discover the

Augustus Statue

augustus of prima porta

The sculpture was unearthed on the 20th of April, 1863, at the Villa of Livia. The figure, sculpted by master Greek artists, is said to be a replica of a missing bronze piece once on exhibit in Rome. The sculpture has become the most well-known of Augustus’ representations and one of the most renowned statues of the ancient world since its unearthing.

the original

The artwork alludes to Augustus’ most major diplomatic achievement, the Parthian reinstatement of the Roman eagles in 20 BC.


The statue is an idealized representation of Augustus in a conventional Roman orator’s posture, based on the artist Polykleitos’ “Doryphoros” statue from the 5th century BC.


The political purpose of the statue was to demonstrate to Rome that Emperor Augustus was extraordinary, similar to heroes deserving of being elevated to God status on Mount Olympus, and the ideal man to govern Rome.


The Augustus was almost certainly painted, but there are so few remnants left now that scholars have had to rely on antique watercolors and recent scientific research for proof.


This hairdo identifies this statue as Augustus when compared to his coinage picture. This hairdo is employed as the initial indicator designating this portrait style of Augustus as the Prima Porta type.

breastplate relief

The breastplate is sculpted in relief with several miniature figurines commemorating the restoration of the Roman legionary eagles surrendered to Parthia by Mark Antony in the 40s BC.

divine status

Being barefoot was traditionally only permitted on pictures of the gods, but it might also indicate that the sculpture is a posthumous copy of an Augustus figure from the city of Rome in which he was not barefoot.