chapter  36
Ritual, place, and memory in ancient Rome
WithAna Mayorgas
Pages 8

During the Republic, there was a twofold memory. On the one hand, the origin of the city was associated with the myth of the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, and celebrated in festivals. On the other, the ruling class was commemorated in pageants and rituals in which the individual and collective merit of the oligarchy was exhibited. The Parilia were renamed as Romaia in the early second century AC by the emperor Hadrian, who also ordered the construction of a temple of Venus and Rome in the Forum, the civic centre of the city, to become the main stage of celebration. In any case, the more conspicuous policies of remembrance never left the city, not even when the emperors ruled a large empire, because no other location was ever conceived as a proper seat of power on an equal foot with Rome.