cultural project

cultural project - Jessica Wang Italian 1-04 31 October...

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Italian 1-04 31 October 2010 The She-Wolf as a Roman Symbol While strolling down the famous streets of Rome, Italy, one will inevitably be surrounded by the wondrous architecture and legendary artwork of past European sculptors. Among these amazing relics are the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Biblioteca Casanatense, and the Rome City Hall. A striking feature that links all of these buildings is the image of the Capitoline She-Wolf, a creature originating from ancient Roman mythology that has evolved into an important symbol of Rome. The she-wolf’s motherly role in the tale of Romulus and Remus and the founding of Rome has allowed it to become a spiritual icon of the Italian capital city. The legend of the establishment of Rome involves the story of Romulus and Remus. In an ancient time, before the existence of Italy, there was a kingdom called Alba Longo ruled by king Amulius. The king defeated his brother, Numitor, in a battle, which consequently led to Numitor’s deposition. Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, was forced to become a Vestal Virgin by Amulius, meaning she became a priestess of the goddess Vesta and hence forbidden to marry. However, Mars, the God of War, came to her in her temple, and soon Rhea Silvia conceived twin boys, Romulus and Remus. After the birth of the twins, Amulius, fearing the boys would grow up to overthrow him, ordered his slave to throw the babies into the Tiber River. This form of quasi-infanticide was tolerated in numerous ancient societies, including the Roman and Greek, when children were unwanted. Unable to complete the cruel task at hand, the slave placed the babies on a basket and set it afloat on the water. At the time, the Tiber was flooding, and when
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2010 for the course IT 1 taught by Professor Mattiabegali during the Spring '10 term at Duke.

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cultural project - Jessica Wang Italian 1-04 31 October...

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