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Mausoleum of Augustus

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Mausoleum of Augustus was built on the Martian Field, Rome, in 29 BCE by Octavian Augustus as a burial place for myself and my family. It is a building located on the top of an artificial mound, set on a high podium. It may not have a structure as complicated as the Egyptian pyramids, but you could still get lost inside.

It has the shape of a circle with a diameter of 87 meters. The podium structure consists of five vertebrae centrally located around a pole over 44 meters high, which was probably crowned with a bronze statue of the founder, Octavian Augustus. The passage ( dromos) led to the corridor between the third and second (from the inside) ring. The corridor led to the burial chambers. The place for August’s ashes was prepared in the center, inside the pillar. Family members, incl. Octavia, Agrippa, Germanicus, Livia, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius were buried in the burial chamber between the smallest podium ring and the pillar.

Of course, no imperial remains have survived to this day. The ashes were put in beautifully decorated urns, made of gold or other precious metal, which was an interesting loot for everyone. It is suspected that the urns were probably stolen either by the Visigoths (410 CE) or the Vandals (455 CE) during the capture of Rome or in later times, when the building fell into ruin. The ashes, in turn, were probably simply poured.

The entrance to the Augustus mausoleum was located on the south side. Two Egyptian obelisks stood in front of the entrance, on the sides. The mound itself was covered with earth and topped with a bronze monument to the emperor.

The following personalities are buried in the mausoleum: Marcus Claudius Marcellus in 22 BCE, Marcus Agrippa in 12 BCE, Octavia the Younger in 11 BCE, Druzus the Elder in 9 BCE, Lucius Julius Caesar in 2 CE, Gaius Julius Caesar in 4 CE, Octavian August in 14 CE, Germanic in 19 CE, Druzus the Younger in 23 CE, Livia Druzylla in 29 CE, Agrippina the Elder in 33 CE, Claudius Neron Julius Caesar in CE 31, Tiberius in 37 CE, Caligula in 41 CE, Claudius in 54 CE, Britannicus in 55 CE, Poppea Sabina in 65 CE, Nerva in 98 CE and Julia Domna in 217 CE.

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