Salvete amici amicaeque!
Magistra Miller here, along with an old friend, Suetonius, to help me introduce my Latin Academy lesson, entitled Monimenta Romana.
urbem neque pro maiestate imperii ornatam et inundationibus incendiisque obnoxiam excoluit adeo,
ut iure sit gloriatus marmoream se relinquere, quam latericiam accepisset.
Finding Rome’s architecture both lacking in imperial dignity and prone to floods and fires, Augustus
improved the city so greatly that he could rightly boast to have found it sun-baked brick and left it
Suetonius, De Vitae Caesarum, Divus Augustus, 28.3
In my lesson, Monimenta Romana, we will take a glance at a handful of monuments in the city of Rome, while using ancient texts, like this passage from Suetonius, as our major source of information and commentary. Because of the quantity and influence of Augustus’ building projects, we will largely be studying works of architecture built under his reign.
We will focus less on the technical architectural aspects of these buildings, and more on their status as monuments, structures which are meant to serve as reminders, from the Latin monere. We will begin to answer questions such as how did powerful Romans use structures to send messages? What did these intended messages tell us about the Roman people? What can we learn from ancient texts about structures with minimal ruins?
Along the way, we may also encounter some history, some poetry, some Roman daily life, some emperor-mocking, and some GREEK. I’m looking forward to taking this tour with you, and I can’t wait to meet you all, and discuss these questions further!
This blog will document the MMXX virtual session of the Virginia Governor's Latin Academy.