Devmini Malka Wijeratne presents a working paper on ‚ Bedazzling the city of brick: Why did Augustus renovate and reconstruct existing temples, rather than add new temples to the landscape?‘

The previous chapter focused on Augustus‘ use of his names to imply that he was somehow a saviour and preserver of ancient traditions. This chapter will focus on how he demonstrated this physically. Essentially, this chapter will argue that his restoration and preservation of the decaying temples showed his desire to restore and preserve Roman traditions. It will also argue that prior to building these temples -and then throughout his political carer – Augustus glorified Rome’s past and particularly exaggerated how the city’s adherence to its traditions and rituals were the reason for its success. It will imply that, having little memory of how frequently these practices were observed by older generations, the Roman people would have felt more guilt and grief over the loss of this imagined, glorious past. This in turn would have created greater appreciation for Augustus and his supporters, and their contribution to the revival of the temples and also their traditions. It will also point out that some other reasons for his decision to reconstruct may also have existed. However, while these would not directly have involved some manipulation of sentiments towards old traditions, the reasons behind them were still very political and were still carried out with the intention of maintaining Augustus‘ image of being a moral leader who had the peoples‘ best interests at heart.

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