The ruins of the Temple of Augustus and Rome, which was built in 25 BC - 20 BC, over an earlier temple dedicated to Kybele and Men. The marble temple measuring 36x55m used to stand on a pediment of several steps, about 2m high. During the Byzantine period, the temple was converted into a basilica church.
This temple is also referred to as ‘Monumentum Ancyranum’ (Ancyra = antique name of Ankara), noteworthy because of the inscriptions preserved on its walls. These ‘Res Gestae Divi Augusti’ are a text recounting the deeds of the first Roman emperor Augustus; the Ankara version is its most intact copy kwown. (The original inscription on bronze pillars in front of the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome has long been lost, and two other surviving inscriptions of the text are incomplete). The Latin version is inscribed on both walls inside the pronaos (porch) of the temple, with a Greek translation on an exterior wall of the cella (inner chamber).
The Monumentum Ancyranum was first made known to the western world by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, the Flemish writer and herbalist, who was also ambassador of Ferdinand of Austria, to the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (mid 16th century). Busbecq first read the inscription and identified its origin from his reading of Suetonius; he published a copy of parts of it in his Turkish Letters.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Guides Bleus: Turquie’ – Edition 1986
& Website of ‘Goturkey.com’ - Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.