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Pax Augusta and the Horae on the Ara Pacis AugustaeAuthor(s): Nancy Thomson de

GrummondSource: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 94, No. 4 (Oct., 1990), pp.
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Pax Augusta and the Horae on the Ara Pacis Augustae
The striking goddess in the relief on the east facade,
south segment, of the Ara Pacis Augustae is here identi-
fied as Pax Augusta. She has around her numerous attri-
butes of Pax and/or the Greek Eirene. In the background
next to her are the poppies and grain seen on coins
inscribed to Pax, and in her lap are the fruits often seen
in the cornucopia of Pax, as well as the children nourished
by the kourotrophos Eirene. At her feet are the sheep and
cow appropriate for the sacrifice in honor of Pax as seen
on the small interior frieze on the altar.
The Greek goddess of peace was one of the three Horai
(Horae), goddesses who brought justice and prosperity
through the seasons, and it is argued here that Augustus
and his advisors revived this Greek political concept. Pax
is attended by two goddesses who are also Horae. They
have traditionally been identified as Aurae, but the evi-
dence for this identification is scant and ignores the fact
that they wear wreaths, have bare breasts, and ride on
animal mounts-all appropriate for Horae but not for
Aurae. In the relief with Pax and the Horae may also be
recognized allusions to winds, rain, and stars, as well as
land and sea. Pax thus appears here as a goddess for all
seasons in a rich cosmic milieu complementary to the
horologium of Augustus nearby in the Campus Martius.
The relief from Carthage in the Louvre, long recognized
as closely related to the Ara Pacis, also shows Pax (without
the Horae, but with similar allusions to the seasons).*
"Pax is not represented on the Ara Pacis."
-G. Karl Galinsky
It has been more than 20 years since Galinsky first
proposed that the striking female figure represented
on the southeast relief panel of the Ara Pacis (fig. 1)
is the goddess Venus.1 Many scholars, unconvinced
by his theory, have continued to call the figure by the
designation made popular early in the century by
Petersen and Strong, who argued that she was Tellus
or Mother Earth; she has also been identified as Italia
or Ceres.2 Some have accepted Galinsky's idea or
created their own variation on it. Such is the case with
the recent argument of Mario Torelli, who formu-
lated a new, complex theory in which the goddess is
given a triple identity, including Venus as part of her
character; he believes that the figure is still Tellus, but
adds that she is also Venus, and furthermore has the
attributes of Pax, the goddess of peace to whom the
altar is dedicated.3
* The argument presented here was first offered at the
88th General Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of
America at San Antonio, Texas in December 1986 ("The
Goddess of Peace on the Ara Pacis Augustae," AJA 91 [1987]
299-300.) I have been helped by Larissa Bonfante, Edwin
Brown, Gerhard Koeppel, Eugenio La Rocca, James Russell,
and Cheryl Sowder, and wish to thank them. I am also
grateful to AJA's anonymous reviewers for their comments.
The following abbreviations are used:
Buchner E. Buchner, Die Sonnenuhr des Augus-
tus (Mainz 1982).
Galinsky, Aeneas G.K. Galinsky, Aeneas, Sicily and Rome
(Princeton 1969).
Galinsky, "Venus" G.K. Galinsky, "Venus in a Relief on
the Ara Pacis Augustae," AJA 70
(1966) 223-43.
Hanfmann G.M.A. Hanfmann, The Season Sarco-
phagus at Dumbarton Oaks (Cam-
bridge, Mass. 1951).
La Rocca E. La Rocca et al., Ara Pacis Augustae:
in occasione del restauro del fronte
orientale (Rome 1983).
Parrish D. Parrish, Season Mosaics of Roman
North Africa (Rome 1984).
Simon E. Simon, Ara Pacis Augustae (Tubin-
gen 1967).
SGalinsky, "Venus" 223-43. See the final version of his
argument in Galinsky, Aeneas 191-241. A. Booth indepen-
dently reached the same conclusion as Galinsky: "Venus on
the Ara Pacis," Latomus 25 (1966) 873-79. D. Castriota ar-
gued for iconographical motifs connected with Venus on the
Ara Pacis: "The Floral Symbolism of the Ara Pacis," Abstracts,
72nd Annual Meeting of the College Art Association
(1984) 3.
In referring to the location of reliefs on the altar, I have
used the compass directions of the altar in its original loca-
tion. The relief in question, originally on the east side, south
segment, is designated as the southeast panel; the pendant
relief with Roma, originally on the east side, north segment,
is the northeast panel.
2 E. Petersen, Ara Pacs Augustae (Vienna 1902) 49-54;
E. Strong, "Terra Mater or Italia?" JRS 27 (1937) 114-26.
See further Galinsky, "Venus" 224-29, including arguments
against Italia and Tellus; on Ceres, see B.S. Spaeth, "De-
meter/Ceres in the Ara Pacis and the Carthage Relief," AJA
90 (1986) 210. The best recent guides to prevailing theories
and bibliography are Simon; La Rocca; S. Settis, "The Altar
of Peace," FMR 8 (Jan.-Feb. 1985) 89-116; S. Settis, in
Kaiser Augustus und die verlorene Republik (Mainz 1988) 400-
29; and G.M. Koeppel, "Die historischen Reliefs der rom-
ischen Kaiserzeit V: Ara Pacis Augustae," BonnJbb 187
(1987) 101-57. The basic monograph is still M. Moretti, Ara
Pacis Augustae (Rome 1948).
First appearing briefly in R. Bianchi-Bandinelli and M.
Torelli, Etruria, Roma (Turin 1976) no. 75, then elaborated
by Torelli in Typology and Structure of Roman Historical
Reliefs (Ann Arbor 1982) 39-43; cited by M. Fullerton, "The
Domus Augusti in Imperial Iconography," AJA 89 (1985)
American Journal of Archaeology 94 (1990)
Fig. 1. Pax Augusta and the Horae. Relief from the southeast corner of the Ara
Pacis Augustae. (Photo: Alinari)
It is difficult to accept this idea of a triple goddess,
referred to by Torelli as Pax-Venus-Tellus. One may
readily admit the Roman tendency to pass attributes
around from deity to deity, and likewise the practice
of a god taking an epithet to show a specific sphere
of influence, such as Mars Ultor or Venus Genetrix.
One may agree with Torelli that, especially in Augus-
tan iconography, there may occur a "multisemantic
charge"4 in which a single figure may bear allusions
to several parallel beings from myth or real life. For
example, Aeneas on the southwest relief panel ob-
viously alludes to Augustus, and the twins Romulus
and Remus on the northwest may remind the viewer
of Augustus's adopted sons Gaius and Lucius Caesar.5
Nevertheless, each figure retains a basic central iden-
tification. It is the purpose of this article to plead for
a return to a single identity for the important goddess
on the southeast panel. Without denying the possibil-
ity that she may allude to or borrow attributes from
others, it will be argued that her basic identification
is as the goddess to whom the altar was dedicated,
Pax Augusta herself.
This idea has in fact been proposed before. In 1908,
Gardthausen argued that the panel represented Pax
(his suggestion is rarely cited) and Zanker has recently
given a brief approval of the idea.6 But it has never
been argued at any length, and the belief that the
goddess is Tellus has become firmly entrenched,
based on the early theory formulated in the Renais-
sance that the panel represented the Elements of
Earth, Air, and Water-a theory that was, however,
revised at the time the relief was linked with the Ara
Pacis.7 Some scholars, observing uneasily that Pax did
not seem to appear anywhere on the altar dedicated
481; rejected by Settis 1985 (supra n. 2) 99. Galinsky actually
argued earlier for a triple goddess, but with one third having
a different identity. In a footnote he says "I am not arguing
that the goddess represents exclusively Venus. Nor is she
exclusively Tellus or Italia. She combines traits of all three,
although those of Venus to me seem to predominate." Gal-
insky, Aeneas 200 n. 34.
