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Home > Route through the rooms > Section on the Forum... > The model of the Forum of Augustus in the Iberian peninsula
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Introduction to the Forum of Augustus

Reconstruction of the attic from one of the porticoes in the Forum of Augustus

Section on the Forum of Augustus

Inaugurated in the 2 BC, the Forum of Augustus consists of a rectangular square paved with white marble slabs, dominated, at its lower end, by the temple dedicated to Mars Ultor, also built in white marble from the quarry in Luni today known as Carrara. The temple was built against a high wall built of blocks of tufa stone that separated the forum from the rowdy Subura neighborhood.
 The square was flanked on both sides by long deep porticoes in which the column shafts were made of ancient yellow marble. The attic above the columns is embellished with decorative Caryatids, whose elegant hairstyles support a headband carved from the same block, above which is a Doric capital with echinus, embellished with a typical Ionic kyma. The Caryatids appear to be holding up the coping with a baccellatura motif. In the recesses between the Caryatids, quadrangular panels feature round shields bearing an assortment of motifs set in convex frames whilst at the centre, there are heads of Jupiter each with different features.
 There are several rooms dedicated to the Forum of August inside the Museum of the Imperial Fora, each displaying various     reconstructions of the architectural elements from the Temple of Mars Ultor. These include the orders from both the porticoes and the exedra, and in fact one of the most significant of these is a partition from the attic above the Forum's porticoes which were located the most prestigious area in Trajan's Market: the Great Hall.

The reconstruction of the attic from one of the porticoes in the Forum of Augustus was achieved by piecing together several original pieces in Luna marble integrated with resin moulds and other pieces made of limestone.

Piece of the roof coping (the shaped upper end or sima, with rainwater spout shaped like a lion's head) FA 1118

Various sections of the roof coping:
 FA 909 FA 917 FA 918 FA 914

Head of Jupiter Hammon: FA 2513

Piece of the frame from a shield (clipeus): FA 1117

Section of frame surrounding a panel (comprising three pieces that fit together)
 FA 4385 4328 4302

Resin mould of a Caryatid taken from the original held in the National Archaeological Museum of Florence in the Villa Corsini (13711)

Forum of Augustus - Attic of the Porticoes

Forum of Augustus - Façade and Attic of the Porticoes

Forum of Augustus - Porticoes and Exedras

Forum of Augustus - Hall of the Colossus

Forum of Augustus - Temple of Mars Ultor

The model of the Forum of Augustus in the Iberian peninsula

The model of the Forum of Augustus in the Iberian peninsula

The central niche of the exedra in the northern section of the Forum was home to a group of sculptures featuring Aeneas as he flees from Troy, saving not only his father Anchises and his young son Ascanius, founder of the gens Iulia (the Julian dynasty) but also the Lares and Penates, the statues of the household gods of Troy, which he took to Rome. It was Romulus who featured in the southern exedra however, to whom Augustus, as the new founder of the city and its empire, looked to for inspiration.
Sadly few of the many relics from the Forum, still safeguarded in the Museum's store-rooms, appear to come from either of these groups, although luckily, there are some exceptional pieces found during excavations in the old Hispanic provinces that have helped determine how they looked. In fact, the statuary from the Forum of Augustus in Rome provided “models” that were exported to other cities in the Empire, the Iberian peninsula in particular, where entire monumental complexes inspired by the Capital began to appear, although the need to feature other figures more appropriate to their location, meant that inevitably there were some differences. 
A reconstruction of the group statue featuring Aeneas was possible however, as it also appeared in the “Marble Forum” in Mérida, (Spain), the ancient city of Emerita Augusta, capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, using moulds of pieces preserved in the city's Museum of Roman Art and the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. Another mould, donated by Cordoba's City Council is also exhibited in this room. Part of the statuary from the Forum in Cordoba (capital of the Roman province of Betica) and donated by the City council there, it features a man wearing Roman body armour (lorica). 
Reconstruction of the group sculpture featuring Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius made from resin moulds taken from original pieces found in the Marble Forum in Mérida, Spain.

Moulds:

- Mould of Anchises draped head and arm, a piece from the group sculpture
Taken from the original held by the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida
(inv. MNAR 33675 & MNAR 34597 ) 
FA2489

- Mould of Aeneas' pelvis, a piece from the group sculpture
Taken from the original held by the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida
(inv. MNAR 33676) 
FA 2490 

- Mould of the statue of Ascanius
Taken from the original held by the National Museum of Roman Art in Madrid
(inv. MAN 34432) 
FA 2488 

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