With Dr. Eireann Marshall
The first emperor of Rome had to overcome a civil war and establish a new world based on one-man rule. A remarkable politician, Augustus established the paradigm of what the emperor should be: a first among equals. He bought the house from Cicero’s arch-nemesis, Hortensius, and it largely remained the house of a successful Republican politician, rather than a palace of an emperor. While his house emphasized his modesty, it was also redolent with history and divinity. It was built near the huts of Romulus, thereby linking the emperor with the founder of Rome; it also incorporated the Temple of Apollo, which helped link Augustus with the god who was said to have guaranteed his victory at the Battle of Actium. In all of these ways, the palace encapsulated everything Augustus wanted to express about his reign.