4 Torelli (supra n. 3) 42.
5 For Aeneas, see Simon pl. 24, and for Augustus in an
identical pose on the south frieze, Simon pl. 11. On Gaius
and Lucius (adopted in 17 B.C.) being compared with Ro-
mulus and Remus, see J. Pollini, The Portraiture of Gaius
and Lucius Caesar (New York 1987) 36.
6 V. Gardthausen, Der Altar des Kaiserfriedens, Ara Pacis
Augustae (Leipzig 1908) 14-16; cited by Moretti (supra n. 2)
232, but otherwise largely ignored. Cf. E.W. Van Buren,
"The Ara Pacis Augustae,"JRS 3 (1913) 134 n. 6; Galinsky
does not mention it in his survey of existing theories. P.
Zanker, Augustus und die Macht der Bilder (Munich 1987)
179 and fig. 136.
7 Petersen (supra n. 2). Cf. Settis 1985 (supra n. 2) 92,
Fig. 2. The goddess Roma from the northeast corner of the Ara Pacis Augustae.
(Photo: Barbara Malter)
to her, have sought a convincing explanation for her
absence. K. Hanell suggested that she may have been
present in the lost portion at the left end of the south
frieze, showing Augustus, his lictors, flamines, and
members of the imperial family.8 But there are no
other deities or personifications on the south frieze
or its counterpart on the north, and the fragments
identified by Hanell as showing a female figure may
only depict a Vestal. Another ex silentio argument,
noted by Galinsky,9 would place Pax in the missing
portions of the frieze that decorated the back of the
altar proper. But these reliefs were relatively small,
and the location on the back of the altar inside the
precinct wall would have been by no means conspic-
uous. E. Simon suggested that a statue of Pax once
stood outside the precinct wall; she bases her argu-
ment on the finding of fragments of a colossal statue
of Apollo in the vicinity of the Ara Pacis, which she
believes could have had a pendant, the goddess Pax.10
She gives no further suggestion for the arrangement
of these statues. But there is only one coin type that
possibly represents statuary in the vicinity of the Ara
Pacis, and it shows the altar flanked by two male
figures in toga, in the act of sacrificing, without any
sign of a statue of Pax."I A very drastic solution to the
problem of the missing Pax was proposed by S. Wein-
stock,12 who declared that the goddess was obviously
absent, and therefore this monument could not be
the Ara Pacis!
None of these ideas has enjoyed much acceptance.
More often the dilemma is solved by stating that,
although Pax is not present herself, her effects and
attributes are manifest throughout the altar: the
procession featuring Augustus, newly returned from
pacifying Gaul and Spain, is obviously appropriate;
the fertility and prosperity possible under the protec-
tion of Pax are manifest in the garlands swollen with
fruit on the interior wall of the altar precinct as well
as in the rich garden of hybrid foliage, flowers, and
fruit on the exterior; the conspicuous presence of
children recalls that the begetting of children is char-
acteristic of peacetime, since then husbands are re-
united with their wives; the fragments of the relief
satisfactorily identified as Roma (on the northeast side
8 K. Hanell, "Das Opfer des Augustus an der Ara Pacis,"
OpRom 2 (1960) 88-89.
9 Galinsky, "Venus" 242 n. 167.
o10 E. Simon, Augustus, Kunst und Leben in Rom um die
Zeitenwende (Munich 1986) 30.
I Moretti (supra n. 2) 117-18 (coin of Domitian).
BMCRE II, xciv, 384.
12 S. Weinstock, "Pax and the Ara Pacis," JRS 50 (1960)
Fig. 3. Coin of Galba, A.D. 68, obv. Roma, rev. symbols of
Pax. (Courtesy Trustees of the British Museum)
of the precinct) showed the goddess seated trium-
phantly on a pile of armor, suggesting the defeat of
the enemy and the achievement of peace.13 But the
relief that is repeatedly cited as best showing the
effects of peace is the southeast panel, with its goddess
seated in a rich landscape. Here is a typical treatment,
by G. Hafner, who labels the goddess as "Tellus" and
declares, "This motherly figure, surrounded by chil-
dren, animals and lavish vegetation, personifies the
blessings of peace."'14 It is, of course, but a small step
further to say that she actually is Peace.
It might be objected that if this relief is supposed
to represent the goddess Pax, then she is in the wrong
location; she should be on the west front of the altar
precinct, which the priest would approach to go up
the steps of the monument. But there is compelling
evidence assembled by H. Kahler'5 that the east side
of the precinct, which faced on the Via Lata, was
originally considered to be the front of the altar. On
coins of the time of Nero the east side is clearly
represented as the most characteristic view,16 and un-
doubtedly one reason for this was that the altar was
regularly approached from the Via Lata by someone
coming from the city. Indeed, Augustus and his family
are represented on the south side as if they have just
done so, filing past the image of Pax first, before going
around to the west end of the altar. A similar situation
obtained on the Great Altar of Pergamon,"7 a monu-
ment whose influence as a forerunner of the Ara Pacis
has been frequently noted. There the great entrance
stair to the altar was on the west, but Zeus and Athena,
the chief deities in the battle of gods and giants, were
represented on the east frieze of the altar, just oppo-
site the point at which one normally approached and
entered the general precinct of the monument.
Another reason the east side was understood as a
facade was that it, like the west end, was pierced by a
doorway, giving the altar precinct double entrances.
The arrangement was created apparently in imitation
of the double set of doors of the Temple of Janus,
another deity especially connected with the coming
of peace, since he controlled the gates of war and
peace in the heavens, and by analogy, his temple was
left open in times of war and closed when peace
prevailed. Augustus was especially proud of the fact
that he was able to close the gates of Janus on three
occasions. 18
The other representation on the east end of the
Ara Pacis, of the goddess Roma (fig. 2), was well
chosen as a pendant to the Pax relief. Roma and Pax
are found paired ideologically on a coin struck in
Fig. 4. Pax Augusta. Detail of head. (Photo: Deutsches Ar-
chiologisches Institut, Rome)
13 La Rocca, Ara Pacis 49-50.
14 G. Hafner, The Art ofRome, Etruria and Magna Graecia
(New York 1969) 192.
15 H. Kahler, "Die Front der Ara Pacis," Beitrdge zur
klassischen Altertumswissenschaft: Festschrift fiur Bernhard
Schweitzer (Stuttgart 1954) 322-30. Galinsky, Aeneas 194,
takes it for granted that the east is the front.
16 Kahler (supra n. 15) 326 and fig. 1.
17 E. Schmidt, The Great Altar of Pergamon (Boston 1965)
11-12; in fact, the Olympian gods dominated the "back" of
the altar, while lesser deities appeared on the other sides.
18 Simon 9. On Janus and Pax, see especially Hanell (supra
n. 8) 98-102, and I.S. Ryberg, "The Procession of the Ara
Pacis," MAAR 19 (1949) 90-94.
