Augustus of Primaporta,
century CE. Vespasian, late
century CE
Another monument to Augustus is the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace). It consists of a small altar raised on a
podium and surrounded by a wall. Decorating this wall are relief carvings, including mythological scenes
celebrating the peace and abundance of Augustus’ reign. On the sides of the wall are reliefs showing the
triumphal processional that greeted Augustus after he returned to Rome following his conquests in France
and Spain. The procession is similar to the one on the Parthenon’s frieze; where the Greek relief exemplifies
elegant idealism, however, the Roman sculpture includes precise (and sometimes unflattering) portraits of
Augustus’ family.
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