Italian History IV: Hail, Caesar!

Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127, Italian History IV: Hail, Caesar!, Italy, Italy (Photo by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher)
Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127, Ancient Roman architecture (125 BC–AD 450), General

Julius Caesar and the rise of the Roman Empire

At the end of the 2C BC, the Republic, sped along by a corrupt Senate, was corroding into near-collapse.

Julius Caesar—successful general, skilled orator, and shrewd politician—stepped in to help maintain control over Rome’s vast territories, but from the day Caesar declared himself “dictator for life,” Rome, as a Republic, was finished. After sharing governmental power with others in a series of Triumvirates, Caesar became the sole Consul in 44 BC.

Caesar rose in popular influence partly by endearing himself to the lower classes through a lifelong fight against the corrupt Senate. As his power crested, he forced many immoral senators to flee Rome, introduced social reforms, inaugurated the first of many new public building programs in the center of Rome (still visible as the Forum of Caesar), and added Gaul (France) to the dying Republic.

But Caesar’s emphasis on the plebians and their concerns (as well as his own thirst for power) did little to endear him to the old guard of patricians and senators. On March 15, 44 BC, Caesar strolled out of the Baths of Pompey to meet Brutus, Cassius, and other “friends” who lay in wait with daggers hidden beneath their togas.

Caesar left everything to his nephew and heir, the 18-year-old Octavian. From the increasingly irrelevant Senate, Octavian eventually received the title Augustus Caesar, and from the people, lifetime tribuneship.

And so Octavian became Emperor Augustus, sole ruler of Rome and most of the Western world.

General tours
 
More tours
 
 
 

Roman in Italy

Sights in Italy

Second Temple of Hera, also called Temple of Neptune or Temple of Poseidon

The top ancient sites and ruins in Italy

 

Topics in Italy

Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127 (Photo by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher)

The great Roman architectural innovations were the load-bearing arch and the use of concrete, brick, and stone

 

Where to find the best ancient Roman sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes in Italy

 

Ancient in Italy

Sights in Italy

The top ancient sites and ruins in Italy

 

Topics in Italy

Celtic gold-plated bronze disc from Auvers-sur-Oise, Val-d'Oise, dated to early 4th century BC; on display at the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (Photo by Gun Powder Ma)

Greek colonies settled the Sicilian and Southern Italian coasts well before the Romans

 
Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127 (Photo by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher)

The great Roman architectural innovations were the load-bearing arch and the use of concrete, brick, and stone

 

Where to find the best ancient Roman sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes in Italy

 

The art of early Christians was Roman in style, but its themes were starting to explore the figures and motifs that would soon become familiar

 

More on Roman

☆☆☆
Museo Archeologico
Southern Perugia

Umbria's main archaeological museum

 
☆☆☆
Desenzano
Southern Lake Garda

The town anchoring Gardsa's SW corner is home to Northern Italy's best-=preserved ancient Roman villa

 
☆☆☆
The Mausoleum of Augustus as it was in 2016 (ongoing works are transforming it so it can open to the public) (Photo by Ethan Doyle White)
Mausoleo di Augusto
Rome: Tridente

The tomb of the emperor Augustus

 
☆☆☆
Toscolano-Maderno
Garda's eastern shore

A beach town and Romanesque church on Garda's western shore

 
☆☆☆
Base di Tiberio, with personifications of the cities, from Pozzuoli (this museum has a plaster replica; the original's in the Archaeological Museum of Naples) (Photo by Sailko)

The Phlagrean Fields Archaeological Museum in the medieval Castello di Baia castle

 
☆☆☆
The Mithraic temple (Photo by Nik893)
The Mithraeum
Santa Maria Capua Vetere

A frescoed temple to an ancient Persian blood cult

 
☆☆☆
A Roman-era tomb in the necropolis below St. Peter's (Photo Fabbrica di San Pietro)

The Scavi—an ancient necropolis underneath St. Peter's Basilica—supposedly contain the burial site of Saint Peter alongside other Roman-era tombs

 
☆☆☆
The Teatro di Marcello and trio of columns of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus (Photo by Joadl)
Free
Teatro di Marcello
Rome: Tiber Bend

Marcellus's Theater was the Colosseum 1.0, the original Roman amphitheater

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
Free
Teatro di Pompeo
Rome: Tiber Bend

The remnants of Pompey's Theater are hidden away in the basement of an unassuming restaurant near Campo de' Fiori

 
☆☆☆
Ancient statues in the Aula Ottagona (Photo by Rene Boulay)
Free
Aula Ottagona
Rome: Termini train station

The Aula Ottagona is both the most atmospheric branch of Rome's Museo Nazionale Romano and the only one that's admission-free. Sadly, it's usually closed.

