April 21, 2008

Auguroni di buon compleanno, Roma!

Source: La Repubblica

According to legend Rome was found by Romolo and Remo on April 21, 753 BC. So today it’s the eternal city’s birthday! To celebrate this, each year there’s a parade with Roman soldiers, gladiators and vestal virgins marching around the Coliseum. How cool is that?

Romolo and Remo were the two sons of Mars, the god of war, and Rhea Silvia, a not entirely vestal virgin, daughter of the king of Alba Longa and a direct descendant of Aeneas of Troy, who was in turn son of Venus. Because vestal virgins were supposed to be… er… virgins, Rhea Silvia’s uncle – the king of Alba Longa after he killed Rhea Silvia’s brother – was mad, really mad. So mad was he that he ordered Rhea Silvia to be buried alive and the twins killed. Rhea Silvia loved her children, so she ordered a servant to put them adrift in the river Tiber. The god of the river drove the kids to a she-wolf, and the she-wolf took care of them and raised them. The she-wolf gave them milk and protection, and a woodpecker gave them figs to eat. Years later, the brothers took revenge by killing the evil uncle and founding a new city: ROMA.

And this opera-like story marks the beginning of the city whose destiny was to rule the world. In fact, when Aeneas visited the Underworld escorted by the Sybil, he saw not only the souls of the men who were destined to be glorious in Roman history: Romolo – the first king and founder of the city, Augustus, and Marcellus, but he also met Anchises – his dead father, who revealed to him the future mission of Rome:

"Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento; hae tibi erunt artes: pacique imponere morem, parcere subiectis et debellare superbos" (Roman, let your concern be to command the nations; your skills shall be these: to impose the rule of peace, to spare the submissive, and to crush the proud). Fabulous!

Posted by Daziano at 9:18 PM |  
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