Emperor Claudio Exhibition

06.04.2019 - 27.10.2019

The exhibition „Claudio Imperatore. Messalina, Agrippina and the shadows of a dynasty “ arrives at the Ara Pacis Museum , from 6 April to 27 October, which aims to recount the personality and work of the emperor Claudius starting from the comparison with the famous brother.

Claudio Emperor. Messalina, Agrippina and the shadows of a dynasty
Towards the end of the year 19 AD a suspended and anguished Rome receives the news of the death of Augustus‘ nephew, Nero Claudius Drusus, more simply known as Germanicus, died in Antioch on October 10th 19 AD, under mysterious circumstances. Nephew of Livia Drusilla (wife of the first emperor), on behalf of her father Drusus, and of Augustus himself, because he was the perfect fruit of Augustan dynastic politics because he was the son of his niece Antonia Minor. Already famous since he was a child, represented with his parents on the Ara Pacis, it was almost taken for granted that Augustus wished to make him the heir of the Empire that was taking its first steps, forcing Tiberius, the natural son of Livia, whom he adopted, to adopt in turn own Germanico. But the fate of this young man was not to become emperor. The devoted wife, Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa and of the only daughter of Augustus, Giulia, will accompany the ashes to Italy. This sad story opens up a new scenario for the succession to the empire: after Tiberius, the shadow of Germanicus can be read behind the rise of his son Caligula and then of his brother Claudio. He, acclaimed by the praetorians, became the fourth Prince of Rome at the age of 52 with the title of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the first emperor, until then, to have been born outside the Italian peninsula, in Lyon, on August 10 B.C

All the info on the exhibition
The exhibition, produced by the Capitolina Superintendency in collaboration with the Musèe de Beaux Arts of Lyon , where it had its first venue between December 1, 2018 and March 4, 2019, aims to tell the personality and work of Emperor Claudius , taking the moved by the comparison with the famous brother, but then trying to deepen, as far as possible, the character of man and the technical-administrative and political capacity of the emperor, through the comparison between the archaeological documentation and the story of the historians, too often with him not very tender.

The sections of the exhibition, starting from the story of the death of Germanicus, the return of his ashes and the carrying out of the rituals related to the funeral celebrations that took place in his honor, witnessed in the path by an important document such as the Tabula Hebana, highlight the importance that for Claudio had dynastic propaganda, dictated by the need to underline its link with the Julio-Claudian dynasty: even if of known birth, his acclamation as emperor, made by the praetorians and not with legal adoption, made the affirmation of his right indispensable to govern (his story will also create a fundamental precedent for the subsequent history of the empire); it then becomes more specific to its foreign policy activity, with particular reference to the expedition to Britain and the consequent enlargement of the borders of the empire; a moment of reflection is then offered on his internal politics, on the relationship with the Senate and his attempt to broaden its ranks, witnessed by the interesting speech contained in the bronze table of Lyon, one of the most remarkable pieces on display. To complete the picture of the story, the theme of the rationalization of public administration, the construction of a real bureaucracy, through the delegations to the powerful imperial freedoms and that of the great public utility works, such as the project of the port of Ostia, the problematic reclamation of the Fucino and the attention to the supply and supply of public water. empire; a moment of reflection is then offered on his internal politics, on the relationship with the Senate and his attempt to broaden its ranks, witnessed by the interesting speech contained in the bronze table of Lyon, one of the most remarkable pieces on display. To complete the picture of the story, the theme of the rationalization of public administration, the construction of a real bureaucracy, through the delegations to the powerful imperial freedoms and that of the great public utility works, such as the project of the port of Ostia, the problematic reclamation of the Fucino and the attention to the supply and supply of public water. empire; a moment of reflection is then offered on his internal politics, on the relationship with the Senate and his attempt to broaden its ranks, witnessed by the interesting speech contained in the bronze table of Lyon, one of the most remarkable pieces on display. To complete the picture of the story, the theme of the rationalization of public administration, the construction of a real bureaucracy, through the delegations to the powerful imperial freedoms and that of the great public utility works, such as the project of the port of Ostia, the problematic reclamation of the Fucino and the attention to the supply and supply of public water. on the relationship with the Senate and its attempt to broaden its ranks, witnessed by the interesting speech contained in the bronze table of Lyon, one of the most remarkable pieces on display. To complete the picture of the story, the theme of the rationalization of public administration, the construction of a real bureaucracy, through the delegations to the powerful imperial freedoms and that of the great public utility works, such as the project of the port of Ostia, the problematic reclamation of the Fucino and the attention to the supply and supply of public water. on the relationship with the Senate and its attempt to broaden its ranks, witnessed by the interesting speech contained in the bronze table of Lyon, one of the most remarkable pieces on display. To complete the picture of the story, the theme of the rationalization of public administration, the construction of a real bureaucracy, through the delegations to the powerful imperial freedoms and that of the great public utility works, such as the project of the port of Ostia, the problematic reclamation of the Fucino and the attention to the supply and supply of public water.

A space and a particular attention will be given to the women of the emperor , in particular the Messalina and Agrippina wives , above all in an attempt to offer a reconstruction of the imperial court environment in the Rome of the mid-first century AD Claudius’s death, surrounded by suspicions , just like the one that had happened to his brother Germanico many years before, will determine his divinization, the promotion of a temple dedicated to him on the Celio and the rise to the imperial throne of Agrippina’s son, Nero.

The portrait of Germanicus
One of the novelties of the exhibition at the Ara Pacis Museum is the exhibition, for the first time, of the portrait of Germanico of the Sorgente Group Foundation , chaired by Valter and Paola Mainetti. The work celebrates the figure of the young prince who, adopted by Tiberius at the behest of Augustus, would have continued the imperial dynastic line, the first member of the Julio-Claudian gens for blood lineage. The modeling of the face, the absorbed gaze and the plastic and animated rendering of the locks of the foliage, highlight the will to celebrate the heir of the empire, to which destiny was adverse.

In the first seat of the Exhibition on Claudio Imperatore, at the Musèe de Beaux Arts in Lyon, between 1 December 2018 and 4 March 2019, the portrait of Germanicus was not present.

Location: Museo dell’Ara Pacis, Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome
Date: April 6-October 27
Time: 9:30-19:30
Cost: 13.50 Euros

Venue

Museo dell'Ara Pacis, Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

Price

13.50 EUR

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