Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus Chappell

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					By: Sarah Chappell
AHI 190A Proseminar
Campus Martius:
Circus Flaminius

         Military achievements
• Two relief friezes:
   • “Sea Thiasos” scene of the marriage of Neptune and Amphitrite. (Louvre)
   • Census (commemoration of a military victory or magistrate) ceremony
     depicting the human patron Marcus Antonius.
   • Both friezes associated with their discovery at the Campus Martius in
     Rome. These friezes which according to Kuttner, would have supported a
     “votive” in front of the temples of Mars and Neptune, which the thiasos
     and census scenes depict devotion of.
   • Dates to the late second and early first century BCE.
   • These friezes depict a narrative style to highlight a military victory for the
• The cutting of the Munich panel according to Kuttner show that
  this “altar” was to be viewed from all sides.
• The Paris panel, which has the censor and the God Mars
  depicted, would have been the front panel. Interesting that the
  narrative of the sea-battle triumph of Marcus Antonius with the
  Neptune procession is behind a censorship ceremony.
• Even though it is meant to be viewed from all around, the fact
  that the panel depicting a human historical event is highlighted.
  The mythical aspect supports that narrative.
• Honors both Mars and Neptune.
• Made c. 100 BC
• The God Mars presides over a sacrificial ceremony in addition
  to the depiction of enlisting men.
• Cut in to three pieces which supports the “oblong” structure
  which would have been side on all four sides (Kuttner)
• Depicts a marine procession of the marriage of Neptune and
• Manubaie- Spoils or plunder; this was depicted as part of the
  thiasos scene as a marine victory by Antonius.
• It is also thought that part of the thiasos panel is spolia from
  Asia Minor; which also shows a victory at sea.
• The reliefs complement each other in the human and mythical
• Both commemorate a military victory but also form a
  propaganda tool for holding political office.

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