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Ara Pacis Augustae

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The exterior walls of the Ara Pacis are divided between allegorical and pseudo-historical relief panels on the upper register while the lower register is compared of scenes of nature: harmonic, intertwined vines that contain wildlife and connote nature under control. The upper register of the northern and southern walls depict scenes of the emperor, his family, and members of the regime in the act of processing to or performing a sacrifice. Various togate figures are shown with their heads covered (capite velato), signifying their role as both priests and sacrificiants. Other figures wear laurel crowns, traditional Roman symbols of victory. Members of individual priestly colleges are depicted in traditional garb appropriate to their office, while lictors can be identified by their iconographic fasces. Women and children are also included among the procession; the depiction of children in Roman sculpture would have been novel at the time of the Altar's construction, evoking themes of moral and familial piety, as well as easing concerns over dynastic intentions while simultaneously introducing potential heirs to the public eye.

The East and West walls each contain two panels, one well preserved and one represented only in fragments.For newsletter subscribers 10% discount in bookstores museum + reduced ticket to exhibitions.


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