Ancyra, Temple of Augustus


Ancyra (Greek Ἄνκυρα): town in central Anatolia, modern Ankara.

Model of the temple of Augustus

Built on the site of what may have been a sanctuary of Men and Cybele, the temple for the emperor Augustus (r.27 BCE-14 CE) and the goddess Roma in Ancyra dates to about 25 BCE. It faces to the southwest and is about 36 meters wide and almost 55 meters long. The monument has eight columns on the short sides - although some coins depict only six columns - and fifteen on the long ones.

The sanctuary is especially famous because of the long inscription, known as Augustus’ Res Gestae. It is, essentially, his autobiography, in both Latin and Greek.

In Late Antiquity, the temple became a church, which in turn became a mosque when the Seljuk Turks conquered Anatolia in the eleventh century.