 
Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127 (Photo by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher)

The great Roman architectural innovations were the load-bearing arch and the use of concrete, brick, and stone

 

The Founding of Florence

 

Where to find the best ancient Roman sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes in Italy

 

The legendary twins who founded Rome—and the she-wolf that raised them

 

What was it really like being a gladiator?

 

More on Ancient

☆☆☆
A view of the Circo Massimo from the FAO headquarters (Photo by Le Mai)
Circus Maximus
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

The greatest racing arena in ancient Rome is now a grassy jogging oval and outdoor concert venue

 
☆☆☆
Toscolano-Maderno
Garda's eastern shore

A beach town and Romanesque church on Garda's western shore

 
☆☆☆
The Forum of Caesar, also known as Forum Iulium or Forum Julium, Forum Caesaris, is a forum built by Augustus Caesar in honor of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, near the Forum Romanum in Rome in 46 BC (Photo by Ade Russell)
Forum of Caesar
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

The Forum of Caesar, part of the Imperial Fori in Rome

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by M@rcello;-))
Museo Stibbert
Florence: Outskirts

Incredible private collection that includes the largest display of Japanese arms and armour in Europe

 
☆☆☆
Pozzo Etrusco
Around Corso Vannucci

An ancient Etruscan well

 
☆☆☆
Etruscan sarcophagus, with a terracotta couple, from the 7C BC (Photo by Damian Entwistle)
Villa Giulia
Rome: Outside the walls

An antiquities museum in the Villa Borghese park

 
☆☆☆
The Teatro di Marcello and trio of columns of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus (Photo by Joadl)
Free
Teatro di Marcello
Rome: Tiber Bend

Marcellus's Theater was the Colosseum 1.0, the original Roman amphitheater

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
Free
Teatro di Pompeo
Rome: Tiber Bend

The remnants of Pompey's Theater are hidden away in the basement of an unassuming restaurant near Campo de' Fiori

 
☆☆☆
Transept (Photo by Fczarnowski)
Free
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Rome: Termini train station

Rome's Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri is a church designed by Michelangelo to inhabit the remains of an ancient Roman bathhouse...you'd think it'd be more famous

 
☆☆☆
Ponte Pietra
Città Antica di Verona

Verona's ancient Roman bridge

 
★☆☆
A basement dining room inside an ancient Roman hallway (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Da Pancrazio
Rome: Tiber Bend

Dine in the buried arcades of an ancient Roman stadium

 
★☆☆
 (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)
€€
Da Giggetto
Rome: Lower Tiber Bend

Great artichokes and other Roman Jewish delicacies surrounded by ancient ruins in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

 
Celtic gold-plated bronze disc from Auvers-sur-Oise, Val-d'Oise, dated to early 4th century BC; on display at the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (Photo by Gun Powder Ma)

Greek colonies settled the Sicilian and Southern Italian coasts well before the Romans

 
Forum Romanum, Roman Architecture, from History of Architecture (Fletcher) pg 127 (Photo by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher)

The great Roman architectural innovations were the load-bearing arch and the use of concrete, brick, and stone

 

The Founding of Florence

 

Where to find the best ancient Roman sculpture, mosaics, and frescoes in Italy

 

The art of early Christians was Roman in style, but its themes were starting to explore the figures and motifs that would soon become familiar

 

Brief bios of Pliny the Elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger, ancient Roman scientists and chroniclers of the death of Pompeii

 

The legendary twins who founded Rome—and the she-wolf that raised them

 

What was it really like being a gladiator?