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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Attica > Athens > galleries > Acropolis
to Athens photo galleries main page Athens galleries The Athens Acropolis 17 of 36
The east side of the Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The east side of the Parthenon, in front of which are the ruins of the Temple of Roma and Augustus.

Remains of the Temple of Roma and Augustus on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Parts of Ionic columns of the Temple of Roma and Augustus,
built some time after 27 BC.
 
The small circular temple, which stood on a rectangular poros foundation about 23 metres to the east of the Parthenon, was the last significant building constructed on the Acropolis during antiquity. The remains of parts of the temple now stand on its original site.

The temple had a diameter of over 7 metres, with a circle of nine Ionic columns supporting a conical roof. It is not known whether the cella was open (as in the late 19th century reconstruction, right) or enclosed by a wall within the circle of columns.

The exact date of the building of the temple is unknown. The posthumous deification of Julius Caesar started the trend for the worship of emperors as gods. Several temples dedicated to Roma and the first emperor, Augustus (Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, 63 BC - 14 AD, reigned 27 BC - 14 AD), were built around the expanding empire during the reign of his successor Tiberius. Cities competed to become the official centre of the imperial cult for their province. (See Pergamon gallery 2, pages 6 and 7.)

Having supported Augustus' enemies Brutus and Cassius, and then Antony and Cleopatra, the Athenians were keen to please him when he finally proved victorious, and grateful that he only punished the city lightly. It is therefore probable that this temple was built during his lifetime.

It is known that both Augustus and his friend and ally Marcus Agrippa visited Athens and became benefactors of the city; apparently, a cult grew around them here and at other Greek cities. (see Acropolis gallery page 8)

The dedication to Roma, as the personification of the imperial capital, served both to remind subject cities of the new centre of power, as well as to mitigate the hubris of the emperors. The mention of Roma was gradually dropped, and later imperial temples were dedicated to an emperor, often in conjunction with another god such as Jupiter/Zeus.

Reconstruction of the Temple of Roma and Augustus, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction of the Temple
of Roma and Augustus. [1]
 
Statue of Emperor Augstus at My Favourite Planet

Emperor Augstus as a
youthful hero. Detail of
a statue thought to have
been made in Thessaloniki
during the reign of his
successor Tiberius (14-37 AD).

Thessaloniki Archaeological
Museum.
photos and articles:
© David John
Acropolis gallery
photos of the Propylaea, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Propylaia
 
photos of the Athena Nike Temple, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Athena Nike
Temple
 
photos of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Parthenon
 
photos of the Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Erechtheion
 
photos of the Odeion of Herod Atticus, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Odeion of
Herod Atticus
 
photos of the Dionysos Theatre, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos Theatre
For other features
of the Acropolis see
Gallery contents
 
Ionic column capital from the Temple of Roma and Augustus, the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The capital of an Ionic column from the Temple of Roma and Augustus.
Reconstruction drawing of an Ionic capital at My Favourite Planet

Late 19th century reconstruction drawing of a similar Ionic capital.

Illustration from Jakob von Falke, Hellas und Rom, eine Culturgeschichte des classischen
Alterthums
. W. Spemann, Stuttgart, 1878. Published in English as Greece and Rome,
their life and art
. Translated by William Hand Browne. Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1886.
 
Athena handing Emperor Augustus victory at My Favourite Planet

A medal of Emperor Augustus, showing Minerva/Athena literally
handing him victory in the form of Victoria/Nike.

Image source: James Stuart and Nicholas Revett,
The Antiquities of Athens, measured and delineated,
Volume IV, Of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Pola,
chapter II, page 13. J. Taylor, London, 1816.
At archive.org.
 
The Temple of
Roma and Augustus
Notes, references, links

1. Reconstruction of the Temple of Roma and Augustus, published in Hermann Luckenbach, Die Akropolis von Athen, page 46. R. Oldenburg, Munich and Berlin, 1905. At Heidelberg University Library.
 
Photos, maps and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays and articles
about Greece:

Athens (street life)

Athens (Aristotle's Lyceum)

Dion

Kastellorizo

Meteora

Pella

Polygyros

Thessaloniki
 
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