Fig. 5. Gem with copy of the Eirene of Kephisodotos. Lon-
don, Robinson Collection. (After G. Hoster, Statuen auf
Gemmen pl. 8.2)
Spain in A.D. 68 (fig. 3),19 where Roma is shown on
the obverse, seated on a pile of weapons, while the
reverse features the inscription PAX and the poppies
and grain emblematic of the prosperity brought by
peace. As Zanker has noted, a similar combination
occurs on the altar of the Gens Augusta from Car-
thage, where a seated Roma, on the right, faces the
emblems of Pax (caduceus and cornucopia) on the
left.20 The combination of the two personifications is
of course natural, since they symbolize war and peace
respectively. On the Ara Pacis, the goddess of war
assumes a pose actually mirroring that of her coun-
terpart, which we may well describe as "peaceful."
Now let us turn to an examination of the specific
attributes of Pax in the relief in question. The goddess
wears in her hair a wreath of vegetation (fig. 4); it is
poorly preserved but poppies and ears of grain are
clearly visible in details newly published by E. La
Rocca.21 These elements, as we have seen, are sym-
bolic of Pax. On her lap the goddess nurtures two
small children, and acts therefore as a kourotrophos,
just as the Greek goddess of peace, Eirene, was rep-
resented in the fourth century B.C. by Kephisodotos
Fig. 6. Roman copy of the Eirene of Kephisodotos. Munich,
Glyptothek. (Photo: Glyptothek)
as a kourotrophos nurturing the child Ploutos
(Wealth).22 Her image may be identified on coins,
vases, and a gem in the Robinson Collection (fig. 5),
as well as in a marble copy in the Munich Glyptothek
(fig. 6). It is natural that the Roman goddess should
19 Galinsky, Aeneas 238-39. BMCRE I 290, no. 6, pl.
20 Zanker (supra n. 6) fig. 246.
21 La Rocca fig. 41. La Rocca 43 describes the crown as
having "fiori e frutta," without recording the ears of grain.
22 On the Eirene of Kephisodotos see LIMC III, 700-
705, s.v. Eirene (Simon) and G. Horster, Statuen auf Gemmen
(Bonn 1970) 37-39 and pl. 8.2 (gem in the Robinson Coll.,
London) and the bibliography cited. See also B.S. Ridgway,
Roman Copies of Greek Sculpture: The Problems of the Origi-
nals (Ann Arbor 1985) 67 on variants of the statue.
double her offspring and have twins, no doubt allud-
ing at once to Italian fertility in general and Romulus
and Remus in particular; the twins Castor and Pollux
and their counterparts from the imperial family,
Gaius and Lucius and Tiberius and Drusus, may have
come to the viewer's mind as well.23 At the feet of Pax
lie a sheep and a cow, precisely the animals that are
being led to sacrifice at the ceremony honoring Pax
on the interior altar frieze. As Simon and others have
noted, the sheep that leads the group may be destined
for a sacrifice to Janus, while the heifer is proper to
Pax herself.24
In the background of the relief are again repre-
sented the poppies and grain of Pax and in the god-
dess's lap are assorted flowers and fruits, including
apples, grapes, and pomegranates. They remind us
of the lines of Tibullus (Elegies 1.10.45-48, 67-68)
that summon the goddess: "Let Peace tend the fields.
Shining Peace first led the steer to plow beneath the
curved yoke; Peace nourished the vines and stored
the juices of the grape so that a father's jar might
pour wine for his son . . . Come, nurturing Peace!
Hold out the ear of grain and may your shining lap
pour forth its fruits!"25 The fruits are further empha-
sized in the gesture of the child in front of the god-
dess, who extends his arm upward to her to offer a
piece of fruit26; the gesture is identical to that of
Ploutos in the Eirene group of Kephisodotos (figs. 5-
It may be objected that though every detail imme-
diately around the figure is appropriate for Pax, the
most diagnostic of her attributes, known from nu-
merous coins---the caduceus-is not present. We can-
not, however, be absolutely sure that the caduceus was
Fig. 7. Coin from Locri, ca. 350 B.C., obv. Eirene. (Courtesy
Trustees of the British Museum)
never there, for the proper right hand of the goddess
is completely restored, as La Rocca has noted recently;
she may have once held the wand in this hand. By
way of comparison, we may note that the seated Ei-
rene on a coin from Locri (ca. 350 B.C.; fig. 7) holds
the caduceus in her proper right hand as she herself
turns to our left,27 while the standing Pax on a Tiber-
ian cameo in Schaffhausen also holds the wand in her
proper right.28 Another possibility is that the artist
never included the wand, feeling that the caduceus,
which conveys a quick, convenient identification on
coins or gems, was not needed in a monumental image
of Pax. Similarly, the Eirene of Kephisodotos did not
hold the caduceus. Unfortunately, we are unable to
make comparison with other monumental images of
Pax from Roman times, since no securely identified
ones have survived (though literary evidence shows
that such statues were made).29
Gardthausen had already brought up the idea of
comparing the goddess of the southeast panel with
23 On the multiplication of babies in Italy, see L. Bonfante,
"Dedicated Mothers," Visible Religion 3 (1984) 2. For Castor
and Pollux, see LIMC III, esp. 626, s.v. DioskouroilCastores
(Gury): stucco relief with the infant Dioskouroi paired with
a relief of Romulus and Remus. On Gaius and Lucius see
supra n. 5. Tiberius and Drusus are represented as twin
figures on aurei and denarii of 15 B.C. struck at Lyons: J.-
B. Giard, Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, des origines au
regne de Caligula (43 avant J.C.-41 apris J.-C.) (Wetteren
1983) 75. Cf. the Consolatio ad Liviam 121, for Livia's partus
duplex. Tiberius dedicated the temple of Castor and Pollux
in honor of his brother in A.D. 6: Nash I, 210. The Dios-
kouroi had appeared on the battlefield at the moment of
Drusus's death; Gury 632.
24 Simon 15.
25 Interea Pax arva colat. Pax candida primum/Duxit ara-
turos sub iuga curva boves,/ Pax aluit vites et sucos condidit
uvae,/ Funderet ut nato testa paterna merum/ .... At nobis,
Pax alma, veni spicamque teneto/ Perfluat et pomis candidus
ante sinus. (Albii Tibulli aliorumque Carmina, ed. G. Luck
[Teubner 1988]). Strangely, this passage is quoted by Gal-
insky as evidence that the goddess is Venus; Galinsky, "Ve-
nus" 243.
26 The relief is damaged, but the arm is intact and the
restoration of the hand with a piece of fruit is almost certain.
See La Rocca 43 and ill. p. 120. The relief from Carthage
that shows the same goddess (here fig. 11) shows a child who
holds up a piece of fruit (unrestored) in an identical way.
See discussion infra and Simon 32.
27 On the restoration of the figure see especially the dia-
gram in La Rocca 120. Coin from Locri: Weinstock (supra
n. 12) 44. I thank Gerhard Koeppel for suggesting the
interesting possibility that the caduceus could have been
painted in, along with other details of the monument.
28 Simon (supra n. 10) 30. BMCRE II, no. 391.
29 For example, in 11 B.C. statues of Pax, Salus, Concor-
dia, and Janus were set up in an (unnamed) temple: Ovid,
Fasti 3.881; Dio 54.35.2; see Weinstock (supra n. 12) 49. In
A.D. 41 the Alexandrians set up a statue of Pax Augusta
Claudiana, which Claudius later had moved to Rome; see
M. Grant, "Pax Romana, An Early Imperial Definition,"
University of Edinburgh Journal 14.4 (1949) 232.
