The Monumentum Ancyranum (Ancyra Monument) is my favourite place in Ankara. It is a temple that was dedicated to the Emperor Augustus who was deified after his death in 14 AD. It was built between 20 - 25 AD. Its walls were once adorned with the Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus) in both Latin and Greek.
It was recognised by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, on his way to present his letter of credence to the court of Süleyman the Magnificent, who at the time was stationed in Amasya repelling a Persian attack. It is thanks to Busbecq we can read the Res Gestae Divi Augusti in its (almost) complete form today.
It is nice to walk around the temple and think that one of the first Western diplomats to the Ottoman court saw what I am seeing. And possibly felt the same heady excitement and admiration.
After a wonderful weekend in Istanbul, back to snowy Ankara to discover this waiting for me at home with a handwritten note from Joshua! It’s even better in the flesh than I could have imagined with amazing photographs and stories from around the world. If you have not ordered one already, you can get it here.
And you should because
- There are only 1,500 copies of each issue and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever baby.
- Regret is a heavy burden.
- There are not many art publications that utterly devoid of pretentious bullshit.
- I would know.
- Romka is one of these rare publications that is honest, accessible and genuine.
- I have great taste.
- It’s beautiful.
The Colonel and Naval Attaché enjoying a cup of tea on the Ambassador’s veranda.
Yes, I love my job.
(And yes, we do occasionally refer to him as General Melchett - with a moustache like that, it’s impossible not too!)