The exedras

From the mighty columns the porticos to the exedras lining the internal section we can perhaps imagine hearings being conducted. The first exedras of the forum had niches, which were a bit narrower than the porticos. Even so in their curved lines they hosted the most important statue cycles, all of which were set on tablatures with tituli and elogia. Through the reign of the characters represented and the chronicles of their actions, the statues were in fact part of Augustus’s propaganda plan.

Ricostruzione grafica dell'esedra settentrionale del Foro di Augusto allestita a tribunale

Placed in the central niche of the northern exedra was the sculptural group of Aeneas escaping from Troy and saving his father Anchises and son Ascanio; personages that were the founding fathers of gens Iulia  (Julius clan). On the side niches, the kings of Albalonga represented the origins of Rome, while in the southern exedra Romulus was placed. Augustus had named him as the new founder of the city and its empire. On both sides of Romulus the summi viri appear those who according to the ideology of Augustan had “done” greatness to Rome either of a military and civilian nature.

Foro di Augusto - Portici ed Esedre