“When I returned to Rome from Gaul and from Spain, in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilio, having brought to a satisfactory finish my works in these provinces, the Senate decreed that there should be consecrated in the Field of Mars an altar to the Augustan Peace and ordered that the officials, priests and vestal virgins should celebrate a sacrifice at it every year.”
It is with these words that Augustus, in his spiritual testimony, the Res Gestae, tells us of the Senate’s decision to construct an altar to Peace, following the conclusion of his labours North of the Alps from 16 to 13 B.C., subjecting the Reti and the Vindelici, establishing definitive control over the Alpine passes, and visiting Spain, finally at peace, founding new colonies and imposing new tributes.
The ceremonial dedication of the Altar of Peace, took place on the 30th January in the year 9 B.C.
It seems, according to the evidence provided by the historian Cassius Dione (LIV, 25.3), that at first the Senate had planned to build an altar within their own building, the Curia, but the idea was not followed through and the northernmost part of the Field of Mars, which had recently been urbanised, was chosen instead. The altar dedicated to peace came, therefore, and not by chance, to be built in the middle of a vast plain, on which, traditionally, the manoeuvres of the infantry and the cavalry took place, and, in more recent times, the gymnastic exercises of the Roman youth.
The new museum complex for the Ara Pacis was designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, an architectural studio in the United States, which has been responsible for several of the most notable museums of the second half of the twentieth century. The building work for the project was awarded to the Italian company Marie Engineering and was overseen, for the Municipal Administration, by the Government Office of Cultural Assets and the Office of the Historic City.
The most remarkable achievements of Russian art in the XX century – Cubo-Futurism, with its unique synthesis of European trends of the time, the originality of Abstract art, Constructivism, with its architectural compositions, and Suprematism with its geometric purity – are represented in this single major exhibition: Russian Avant-gardes.
For more information about up coming events visit their site http://en.arapacis.it/