Panel from the Ara Pacis Augustae


replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: 9 BC

provenance of the original: originally erected in the Campus Martius, Rome; original found in AD 1568 on site of Palais Fiano; in Collection Campana, Palais Aldobrandini in AD 1864; now located near the Mausoleum of Augustus, Rome

description: Relief depicting part of a procession: seven persons draped and two children. Damage to the original reflected on the upper left corner extending across the top to the upper right. Only one adult head survives. Damage also to bottom of left side. Plaster relief; marble original. Height 120 cm, width 150 cm, depth 23 cm.

The Ara Pacis Augustae or the Altar of Augustan Peace was voted by Roman Senate in 13 BC to honour Augustus’ (see also: Coins of Augustus) safe return from Spain and Gaul; it was dedicated in Campus Martius in 9 BC. It comemmorated the establishment of peace, the Pax Augusta (“Augustan Peace”).

The fragment represents part of the imperial procession at the inaugural sacrificial ceremony. The persons taking part in the procession are members of the imperial family (see: Livia; Gaius or Lucius Caesar). They are rendered according to their importance in high or low relief.

The altar itself is surrounded by four “walls” of panels, carved in relief both inside and out. Other panels depict important events and figures in Roman belief and history, chosen to complement Augustus’ political agenda.