There are no firmly identified statues of Pax. The only
candidate for such an identification is an underlifesize mar-
the Greek Eirene; Momigliano and others have
stressed the strong Greek background for the con-
cepts of peace depicted on the Ara Pacis.30 To my
knowledge no one has yet noted one quite important
aspect of the Greek Eirene that may be present in this
relief. I believe that the artists and patrons who de-
vised the program for the altar may have traced the
goddess of peace back to the earliest known reference
to her, in Hesiod's Theogony (902), where Eirene is
referred to as one of the Horai (Horae), the goddesses
of the seasons.
Let us examine the background for such a claim.
In early Greek art and literature, the Horai were
normally three in number and were generally de-
picted as beneficent spirits of vegetation and prosper-
ity presiding in a general way as the seasons rolled
by; they were not yet put in charge of particular
seasons of the year.3' Instead, as Hesiod makes evi-
dent, they all were constantly active, and their influ-
ence was felt in the organization of the affairs of men:
their names were Eirene (Peace), Dike (Justice), and
Eunomia (Good Order). It was only in the Hellenistic
period that the Horai at times turned into goddesses
of the four specific seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall,
and Winter; even so the new scheme did not com-
pletely replace the old one and in fact there are no
clearly canonical types during the period that con-
cerns us. As Hanfmann noted in his masterly study
of the seasons in Roman art,32 during the Hellenistic
period and the early Roman Empire there are many
variations in the iconography of these goddesses,
whether one calls them Seasons or Horai; the number
fluctuated (two, three, or four) and their attributes
and activities were by no means fixed. During this
period of fluidity in the iconography of the goddesses
it is easy to believe that Augustus and his advisors
could have found it appropriate to bring to Rome the
Hesiodic, political idea of the seasons and the original
role of the goddess of Peace, and relate them to the
Pax Augusta. The triad from Hesiod certainly contin-
ued to be known and studied; it is mentioned, for
example, in the mythological handbook by Cornutus
(teacher of Persius) written in the first century A.C.33
Simon has noted that a tendency to recall the three
Horai of the early period recurred in archaizing and
neo-Attic art.34
The two goddesses attending Pax, on her left and
right, are surely also Horai, or Horae, as we may call
them as they become Roman. La Rocca realized this,35
though his arguments were brief, and in the end he
retreated and referred to them also as Aurae, a long
customary identification. It is surprising that this iden-
tification has stood firm almost since the beginning of
the century, for it rests on a thin foundation.36 Pliny
(HN 36.29) refers briefly to an anonymous sculpture
to be seen in the Porticus of Octavia in his time of
duae Aurae velificantes sua veste. Because the two at-
tendants in our relief have the velificatio, they were
linked with this reference. But it can be shown that
the velificatio is by no means exclusive to the iconog-
raphy of the Aurae. Numerous other beings in antiq-
uity employ it;37 prominent among these are the
Horae. As for other details of the iconography of
Aurae, they are practically nonexistent. There are
extant only two images of Aurae from antiquity that
have an inscription to identify them.38 One of these
is a bust of a woman wearing a polos, a feature not
shared by the attendants in the Pax relief. The other
is a full figure, seated upon a rock, with the velificatio
above her head. She has no other attributes to link
her with the Ara Pacis figures: she is not bare-
breasted, she does not ride upon an animal, and she
does not wear a wreath in her hair as do the goddesses
of the Pax relief. But it can be shown that all of these
details-velificatio, bare breasts, animal mount, and
wreath-are appropriate for the iconography of the
The wreaths upon their heads are much damaged
ble statue of a female deity holding a caduceus and patera,
from Thysdrus (N. Africa), now in Leiden. The attributes
have led to the identification of the figure as Pax or Concor-
dia (no inscription was found). See Weinstock (supra n. 12)
46; J.P.J. Brants, Beschrijving van de klassieke Verzameling in
het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden (The Hague 1927)
1.2 and pl. 2.4.
30 A. Momigliano, "The Peace of the Ara Pacis,"JWarb 5
(1942) 228-31.
3 1 Hanfmann I, 80-81, 85.
32 Hanfmann I, 115-18, 127.
33 Hanfmann I, 106, 146.
34 E. Simon, "Zum Hochzeitssarkophag mit Peleus und
Thetis in der Villa Albani," RM 60-61 (1953-1954) 212
n. 9.
35 La Rocca 46.
36 G.E. Rizzo, "Aurae velificantes," BullCom 67 (1939)
37 See esp. F. Matz, "Der Gott auf den Elephantenwagen,"
AbhMainz 1952:10, 726-73. He notes the motif on Maenads,
Nereids, Niobe, Niobids, the daughters of Lycomedes, Se-
lene, Helios, Caelus, Europa, Dionysos. We may add Augus-
tus himself: K. Erim, Aphrodisias, City of Venus Aphrodite
(New York 1986) pl. p. 115; Neptune and Amphitrite: M.
Henig ed., A Handbook of Roman Art (New York 1983) fig.
100; Aphrodite: Galinsky, "Venus" 229; Bacchus and Ar-
iadne: stucco decoration in the "Villa Imperiale," Pompeii,
Simon (supra n. 10) fig. 181; and Mars: cuirass statue from
Cherchel, Simon (supra n. 10) pl. 8 and fig. 279.
38 LIMC III, 52-54, s.v. Aurai (Canciani). EAA I, 928, s.v.
Aura (Bermond Montanari).
Fig. 8. Hora on the Swan. Detail from relief of Pax Augusta.
(Photo: Deutsches Archiologisches Institut, Rome)
here, as in the figure of Pax; the wreaths do not seem
to have been noted before, but are definitely discern-
ible.39 In the figure on the left (fig. 8), reeds can be
seen rising near the forehead of the goddess; in the
figure on the right (fig. 9), it is certain that a wreath
is present, from the irregular breaks in the pattern of
the wavy hair. But it is difficult to tell what was actually
in the garland; it may have contained flowers as well
as fruit.
Personifications of the seasons with wreaths may be
found on numerous monuments. On some of these
they are clearly goddesses of specific seasons (Tem-
pora), but on others they are best called simply Horae.
The well-known patera from Aquileia with the theme
of Triptolemus, perhaps dating to the first century
Fig. 9. Hora on the Sea Monster. Detail from relief of Pax
Augusta. (Photo: Barbara Bini)
B.C., shows Winter with a wreath of reeds, Spring
with a flowered wreath, and Summer with a wreath
of ears of grain.40 (The arrangement is remarkably
similar to that of the trio on the Ara Pacis, and we
shall return to this comparison.) Pompeian paintings
of the early Empire show, in assorted cycles, Spring,
Summer, and Autumn with the wreaths, while in
mosaics and on sarcophagi of the later Empire, the
wreaths are almost always present.41
The velificatio or billowing garment of the god-
39 Cf. La Rocca, fig. 27. Moretti (supra n. 2) pls. 23-24. I
am much indebted to Professor La Rocca for arranging for
a close viewing of the relief so that I was able to confirm the
existence of the wreaths. I thank Cheryl Sowder for her kind
assistance on this occasion.
40 H. M6bius, "Die Silberteller von Aquileja," Festschrift
fiur Friedrich Matz (Mainz 1962) 82.
