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THE PANTHEON/Agrippa & Hadrian Biographies

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Author Topic: THE PANTHEON/Agrippa & Hadrian Biographies  (Read 4369 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2008, 09:06:59 pm »









Agrippa participated in smaller military campaigns in 35 and 34 BC, but by the autumn of 34 he had returned to Rome.

He rapidly set out on a campaign of public repairs and improvements, including renovation of the aqueduct known as the Aqua Marcia and an extension of its pipes to cover more of the city.

Through his actions after being elected in 33 BC as one of the aediles (officials responsible for
Rome's buildings and festivals), the streets were repaired and the sewers were cleaned out, while lavish public spectacles were put on.

Agrippa signalized his tenure of office by effecting great improvements in the city of Rome, restoring and building aqueducts, enlarging and cleansing the Cloaca Maxima, constructing baths and porticos, and laying out gardens. He also gave a stimulus to the public exhibition of works of art.

It was unusual for an ex-consul to hold the lower-ranking position of aedile, but Agrippa's success
bore out this break with tradition. As emperor, Augustus would later boast that "he had found the city of brick but left it of marble", thanks in part to the great services provided by Agrippa under his reign.

Agrippa's father-in-law Atticus, suffering from a serious illness, committed suicide in 32 BC. According to Atticus' friend and biographer Cornelius Nepos, this decision was a cause of serious grief to Agrippa.

Agrippa was again called away to take command of the fleet when the war with Antony and Cleopatra broke out. He captured the strategically important city of Methone at the southwest of the Pelo-
ponnese, then sailed north, raiding the Greek coast and capturing Corcyra (modern Corfu).
Octavian then brought his forces to Corcyra, occupying it as a naval base.  Antony drew up his ships and troops at Actium, where Octavian moved to meet him. Agrippa meanwhile defeated Antony's supporter Quintus Nasidius in a naval battle at Patrae.

Dio relates that as Agrippa moved to join Octavian near Actium, he encountered Gaius Sosius, one of Antony's lieutenants, who was making a surprise attack on the squadron of Lucius Tarius, a supporter of Octavian. Agrippa's unexpected arrival turned the battle around.

As the decisive battle approached, according to Dio, Octavian received intelligence that Antony
and Cleopatra planned to break past his naval blockade and escape. At first he wished to allow the flagships past, arguing that he could overtake them with his lighter vessels and that the other opposing ships would surrender when they saw their leaders' cowardice. Agrippa objected that Antony's ships, although larger, could outrun Octavian's if they hoisted sails, and that Octavian ought to fight now because Antony's fleet had just been struck by storms. Octavian followed his friend's advice.

On September 2 31 BC, the Battle of Actium was fought. Octavian's victory, which gave him the mastery of Rome and the empire of the world, was mainly due to Agrippa.

As a token of signal regard, Octavian bestowed upon him the hand of his niece Claudia Marcella Major in 28 BC. He also served a second consulship with Octavian the same year. In 27 BC, Agrippa held a third consulship with Octavian, and in that year, the senate also bestowed upon Octavian the imperial title of Augustus.

In commemoration of the Battle of Actium, Agrippa built and dedicated the building that served as the Roman Pantheon before its destruction in 80. Emperor Hadrian used Agrippa's design to build his own Pantheon, which survives in Rome.

The inscription of the later building, which was built around 125, preserves the text of the inscription from Agrippa's building during his third consulship. The years following his third consulship, Agrippa spent in Gaul, reforming the provincial administration and taxation system, along with building an effective road system and aqueducts.
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