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The city, which was not built in a manner suitable to the grandeur of the empire, and was liable to inundations of the Tiber, 1 as well as to fires, was so much improved under his administration, that he boasted, not without reason, that he "found it of brick, but left it of marble." 2 He also rendered it secure for the time to come against such disasters, as far as could be effected by human foresight. A great number of public buildings were erected by him, the most considerable of which were a forum, 3 containing the temple of Mars the Avenger, the temple of Apollo on the Palatine hill, and the temple of Jupiter Tonans in the capitol. The reason of his building a new forum was the vast increase in the population, and the number of causes to be tried in the courts, for which, the two already existing not affording sufficient space, it was thought necessary to have a third. It was therefore opened for public use before the temple of Mars was completely finished; and a law was passed, that causes should be tried, and judges chosen by lot, in that place. The temple of Mars was built in fulfilment of a vow made during the war of Philippi, undertaken by him to avenge his father's murder. He ordained that the senate should always assemble there when they met to deliberate respecting wars and triumphs; that thence should be despatched all those who were sent into the provinces in the command of armies; and that in it those who returned victorious from the wars, should lodge the trophies of their triumphs. He erected the temple of Apollo4 in that part of his house on the Palatine hill which had been struck with lightning, and which, on that account, the soothsayers declared the God to have chosen. He added porticos to it, with a library of Latin and Greek authors; 5 and when advanced in years, used frequently there to hold the senate, and examine the rolls of the judges. He dedicated the temple to Jupiter Tonans [or. Apollo Tonans],6 in acknowledgment of his escape from a great danger in his Cantabrian expedition; when, as he was travelling in the night, his litter was struck by lightning, which killed the slave who carried a torch before him. He likewise constructed some public buildings in the name of others; for instance, his grandsons, his wife, and sister. Thus he built the portico and basilica of Lucius and Caius, and the porticos of Livia and Octavia.7 and the theatre of Marcellus.8 He also often exhorted other persons of rank to embellish the city by new buildings, or repairing and improving the old, according to their means. In consequence of this recommendation, many were raised; such as the temple of Hercules and the Muses, by Marcius Philippus; a temple of Diana by Lucius Cornificius; the Court of Freedom by Asinius Pollio; a temple of Saturn by Munatius Plancus; a theatre by Cornelius Balbus9; an amphitheatre by Statilius Taurus, and several other noble edifices by Marcus Agrippa.10
1 The Tiber has been always remarkable for the frequency of its inundations and the ravages they occasioned, as remarked by Pliny, iii. 5. Livy mentions several such occurrences, as well as one extensive fire, which destroyed great part of the city.
2 The well-known saying of Augustus, recorded by Suetonius, that he found a city of bricks, but left it of marble, has another version given it by Dio, who applies it to his consolidation of the government, to the following effect: "That Rome, which I found built of mud, I shall leave you firm as a rock."-Dio. lvi. p. 589.
3 The same motive which engaged Julius Caesar to build a new forum, induced Augustus to erect another. See his life c. x. It stood behind the present churches of St. Adrian and St. Luke, and was almost parallel with the public forum, but there are no traces of it remaining. The temple of Mars Ultor, adjoining. has been mentioned before, p. 90.
4 The temple of the Palatine Apollo stood, according to Bianchini, a little beyond the triumphal arch of Titus. It appears, from the reverse of a medal of Augustus, to have been a rotondo, with an open portico, something like the temple of Vesta. The statues of the fifty daughters of Danae surrounded the portico; and opposite to them were their husbands on horseback. In this temple were preserved some of the finest works of the Greek artists, both in sculpture and painting. Here, in the presence of Augustus, Horace's Carmen Seculare was sung by twenty-seven noble youths, and as many virgins. And here, as our author informs us, Augustus, towards the end of his reign, often assembled the senate.
5 The library adjoined the temple, and was under the protection of Apollo. Caius Julius Hegenus, a freedman of Augustus, and an eminent grammarian, was the librarian.
6 The three fluted Corinthian columns of white marble, which stand on the declivity of the Capitoline hill, are commonly supposed to be the remains of the temple of Jupiter Tonans, erected by Augustus. Part of the frieze and cornice are attached to them, which with the capitals of the columns are finely wrought. Suetonius tells us on what occasion this temple was erected. Of all the epithets given to Jupiter, none conveyed more terror to superstitious minds than that of the Thunderer-
We shall find this temple mentioned again in c. lxxxix. of the life of Au- gustus.
7 The Portico of Octavia stood between the Flaminian circus and the theatre of Marcellus, enclosing the temples of Jupiter and Juno, said to have been built in the time of the republic. Several remains of them exist in the Pescheria or fish-market; they were of the Corinthian order, and have been traced and engraved by Piranesi.
8 The magnificent theatre of Marcellus was built on the site where Suetonius has before informed us that Julius Caesar intended to erect one (p. 37). It stood between the portico of Octavia and the hill of the capitol. Augustus gave it the name of his nephew Marcelhis, though he was then dead. Its ruins are still to be seen in the Piazza Montanara, where the Orsini family have a palace erected on the site.
10 Among these were, at least, the noble portico, if not the whole, of the Pantheon, still the pride of Rome, under the name of the Rotondo, on the frieze of which may be seen the inscription, “M. AGRIPPA. L. F. COS. TERTIUM. FECIT.” Agrippa also built the temple of Neptune, and the portico of the Argonauts.
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