Mausoleum of Augustus

Mausoleum of Augustus
Mausoleum of Augustus
Anonim

Augustus, Rome's first emperor, started building his mausoleum in his thirties. It was the year 28 before Christ and there was still a long time before his death, something that did not happen until the 14th after Christ. He hadn't even been named emperor yet. However, it was as if he knew that he was destined to leave an indelible mark on the city.

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Mausoleum of Augustus

The truth is that the mausoleum was born with the vocation of being a great monument, and for this Augustus was inspired by the tomb of Alexander the Great. So when he returned victorious in his battle of Actium against Marco Antonio, he decided to build the largest circular tomb that we have preserved from Antiquity, a grandiose mausoleum with a diameter of almost 90 meters in its base and a height that could reach 45 meters.

Its current appearance is very different from the original, since all the elements that adorned it have been lost from the outside, as are the two obelisks that flanked the entrance or the travertine marble that covered the entire building. And it is that this lavish tomb was the place where the ashes of a large part of the Julio-Claudian imperial dynasty were deposited. In other words, not only were the remains Caesar Augustus buried here, but also the ashes of his wife Livia, Tiberius , Marcelo and so on until Nerva, the last emperorburied here. Since the following, like Adriano or Trajano, decided to deposit their remains in other places, in the neighboring Castel Sant'Angelo the first and in the beautiful Trajan Column the second.

But before them, the most powerful family in Rome was buried in this mausoleum where there was a whole network of chambers and rooms, arranged in a sequence of concentric circles. However, that construction was transformed over the centuries. It served as a fortress, as a space for animal shows, it was also a garden and even a small vineyard. But above all it was a fabulous marble quarry to supply other buildings. Hence, its appearance is totally different from the one that fascinated in its time, where it was described by some of the best Latin poets of the Empire.

The fact is that the abandonment was progressive in recent decades, in fact an attempt had been made to recover it by Benito Mussolini, but that did not come to fruition. So it has come down to our days in a frankly pitiful state. However, over the last few years, a thorough restoration has been carried out, which has not returned it to its original splendor, but has at least cleaned it up, consolidated the ruins and made it possible to visit.

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