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Aeneas Sacrificing a Sow. Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis), Rome. 13-9 BCE.

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Aeneas Sacrificing a Sow. Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis), Rome. 13-9 BCE.

The Altar of Peace (ara pacis) was made during the reign of Augustus, who built many monuments and boasted of having transformed Rome from a city of brick into a city of marble and of bringing peace after decades of civil war. Most of the altar is decorated by floral patterns; flowers were used to signify the city's prosperity.

Images from myth were used to decorate the main two fronts. As the founder of Rome, Aeneas is displayed prominently in the front of the altar. Upon his arrival at the site of the future Rome, Aeneas sacrifices a sow; his son Askanios stands to his left and an altar is on his right. On the top left, we can see a small shrine, inside of which are the penates (household gods) that Aeneas is bringing from Troy.  

Source/Citation: 

Image in the Public Domain.

Type: 
Contemporaneous Resource
Access Level: 
Public Domain