'Res Gestae Divi Augusti' ('The Deeds of the Divine Augustus') – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

'Res Gestae Divi Augusti' ('The Deeds of the Divine Augustus')

Museum of the Ara Pacis

A large replica of a monumental Roman inscription is located on the side of this museum. 

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The Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus) was a monumental inscription narrating and celebrating the life and accomplishments of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.

The long text was written during the life of the emperor and completed just before his death in 14 CE. The text was engraved upon two bronze pillars placed in front of the Mausoleum of Augustus, however, this original inscription did not survive.

Numerous copies were made over the centuries and carved into various monuments and temples across the Roman Empire. Most notably, an almost full copy is currently located in the Temple of Augustus and Rome in Ankara, Turkey.

The Res Gestae is one of the most significant pieces of written Roman history and heavily influenced society around the empire. The text provides an insight into how the first emperor was portrayed to the people. In addition, this text also constituted an example of propaganda for the Principate, a form of government instituted by Augustus.

In 1938, the fascist government of Italy commissioned a new large replica of the Res Gestae. This replica is now located on the side of the Museum of the Ara Pacis facing the remains of the Mausoleum of Augustus.