Caesar Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor. As a child, his name was Octavius. When Julius Caesar was assassinated, his will adopted Octavius as his son, posthumously. At that point, Octavius changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar, but to avoid confusion, historians call him Octavian after this point. A civil war broke out between him (Caesar's son) and Marc Antony (Caesar's best friend) for control of Rome, and Octavian won, thereby becoming Emperor, at which time he changed his name to Augustus, the title confirmed on him by the senate in 27 BC. He brought peace and prosperity to the Empire after decades of civil war and initiated a golden age in Rome, and is considered by many to be the greatest Roman emperor. His many construction projects in Rome include a sundial made with the Solar Obelisk, the Forum of Augustus, the Pantheon, the Ara Pacis, and the Mausoleum of Augustus.
Augustus of Prima Porta, 1st century AD, in the (unfortunately, closed during my visit) Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican Museum. The statue was found in the ruins of the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta. It is a statue of the emperor himself, wearing a highly decorated cuirass and with his cloak wrapped around his hips, in the act of addressing his troops. The reliefs on the cuirass show a Parthian king in the act of returning to a Roman officer the standards lost by Crassus in 53 BC during ght eBattle of Carrhae, The whole scene is inserted into a cosmic landscale: at the top one can see the personification of the Heavens in the center, with the chariots of Apollo and Aurora alongside. At the bottom one can recognize Diana riding on the back of a hind, and, in the center, the goddess Earth. See all Augustus photos.
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