41 On the iconography of the seasons in general see EAA
VII, 468-73, s.v. Stagioni (Simon). Paintings: Hanfmann I,
134-35, figs. 88-89, 91, 95; sarcophagi: Hanfmann II, 136-
37, fig. 104; mosaics: see esp. Parrish 34, 37, 39, pls. 1, 6,
48, 50, 55, 57, 67, etc. and Hanfmann II, 147-49, figs. 99-
102, 112-13, 117-19. The wreaths also occur on the Mon-
ument of Clodia from Roccagiovane (first century A.C.) and
the Monument of the Concordii (ca. A.D. 50) from Boretto:
Hanfmann II, 146 and figs. 84-85. Although there is a well-
developed sequence of the four seasons on Arretine ware
and related Campana reliefs, it sheds little light on the
images of the Horae on the Ara Pacis. Summer or Spring
may carry a wreath, but none of the seasons wears one. H.B.
Walters, Catalogue of the Roman Pottery in the British Museum
(London 1908) 20 and pl. 6; A. Ox6,Arretinische Reliefgefsse
desses in the Pax relief, indicating the presence of
moving air or wind, is also a frequent attribute of the
Horae, as we may see again from Pompeian painting
(fig. 10).42 Why the Seasons should be windblown is
made clear by the Augustan poets and other writers,
who regularly associate each season with a particular
wind (ventus). Springtime was attended by Zephyrus
or Favonius (from the west), Summer had Notus or
Auster (from the south), Autumn had Eurus (from
the southeast), and Winter had Boreas or Aquilo
(from the north).43 It should be noted that these
winds, called Anemoi in Greek, are different from
breezes, or Aurae, and in fact are much more fre-
quently represented than Aurae. A recent study by
K. Neuser"44 makes it evident that though these Anemoi
sometimes had the velificatio, they were regularly rep-
resented as male; accordingly there is no reason to
entertain the possibility that our goddesses are Ane-
Thus we see that the drapery of the goddesses and
their wreaths are appropriate for the Horae; as for
the rest of their dress, or rather undress, it is likewise
characteristic. The goddesses of the seasons may be
found with bare breasts on the Tazza Farnese,45 Pom-
peian paintings, and other monuments.46
Finally, Seasons are also known to go about on
animals, as is perhaps best demonstrated by a bowl
from Vienne of around A.D. 100, where Summer is
shown on the back of a bull, with velificatio and a sprig
of wheat, while Autumn is shown with grapes on the
back of a panther; Spring also rides the panther, while
Winter is conveyed by a boar.47 In late antiquity there
are even examples on sarcophagi of Seasons, with
velificatio, represented riding on sea creatures,48
though none of these looks quite like the cetus or Sea
Monster in the Pax relief. Also, I know of no firmly
identified Hora or Season riding on a swan like the
goddess on the left of the relief. We shall return to
the specific meaning of these creatures shortly; for
now we shall only note that the goddesses on their
mounts have been interpreted as presiding over the
sea (on the right) and over land (on the left) and thus
Fig. 10. Summer. House of Gn. Habitus, Pompeii. (After
Hanfmann II, fig. 91)
as giving visual expression to the oft-cited Augustan
formula of "peace obtained on land and sea" (pax
terra marique parta).49 The slogan becomes even more
meaningful if we admit that Pax is herself present,
seated between the figures that refer to land and sea.
And the special connection of the Horae with Peace
goes even beyond the Archaic triad that counted Ei-
rene as one of their number. For in Rome, according
to Ovid (Fasti 1.125), the Horae were the special
assistants to Janus, no doubt because of his role in
presiding over the beginning of and the progress of
the year. Their assignment for Janus was to help him
at the gates of heaven, a duty that meant that in fact
they had control of the exits and entrances of peace
and war. This is clear from Janus's description of his
powers: "Whate'er you see anywhere-sky, sea,
vom Rhein (Materialen zur r6misch-germanischen Keramik
5, Bonn 1968) 78-80 and pls. 32-34. Simon 470.
I have listed here only female versions of the seasons. As
Hanfmann's study made clear, there is an extensive tradition
for male seasons, esp. in the later Empire. They are not
central to the argument of this article, but it is worth noting
that they, like the female figures, frequently wear wreaths.
See Hanfmann II, figs. 9-10, 14-15, and many others.
42 Hanfmann II, 143-44, figs. 90-91, 94-96.
43 Hanfmann I, 121.
44 K. Neuser, Anemoi, Studien zur Darstellung der Winde
und Windgottheiten in der Antike (Rome 1982).
45 E. La Rocca, L'et& d'oro di Cleopatra (Rome 1984) 87
and pl. 7.
46 Hanfmann II, 134-35, figs. 90-92, 94 (paintings); II,
136-37, fig. 104 (sarcophagus); II, 146, fig. 84 (Monument
of Clodia, from Roccagiovane) and fig. 85 (Monument of
the Concordii, from Boretto).
47 Hanfmann II, 145, fig. 106.
48 Hanfmann II, 145. A. Rumpf, "Die Meerwesen auf den
antiken Sarkophagen," ASR 5.1 (Berlin 1939) 12-13, pls.
12-13, nos. 32-36.
49 Simon 28.
clouds, earth-all things are closed and opened by my
hand.... When I choose to send forth Peace from
tranquil halls, she freely walks the ways unhindered.
But with blood and slaughter the whole world would
welter, did not the bars unbending hold the barrica-
doed wars. I sit at heaven's gate with the gentle Horae;
my office regulates the comings and goings of Jupiter
himself." 50
There is another deity dear to Augustus who also
had a close relationship with the Horae: Apollo. As
god of the sun, the Roman Phoebus Apollo was be-
lieved to maintain the order of the seasons. As such,
Apollo was called Horus himself, or had as epithets
the names Horites, Horomedon, and Horesidotes.51 In
art, the Horae are represented with the god of the
sun either tending his horses and chariot, as on a
relief from Bolsena, or seated around his throne, as
on a sarcophagus in Copenhagen.52
Other details of the relief on the Ara Pacis seem to
refer to the seasons of the year. The flowers, grain,
and fruits round about Pax, which have their parallels
elsewhere on the altar, may have a seasonal iconog-
raphy. Simon observed that the great garlands hang-
ing on the inside of the altar's precinct wall have the
fruits, nuts, and foliage of summer and autumn,53
and it may be noted that the hybrid garden on the
exterior of the precinct wall seems to emphasize
springtime, though it probably has elements of sum-
mer as well. It includes flowers, as on the Pax relief,
many birds (the nests of baby birds especially allude
to spring), and relatively little fruit. Among the fruit
shown are some undersized, evidently immature,
grapes54 that seem to belong to summer. Thus these
reliefs seem to be representing the bounty of Pax
Augusta by showing combinations of the produce of
different times of the year. This idea of the fusion of
seasons is not surprising; as Hanfmann has noted, it
was a commonplace, from the time of Varro, to praise
the ideal climate of Italy, in which spring could be
described as perpetual and in which there was a blend-
ing of the different seasons.55 This vision of a land in
which the seasons blend and intermingle is paralleled
by the image of the plants that grow in the garden
frieze: their hybrid character-with flowers and
grapes sprouting from the same vines, and the vines
in turn springing from acanthus leaves-has often
been noted and cited as part of the iconography of
the reign of Pax in the Golden Age (as in Virgil, Ecl.
