Augustus’ Trophee at La Turbie

Just north of Monaco, high up the mountains, are the ruins of the Tropaium Augusti, a monument dedicated to the emperor Augustus, “because under his guidance and auspices, all Alpine nations … were submitted to the Empire of the Roman people”. The generals in charge were Augustus’ stepsons Drusus and Tiberius. The event was also commemorated by the poet Horace, who devoted Ode 4.4 to these victories.

The monument itself almost fifty meters high. It consisted of a square podium, twelve meters high, on which the inscription was written, flanked by two Victories. The second tier, accessible by stairs, consisted of a roofed circular colonnade. Between the twenty-four columns, one could see statues of various commanders. On top of a stepped cone, the visitor could see the statue of Augustus. I imagine that the gilded parts must have been visible from a great distance and may have served as a beacon for ships.

A visit to the monument can easily be combined with the Villa Kerylos in nearby Nice (or a visit to the casino of Monte Carlo).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: