The Altar of Peace

Today, 30 January, is the anniversary of the dedication of the Ara Pacis, the Altar of Peace.   The image, below, is from the Ara Pacis, showing Tellus, who is Mother Earth, or else Ceres.  On Her lap sit Jupiter and Juno, or, as some think, Romulus and Remus. On either side of Her are Lympha and Nympha representing the waters from the air above and from springs beneath the land. Behind Her are the reed and poppies that are symbols of Ceres, as are the fruits in Her lap.  Today I would like to share a paraphrase of the prayer written by Ovid for this occasion.

“Come, Peace, with Your graceful tresses wreathed in laurels of Victory: stay gently in this world.

“While we lack enemies, or cause for triumphs: You’ll be a greater glory to our leaders than war.

“Add incense to the peaceful flames, let a shining sacrifice be offered, and let us ask the Gods who favor pious prayer that those who bring peace may so endure.”

 


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