Week 13: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Augustus and His Family
During our second week discussing Augustus, we will talk about his family: Livia, the brilliant woman who shares his reign, Julia, his beautiful daughter Julia, his only biological child, whom he loves and adores above all human beings, his stepson Tiberius who he does not love, and all the grandchildren.
Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VI, Chapter 13, “Augustus”
PART TWO: PICTURES
The Ara Pacis and the Augustan Mausoleum
The Ara Pacis Augustae (Latin, “Altar of Augustan Peace”; commonly shortened to Ara Pacis) is an altar in Rome dedicated to Peace, the Roman goddess. The monument was commissioned by the Roman Senate on 4 July 13 B.C. to honour the return of Augustus to Rome after his three years in Hispania and Gaul, and consecrated on 30 January 9 BC by the Senate in celebration of the peace brought to the Roman Empire by Augustus’ military victories. The altar was meant to be a vision of the Roman civil religion. It is made up of a small functional altar at its centre, and four surrounding walls; externally, two-tier friezes run along the walls and portray the peace and fertile prosperity enjoyed as a result of the peace brought to Rome by Augustus’ military supremacy (Latin: Pax Augusta). The Altar was built to remind Romans, through a visual medium, of the competence and achievements of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The sculpture on the outside of the monument emphasise the importance of piety (pietas) and peace within the empire.