Temple of Augustus and Rome
The Temple of Augustus and Rome was built between 25 and 20 B.C. following the Roman conquest of central Anatolia and the designation of Ancyra (modern-day Ankara) as the new capital of Galatia. Following the death of August in A.D. 14, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, or the Deeds of the Divine Augustus were inscribed in Latin along the interior walls of the pronaos (the inner area of the portico) and in Greek on nineteen columns on an exterior wall of the cella (the inner chamber of the temple). While various inscriptions of this work have been found scattered throughout the former Roman Empire, the text at Ankara is the most complete version. The temple was converted into a church in the 5th century, and in the 15th century the site was converted into a madrassa and mosque for the Bayrami Sufi sect.
How We Helped
Seismic activity and air pollution over the centuries has been responsible for the deterioration of the temple stones, including the surfaces containing the Greek and Latin inscriptions. In conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Monuments and Museums and the materials conservation division of Middle East Technical University, WMF is engaged in a conservation program addressing the deterioration of the stonework.
Assessments of the conditions of the stone and marble surfaces have been completed and measured drawings of existing conditions have been produced. Lime-based material compatible with the original stone has been formulated for consolidation of loose or cracked pieces of the stone’s surfaces. A plan has also been developed for the installation of a supporting steel frame structure designed to protect the temple’s unstable walls during the conservation process, which is expected to be completed in 2011.
Why It Matters
The Temple of Augustus and Rome is most notable for the inscriptions that preserve the deeds of the Augustus on a more complete scale than anywhere else in the former Roman Empire. The deterioration of the stones threatened to erase this remarkable survival. Conservation of the structure will ensure that this enduring testament of Rome’s presence in Anatolia will remain for future generations.