domenica 28 dicembre 2014

Bimillenial of Imperator Augustus

The year 2014 marks the two-thousand year anniversary of the death of Augustus, and Rome has chosen to celebrate this through a program of special events and guided tours.
The ancient villas Casa di Augusto and Casa di Livia are open for the occasion. These are the most intimate sites depicting the life of the first emperor and his family, as well as the perfect balance of tradition and innovation that characterized Augustus’ reign (open to the public starting 18 September 2014).
In the Roman forum, there is another grand re-opening to the public, this time of the ancient road Vico Iugario, through the Basilica Julia, another important Augustan monument (open to the public starting 1 October 2014).
For this same occasion, the magnificent complex of the Diocletian Baths will show off the results of preservation efforts carried out on the front of the monumental swimming pool and other structures remaining from the ancient baths. The nearby Aula VIII is decorated with grandiose architectural fragments from the baths finally put on display for the public. The restoration of this immense complex also involved the Renaissance structure of the Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which was built on top of the ancient ruins. The tour through the small cloister of the monastery features the meticulously restored inscriptions of the Arval Brethren and Ludi Saeculares – an ancient brotherhood and practices which were revived as part of the religious policy of Augustus (open starting 24 September 2014).
In the neighborhood of Prima Porta, the city has also re-opened the Antiquarium of the Villa of Livia, also known by the Latin name of ad Gallinas Albas; this was the home of the wife of Augustus. The project includes the restoration of the lauretum, the famous laurel grove (open starting 12 September 2014).
All four locations of the National Roman Museum will join in the celebration: the Crypta Balbi, monumental complex from the Augustan period, with a restored a head of Livia; Palazzo Altemps, the Diocletian Baths; and finally Palazzo Massimo. Here, in memory of the calendar made by Julius Caesar – predecessor and adoptive father of Augustus – there will be an exhibit entitled “splendors and calendars in ancient times” (14 November 2014 – 2 June 2015).

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