In addition to the elements of spring (flowers),
summer (grain), and autumn (grapes, pomegranates)
in the Pax relief, I believe we may also find some
references to winter. The conspicuous reeds that grow
up high on the left next to Pax and in the lower left
hand corner are very similar to ones that appear upon
the wreath of Winter or else grow next to her in
mosaics.56 Hanfmann observes that such a plant is
probably the sweet-rush, acorus calamus. "This is a
marsh plant. The leaves are long and flat like those
of the iris, and on being bruised or broken, emit sweet
perfume. In Italy this plant would be sweet and green
far into winter when all the flowers were over."''57 Near
the bottom of the reeds lies a one-handled pitcher,
which I believe also belongs to the iconography of
Winter. It is usually interpreted as showing a source
of fresh water to correspond to the salt water on the
right side of the relief. But instead it may be the
pitcher that is the attribute of Winter in Pompeiian
paintings and on Late Antique mosaics.58 The pitcher
is at once a reference to the winter constellation of
Aquarius and to the heavy rains that were regarded
as a regular feature of winter.59
Perhaps there are allusions to other constellations
and the cycle of the year in the relief. It may not be a
coincidence that the two creatures who carry the
Horae along are known in Latin as cycnus ("swan")
and cetus (Greek ketos, "sea monster")-words that are
also the names of constellations well known in antiq-
uity.60 While the the one-handled urn is recognizable
only as the attribute of Aquarius, these animals have
50 Ov., Fasti, ed. and trans. J.G. Frazer (Cambridge 1967)
51 On Apollo and the Horae, see Hanfmann I, 83, 152-
53, and Parrish 51.
52 B. Andreae, The Art of Rome (New York 1977) fig. 284
(Bolsena relief); Hanfmann II, 116-17, 136-37, figs. 82,
104 (Copenhagen sarcophagus). Cf. Ov., Met. 2.26-30 for a
description of the Horae at the court of the Sun God.
53 Simon 13.
54 La Rocca 21 (baby birds), 20 (immature grapes).
55 Hanfmann I, 122 and n. 102.
56 Parrish 30-32, pls. 7, 39c, 55, 57b, 68, 94a. Hanfmann
II, 147-48, 150 and figs. 102, 112, 114.
57 Hanfmann I, 10.
58 Hanfmann II, 143-44, 154, figs. 96, 121. Parrish 31.
59 Hanfmann I, 134. On Campana reliefs Winter may
carry the pitcher. H. von Rohden and H. Winnefeld, Archi-
tektonische Tonreliefs der Kaiserzeit (Die antiken Terrakotten
4:1-2, Berlin 1911) 89-91, 262, 267-68, 288, figs. 178-80,
pls. 11, 47, 57.1, 98.1-2.
60 Cycnus (Cygnus, also called Ornis): RE 11.2, cols. 2442-
51, s.v. Kyknos (Gundel). Mentioned in the two astronomical/
astrological treatises closest in time to the Ara Pacis: The
Aratus Ascribed to Germanicus Caesar, D.B. Gain ed. (London
1976) 275-80,466,615,639,679,690; Manilius, Astronomica
II.337, 687; II.31; V.25, 381. Cetus (Ketos, also called Pristis,
Pistris, and Pistrix): RE 11.1, cols. 364-72, s.v. Ketos (Gun-
del); Germanicus, Arat. 356, 360-61, 371, 381, 390, 487,
a direct correspondence with the constellations in the
sky. The same can be said, I believe, for two other
astral allusions in the relief. The twin boys may refer
to the constellation Gemini (we have already noted
how they may recall Castor and Pollux) while the
figure of Pax evokes a comparison with the sign of
Virgo. The "Maiden" carried the ear of grain as her
attribute, with the brilliant star of Spica flashing in it.
Hanell and Simon have already suggested that the
goddess of the relief should be compared with Virgo,
noting that in the Aratus attributed to Germanicus,
the constellation presides over the Golden Age and a
world at peace (Aurea pacati regeres cum saecula
mundi... placidissima virgo).61
The constellations of Virgo and Gemini may be
recognized immediately as conveying an appropriate
message for the reign of Pax Augusta. The case is not
so obvious for Cetus and Cycnus. It is likely that the
creatures were chosen first of all because they fit well
into the scheme of depicting land, air, and sea. But in
addition they serve to create compass directions, for
Cycnus is a constellation of the northern sky, while
Cetus belongs to the southern group.62 Virgo and
Gemini, going along the ecliptic, move between them
from east to west. In addition, these four constella-
tions are so positioned that each rises in a different
season. According to Manilius, Cetus rises in spring,
Gemini in summer, Virgo in autumn, and Cycnus in
The constellations tie in well with the theme of
seasonal winds discussed above, for as the Aratus of
Germanicus and other treatises on astronomy made
clear, many a constellation is connected with a special
wind.6 There are extant descriptions of winds in
connection with all of the constellations we have rec-
ognized in the Pax relief. Although Pax is not repre-
sented with the velificatio, it is nevertheless quite
appropriate for her to be connected in a general way
with winds: "The Maiden brings rains and stirs the
air with winds."65 And the constellation of Gemini is
related to mild, balmy weather: "The winds gently
caress the skies under the Twins."66 But the most
striking descriptions occur in reference to Cetus and
Cycnus. The former is associated with Auster, because
this wind affects the southern skies where the con-
stellation appears. "The South Wind drives the Sea
Monster," says the Aratus of Germanicus,67 in a de-
scription that accords well with the image on the right
side of the Pax relief. As for Cycnus, in the northern
sky, it is connected with Aquilo: "The Bird ... bends
toward the breezes of the North."68
Let us stop at this point and take stock of the
information that has been presented. We may argue
above all that Pax Augusta, attended by two other
Horae, appears here as a goddess for all seasons, as
well as a deity who pervades air, land, and sea, com-
manding the rain, winds, and stars, whether north,
south, east, or west. It is of course tempting to look
for precise correspondences of the deities with other
goddesses of the seasons. But they are not the three
Hesiodic Horai; for although we have some very spe-
cific allusions to the Greek Eirene, the other two
goddesses have no attributes to support identifications
as Dike and Eunomia. Nor may we conclude that we
have representations of particular seasons of the year,
though we are certainly given pause by the fact that
they seem to be wearing the wreaths of winter (the
reeds of the Hora on the left), summer (the poppies
640, 661, 721; Manilius, Astronomica 1.433; V.15, 656-92.
61 Germanicus, Arat. 103-104. Hanell (supra n. 8) 118-
19; Simon 29.
62 Manilius, Astronomica, trans. and intro, by G.P. Goold
(Cambridge, Mass. 1977) xxvii, xxx.
63 Manilius, Astronomica 2.265-69 notes the seasons when
the zodiacal constellations are pollentia, and in Book 5 he
relates the paranatellonta to the Zodiac. The relationships
are presented in chart form by Goold (supra n. 62) xciv-xcv.
Other divisions of the seasons were possible: Goold xli. The
risings of Manilius are dawn risings, since they are to be
related to horoscopes. Other references to risings and set-
tings in this article likewise refer to the dawn, with no dis-
tinction made in regard to actual and visible risings. On the
very complicated possibilities for determining the risings and
settings of stars in antiquity, see esp. Arist., HA, ed. and
intro, by A.L. Peck (Cambridge, Mass. 1970) 383-408. On
the different ways to divide the seasons, see Peck 398-403.
I am indebted to Edwin Brown for this reference.
64The relationship between wind and constellation may
be based on the season itself-Aquilo, the winter wind, sum-
mons the winter sign of Pisces (Germanicus, Arat. 700), or
on the location on the compass-Andromeda is located "near
the North Wind" (Germanicus, Arat. 356-59). Variations in
the pattern may be caused by the presence of a planet in the
constellation; e.g., Mercury in the Ram causes violent winds,
while the sun in Leo is associated with the roaring Etesian
winds (Germanicus, Arat. iv, 115-16; Aratus, Phaen. 150-
52). Still other alliances between constellations and winds
were evidently deduced from pure observation. For exam-
ple, when the Centaur is in a certain position in the night
sky, he announces the arrival of the east wind, Eurus (Ger-
manicus, Arat. 421-25).
