Ankara Augustus Temple

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Ankara Augustus Temple

Augustus-Roman Temple, one of the most important structures of the Roman Period in Ankara, was built by Emperor Augustus in Ankyra (Ankara), the new provincial center, after the Galatia province was annexed to the Roman Empire by Emperor Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD), and dedicated to the local goddess of the city, Rome.

The temple is in the southwest-northeast direction, measures 36 x 54.82 meters, has a pseudo-dipteral plan in Corinthian order and is placed on a podium with a height of approximately 2 meters. The temple is surrounded by 8 columns on its narrow sides and 15 on its long sides. In addition, there are 4 columns in front of the anterior chamber (pronaos), and 2 columns (in antis style) between two wall projections in the deep posterior chamber (opisthodomos). Today, most of the foundations in the south and southeast of the temple are the foundation walls of the column series (peristasis), which was never completed, and the stepped section (crepidoma) around the platform.

It is seen that the temple architecture underwent some changes in later periods. The temple was converted into a church by the Byzantines at the beginning of the 6th century. In the process of converting into a church, the floor level of the sacred room (cella) was leveled, the wall between the cella and the opisthodomos was removed, an apse was added to the back of the temple, and 3 large windows were opened on the southeastern wall of the cella.

In 1427-1428, the Hacı Bayram Mosque was built in connection with the northwest corner of the temple. From the first written documents about the temple, the iwan added to the back of the opisthodomos part of the temple and the graffiti written on the temple walls, it is thought that the temple was used as a madrasa for a while after the construction of the Hacı Bayram Mosque. The mosque, which has undergone changes over time, and the tomb right next to it still constitutes one of the most important places of worship in the capital. This hill, on which the Hacı Bayram Mosque is built, has been used as a sanctuary and place of worship for thousands of years.

Although a large part of the northwestern wall of the cella was destroyed in 1834, the pronaos, the great gate, the cella, and the temple have been largely preserved until today.

OF INSCRIPTIONS (ANKARA AUGUSTUS TEMPLE INSTRUCTIONS)

After the death of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD), the inscription "Res Gestae Divi Augusti" (The Works of the Deified Augustus) was written on the walls of the Ankara Augustus-Roman Temple in two languages and painted red. The Latin inscription was written on the anta walls of the building facing the pronaos (anterior room), while the Ancient Greek inscription was written on the outer face of the southeastern cella (sacred section) wall of the temple, and has survived to the present day. Fragments of the other two copies of this inscription, called "The Works of the Deified Augustus," were also found in Anatolia.

Among the anta walls of the building, there is the Priest's List at the end of the northwest anta wall, which describes the emperor's priests and their work during their priesthood, and a short inscription about a priest from a slightly later period, at the end of the southwest anta wall.

This bilingual inscription describing the achievements of Augustus has survived to the present day in the temple in Ankara and is of great value in world history. Besides being the only preserved copy of the originally lost inscription in Rome; it has special importance in terms of archeology as it is one of the most valuable documents describing the Roman period.

The first study on inscription was in the 1800s by W.J. Hamilton, C. Humman, O. Puchstein, and T.Mommsen. Historian and linguist T. Mommsen called the inscription, "Queen of Inscriptions".

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