................MORALITY IN THE AGE OF AUGUSTUS There was an intensive package of legislation by Augustus dealing with morality in 18 BC.

All sorts of areas of life were involved and were new although they tried to enforce a traditional morality. Especially new were the ones which tried to enforce marital and sexual relationships with a view to promoting marriage and the production of children. It was carefully graded according to your status in society. So adultery was defined as a sexual relationship only between a Roman male citizen and a married Roman citizen woman. Also illegal were relationships between an unmarried Roman citizen woman and any man or homosexual contact between two Roman citizen men. This legislation is very revealing for what is left out. A Roman male can have an affair with a slave and professional prostitutes and freed women were not included. What is forbidden is an affair with a "matrona", a respectable married woman of Roman citizenship. A "liberta" was fair game. This led to an exaggerated double standard. The main concern seems to have been to preserve the purity of the citizen body from "pollution" from the outside. This meant the encouragement of marriage and the production of legitimate heirs by citizens. Citizens who were married with children were given precedence in public life (most importantly they had greater inheritance rights). This makes it clear that marriage and child-bearing were matters which concerned the state. Part of the reason for this was the simple desire to increase the numbers of Roman citizens but there was more to it than that. It was a common perception that there had been a decline in morality over the previous period and now there was a strong desire to return to what they saw as a more stable and ordered way of life. They seemed to see the family as an analogy for society as a whole, as the basic building block of society. The Roman ideal was of "pietas", a bond of devotion to family, gods, comrades, and fatherland. Augustus liked to be seen as the avenger of his "father's" death and the saviour of Rome. Even before Virgil the connection had been made between the Julian family and the great founder of the Roman people, Aeneas. Three civil wars had seemed to split the Roman "family" and now familial relations had to be repaired. Trying to restore the family unit was part of a bigger process of trying to repair the morale of the city. The staging of the Secular Games in 17 BC celebrated this return to a golden age of goodness and purity, the passing of the old era of immorality, hatred and debasement to a new order emphasising Apollo, god of purity (and of Actium), the prayers

are for fertility of land and people, a return of faith, peace, honour and modesty. The building of the Ara Pacis, Augustus's altar of peace was part of this celebration. It was a personal identification of Augustus with this new age. It was built between 13 and 9 BC on the instructions of the senate to welcome Augustus back from a campaign in Gaul. One of its "astonishing features" (WallaceHadrill) is its lack of triumphalist imagery, rather a peaceful paradise is what is shown based above all on the family.

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