The father of the Roman people

One aspect of this traditional representation of Mars is particularly striking: the precise rendition of the decoration on his military equipment.
This statuette is thought to be a copy of the cult statue in the temple which the first Emperor Augustus had built in the Roman forum in the late Ist century BC. He dedicated it to Mars Ultor, "Mars the Avenger", the god who would help him avenge his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, assassinated in 44 BC.
This statuette can be identified chiefly by the richly decorated breastplate which features the same image: two griffons framing a candelabra, above a palmette and foliage. The image we have here is certainly an echo of the one created by Augustus, who transformed the image of Mars until it resembled that of Jupiter in some respects (the beard and large frame). Mars thus became, rather than the god of war perceived by the Greeks, the "powerful and kindly father of the Roman people" (Pierre Gros).
This image was then popularised throughout the Roman empire, becoming as common as the image of the young Mars, if not more so.