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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Emperor Augustus from the Julian Basilica in Ancient Corinth, Greece

Statue of Emperor Augustus by Joy of Museums

Statue of Emperor Augustus

This Statue of Emperor Augustus was found in the area of the Julian Basilica in Ancient Corinth, Greece. The statue shows the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, in his role as Pontifex Maximus.

The Pontifex Maximus was the chief high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. This title was the most critical position in the ancient Roman religion. It was initially a religious office under the early Roman Republic, but gradually it became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office.

The word “pontifex” is derivative from “pontiff,” which later became the term used for Christian bishops, including the Bishop of Rome. The title of “Pontifex Maximus” was applied within the Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop.

Emperor Augustus

Augustus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana.

Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire and reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army and rebuilt much of the city during his reign.

Julian Basilica

Under the Romans, Corinth was rebuilt as a major city in Southern Greece. It had a large population consisting of Romans, Greeks, and Jews. The city was an important locus for activities of the imperial cult, and both Temple and the Julian Basilica have been suggested as locations of imperial cult activity.

During Ancient Roman times a Basilica was a public building, where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. The Julian Basilica was named after Julian the Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 who was also a notable philosopher and author in Greek.

Julian was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire. He attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices and rejected Christianity. His rejection of Christianity and his promotion of Neoplatonic Hellenism lead to him been named Julian the Apostate by the church.

Explore Ancient Corinth

Statue of Emperor Augustus

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“If you want a rainbow, you have to deal with the rain.”
– Augustus

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Photo Credit: JOM

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