfall of Tarquinius. The story goes like this: Roman men spoke of their wives at home and decided to return and surprise them. Only Lucretia, wife to Collatinus, was behaving in a chaste and modest fashion while her husband was gone. Overcome with desire, Tarquin's son, Sextus, returned and raped Lucretia. She told her husband what had happened and urged him to avenge her. She then took her own life. This incident sparked a revolution. The revolt was led by Lucius Junius Brutus and Collatinus, and the result was that Tarquin was exiled from Rome. Back to Timeline

7 A Brief Look at Roman Republican Government The Roman Republic consisted of a senate and two consuls. The consuls were elected annually. The senate was dominated by aristocrats or Patricians. Eventually their rule was challenged by the Plebeians. [By 300 BCE Plebeians could hold office.] Tribune had veto power and looked out for the interests of the Plebeians. Quaestors were prosecutors (later treasurers). Aediles supervised public buildings and games and corn supplies Censors took the census and fixed taxes. Praetors were magistrates junior to consuls and often heard and made rulings on court cases. Nota Bene: Once elected to any office, a man became an automatic member of the Senate.

8 Birth of a Giant Hot Spots Of Roman Expansion

9 Hot Spots of Expansion Over time Rome expanded in Italy during the 5-4 th centuries BCE. By 279 all of central and southern Italy were under their control. Expansion into Sicily led to conflict with Carthage and three wars with this North African Superpower. By 146 BCE, after the Punic and Macedonian Wars, Rome was master of the Mediterranean, which they called mare nostrum. Punic

10 Punic Wars Between 264 BCE and 146 BCE Rome was involved in a series of wars with Carthage for control of the Mediterranean. The First Punic War (264-214 BCE) broke out over control of Sicily. In 238 Rome seized Corsica and Sardinia. Carthage turned to Spain and the Romans signed a treaty with them not to cross the River Ebro. The Second Punic War (218-202 BCE) began when the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Sagentum, which had been a Roman ally. Hannibal crossed the Alps with a large army and besieged Italy. Two consuls and a large army went up against Hannibal, resulting in one of the worst defeats in Roman history (Cannae 216 BCE). Southern Italy and Sicily defected to Hannibals side but eventually Rome was successful. Finally Cornelius Scipio defeated Hannibal and Carthage at the battle of Zama in 202 BCE. Rome now turned to the eastern Mediterranean since Philip V of Macedon had allied himself with Hannibal. After the Third Punic War (149-146 BCE) and the defeat of the Macedonians, Rome was the undisputed master of the Mediterranean.

11 Growing Pains Rome was originally a republic of farmers. Citizen-soldiers served during times of war. Slaves and wealth from the Punic and Macedonian wars and long periods of time away from farms led to neglect of farms. Subsequently landowners began buying large tracts of land and forming latifundia (Large landed estates owned by the Roman aristocracy). This caused a variety of social problems such as: 1. Surplus of cheap slave labor. 2. Migration of farmers to cities. 3. Farmers had no land. 4. Rome had no way of raising an army, since land was a prerequisite for military service. Attempts at Reform and the Decline of Republican Rome By 146 BCE Rome was master of the Mediterranean but internal and external problems would lead to the end of the Republic.

12 The Decline of the Republic: And the Rise of the General The Gracchi: The Reformers The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, used the position of Tribune to try and improve the lot of the poor and the landless. They were both murdered by the opposition in 132 and 123 BCE. Some see the Gracchi as acting for their own good instead of interests of the less fortunate. Regardless of their motivations, this episode and self interest of other ambitious politicians and generals eventually led to the downfall of the Republican system. More Reformers and Tyrants

13 Sulla: Dictator Gone Bad? Sulla: 138-78 BCE As dictator, Sulla introduced the device know as proscription. This was the publication of a list of enemies of the state and offered rewards for their capture or death. This set about a bloody precedent for future leaders. Problems in Africa required a return of Roman soldiers to this region. Since the army had been depleted, the general Marius promised rewards to jobless men to raise a fighting force. Marius Italian cities expressed discontent with Rome. [The general Sulla put an end to the Social Wars.] Sulla and Marius wanted to fight in Africa. Marius was chosen but Sulla threatened Rome and became dictator. He had unlimited power and put many people to death. After Sullas threat, it was clear that the Senate was impotent and that generals ruled. Sulla died in 79 BCE.

