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Temple of Divus Augustus

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Source: TcfkaPanairjdde

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The Temple of Divus Augustus was a major temple originally built to commemorate the deified first Roman emperor, Augustus. It was built between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, behind the Basilica Julia, on the site of the house that Augustus had inhabited before he entered public life in the mid-1st century BC. It is known from Roman coinage that the temple was originally built to an Ionic hexastyle design. However, its size, physical proportions and exact site are unknown. Provincial temples of Augustus, such as the much smaller Temple of Augustus in Pula, now in Croatia, had already been constructed during his lifetime. Probably because of popular resistance to the notion, he was not officially deified in Rome until after his death, when a temple at Nola in Campania, where he died, seems to have been begun. Subsequently, temples were dedicated to him all over the Roman Empire.
The temple's construction took place during the 1st century AD, having been vowed by the Roman Senate shortly after the death of the emperor in AD 14. Ancient sources disagree on whether it was constructed by Augustus' successor Tiberius and Augustus' widow Livia or by Tiberius alone. It was not until after the death of Tiberius in 37 that the temple was finally completed and dedicated by his successor Caligula. Some scholars have suggested that the delays in completing the temple indicated that Tiberius had little regard for the honours of his predecessor. Others have argued the opposite case, pointing to evidence that Tiberius made his last journey from his villa on Capri with the intention of entering Rome and dedicating the temple. However, the emperor died at Misenum on the Bay of Naples before he could set off for the capital. Ittai Gradel suggests that the long building phase of the temple was a sign of the painstaking effort that went into its construction.


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