Mars Ultor in the Forum Augustum: A Verbal Monument with a Vengeance
This chapter examines strategies which emphasize the active contribution of the poetic text towards the construction of meaning for new Augustan monuments, using the example of the Forum Augusti in Book V. It argues that the role of Mars in his capacity of The Avenger is decisive for the issue of narrative authority and focalization in the episode. It contends that the problem of constructing and debating a meaning for the new Augustan monuments was a serious one for contemporary observers, that the Fasti was not a marginal witness to the collective debate. Ovid innovates the tradition of poetic ecphrasis by intensifying the political responsibility of the verbal monument and the potential of verbal art for bringing out implications and innuendos enshrined in the communal vision of the public artefact.
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