14 The Reforms of Gaius Marius Gaius Marius, whom Sulla finally overpowered installed a number of reforms that drastically changed the organization of the Roman army. He offered the masses permanent employment with pay as professional soldiers. This gave the soldiers the opportunity to gain both spoils of war and land and encouraged personal loyalty to Roman generals instead of the state. Terms of service: 20-25 years. Reconstructed the legion and supplied soldiers with gear paid for with state resources. Back to Timeline

15 The First Triumvirate Between 79 and 59 Pompey and Crassus, each backed by soldiers competed for power and domination. They eventually formed what came to be called the First Triumvirate. This political union placed Roman provinces at their command. Pompey even married Julia, the daughter of Caesar to cement his relationship with Caesar. The Demise of the Triumvirate Caesar Pompey Crassus

16 The Republic Ends Crassus joined the Triumvirate in an attempt to help business associates who had overbid on government contracts. Crassus was killed at Parthia in 53 BCE. Julia, wife of Pompey and daughter of Caesar, dies and Pompey joins the cause of the Senate against Caesar. Pompey is eventually defeats the Pompey and the Senate at Pharsulus in 48 BCE. After his conquest of Gaul, Caesar crosses the Rubicon River in 49 proclaiming The die is cast. Caesar emerged as the sole ruler of the Roman world. Caesar and Egypt Crassus Pompey Caesar

17 After his defeat at Pharsalus, Pompey fled to the court of Ptolemy XII of Egypt. Ptolemy presented Pompeys head to Julius Caesar. This act seemed to sway Caesars support to Ptolemys younger sister Cleopatra VII. After a revolt in 51 BCE, Cleopatra assumed rule of Egypt, and Egypt became a client kingdom to Rome. Cleopatra and Caesar

18 Plutarch on Caesar in Gaul It was Caesar himself who inspired and cultivated this spirit, this passion for distinction among his men. He did it in theCaesar first place because he made it clear, by the ungrudging way in which he would distribute rewards and honors, that he was not amassing a great fortune from his wars in order to spend it on his personal pleasures or on any life of self- indulgence; instead he was keeping it, as it were, in trust, a fund open to all for the reward of valor, and his own share in all this wealth was no greater than what he bestowed on his soldiers who deserved it. And secondly, he showed that there was no danger which he was not willing to face, no form of hard work from which he excused himself. So far as his fondness for taking risks went, his men, who knew his passion for distinction, were not surprised at it; but they were amazed at the way in which he would undergo hardships which were, it seemed, beyond his physical strength to endure. For he was a slightly built man, had a soft and white skin, suffered from headaches and was subject to epileptic fits. (His first epileptic attack took place, it is said, in Córdoba.) Yet so far from making his poor health an excuse for living an easy life, he used warfare as a tonic for his health. By long hard journeys, simple diet, sleeping night after night in the open, and rough living he fought off his illness and made his body strong enough to resist all attacks. As a matter of fact, most of the sleep he got was in chariots or in litters: rest, for him, was something to be used for action; and in the daytime he would be carried round to the garrisons and cities and camps and have sitting with him one slave who was trained to write from dictation as he went along, and behind him a soldier standing with a sword. He traveled very fast. For instance on his first journey from Rome, he reached the Rhône in seven days. He had been an expert rider from boyhood. He had trained himself to put his hands behind his back and then, keeping them tightly clasped, to put his horse to its full gallop. And in the Gallic campaigns he got himself into the habit of dictating letters on horseback, keeping two secretaries busy at once.. Translation courtesy of John Dryden.

19 The Seduction of Rome Julius Caesar was now the most powerful man in the world. Upon completed military victories in Gaul, Egypt, Pontus and Africa, Caesar was awarded a military triumph in the city of Rome. Cleopatra was believed to have been in Rome with the still married Caesar for the celebration. Gaul In February of 44 BCE, the Roman Senate named him dictator for life. To the shock of the Roman world, Julius Caesar became romantically involved with the foreign Egyptian queen and the union even produced a son, Caesarion. VENI, VIDI, VICI?

20 On the Ides of March 44 BCE, Marcus Junius Brutus with the aid of a number of conspirators stabbed Caesar to death in hopes of restoring the Roman Republic to its previous state. Instead, chaos ensues. Cleopatra flees to Egypt and the Second Triumvirate Seutonius Account of Caesars Death.


