Ara Parcis Of Augustus Essay

1098 words - 5 pages

The Augustus of Prima Porta is a white marble statue of Augustus Caesar found in his wife’s villa in 1863 in the city of Prima Porta found just north of Rome. It is thought to be a copy of a bronze original, devoted to Augustus by the senate in 20 BC; this marble depiction commissioned by Tiberius Caesar to his mother Livia Drusilla, who had married Augustus in 39 BC. The statue, standing 2.03 meters tall, depicts Augustus as an orator and great general. The statue also portrays subtle ideologies, continuing to put forward his imperator role and even suggesting his divine status.
The Prima Porta is made of white marble, and is believed to be based upon a possible bronze original that ...view middle of the document...

Military Dominance
The Prima Porta basically serves as a list of Augustus’s achievements in visual form. Looking over the Cuirras, said to be an addition by Tiberius, depicts the Parthian King Phraates IV, returning a roman standard to a roman figure that is presumed to be Tiberius. Surrounding this image according to popular viewpoint; at the top is Caelus, the sky god. Below him are the Sun god, Sol in a four horse chariot and Aurora riding a female figure. On the left is a figure of Hispania (Spain) and at the right a captive female barbarian. Below, reclines the Mother Earth Tellus. Both the images of the sky god and the Mother Earth imply peace that results from the victory. On each shoulder a sphinx is illustrated, representing the conquering of Egypt at the hand of Augustus. Also at the feet of Augustus we have Cupid riding a symbolic dolphin, referring to the birth of Venus but also to Augustus’s naval victory at Actium. The god’s presence on the breastplate suggests that Augustus' victories have a cosmic favour. The overall theme of peace is clear, with all outstanding evidence indicating Augustus as responsible.

As well as the presence of Sol, Caelus and Tellus, Apollo and Diana appear on the cuirass, with Cupid riding a dolphin at his feet. Cupid riding Venus’s patron animal, serve as a reference to the claim that the Julian family were descended from the goddess Venus. The paludementum draped around Augustus’s figure enhances the notion of his sacredness. By the time of the statues construction, the tunic had been an emblem associated with the deified Julius Caesar, further lay emphasis on Augustus’s intimacy with Julius Caesar and even the divine world. Even though Augustus is portrayed as a roman general he is left barefoot. It was typical for Gods of the time to be portrayed barefoot in this time, and is again a reference to his divine lineage.

The Prima Porta was a dedicated by Tiberius Caesar to his mother Livia Drussilla, whom was married to Augustus in 39 BC, in honour of the woman who campaigned so long for him to be the next Caesar. It is safe to assume that the original was commissioned by Augustus himself...

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