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'Framing' Romanità:The Celebrations for the Bimillenario Augusteo and the Augusteo–Ara Pacis Project

Kallis, Aristotle (2011) 'Framing' Romanità:The Celebrations for the Bimillenario Augusteo and the Augusteo–Ara Pacis Project. Journal of Contemporary History, 46 (4). pp. 809-831. ISSN 1461-7250

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Abstract

In the early 1930s the fascist authorities took the decision to celebrate the 2000-year anniversary of Augustus’ birth, scheduled for 1937–8. The celebrations constituted the pinnacle of fascism’s identification with romanità and underlined Mussolini's growing tendency to identify with an 'imperial' imagery. They also constituted a crucial landmark in the regime's effort to portray Rome as the sacred centre of a new universal political religion. In this article I focus on the two landmark architectural-urbanistic projects in the context of the Bimillenario that were eventually fused into one: the reconfiguration of Augustus’ Mausoleum and its surrounding zone; and the excavation and reconstruction of the Ara Pacis Roman temple. The extravagant programme of architectural-urbanistic interventions in an area of profound archaeological importance inside the historic centre of Rome provides a case-study for assessing the regime’s growing tendency to use architecture and conspicuous, lavish urban planning as acts of 'framing' the past in new 'sacred' locations where space and time interpenetrated. Through projects such as the Augusteo-Ara Pacis the fascist regime aimed to transform the ‘framed’ relics of the Roman palimpsest into 'sacred' access points of a new, decidedly futural and universal temporality.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Contemporary History
Uncontrolled Keywords: fascism ; archaeology ; architecture ; modernism ; urban planning ; Mussolini
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > History
ID Code: 51674
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 30 Nov 2011 10:01
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2013 09:48
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/51674

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