22 The Second Triumvirate The assassins naively believed the Republic would arise from the ashes of Julius Caesars funeral pyre. Instead chaos followed, with Marc Antony and Caesars adopted son Octavian struggling to succeed Caesar. In 43 CE they joined Lepidus and formed a new triumvirate that enabled them to make laws, name consuls but more importantly, to control Romes armies. Soon they issued death warrants for their enemies, including the great Cicero. Many had their lands confiscated and sold. These proscriptions eliminating enemies of the triumvirs but also supplied resources to pay for their military campaigns. The first order of business included avenging Caesars death. Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Antony and Octavian at Phillipi in 42 BCE. Both conspirators committed suicide, leaving the triumvirs to pacify the East and resettle the soldiers. Eventually mutual distrust and the lust for power led to antagonism between Antony, now aided by Cleopatra of Egypt, and Octavian. However, at Brundisum, Antony and Octavian reached a compromise. Antony married Octavians sister Octavia to cement their relationship and left for Athens with his new wife. The triumvirate was renewed for another five years in 37 BCE. Lepidus tried to take Sicily, but failed because Octavian was able to win over the loyalty of Lepidus troops. Antony became more involved with Cleopatra, who by 36 BCE had had three children with him. His humiliating defeat in Parthia and Egyptian marriage to Cleopatra were portrayed in Rome as unmanly submission to the queen. His subsequent divorce of Octavia in 32 BCE and the so-called Donations of Alexandria, further damaged his reputation. Octavian played upon Roman xenophobia to further degrade Antonys reputation. Octavian claimed Antony wished to make Cleopatra queen of Rome. His propaganda campaign damaged the reputation of Antony to the point that brilliant general and politician has been called the triple pillar of the world transformed into a strumpets fool (Shakespear, Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1.13-14). By 32 BCE the triumvirate was over. Octavian declared war on Cleopatra in 31 BCE. The stage was set for war. Donations of Alexandria,

23 The Donations of Alexandria To the anger of Rome, Antony bequeathed much of the territory of the Near East to Cleopatra and their three children. Caesarion Egypt, Ceole Syria, and Cyprus Alexander Helios Armenia, Media, and Parthia Cleopatra Selene Libya and Cyrenaica Ptolemy Philadelphius Norhern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia The Seduction of Antony Back to Timeline


25 By 33 BCE the 2 nd Triumvirate ended. The Senate declared war on Cleopatra. On the morning of September 2, 31 BCE, the forces of Octavian, commanded by Marcus Agrippa and the forces of Antony and Cleopatra met on the Ionian Sea near the Roman colony of Actium in Greece. The outcome of this epic battle would change the course of world history. The Players

26 The Forces of Antony and Cleopatra The forces of Antony and Cleopatra consisted of 230 warships, mosty quinqueremes as seen above, 60 Egyptian warships, 2,000 archers, and about 20,000 legionary marines. These quinqueremes could actually weight up to three tons thanks to the square-cut timbers and bronze armor plates which lined their bows. quinquereme Octavians Forces

27 The forces of Octavian and Agrippa consisted of about 400 Liburnian warships. These vessels were armed with better trained and fresher crews of soldiers. These ships could also out maneuver the heavier ships of Marc Antony. Octavian also held 16,000 legionary marines and 3,000 archers at his disposal. Antony Octavian

28 Because of an outbreak of malaria, Antony lost many of his soldiers and was unable to fully man his warships. This took away his ability to use his quinqeremes to affectively ram the ships of Agrippa. Antony was forced into leaving the protection of the Gulf of Ambracia and face Agrippa in the Ionian Sea. This resulted in his defeat. Cleopatras End Virgils Description of the Battle of Actium


30 Cleopatra escaped the Battle of Actium and returned to Egypt. Realizing that all was lost, she committed suicide supposedly from the bite of a deadly snake, the asp. The Death of Antony

31 Marc Antony actually died before Cleopatra. He falsely learned that she was already dead and then committed suicide himself by running onto his own sword. Mortally wounded, he was carried before Cleopatra and, according to tradition, died in her arms.

32 Write Your Name in the Hieroglyphs Used in the Time of Cleopatra! Back to Timeline

33 Octavian Augustus and the Pax Romana After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra, thus ending the civil wars that had wreaked havoc on Rome, Augustus set his sights on rebuilding Rome. The Pax Romana, or the Roman Peace (27 BCE-180 CE), resulted in a political, economic, social and cultural renaissance. Augustus Praised in Horaces Poetry The Restoration of the Republic



36 The Flourishing of Latin Literature under Augustus During this period of Roman peace, Augustus as a patron of the arts provided a stable environment for the flourishing of some of the greatest writers and works of literature in history. Thus, under the rule of Augustus, a Golden Age of Latin Literature commenced. Poets such as Horace and Virgil created extraordinary works. Others closely connected to the emperor included Livy, Propertius, Catullus and Ovid. Praise of Augustus as a patron of the arts Augustus Humor



39 Quintus Horatius Flaccus Horace 65-8 wrote many works, including the Odes, which reflected his admiration for the country life. Epodes also praise rural life. His sense of humor is revealed in the Satires while his close relationship with the imperial family resulted in his brilliant Carmen Saculare. Read a Selection from Horaces Epodes

