Metropolitan Museum of Art Cast Collection


Plaster cast of the Altar of the Lares Augusti. Original is housed in the Uffizi Museum, Florence, Italy. Site of origin is Vicus Sandaliarus, Rome, circa 2 BCE.

Publication Date


Type of Artwork


Time Period/Geographical Region

Ancient Rome

Height (cm/in)

113.03 cm / 44.5 in

Width (cm/in)

104.14 cm / 41 in

Depth (cm/in)

74.93 cm / 29.5 in


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Sculpture


The Lares were guardian deities of ancient Rome, protecting all that happened within the boundaries of their location. This altar was dedicated by the magistri, or leaders, of a neighborhood of Rome known as the Vicus Sandaliarus during the reign of Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome. On one side of the altar, a relief depicts two dancing Lares and two laurel branches framing an oak-leaf wreath; on the other, a winged Victory standing next to Roman armor and shield. On the front, three figures are depicted in a sacred rite: in the center, Augustus holding an augural staff with a chicken at his feet; on the left, a young man with a toga over his head (either Gaius or Lucius, one of Augustus' sons); and at the right, a woman holding a sacrificial dish (probably Augustus' wife Livia). The inscription reads "To the Augustan Lares; when Imp. Casear Augustus for the thirteenth time and M. Plautius Silvanus were consuls; D. Oppius, freedman of Gaius; D. Lucilius, freedman of Decimus, Salvius; L. Brinnius, reedman of Gaius, Princeps; L. Furius, freedman of Lucius, Salvius; chief officers of the district Sandaliarus."



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Altar of the Lares Augusti


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