Prima Porta

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  1. What is the approximate date of the prima porta statue
    After 20BCE
  2. What is the main subject of the prima porta statue
    Augustus as a divine and military figure (military dress and oratorical gesture)
  3. What does the statue of the prima porta depict
    Augustus adressing troops wearing a breastplate with depictions of gods
  4. What is the style of the prima porta statue
    • Greek style, contraposto pose, the statue is a copy of Doryphorus by Polycleitus
    • Iconic Greek sculpture created during the height of 5th century Athens influence
  5. What is a basic meaning of the prima porta statue
    • Augustus has gods on his side
    • Augustus is an international military victor
    • He is a bringer of the pax romana
  6. What do augustus' bare feet signify on the prima porta statue
    His link with the gods ie. The heroic imagery
  7. What is the figure beside the statue's right leg and explain it's significance
    • Cupid riding a dolphin
    • Cupid relates to the story of Venus' birth from the sea on arrival ashore in a shell drawn by dolphins ; a sign of Augustus' family claim and his link to caesar and his descent from Venus
    • Whilst the dolphin symbolises his victory at Actium
    • He is further attempting to legitimise his power
  8. What do the central figures of the prima porta statue depict
    • A roman receiving the lost standards from a parthian
    • This is a direct reference to the international diplomatic victory of Augustus in 20BCE
  9. Which gods feature on the breastplate of the prima porta statue? Top sides and bottom
    • Sky and earth gods - top and bottom centre
    • Sun and moon - top left and right
    • Apollo and Diana - bottom left and right
  10. What are the side figures on the prima porta statue
    • Female personifications of conquered provinces and client states
    • Signifies Augustus' prowess as a military victor and general and reinstates the idea of him being successful and the bringer of peace
  11. What is the figure at the bottom of the breastplate
    • Tellus, the earth goddess
    • Thus is an additional allusion to the Pax romana
  12. Why was the statue important
    It is likely many copies would have been made and distributed throughout the pure as it was important for him to spread his image and knowledge of his attributes
  13. What do the figures on the prima porta statue commemorate
    • Victory over the parthians in 20BCE
    • Collective imagery of the empire and domination
    • Supported by divine and especially cosmic powers
  14. How does the prima porta statue link with the forum of augustus
    • Traditional classic statue matches augustus' gradual formalisation of city spaces with traditional classical buildings (eg temple of Mars altor)
    • Use of codified imagery and stylistic references (also on ara pacis and links with Greek parthians frieze parallels)
    • Persistent reference to the past in all of augustus' presentation of his activities
  15. How does the statue link to appollo
    Augutsus' face is depicted in the manner of Apollo to associate his abilities with that of a god
  16. What is Augutsus doing by following the Polycleitus cannon
    • He is connecting himself with the golden age of a previous civilisation
    • He empowers himself through Greek tradition
    • He will create a new golden age
  17. What do the scenes on the breastplate essentially do
    Act as a personal résumé got his many victimes and achievements : it is visual propaganda
  18. What is the purpose of the religious imagery
    By including these gods Augutsus congés that he is a strict supporter of the traditional roman religion and that the gods shine down with approval on his principate
  19. How did Augutsus want to portray himself
    • As a perfect leader with flawless features and personifying then power and authority of an empire
    • He has the capacity to stavlbilise the empire
Card Set
Prima Porta
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