Altar of Victory
The Altar of Victory was located in the
Roman SenateHouse (the Curia) bearing a gold statue of the goddess Victory. The altar was established by Octavian in 29 BC in honor of the defeat of Antonyand Cleopatraat Actium. The statue depicted a winged woman, holding a palm and descending to present a laurel wreathto the victorious. The statue was captured by the Romans in 272 BC from Pyrrhus of Epirus.
The altar was removed from the curia by Emperor
Constantius IIin 357, restored by Julian the Apostateand again removed by Gratianin 382. After Gratian's death, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, the Prefect of Rome and a Pagan, wrote to the new Emperor Valentinian IIin 384 requesting the replacement of the Altar. His request was met with strong resistance from Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, who held a great deal of power over the young Emperor, in part due to the Imperial Court's residence in Milan.
Further petitions to restore the statue were deflected in 391 by an edict of the Christian Emperor
Theodosius Ias part of his suppression of the old pagan religions.
The altar was restored by usurper
Eugenius, during his short lived (392-394) rule (Paulinus of Milan, "Vita Ambrosii"). After this it is not recorded what happened to it. It is probable that Theodosius removed the altar, but it is not clear whether he hid it or caused its destruction.
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