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The Ara Pacis is a commemorative monument that was built between the years 13 and 9 B.C. to celebrate peace in the Mediterranean after the victorious battles of Emperor Augustus in Hispania and Gaul. The altar reflects the Augustan vision of Roman civil religion. The lower register of its frieze depicts vegetal work meant to communicate the abundance and prosperity of the Roman Peace (Latin: Pax Augusta), while the monument as a whole serves a civic ritual function whilst simultaneously operating as propaganda for Augustus and his regime, easing notions of autocracy and dynastic succession that might otherwise be unpalatable to traditional Roman culture. In the past the monument was Erected in the Campus Martius and was dedicated to the Roman goddess of Peace. Each year, a ram and two oxen were sacrificed in the goddess’s honour. It was reassembled in its current location, now the Museum of the Ara Pacis, in 1938.

 

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