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Ara Pacis Augustae

Ara Pacis Augustae (42)

The Ara Pacis is one of the most important monuments of Ancient Rome. It is an altar dating from the 9th century BC that commemorated peace in the Mediterranean after the conquest of Spain and Gaul by Emperor Augustus. 

The altar was positioned in such a way so that, following the sunlight, the shadow that the obelisk of the Campus Martius projected was placed over it on the day of Augustus’ birthday. 

The discovery of the Ara Pacis dates back to 1568, when several fragments were dug up that ended up in Paris and Florence. At the end of the 19th century more parts of the altar were found, and archaeologists realised the importance of the discovery. Its reconstruction began in the early 1930s, recreating the parts that were missing, and closing it off within a glass structure.

All the surfaces of the altar are decorated with magnificent relief work in Carrara marble and elaborate friezes. This relief work is of great historical interest. One of them, for example, represents the procession that took place on the 4th of July 13 BC, in which the members of the imperial family appear in order of their succession to the throne. 

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