The Ara Pacis Augustae is an altar dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace. It was commissioned by the Senate on July 4th, 13 BCE, to honour the return of Rome's first emperor, Augustus, after three years campaigning in Hispania and Gaul. The Ara Pacis, which originally stood in the north-eastern corner of the Campus Martius, was consecrated on January 30th, 9 BCE.
The first fragments of the altar were unearthed in the 16th century, beneath a palazzo next to the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. Three centuries later, further fragments were found at a nearby location. The pieces were reassembled in 1938.
Since 2006, the Ara Pacis has been housed in a custom-built museum, the work of the American architect Richard Meier.
The exterior wall of the museum is inscribed with the Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus), the emperor's funerary inscription, which gives a first-person account of his life and accomplishments.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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