AUGUSTUS Reign: 27BC – 14AD “On my return from Spain and Gaul in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilius [13 B.C.E.] after successfully arranging affairs in those provinces, the senate resolved that an altar of the Augustan Peace should be consecrated next to the Campus Martius in honor of my return, and ordered that the magistrates and priests and Vestal Virgins should perform an annual sacrifice there....By new laws passed on my proposal I brought back into use many exemplary practices of our ancestors which were disappearing in our time, and in many ways I myself transmitted exemplary practices to posterity for their imitation” (Acts of the Divine Augustus (2.2; 8.5). Achievements: - First Emperor - Established Roman Peace that lasted 200 years throughout the empire - “Found Rome as Bricks, left it marble” - the archetypal emperor whom all his successors (through to Napoleon) set as the standard. Ara Pacis Augustae (The Altar of Augustan Peace) 13-9BC Travertine (foundations), Marble Tufa ThisMaterials: was particularly important to the Romans who (building), had witnessed the(altar) instability of the Civil Wars that marked the end Location: of the Republican Augustan peace extended throughout the Roman/civilized TheRome’s theme of peace Campusperiod. Martius (Field of Mars –just outside the precincts of Rome world. – where is intertwined on the altar themes of the dynastic claims of the were family many of Augustus, his monuments) social policy, and the armies, forbidden towith enter the city, assembled, and there religious importance of religion as a civilizing force. Why? To commemorate Augustus’ return from Gaul and Spain Who? The Senate and the People of Rome (SPQR) Nth-Sth = 11.6m Height 6.1m East West = 10.5m Exterior The upper level is covered in friezes (relief sculptures) of: The form of the altar is a large precinct wall that encloses the altar itself. Doors in the middle of the •Mythological (back): Tellus (fruitsprovide of peace) and Roma (Victory) east (back) and west (front) access to the altar. The source for the form of the altar suggests close parallels to the fifth century BC Altar of the Twelve the Agora in Athens. •Heroic founders of Rome (front): Aeneas (piety for traditions) andGods Mars in with Remus/Romulus (war)This is one of the many links connecting this Roman work to Greek and especially Athenian mid-fifth century monuments. •Augustus’ royal family (right). •Senators of Rome (left). These two processions show more Greek influence, based on the friezes on the Parthenon in Athens, subject, and drapery E N S W The lower level features: •Relief sculptures in a design featuring acanthus plants (the symbols of Augustus’ reign) tied up with symbols of fertility such as flowers, birds, insects and snakes. (based on 4th, 5th century Greek designs) Exterior upper frieze – Front left (NW) The left hand panel is poorly preserved. It represents Mars and the twin Symbolism: Romulus and Remus. Mars as the war god articulates the role war plays 1. establishing Relates to founding ofMars city of Rome in the of peace. was understood to be the father of 2. Connects Augustus to his famous Romulus, the founder of Rome. As statedancestor in the prophesy from the 3. Connects Romans to gods (Mars) Aeneid, Romulus was understood to be an ancestor of Augustus. Exterior upper frieze – Front right (SW) This relief represents another important ancestor of Augustus with the image of Aeneas Sacrificing. He is shown making an offering to the household gods. Aeneas is accompanied by his son JulusAscanius. Augustus would have wanted to be linked to his legendary ancestor Aeneas, the pater (father) of the Symbolism: Julian and the tradition. 1. family Relates toRoman founding of Roman race Aeneas' piety testifies to his respect for his family traditions just as the altar testifies to the piety of 2. Connects Augustus to his famous ancestor Augustus. 3. is Highlights Romans’ devotion gods Aeneas shown offering the sacrifice of the sowto in the Ara Pacis relief. The sow is a reference to a prophesy in Virgil's Aeneid that the hero would find a sow under an oak tree when he arrived in Latium. The two panels on the west side of the altar, seen together, allude to two dominant functions of Augustus: as imperator (leader of army=Mars) and pontifex maximus (chief Exterior – Back right (NE): Roma All that remains of Roma The panel on the northeast side is very fragmentary. Symbolism: Its subject was the seated figure of Roma with arms at her feet 1. Roma is in a peaceful pose – Augustus peace (symbolising Rome’s disarming her enemieshas andbrought bringing Augustan peace still has her ready tohave fightbeen identified as the )2. andShe accompanied byweapons, two figures who personifications of Honos (Honor) and Virtus (Virtue). It is significant to note the links between the two north panels on the east and west ends as focusing on military and war while the southern panels reflect more peaceful pursuits. Exterior – Back left (SE): Goddess Tellus (mother earth) Corinthian pilasters On the southeast side is the so-called Tellus panel. This is the personification of Earth. Symbolism: figure vegetation is sometimes as Italia, or Italy. peace and prosperity 1. The Children, andidentified animals symbolise fertility, children in her lap along with the animals the andelements plants allude 2. The Twotwo women (sea/water and wind/air) symbolise in to the bounty–of earth, especially in an era of peace. harmony peace thanks to Augustus. She is flanked by female figures with billowing mantles that can be identified as sea and land breezes. Right (South) Frieze – Imperial family This Priest is recognisable due to his distinctive headdress. The Procession is serious and dignified, shows importance and piety of those pictured. Tiberius, son of Augustus’ wife Livia, succeeded him as his heirs all died prematurely. Julia, Daughter of Augustus, wife of Agrippa, and mother of Gaius. Agrippa, Augustus’ friend, & son-in-law is pictured in the centre, with his head covered in priestly style. Augustus also appears, but is in a poor state of repair. Augustus’ grandson, Gaius. The children are a symbol of hope for the future and fertility. Left (North) Frieze: Senators Senators and officials are shown, with their wives and children. They wear and carry symbols of their authority and piety, such as wreathes, incense boxes, fasces (rods of office). Interior (altar) Small frieze of a sacrificial procession depicting Vestal virgins, animals attendants Interior walls Symbols of sacrifice - garlands, skulls, libations.