Sodales Augustales

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Ruin of the collegium of the Augustales at Herculaneum
Inscription identifying benefactors of the Herculaneum collegium

The Sodales Augustales or Sacerdotes Augustales,[1] or simply Augustales,[2][3] were an order (sodalitas) of Roman priests instituted by Tiberius to attend to the maintenance of the cult of Augustus and the Iulii in 14 AD.

The sodales were chosen by lot among the principal persons of Rome, and were twenty one in number, to which were added Tiberius, Drusus, Claudius and Germanicus, as members of the imperial family.[2] Women might be appointed priestesses of Augustus, a practice probably originating in the appointment of Livia by a decree of the Senate as priestess to her deceased husband.[4] A flamen could also be a member of the Augustales.[5]

Among the ruins at Herculaneum is a collegial shrine with elaborate wall paintings identified as that maintained by the local Augustales. Several cities had six Augustales (Seviri Augustales).

See also


  1. Tacitus, The Annals 1.83
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tacitus, The Annals 1.54
  3. CIL 10.1624; ILS 156
  4. Dio. LVI. 46
  5. Orelli, Inscrip. 2366, 2368