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9/30/2011

ROME. STORIES OF HEROES AND GREAT EMPERORS

A few hundred meters from the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Homeland), in Rome, we have the opportunity to stay among the treasures of an archaeological site known as the Roman Forum (or Imperial Forum). 



Here we find a large concentration of ruins, dating back to ancient "Roma Caput Mundi" (ancients used to call Rome “capital of the world”). Right where every day thousands of tourists and locals walk peacefully, unaware of the many myths born right here, in this ancient site.


Among the many legends there is one which was considered archaic even in the times of the historian Tito Livio (Livy), and that speaks right about this charming part of town.


Stories of heroes ...
 

We are in the period of the wars between the Romans and the Sabins, shortly after the founding of Rome (which took place in 753 BC). The Roman Forum is still a swampy area and Mezio Curzio (Metius Curtius),  great general of the Sabin army, remains mired in the quicksand whit his horse falling into a ditch, 
which has since taken the name of "Lacus Curtius" 
(the lake of Curtius ).



Long time after the tragic event the swamp is drained, the Lacus Curtius
is filled with earth and becomes a sacred place.

Approximately in 393 BC, probably due to a natural event, suddenly it reopens the old ditch, 
discovering a deep chasm.

All of this is attributed a divine origin. 
The wise oracles say that the gods are angry with the inhabitants of the city. 
They agree that, to appease the wrath of God, during a solemn ceremony will have to throw into the crevasse the most precious thing for the city of Rome.




Different value offerings and sacrificial victims are thrown into the deep hole on the ground,  but with no result. 
Marcus Curtius, the bravest soldier of the Roman Empire, 
has a hunch: the most important thing for Rome is 
its powerful and great army. 
And decides to sacrifice himself, jumping with his horse 
into the chasm, which immediately closes.



In this way the gods wanted to even the score,
calling for the sacrifice of a brave leader of the Roman Empire who followed his ancient Sabin predecessor. 
And the name Curtius (Curzio) indicates that both of them soldiers belonged to the same gens (the race), the Sabins.



Today we know that legends always hide a kernel of truth.

Lacus Curtius
In fact, during excavations that took place in one of the oldest areas of the Roman Forum, holy Lacus Curtius has come to light, after many centuries. In its vicinity there is also a marble stele that illustrates the legend.



 
.... And great emperors
 

According to the Official History Gaius Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (March 15, 44 BC), during a meeting of Senate held at the Curia of Pompey, in the Campus Martius.

The ancient "crime scene" still can be widely seen in Largo Torre Argentina at the heart of Rome. 
But not all the people who pass by here every day know about this fact.

View of the archaeological park in Largo Torre Argentina
Murders whom took part in the conspiracy, were his political enemies with whom Caesar was merciful, and his closest friends, in whom he trusted and to whom he had given riches and honors.

They killed their Emperor all together by 23 stab wounds, leaving him bleeding to death, on the floor.

Just the faithful servants brought the body home.



The funeral of the great emperor was celebrated at the Imperial Forum, in front of the Roman people and his loyal army.

A sacred chapel, which reproduced the shapes of the temple of Venus Genetrix, was built in front of the stands, occupied by magistrates (the highest political office in Rome, after the Emperor). 
Inside the holy shrine was exposed the bloody robe weared by the Emperor when he was killed.



Caesar's body was taken, by the Magistrates, on a precious casket of purple, gold and ivory and was placed inside the temple.

They discussed whether to cremate the body, in the temple of Jupiter or the Curia of Pompey.

Suddenly two men with the sword at their side, threw two lighted candles on the coffin.

Then the people fueled the fire, destroying the wooden grandstands made for the funeral. 


The legions of veterans threw their weapons into the flames, the matrons their jewelry, musicians and actors, who had represented the ancestors of the deceased, they burned the clothes worn for the last triumph of Caesar.

Even foreigners took part to the stake, especially Jews, grateful to Caesar who had delivered them from the harassment of Pompey.

Gaius Julius Caesar
People took the embers and was directed towards the houses of Brutus and Cassius (the assassins) to fire both of them, 
but  they were hampered by the soldiers.

All this happened right into the Roman Forum, and it’s always exciting walking through those streets, imagining the history of Rome.


The remains of the temple of Caesar, were discovered at the end of 1800 and are still visible, if you look good around every little stone of the Imperial Forum.

The ancient altar of Caesar is always there to protect his tomb where, even today, someone venerates the greatest Roman Emperor placing flowers for him. 

Caesar's tomb

SOME RECIPES RIGHT FROM ANCIENT ROMANS....
HERBAL CHEESE
Chop together fresh pecorino cheese and fresh cheese (eg. ricotta cheese of the Roman type) in a ratio of 1/3 of cheese and 2/3 of cream cheese.
Add a sprig of savory dough, a little rue (failing use parsley and celery leaves), some green coriander leaf, a stalk of celery, a couple of spring onions, a few leaves of arugula and lettuce,
a pinch of thyme and mint. Mix all with oil
Finally add a little bit of vinegar and crushed pepper.




EPITYRUM
Chop black olives and pit
using a mixer
Possibly use very large ones and dried (the Sicilians "passolone", for example, or similar)
Slowly add a little bit of oil and vinegar.  
Then add a pinch of rue (if available, otherwise you can replace with a little parsley and celery leaves), coriander seeds, cumin, wild fennel, mint.  
In this way Will be formed a kind of pâté that can be stored for longer in a glass jar, in the fridge.
You can also use the Epityrum
mixed with whole olives of the same type.

https://amorbis.infusionsoft.com/go/tin/conniermn/



3 comments:

Odyssey said...
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Connie said...
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Mike said...

I do agree with you its very beautiful and fragile place. I loved all photos shared by you. Indeed, Loved all photos shared by you.
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