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Mausoleum of Augustus

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Ave, all! Long time no post, but never stopped checking in now and then. Like the new forum.
 
Very interested to see a news blip about the Mausoleum of Augustus is to be restored. I admit, this is the first I knew of it. Were the remains of Augustus and his wife Livia,Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and Caligula really interred here? I read that the building suffered greatly over the centuries, but will we ever know what became of the "bones and ashes" of the afore mentioned Roman emperors?
Why wouldn't this be important to historians down through the ages?
 
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last i heard was at the smithonian website;

“It is one of Rome’s most important monuments,” Claudio Parisi Presicce, a senior cultural heritage official tells Squires. “It hasn’t been accessible to the public for decades but now it’s going to be finally restored to the city.”

According to Edwards, the first stage will be simply clearing out all the trash and weeds that have accumulated in and around the monument. Then masons will repair the crumbling brick and what marble remains. Archaeologists will also be commissioned to dig on parts of the site that have not yet been explored. Then, restorers will add lights and walkways and a multimedia interpretive resources. And of course there will be a gift shop worthy of an emperor.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rome-finally-restoring-mausoleum-augustus-180963132/

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Thanks Viggen. How are you?

Yes, that's the article I read. It didn't mention where the bones are or what may have happened to them. What I meant to say, "Wouldn't that have been important to people down through the ages?"  But I guess it's been a long time and the building has gone through many changes.  The ashes and bones were probably merely tossed aside.

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I would so love to see this when it is re-opened!

 

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Yes, that's the article I read. It didn't mention where the bones are or what may have happened to them. What I meant to say, "Wouldn't that have been important to people down through the ages?"  But I guess it's been a long time and the building has gone through many changes.  The ashes and bones were probably merely tossed aside.[/quote]

Funerary practice typical of the early principate (you mention those Caesar's :) ) was cremation so no bones. Burials or incarnations of remains were typical of early Christian belief because they believed the dead would rise again and needed to be whole.

 

Edited by caldrail

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The Etruscans entombed their dead without cremation, as did some of the older Roman families.  For example, Sulla was buried outside the walls of Rome.  But men like him were very much the exception.

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As often happens in human societies the problem of what to do with the dead changes with the scale of the problem. In the same way that the Victorians eventually accepted the necessity of cremation to deal with the sheer numbers of deceased in London, so the Romans adapted their methods to deal with the relative lack of space in burial grounds around Rome. After all, Roman settlements are notable for the long lines of small mausoleums and memorials built along roadsides out of town.

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In 28 BC, Augustus, the first Roman emperor, built a monumental family tomb at the Campus Martius, an area north of the Capitoline Hill. Today only ruins remain of what was once one of the most venerable buildings of Rome.

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Well yes, but then Suetonius writes that he considers Julius Caesar the first (by virtue that Caesar had himself voted Dictator-For-Life, giving him full executive power as long as he lived - the only Roman to be so empowered after the kings were removed) and that we call Roman Caesars 'Emperors' - they did not, nor was there any such official  role in Roman society. Roman Caesars based their power on two aspects - control of the legions (Normally through the honorary title of Imperator "Victorious General") and social status (Princeps "First Citizen"), plus odd governmental posts and powers such as tribunates and consulships. Most of these titles and powers were renewed by the Senate as and when. In other words, although not kings, these Caesars were tying al sorts of influence and power together to achieve something like the same position without disturbing Rome's antipathy of monarchy - this is why Adrian Goldsworthy refers to the Caesars as a "veiled monarchy" though personally I see it as a transitional form of domination. As Mary Beard points out in SPQR, Augustus did not simply invent 'emperor'; he experimented and developed the role during his reign, becoming more and more powerful as he 'seduced' the Roman world. Successors partially emulated him, partially attempted to extend the official status of one person rule, and partially assume powers normally ascribed to other parts of the government such as the Senate and popular voting assemblies. This is why we have the later imperial period called the Dominate, by which time the popular vote had gone forever and the Senate effectively powerless. Because military control was so vital to the survival of Roman rulers, they usually wished to assume the title of Imperator which has become synonymous with imperial power and is the origin of the modern word 'Emperor'.

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