Mausoleum of Augustus

Sette Sale
24 January 2014
Villa of Maxentius
24 January 2014

Mausoleum of Augustus


This is a tomb which Augustus Caesar had built for himself and his family after the victorious campaign inEgypt which ended in the Battle of Actium.

As recounted by SuetoniusAugustus had visited the tomb of Alexander the Great in Alexandria, and this was probably what inspired him in the construction of a dynastic tomb for the Julio-Claudian gemimmortal symbol of his family and dynastic powerThe place chosen for the construction of the mausoleum was the northern tip of the Field of Mars, which was not yet a built-up area and where there were already a few tombs of famous men.

The monument consisted of a cylindrical drum faced with blocks of travertine limestone, in the centre of which was a door fronted by a short flight of steps and flanked by two piers supporting the bronze plaquesupon which were inscribed the resgestae, or imperial autobiography.

Nearby stood two granite obelisks which were later reused as decoration on the Fountain of the Dioscuri(Castor and Pollux) in Piazza del Quirinale and in Piazza dell’Esquilino, behind S.Maria Maggiore. Structurally, the monument consisted of a series of rings of walls of which the outermost, united by seven radial walls formed a series of adjacent chambers, while the innermost formed circular corridors.

The long entrance passage led directly to the two circular corridors which went around the burial chamber,which was circular and contained three rectangular niches.

In the centre of the chamber, a cylindrical pillar faced in wedge-shaped blocks of travertine limestoneformed the central nucleus of the building. The monument is currently at the centre of an important project to upgrade Piazza Augusto Imperatore, which will also involve the restoration and study of the monument in order to increase its appreciation.

Information and Addresses

Address Piazza Augusto Imperatore Rome

Price € 3,00; concessions € 1,50

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