Augustus of Prima Porta

Augustus of Prima Porta, first century C.E. White marble, Vatican Museums, Vatican City.

Caesar Augustus, Rome’s first and greatest emperor, ruled from 27 B.C.E – 14 C.E. Augustus was the great-nephew and heir of Julius Caesar. The Roman senate gave him divine status, naming him Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus—Emperor Caesar Exalted One Son of God. He ruled in a time of peace and stability known as the Pax Romana, or “Roman Peace.” Augustus is portrayed here as a benevolent and powerful ruler. His right arm is raised to address his legions. Augustus advocated religious tolerance, allowing other faiths to coexist with Roman polytheism. Augustus died when Jesus was a boy. Later Christians would take advantage of the Pax Romana to spread their gospel message.



Augustus of Prima Porta. Marble, 1st century C.E. Vatican Museums, Vatican City.

a suburb of Rome

Title designating an emperor of the Roman Empire.

Characteristic of a deity (a god or goddess).

A gospel is an account that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

peace of Rome

The belief in multiple deities.

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