THE ARA PACIS

The Ara Pacis Initiative was inaugurated on April 21, 2010 by the Mayor of Rome, with the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy and under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister of Italy and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The physical and symbolic base of API is the Ara Pacis, altar erected to the Pax Romana by decision of the Roman Senate on the 4th of July XIII b.c. and inaugurated by the Emperor Augustus on the 30th of January of IX b.c.

The Latin inscription on the south side of the Monument is the political and philosophical testament of Caesar Augustus, who after having “conquered” peace in the “known world” with weapons, bestows the peace on the people, entrusting them with its safekeeping and encouraging them to believe in the possibility of enduring peace.

Today we take up the charge. We must keep believing that peace can come, that it is our privilege and duty to seek it and to safeguard it, within and between nations using the weapons of dialogue, understanding and recognition of the “other” – the first steps in the long process of reconciliation through forgiveness.

The inaugural event of the Ara Pacis Initiative “rediscovered” the sense and meaning that the Altar to Peace had in the Roman Mediterranean World, which stretched from the Middle East to the Black Sea, and re-dedicated it symbolically from a pax romana to a modern day peace based on dialogue and understanding.