65 Germanicus, Arat. 10: Virgo refert pluvias et permovet
aera ventis.
66 Germanicus, Arat. 6: at Geminis leviter perstringunt cae-
rula venti.
67 Germanicus, Arat. 360: Auster Pristin agit, using an
alternate name for the Sea Monster. Cf. supra n. 60.
68 Cicero, Aratea, ed. V. Buescu (Bucharest 1941, repr.
Hildesheim 1966), 33.85-86: conuoluitur Ales: haec clinata
magis paulo est Aquilonis ad auras.
Fig. 11. Pax Augusta with Luna and Sol at the Autumn equinox, from Carthage. Paris,
Louvre. (Photo: Documentation
photographique de le R6union des mus6es nationaux)
and grain of Pax) and spring (the flowers, if they are
indeed such, of the Hora on the right). Further, the
iconography of the left side of the relief seems to
refer almost exclusively to winter. This side of the
relief gives the reeds of winter, the waters of the urn
of Aquarius, and the constellation Cycnus, with its
winter rising. One might also argue that the presence
of the little wading bird in the marsh, heretofore
unmentioned, can be explained as one of the birds
taken by hunters in the winter season; such game was
sometimes carried about as an attribute by Winter.69
We do not find, however, in the Pax relief a treat-
ment of the other seasons to match this splendid
depiction of the nurturing capacity of wintertime.
"Spring" shows little development on the right side of
the relief, and a goddess of Autumn is in fact missing.
Pax especially undermines a strict seasonal system,
since in addition to the poppies and grain of summer,
she carries grapes and apples in her lap, alluding to
autumn, as well as having in the background the
flowers of springtime. Further, the dress of the three
goddesses does not lend itself to an identification of
individual seasons, for we should have to argue that
"Summer" (i.e., Pax) is clothed, while "Winter" is half-
Thus in spite of the fact that the relief itself shows
a carefully calculated and symmetrical disposition, we
do not find here a clear-cut, systematic presentation
of the seasons, whether three or four. Instead we find
that there is a mingling of attributes and a fusion of
the times of year, quite like what we have seen in the
garden frieze (also showing an orderly, symmetrical
composition) and the swags on the interior of the Ara
Pacis. In this relief, we also find that Winter is in-
cluded and perhaps even emphasized, thus making
up for her omission in the other two sequences.
This image of Pax Augusta is remarkably original,
and it is not surprising that its true meaning has gone
unrecognized for a long time. Indeed it is an image
quite without parallel, except for a single relief, from
Carthage (fig. 11), that seems to copy it fairly closely.70
The Carthage relief has itself been the source of much
69 Hanfmann I, 134, 272, and n. 87. Parrish 27, 33.
70 The bibliography is considerable. See esp. Galinsky,
"Venus" 228 n. 58, 239-41. See also Zanker (supra n. 6) fig.
246, who labels the relief "Pax (?)." Settis 1988 (supra n. 2)
iconographical debate, since it is clearly related to the
Ara Pacis, but also shows significant deviations. My
own suspicion is that since large sections of the relief
are missing, we shall never understand it fully. But I
do believe one may argue that it, too, represents Pax
The relief has been plausibly connected with an-
other relief from Carthage showing Mars, Venus, and
(perhaps) the Divine Julius; the two sculptures seem
to be part of a monument to the family of Augustus.71
Thus it is not inappropriate to find here Augustan
Peace, a goddess of prosperity and the seasons under
Augustus. Her surroundings have changed some-
what, but this is perhaps because she has changed
context and is now part of another monument in
another place. The central group of Pax with fruit-
filled lap and twins is unchanged, and the cow and
sheep are once again included. The reference to terra
marique remains, and the urn of the rains, with wading
bird (though the reeds of the Ara Pacis are much
reduced) is repeated on the left. There is still evidence
of winds in the relief, in the much-damaged velificatio
of the figure on the left, and perhaps also in the
garment of the figure on the right (it may have bil-
lowed out behind his head). The main thing that is
changed is that the Horae have been omitted, along
with their mounts from the constellations. Newly
added figures and animals serve, I believe, as suitable
substitutes. The most popular identification of the
female figure on the left, holding a torch, is Selene or
the Moon; the figure on the right, rising out of the
ocean, is seen as her counterpart, Sol or the Sun.72
These deities govern the seasons as surely as the
Horae themselves, and in fact Sol (as we have noted
earlier) kept the Horae as his assistants to help him
prepare his chariot to go through the circle of the
year.73 That Selene could also lead the Horae around
may be seen from a relief on an altar in the Villa
Albani dating to the first century A.C.74
As for the animals that appear here, they can also
be connected with the seasons, for once again we have
creatures with the names of constellations. In the
water next to Sol is visible the head of a dolphin,
pointed downward as the creature plunges into the
water; he may allude to Delphinus, a constellation of
the northern sky.75 To the right of Sol appears the
curving body of another sea creature. As Simon has
noted, it is wrong to construe this as part of a Triton,
for there is no evidence of the horse foreparts that
are required for such an identification,76 and in fact
there is no clear connection between the male figure
and this marine motif. The creature is more likely to
be a cetus like the one on the Ara Pacis, for the body
seems to have similar scaly fins, here sinking into the
water. The head of the creature is evidently visible on
the right, with the curious fins along the face folded
back. If this is indeed a cetus, it represents another
reference to a constellation. We shall return to this
motif of the Dolphin combined with the Sea Monster.
On the left side of the relief, the new creature that
appears is a serpent, climbing up the rock out of the
marshy area. It may be identified with the constella-
tion of the Water-Snake (Hydra, Lat. Anguis), a sign
characteristic of the southern sky.77 The constellation
has a characteristic loop of stars in its neck (Cicero,
Aratea 217 described it as "convexo sinu"), which has
been cleverly imitated in the serpent of the Carthage
relief. The snake here looks remarkably like the con-
stellation of Hydra as depicted on Renaissance star
maps that were used to illustrate Aratus and other
treatises on astronomy and astrology.78
In the Carthage relief, as on the Ara Pacis, we find
a tableau featuring the goddess of Peace with her
attributes of children, flocks, and fruits, attended by
winds, rains, and stars of the four points of the com-
pass, within the cycles of the year (brought here by
the Sun and the Moon). The seasons themselves do
not seem to be well developed, though it is difficult
to be sure, since parts of the relief are missing. On
the other hand, it may be that general references to
the seasons were intentionally deemphasized, in order
to make a more specific point. I refer to the fact that
the constellations seem to be depicted in carefully
chosen positions; the Dolphin and Sea Monster are
disappearing under the waves while the Water-Snake
rises up. This relationship allows us to recognize one
425. Simon (supra n. 10) 223-24. There no longer seems to
be any doubt that the relief postdates the Ara Pacis.
71 Weinstock (supra n. 12) 54-55.
72 Galinsky, "Venus" 241, accepts the "often suggested
interpretation of. . . Sol." G. Meautis, Bronzes antiques du
canton de Neuchdtel (Neuchatel 1928) 17-28. Strong (supra
n. 2) 124.
73 Supra ns. 51-52 and related text.
74 Hanfmann II, 140 no. 63.
75 RE 4, cols. 2509-510, s.v. Delphin (2) (Wagner). Ger-
manicus, Arat. 613, 691. Manilius, Astronomica 1.346-47.
