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Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome | Altar of Augustan Peace | Exclusive Rome Private Tours

Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome | Altar of Augustan Peace | Exclusive Rome Private Tours. Guided Customized Tours in Rome and Vatican City | Italy

Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome | Altar of Augustan Peace | Exclusive Rome Private Tours. Guided Customized Tours in Rome and Vatican City | Italy

The Ara Pacis is considered one of the most important monuments of the beginning of the Empire. It was erected nine years B.C. in honor of Emperor Augustus on his return from Gallia and Spain and commemorated the peace he re-established in the Roman World.

The first bas-relief on the right that historians believe us upon entering the monument represents an episode narrated by Virgil in the 3rd book of Aeneid. It depicts Enea at the end of his wanderings, offering a sacrifice. In front of him are 2 Camilli (servants for the sacrifice), one of whom is leading a sow about to be offered. Behind the servants is a small temple to the Penates ( or household gods). Although not well preserved, this bas-relief is considered the best part of the monuments.

The long bas-reliefs on the side of Via Ripetta ( Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome ) represent the consecration ceremony of the monument, which took place on July 4th, 13 B.C., at the return of the Emperor from his victorious campaign. Only some fragments of the first part of the religious procession are preserved; it is believed that these are seen with his head covered by a toga—the figures immediately behind Augustus, who succeeded the emperor to the throne. The so-called Flamini follow, distinguished by the peculiar sacerdotal cap, then comes a “victorious” pagan priest, distinguishable by the ax he carries on his shoulder.

The following figure is believed to be Agrippa, the great admiral and general, the emperor’s son-in-law.

 

Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome | Altar of Augustan Peace | Exclusive Rome Private Tours. Guided Customized Tours in Rome and Vatican City | Italy

Next to him is a young woman, believed to be Julia, the lovely daughter of the emperor and wife of Agrippa. Between them is one of their two sons, Lucius or Caius. The woman in the background, whose hand is resting on the child’s head, is believed to be Livia, wife of the emperor and mother of Tiberius.

The figure of a young man near Julia is believed to be another portrait of Tiberius, who became Julia’s third husband after Agrippa’s death. Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome.

Other members of the imperial family are represented on the other slab, where most scholars recognize two figures facing each other: Antonia, the younger daughter of Mark Antony, and Octavia, sister of Augustus. The man is believed to be Claudius Drusus, the second son of Livia, the stepson of Augustus.

The child is, perhaps, Germanicus. On the side of the exit is a lovely figure of a woman with a child in her hand; the one on the right is represented as playing with a bunch of fruit, and the other is climbing on the woman’s breast.

The other two figures on the side represent two nymphs; the one on the left is the nymph of the rivers with a swan, and the other is the nymph of the sea, seated on a sea monster.

Some historians believe this figure is Tellus ( the goddess of the Earth), while others think it represents Italy.

The fragment of a figure on the other side is supposed to represent Rome.

Ara Pacis of Augusto Rome | Altar of Augustan Peace | Exclusive Rome Private Tours

The other bas-reliefs on the Tiber side represent the continuation of the religious procession. Still, it is impossible to identify the different personages because all the original heads were broken upon their discovery, and artists created the present ones in the 18th century.

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