The Emperor himself makes mention of the altar in his autobiography:
¨When I returned to Rome from Spain and Gaul in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilius, after successfully settling the affairs of those provinces, the senate, to commemorate my return, ordered an altar of the Augustan Peace, to be consecrated in the Campus Martius, on which it decreed that the magistrates, priests and Vestal Virgins should make an annual sacrifice.¨
Interestingly, the gigantic Solarium (solar clock), which consisted of an obelisk brought from Egypt as the spoils of war, and a huge grid that marked the hours and seasons was also dedicated on the Field of Mars in 9 B.C. On September 23, Augustus's birthday, the shadow of the obelisk fell on the Ara Pacis at sunrise.
After the fall of Rome, the monument was apparently lost; and though fragments of it surfaced during the Renaissance, their identity was not firmly established until the late nineteenth century. Reconstructed in 1938, the altar can be seen variously as a political statement or a work of art.
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