The Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace) is a relatively large marble structure (estimated to have been approximately 11 by 11 meters) dedicated on 30 January 9 bce in Rome. It consisted of a four-sided marble precinct wall (saeptum) that surrounded the U-shaped, marble altar proper raised on a podium. The structure, dedicated by the Senate to the political program of the Augustan Peace, is most renowned for a series of relief sculptures that were carved on both sides of the Carrara marble slabs of the saeptum. It originally stood on the western side of the Via Flaminia in the northern Campus Martius region. Fragments of the relief sculptures as well as the architectural remains of the Ara Pacis Augustae were unearthed over time, beginning in the 16th century. A restoration of the altar and its associated fragments is displayed in a new museum, the Museo dell’Ara Pacis, constructed north of the original location near the Mausoleum of Augustus. The museum was designed by Richard Meier, an American architect, and was completed in 2006. The Ara Pacis is without doubt the most often discussed and illustrated monument in Roman art; moreover, nearly every book on Augustus or the Augustan Age has a reference to the altar structure and its complex imagery.
Article. 4325 words.
Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy
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