40 From Horaces Epodes beatus ille qui procul negotiis ut prisca gens mortalium paterna rura bobus exercet suis solutus omni faenore. neque excitatur classico miles truci neque horret iratum mare forumque vitat et superba civium potentiorum limina. aut in reducta valle mugientium prospectat errantes greges aut pressa puris mella condit amphoris aut tondet infirmas oves. libet iacere modo sub antiqua ilice modo in tenaci gramine. labuntur altis interim rivis aquae queruntur in silvis aves fontesque lymphis obstrepunt manantibus somnos quod invitet leves. The man is blessed who far from business affairs, like the ancient race of men, works his family farm with his oxen, loosened from all debt. And neither is he aroused by the harsh trumpet as a soldier and neither does he fear the angry sea, And he avoids the forum and the proud doorways of the more powerful. Either within a remote valley of lowing cattle he watches over the wandering herds, Or stores the pressed honey in clean jars and shears weak sheep. He desires now to lie beneath the ancient oak and now in the clinging grass. Meanwhile the waters slip within deep rivers, birds sing in the forests, and the springs murmur with flowing waters which invites light sleep.

41 Virgil Virgil (70 BCE-19 CE) is considered by most as the greatest Roman poets. His Eclogues comments on the eviction of farmers from their lands, and his Georgics praise nature. These works glorified Augustus by recalling the agricultural origins of Rome and the moral, political and economic rebirth of Rome in the aftermath of the civil wars. The Aeneid

42 Virgils Aeneid has been haled as one of the greatest works of literature. The epic recounts the tragic end of the city Troy and the Trojan prince, Aeneas, who rescues his family from the burning city and embarks on an epic quest ordained by the gods to found a new Troy. After years of aimless sufferings, Aeneas arrives in Italy and founds the Roman race. Aeneas represents the Latin idea of pietasduty to the gods, family, and country The Emperor Augustus actually commissioned Virgil to write his epic in hopes of causing a resurgence in traditional Roman values.

43 I sing of arms and of the man, who first from the shores of Troy, tossed about by fate to Italy, came to Lavinian shoreshe was tossed about greatly both over lands and on the deep by the force of the gods above, all on account of the savage anger of Juno…

44 Ovids Metamorphoses Ovids most notable work was his Metamorphoses which deals with early creation stories and countless tales of love, woe, and change among, humans, heroes, gods, and goddess. Most of the mythological tales we study today come down to us from Ovids magnificent work. Daphne and Apollo After publishing his scandalous Art of Love and his involvement in a court scandal, Augustus banished Ovid to the Red Sean in 8 CE.

45 References Simon P. Ellis. Graeco-Roman Egypt. Shire Egyptology, 1992. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth (Editors), The Oxford Classical Dictionary. The Ultimate Reference Work On The Classical World. Third Edition. Oxford, 1999. Robert B. Kebric. The Roman People. Third Edition. Mayfield Publishing, 2001. Ronald Mellor, The Roman Historians. London and New York: Routledge, 1999. Ronald Mellor, Augustus and the Creation of the Roman Empire: A Brief History with Documents. The Bedford Series in History and Culture, 2005. Ronald Mellor and Marni McGee, The Ancient Roman World. The World in Ancient Times. Oxford, 2004. Nigel Rodgers, Consultant: Dr. Hazel Dodge FSA, Life in Ancient Rome. Art And Literature, Religion And Mythology, Sport And Games, Science And Technology: The Fascinating Social History Of Senators, Slaves And The People Of Rome. Anness Publishing, 2007 Chris Scarre, Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. Thames and Hudson, 1997. Chris Scarre, The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome, Penguin, 1995. Oliver Taplin, (Editor) Literature in the Roman World, Oxford, 2004.

46 Primary Documents Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Augustus Has Brought Peace. 13 BCE. Translated by Ronald Mellor, 2005. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor. Titus Livius. The History of Rome. Books 1-5. Translated, with Introduction And Notes, By Valerie M. Warrior. Hacket Publishing, 2006. Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, On Augustus Sense of Humor. Saturn., IV, xiv, Second Century CE. Translated by Ronald Mellor, 2005. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor. Mestrius Plutarchus. The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. The Dryden Translation. Great Books of the Western World 13. Second Edition, Mortimer J. Adler, Editor in Chief Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1990 Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, The Twelve Caesars. On the Ides of March. Second Century CE. Translated by Ronald Mellor. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, The Twelve Caesars. On The Restoration of the Republic. Second Century CE. Translated by Ronald Mellor, 2005. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor. Publius Virgilius Maro, A Description of the Battle of Actium. 19 BCE. Translated by Ronald Mellor. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor. Publius Vergilius Maro, Aeneid, Book 1, 1-19. Translated by Bryan Butler. Reproduced courtesy of Bryan Butler. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, On How Augustus Was Patron of the Arts. 23 BCE. Translated by Ronald Mellor, 2005. Reproduced courtesy of Ronald Mellor.

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