Rebuilding the Republic. The Propaganda in Architecture of Caesar and Pompey in Rome
thesisposted on 10.07.2017, 10:18 authored by Eleonora Zampieri
This PhD thesis investigates how political propaganda was carried out via architectural display by Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great in Rome during the mid-first century BC. Only recently have scholars begun to focus on the ideological meaning and importance of monuments in the context of the political struggles of the Late Republic; furthermore, while the figure of Caesar has recently seen re-assessment, the theatre of Pompey and its decorative programme and ideological meaning are still a matter of debate. Since architecture was one of the main media in a Roman politician’s efforts to gain prestige and support, my intention is to understand the political reasons and the propagandistic needs that led these two great figures to the promotion of particular buildings in a specific context. Furthermore, the diachronic development of the ideological content of those monuments is analysed, as well as the target of that content. The results of my research confirm that the political conflict between Caesar and Pompey was very visible in their monumental programmes, and demonstrate that these interventions progressively acquired new meanings in relation to political events and to the shifting balances of power. Finally, new interpretations are presented in connection to the plurality of meanings that a single propagandistic message could acquire according to the cultural education and social status of the groups and individuals for which it was intended.