Fox Handout

Imaginary Landscape with the Palatine Hill from Campo Vaccino, by François Boucher, 1734. MET 1982.60.44. Public Domain.

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Passages Discussed

1. Suetonius, Divus Augustus 72.1

In other parts of his life it is agreed that he was most moderate and without suspicion of any vices. He lived first next to the Forum Romanum above the Ringmakers Stairs, in the house which had belonged to Calvus the orator; after that on the Palatine, but in the no less modest house of Hortensius, which was remarkable for neither its size nor its decoration, as it had small porticoes of Alban columns and rooms without marble or decorated pavements. And he remained in the same bedroom for over forty years in winter and summer; although the city proved unfavorable for his health in winter, yet he continually wintered in the city.

In ceteris partibus vitae continentissimum constat ac sine suspicione ullius vitii. Habitavit primo iuxta Romanum Forum supra Scalas anularias, in domo quae Calvi oratoris fuerat; postea in Palatio, sed nihilo minus aedibus modicis Hortensianis, et neque laxitate neque cultu conspicuis, ut in quibus porticus breves essent Albanarum columnarum et sine marmore ullo aut insigni pavimento conclavia. Ac per annos amplius quadraginta eodem cubiculo hieme et aestate mansit, quamvis parum salubrem valitudini suae urbem hieme experiretur assidueque in urbe hiemaret.

2. Velleius Paterculus, Historia Romana 2.81

Then, after Caesar returned to the city as victor, he announced that he intended to set apart several houses for public use, which he had drawn together by purchase through agents, so that it might be made more open around his own house. And he promised that a temple to Apollo would be built with a portico around it, which was constructed by him with singular munificence.

Victor deinde Caesar reversus in urbem contractas emptionibus complures domos per procuratores, quo laxior fieret ipsius, publicis se usibus destinare professus est, templumque Apollinis et circa porticus facturum promisit, quod ab eo singulari exstructum munificentia est.

3. Sallust, Bellum Catilinae 12.2-3

After riches began to be honored, and glory, authority, and power followed them, virtue began to grow dull, poverty was considered shameful, innocence began to be considered as malevolence. Therefore, due to riches, luxury and greed, along with pride, possessed young men; they stole, they wasted, they desired others’ possessions while thinking their own small, and they spurned shame, modesty, all divine and human things, and had no thought or moderation. It is worthwhile, when you recognize their houses and villas built up to the size of cities, to look upon the temple of the gods, which our forefathers, the most religious men, built.

Postquam divitiae honori esse coepere et eas gloria, imperium, potentia sequebatur, hebescere virtus, paupertas probro haberi, innocentia pro malivolentia duci coepit. Igitur ex divitiis iuventutem luxuria atque avaritia cum superbia invasere; rapere, consumere, sua parvi pendere, aliena cupere, pudorem, pudicitiam, divina atque humana promiscua, nihil pensi neque moderati habere. Operae pretium est, cum domos atque villas cognoveris in urbium modum exaedificatas, visere templa deorum, quae nostri maiores, religiosissimi mortales, fecere.

4. Sallust, Bellum Catilinae 20.11-12

For what man, who has a manly spirit, is able to tolerate that those men surpass us in riches, which they waste in building on the sea and levelling mountains, and we lack the income to even buy necessities? When they join together houses two by two or more, and nowhere do we have our lares familiares ? While they buy up paintings, statues, carvings, tear down new structures and build others, drag out and harass their money in every way, yet with the highest wantonness they are not able to conquer their riches.

Etenim quis mortalium, cui virile ingenium est, tolerare potest, illis divitias superare, quas profundant in extruendo mari et montibus coaequandis, nobis rem familiarem etiam ad necessaria deesse? Illos binas aut amplius domos continuare, nobis larem familiarem nusquam ullum esse? Cum tabulas, signa, toreumata emunt, nova diruunt, alia aedificant, postremo omnibus modis pecuniam trahunt, vexant, tamen summa lubidine divitias suas vincere nequeunt.

1. Suetonius, Divus Augustus 56.2

He made his forum more narrow, not daring to tear away the neighboring houses from their owners.

Forum angustius fecit non ausus extorquere posses soribus proximas domos.

Public Domain. Wikimedia.
From B. Platner, The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (1911, 2nd ed.), p. 277. Public Domain.

Selected Bibliography

Carandini, Andrea, ed. The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Biography and Portraits of the City .
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.

Claridge, Amanda. “Reconstructing the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine.” Essay in
Reconstruction and the Historic City: Rome and Abroad – an Interdisciplinary Approach ,
edited by Chrystina Haeuber, Gordon M Winder, and Franz-Xaver Schuetz, Vol. 8.
Beitraege Wirtschaftsgeographie Muenchen, 2014.

Coarelli, Filippo. Rome and Environs: an Archaeological Guide . Translated by James J. Clauss, Daniel P. Harmon, and Pierre A. MacKay. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

Corbier, Mireille. “De La Maison D’Hortensius à La Curia Sur Le Palatin.” Mélanges de l’École
française de Rome. Antiquité
104, no. 2 (1992): 871–916.

Flory, Marleen Boudreau. “Sic Exempla Parantur: Livia’s Shrine to Concordia and the Porticus Liviae.” Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 33, no. 3 (1984).

Hekster, Olivier, and John Rich. “Octavian And The Thunderbolt: The Temple Of Apollo
Palatinus And Roman Traditions Of Temple Building.” The Classical Quarterly 56, no. 1
(2006): 149–68.

Kostof, Spiro. The City Assembled: the Elements of Urban Form Through History . Edited by
Greg Castillo. London: Thames & Hudson, 1992.

———. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History . London: Thames and Hudson, 1991.

Roller, Matthew B. “Demolished Houses, Monumentality, and Memory in Roman Culture.”
Classical Antiquity 29, no. 1 (2010): 117–80.

Tomei, Maria Antonietta., and Gianfilippo Carettoni. Augusto Sul Palatino: Gli Scavi Di
Gianfilippo Carettoni, Appunti Inediti (1955-1984)
. Milano: Electa, 2014.

Wiseman, T. P. “A Debate on the Temple of Apollo Palatinus: Roma Quadrata, Archaic Huts,
the House of Augustus, and the Orientation of Palatine Apollo.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 25 (2012): 371–87.

———. The House of Augustus: a Historical Detective Story . Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 2019.