Plaster Cast: Res Gestae, Latin Inscription, Second Panel


Thumbnail of Plaster Cast: Res Gestae, Latin Inscription, Second Panel (1900.12.0095)

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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Plaster Cast: Res Gestae, Latin Inscription, Second Panel   (1900.12.0095)
  1. Communication Artifacts
  2. :
  3. Documentary Artifacts
  4. :
  5. Declaratory Documents
Artist/Maker None
Geographic Location
Period/Date Early Roman Empire, 14 CE
Culture Roman

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Width) 57.0 cm
Dimension 2 (Height) 53.0 cm
Dimension 3 (Depth) 4.0 cm
Weight 8,717 g
Measuring Remarks Weight = 19.2 lbs. converted to grams.
Materials Plaster, Pigment--Paint
Manufacturing Processes Cast, Painting
Munsell Color Information waived

Research Remarks

Published Description N/A

The inscription of the Res Gestae (Achievements) of Augustus is the longest and most important contemporary document to survive from antiquity. It commemorates his role as the founder of the Roman Empire in the words he chose to memorialize his acts. Augustus requested in his will that, after his death, his Res Gestae (Achievements) be displayed in front of his Mausoleum on the Campus Martius in Rome on two bronze pillars. The words used are the plural of pila in the Latin text and stele in the Greek text (both meaning pillar), but Suetonius in his life of Augustus, 101.4, written in the early 2nd century CE, calls them bronze tabulae (tablets). Thus the bronze text may have been inscribed on plaques attached to a presumably stone pier or one actually made of bronze. The bronze version did not survive but the text has been reconstructed from fragments of four copies, three in Galatia and one in Lydia: (1) The relatively complete Latin text with Greek translation found on the Ankara temple. (2) A fragmentary Latin text from Psidian Antioch, near Yalvaç, inscribed on the sides of the central passage of a triple arched and stepped gateway (dedicated to Augustus). This leads to a colonnaded square with a small distyle prostyle temple on a podium in the center of a colonnaded hemicycle opposite the entrance arches. The fragments are now in the Yalvaç museum. (3) A fragmentary Greek translation found on the acropolis of Apollonia, modern Uluborlu, on a large base (ca. 4.45 m. long) for five statues including Germanicus, Tiberius, and Augustus with the Res Gestae located below the molding at the top of the base inscribed in seven columns of text. Much of the inscription recorded by earlier travellers has been lost but what remains is now housed in the Afyon museum. (4) A fragment of a Greek translation found at Sardis inscribed on a wall, probably of a temple of Augustus. This is the first copy of the Res Gestae found outside of Galatia and differs from the translations at Ankara and Apollonia, indicating that the translations were locally made. The inscription fragment is housed in the Sardis museum.
Text: with most words separated by dots at the center of the space between words. The first text below, in capital letters, is read directly from the cast of Panel 1 with the complete text of that part below it. This is followed by Cooley’s (2009) translation.
Rerum ges]tarum div[i Augusti quibus orbem terra[rum] imperio populi Rom.
subiecit ]et inpensarum[ quas in rem publicam populumque R[oma]num fecit incisarum
in duabus ahe]neis pilis quae su[[n]t Romae positae exemplar sub[i]ectum.
Beginning of text of column 1:
Annos undeviginti natus exe]rcitum privato consilio et pri[vata impensa
comparavi per quem rem pub]licam [a do]minatione faction[is op[p]ressam
in libertatem vindic[avi. Eo nomine sen]atus decretis hon[or[ific]is in
ordinum suum m[e adlegit C. Pansa et A. Hirt]i]o consul[ibu[s c]onsula
rem locum s[ententiae dicendae simul dans et im]perium m[ihi dedit.
Translation: Heading: Below is a copy of the achievements of the deified Augustus by which he made the world subject to the rule of the Roman people, and of the expenses which he incurred for the state and people of Rome, as inscribed upon two bronze columns which have been set up at Rome.
Column 1: Aged 19 years old [44 BCE] I mustered an army at my personal decision and my personal expense, and with it I liberated the state, which had been oppressed by a despotic faction. For this reason the senate passed honorific decrees admitting me to its body in the consulship of Gaius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius [43 BCE], at the same time giving me consular precedence in stating my opinion, and it gave me supreme command. The full text of the heading is provided by all four panels (Panel 1: 1900.12.0094; Panel 2: 1900.12.0095; Panel 3: 1900.12.0084; Panel 4: 1900.12.0085). Panels 1 and 2 include the beginning of the first column of text; Panels 3 and 4 continue onto the second column of text. Inscription dimensions, heading, letters in line 1: 75 cm high; line 2: 5.5 cm; line 3: 4.5 cm. Space between line 3 and main text of column 1: 4 cm. Space between line 2 and the top of column 3: 9.5 cm. Column 1 is 220 cm high and 121 cm wide with letter heights normally 2 to 2.1 cm and large letters (T and I) at 3.4 cm. The interlinear space is 3 cm and 10 letters in line 15 are 19 cm. The beginning of the text of Greek translation is on two panels (Panel 1: 1900.12.0087 and Panel 2: 1900.12.0086).


See 1900.12.84-87, 94, 95 The copies in Psidian Antioch, Apollonia, and Sardis.


CIL vol. III, pars 2, nos. 774–776 = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vol. III, Northern and Eastern Provinces of the Empire (including Asia Minor), pars 2, nos. 774–776. I.Ankara I = Stephen Mitchell and David French, eds. 2012. The Greek and Latin Inscriptions from Ankara (Ancyra), vol. I, From Augustus to the End of the Third Century AD. Vestigia. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte, 71. Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck, Part 1, the Imperial Temple: 86–138, no. 1 Res Gestae and 138–153, nos. 2–4 Priests of the Imperial Cult. Cooley, Alison E. 2009. Res Gestae Divi Augusti: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Krencker, D. and M. Schede. 1937. Der Temple in Ankara. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Rowe, Gregory. 2012. Review of I.Ankara I. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2012.09.47. Scheid, John. 2007. Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Hauts faits du divin Auguste. Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Thonemann, P. 2012. “A Copy of Augustus’ Res Gestae at Sardis.” Historia 61:283–88. Ward-Perkins, J. B. 1981. Roman Architecture. New York: Penguin Books, 279–80.

Artifact History

Archaeological Data N/A
Credit Line/Dedication N/A
Reproduction yes
Reproduction Information Original casts made by Carl Humann in 1882 commissioned by Theodor Mommsen for the Berlin Academy and now stored in a depot of the Berlin Pergamon Museum. Cast made by staff of the Berlin Museum from molds made from the original casts made in Ankara.

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