Trajanic monumentality and the legacy of Augustus: appropriation, emulation and transformation

Greer, Alison Elizabeth (2019) Trajanic monumentality and the legacy of Augustus: appropriation, emulation and transformation. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


The Tropaeum Traiani was one of two trophy monuments known to be erected on foreign soil since the time of Augustus. Distinctive in both form and decoration, its most prominent feature is its striking resemblance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome, which is itself a ‘dual purpose’ monument and can be regarded as a trophy-mausoleum. This resemblance is the starting point for an investigation into the ways in which Trajan’s monumental building programme demonstrates his deliberate emulation of Augustus as part of his own imperial strategy.
This research begins with a systematic analysis of the Adamclisi trophy, drawing out its connections to the Mausoleum and Ara Pacis. The Augustan trophy at La Turbie forms the next stage of the study. The dialogue between Trajanic and Augustan monumentality is most evident in monuments such as the Beneventum Arch and the Forum complex, these monuments are the subjects under discussion in the fourth and fifth chapters.
Before forging ahead with his programme, Trajan required to deal with the negative associations and memories of the more recent past. He was also careful not to neglect public amenity projects, embarking upon works such as water and drainage systems, worthy of his status as pater patriae.
The rebuilt Circus Maximus allowed Trajan to overwrite the Domitianic past by reshaping people’s perceptions and memories, and his grand Thermae took care of both Nero and possibly also Domitian. However, it was with the war booty from Dacia that Trajan could step up his expenditure on building projects; in Rome it was now a case of ‘bigger and better’, and the Forum represented Trajanic building at its peak. Although Augustus had been a useful model from early in his reign, here in his new forum, larger than any others, the iconographic programme made clear that it was a celebration of Trajan. In his rewriting of the past and his carefully designed monumental programme, Trajan had been able to present himself as the ‘new Augustus’, but on his own terms.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright issues the full text of this thesis is not available. Access to the print version is available.
Keywords: Trajanic and Augustan monumentality in dialogue, Tropaeum Traiani, Mausoleum of Augustus, Ara Pacis, Fora of Trajan and Augustus, Arch of Beneventum, Trajan's emulation of Augustus.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Supervisor's Name: Steel, Professor Catherine and Moignard, Professor Elizabeth
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Ms ALISON GREER
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-73005
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2019 12:40
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 22:14
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.73005

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