Unit 5 Discussion: The Age of Augustus: History as an Art and a Science

Using at least three of the different types of sources below (e.g., one coin, one statue, and one building), write at least one well-developed paragraph, describing your impressions of Augustan Rome through the eyes of your chosen role. Be sure to respond to at least two classmates’ posts.

What was it like to live in the city of Rome in the Age of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE)? While a number of Roman historians tell us the political history of the period, examining the age of Augustus through objects that the Romans themselves encountered at the time, such as coins, statues, public buildings, and inscriptions, allows us to get as close as we possibly can to seeing Augustan Rome with Roman eyes. In the process, working with material culture, rather than more traditional written sources, enables us to experience history as both an art and a science.

For this assignment, please select one of the following roles:

  1. Augustus
  2. Augustus’ wife, Livia
  3. A Roman Senator
  4. A poor Roman male citizen, who is a resident of the city of Rome
  5. A Roman citizen from a far-away province, who is visiting Rome for the first time
  6. A foreign diplomat who is not a Roman citizen, and is visiting Rome for the first time

Coins: (please watch the entire slide show before selecting examples of coins that you may use for your post)


Ara Pacis Augustae —

Statue of Augustus from the villa of his wife, Livia, at Prima Porta —

Buildings and Construction Projects:

Forum of Augustus —

Temple of Mars Ultor —

Temple of Apollo Palatinus –

Inscription – Res Gestae Divi Augusti (Augustus’ autobiography, which he wrote less than a year before his death, and which was posted on his Mausoleum in Rome, and in major cities throughout the Roman Empire) —