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Fittschen addresses the question of the creation and dissemination o f these imperial portrait types (and of those of the members of the imperial family) through a critical review of the methods used i n the study of Roman imperial portraiture. These methods were once developed as a compensation for the lack of secure contexts and portraits with identifying inscriptions, for, unfortunately, it is the case that precisely in Rome itself, where presumably the greatest concentration of imperial portraits was to be found, the find contexts are particularly unclear.

Parameters 47 The images and statues that multiplied and extended imperial presence throughout the Roman empire numbered, as Fittschen suggests, (at least) i n the hundreds of thousands (cf. Ando 2000: 206-73). The visual omnipresence of the Roman emperor (and of his family) engendered by means o f images must consequently have been, i n fact, overwhelming - even, as Fittschen notes, when one draws a comparison with the dissemination o f the ruler's image i n modern absolutist or totalitarian forms of rule.

This outward demarcation, as well as the staging of transitions through magnificent monumental arches, corresponded to the different temporality o f these places: with the Forum o f Augustus, above all, the strict symmetry 31 and the sacral and political charging of this "abstract space" corresponded to an imperial experience o f time programmed on permanence and repetition and displaced from the quotidian experience of linear or cyclical time (Feeney 2007). The imperial myth evoked i n the Forum of Augustus by means o f an unusually well thought-out program of images was an attempt to establish a stable and lasting structure o f meaning, one removed from the vicissitudes of historical change, i n the wake o f the experiences of chaotic change and acceleration i n the late Republic.

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