76 Simon (supra n. 10) 251, note to fig. 281.
77 RE 9 col. 48, s.v. Hydra (B6lte). Germanicus, Arat. 619.
Manilius, Phaen. 1.415; 5.16.
78 Conveniently gathered by D.J. Warner, The Sky Ex-
plored, Celestial Cartography, 1500-1800 (New York 1979).
See esp. 9 (map of Petrus Apianus, 1533); 13 (James Barlow,
ca. 1790); 73 (Albrecht Ddrer, ca. 1500; the images are in
reverse of the way they appear in the sky because they are
conceived of as projected onto a globe that is viewed from
outside); 108 (Edmund Halley, 1678); and 115 (Johannes
Hevelius, 1662; also reversed).
particular time of the year. According to Aratus
(Phaen. 586-603), when the Maiden starts to appear
at sunrise, the Water-Snake has also risen; in the
opposite part of the sky, the Dolphin hasjust set (along
with the Swan).79 The Sea Monster is not mentioned
in these particular lines, but it is clear that its setting
comes soon after the Swan, from a subsequent pas-
sage: "Dragged below is the tailtip of the Bird ..
then along with Andromeda, "Cetus, neck downward,
sets to his neck."80 The description fits well with the
sinking cetus in the Carthage relief. For an observer
at Carthage or Rome at the time of Augustus, this
sequence, in which the Water Snake and the Maiden
rise as the Dolphin and Sea Monster set, would bring
the month of September. The Maiden would have
become fully visible in the latter part of the month.
At this time Aquarius and Gemini would both be quite
visible in the sky just before dawn.8' The relief may
be referring then, not to the four seasons, but to one
particular one. It may herald the coming of autumn,
at the equinox on 23 September.82 As Manilius (2.266)
notes, autumnus Vergine surgit. We shall say more
about this date shortly.
The Carthage relief thus may be interpreted in such
a way as to link Augustus and the Augustan Peace
with a cosmic setting and a particular time of year as
well. The larger cosmic significance of Pax Augusta
in Rome was indicated less directly, but must have
been easy enough to comprehend in antiquity within
the original context of the Augustan monuments of
the Campus Martius. These are now much better
understood, owing to the recent investigations of E.
Buchner. The remarkable Solarium or Horologium
of Augustus, with an Egyptian obelisk for its gnomon
and with a vast grid stretching toward the Mausoleum
of Augustus as well as the Ara Pacis, evidently fea-
tured not only the hours of the day and the days of
the year, but also the constellations of the zodiac, and
the summer and winter solstices and the spring and
autumn equinoxes. That there was clear reference to
the seasons in this Horologium was shown by the
excavations of Buchner, in which an inscription in
Greek was found referring to the "beginning of sum-
mer."83 The actions of the winds were also noted,
as is revealed by the Greek inscription referring to
23/24 August that observes "The Etesian Winds
stop."84 Renaissance reports of excavations in the area
suggest that the winds were carefully laid out in a
"Windrose" around the obelisk itself.85 As for the
signs of the zodiac, it is fitting that the inscription for
the Maiden, the Parthenos, is one of the few that has
been preserved.86
The word for sundial in Latin, horologium (from
Greek, horologion), obviously would have evoked the
name of the Horae; yet another reference to them
could be found in the horoscope (horoscopos) of Au-
gustus, which determined, as Buchner has shown, the
relationship between the sundial and the Mausoleum
and Ara Pacis. His calculations prove that on the
birthday of Augustus, 23 September, the shadow of
the gnomon would point precisely to the middle axis
of the Ara Pacis; the connection between Augustus
79 Aratus, Phaen., ed. and trans. A.W. Mair (New York
1921) 1.586-603. Cf. Germanicus, Arat. 612-19 for an imi-
tation of the passage.
80 Aratus, trans. Mair (supra n. 79) 1.628-31.
81 As an amateur in the study of the constellations, I have
found useful A.P. Norton's standard Norton's Star Atlas and
Reference Handbook'6 (Epoch 1950-0) (Edinburgh 1973), as
well as H.A. Rey, The Stars, A New Way to See Them (Boston
1967), which contains a sequence of full-sky triple-horizon
charts relevant for Rome (lat. 410 54' N), or Carthage lat.
360 54' N) 73-97. The information on the dates of rising
and setting must be adjusted in accordance with the preces-
sion of the equinoxes, irregular orbit of the earth, and other
variables, as discussed by Peck (supra n. 63) esp. 387-91,
who gives data on the position of the stars and their risings
at the time of Aristotle, ca. 350 B.C. I do not here pretend
to minute precision in making the calculations, but give only
approximate dates for risings and settings, taking note of
Peck's observation that the precession of the equinoxes
causes a difference of 32 1/2 days between the time of Aristotle
and the present. Thus in the time of Augustus, any given
constellation would have risen approximately one month
earlier than it does today. This method of calculation is
confirmed by Goold (supra n. 62), who notes that the signs
of the Zodiac have so altered in relation to the year that the
time of year for the sign of Aries in antiquity should in fact
be called after the preceding sign, Pisces, today. But it is not,
for we continue to use the names for the dates assigned to
them over 2000 years ago. Thus the date given today for
the beginning of the zodiacal sign of Virgo, 24 August, is
very close to what it was at the time of Augustus. (Today,
however, Virgo does not rise until late September. When we
say the sun is "rising in Virgo," it is actually rising in the
previous sign of Leo; the situation is embarrassing for as-
trologers.) Delphinus would have set in August slightly be-
fore Virgo's rising, as Hydra began to rise. See Rey 96-97
(chart 12).
82 Virgo would have become completely visible at dawn,
and Hydra along with it, around the time of the autumn
equinox. See Rey (supra n. 81) 78-79 chart 3, dawn on 1
November (1 October at the time of Augustus), which shows
the constellations slightly advanced from the positions at the
time of the equinox on 23 September.
83 Buchner 79. The inscriptions excavated by Buchner
belong to the repaving of the horologium during the Flavian
period, but in all probability reflect the original Augustan
84 Buchner 63 and pl. 138.
85 Buchner 42 and fig. 15.
86 Buchner 63.
and Pax was thus made very close, suggesting, accord-
ing to Buchner, that Augustus was natus ad pacem,
"born for peace."87 He especially emphasizes the fact
that the birthday of Augustus was equated with the
autumn equinox, while the date of his conception,
nine months earlier, was related to the winter solstice.
(The familiar Capricorn device, seen on Augustus's
coinage and on the Gemma Augustea, evidently refers
to this date.)88 Thus the pivotal points for the seasons
were regarded as very important by Augustus and it
is not surprising that Virgil (G. 1.27) describes the
emperor as "increaser of fruits and potentate of sea-
sons," auctorem frugum tempestatumque potentem.
If the observations made above about the Carthage
relief are correct, it furnishes further evidence for
this attitude of Augustus and his desire to celebrate
the autumn equinox. The identification of the god-
dess on both the Carthage relief and the Ara Pacis as
Pax Augusta sheds new light on this complex of ideas
about the relationship of the emperor and the sea-
sons; at the same time the identification suggests new
answers to some of the perplexing questions about
the role and iconography of Pax on the Ara Pacis.
87 Buchner 36-37.
88 Buchner 36-37. H. Kahler, Alberti Rubeni Dissertatio de
Gemma Augustea (Berlin 1968) 24 and n. 60. E.J. Dwyer,
"Augustus and the Capricorn," RM 80 (1973) 59-67.