Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)




College of Humanities and Fine Arts


Many previous studies have been completed on ancient Rome, including studies on Augustus, gender issues, and the Roman games, which have helped create a timeline of Augustus's rise to power, an architectural layout of the Circus Maximus and a social hierarchy based on gender. The purpose of this study is to illustrate the relationship between these three areas of research. The thesis will address the political agenda of the Emperor Augustus and will argue that the perceived notions of masculinity that were prevalent in Roman public life largely impacted his actions. In addition, the thesis will demonstrate how politics and masculinity were intimately related to the games, focusing mainly on the events Augustus hosted in the Circus Maximus. Finally, the work will illustrate how the architecture of the Circus Maximus, especially the location and importance of the obelisk Augustus placed on the barrier, was a political statement that embodied the social order of the empire, reminded the Roman citizens of the army's victories over foreign peoples, and aligned Augustus with the gods, legitimizing his sovereignty in Rome.

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