The Roman Emperor Augustus

Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus

The Roman Emperor Augustus (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus) died 2005 years ago – on August 19, of the year 14 – in Nola, Campania, in the arms of his wife, Livia Drusilla and his adopted son and heir, Tiberius.

He was 75 years old. Augustus wanted to die in the same room where his father, Gaius Octavian, died when still a 4-year-old child. He had never forgotten his father. Since his victory against Anthony and Cleopatra in Anzio in 31 B.C.. No one disputed his mastership on the world. He had been a very prudent man, even if, at the end of his long empire, he made some serious mistakes.

In Rome, there is an extraordinary monument that remembers him, his monumental tomb, a mausoleum, which unfortunately is in a poor state of preservation and closed to the public. In 2017 there was a long-awaited start of renovation works, but few improvements are visible. Nevertheless, a visit is an unforgettable experience.

Piazza Augusto Imperatore

The bronze statue that represented him has disappeared, melted in the Middle Ages. This imposing monument is in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, in the middle of what was once the Campus Martius. It has the size of a football field.

And right there were laid the ashes of many of Augustus’ relatives, both those who preceded him and those who followed him: Marcellus, Marcus Agrippa, Drusus, Octavia Minor, Gaius and Lucius, Poppea, wife of Nero and several others. At the entrance, there were two Egyptian obelisks. Today one is located in Piazza dell’ Esquilino and one in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. A partial recovery in 1930 improved very little.

We recommend a visit, walking around it from the outside, in the early morning. And then see the Ara Pacis celebrating the birth of Augustus. Moreover, a part of his Domus Augustea, on Monte Palatino, his house with one of its rooms that has intact the splendid original frescoes. This was the modest home that Augustus bought from the heirs of Quintus Hortensius and in which he lived.

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