Mausoleum of Augustus

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Mausoleum of Augustus (Mausoleo di Augusto) is an ancient Roman tomb, built by the emperor Augustus in 28 BCE on the Campus Martius (Field of Mars) in Rome, Italy. The mausoleum is located on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, near the corner with Via di Ripetta as it runs along the Tiber.

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Overview

The Mausoleum of Augustus stands as an enduring testament to the architectural prowess and political significance of the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus Caesar. Erected in the heart of ancient Rome, this monumental mausoleum, often regarded as the prototype for subsequent imperial tombs, encapsulates the socio-cultural milieu of its time while serving as a tangible symbol of Augustus's power and legacy. This academic overview delves into the architectural features, historical context, and cultural implications of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

Commissioned by emperor Augustus as a dynastic burial site, the Mausoleum reflects the political consolidation and transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Augustus, the first Roman emperor, employed architecture as a tool of propaganda, using the mausoleum to consolidate his familial and political legitimacy. The monument was positioned within the Campus Martius (Field of Mars), a space historically associated with military drills and public assembly, strategically placing the imperial lineage in proximity to civic life.

Architecture

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The Mausoleum of Augustus, completed in 28 BCE, showcases a combination of Hellenistic and Roman architectural elements. Its circular plan, reminiscent of Hellenistic tholos tombs and temples, most likely crowned by a conical roof, evoking a sense of grandeur and timelessness. The exterior was adorned with a fa├žade composed of travertine and marble, boasting intricate friezes and reliefs that narrate Augustus's military victories and family lineage. Within, a central chamber houses the burial site of emperor Augustus and his kin, encircled by chambers containing urns holding the remains of other family members.

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