Thursday, June 23, 2011


Woooooah.... we're halfway there...

Ack- Bon Jovi is stuck in my head! And likely now in yours too! I mean to post this the other night, but I got off on a tear about something or other, as usual, and didn't even mention it: I've blogged every day for half of the year. That went by really fast! I know not every post is a "winner" but that's not the point of blogging daily for a year. I don't know how I feel about this milestone, so I'll talk about literal ones:

The Golden Milestone and the Mundus, or the Navel of Rome, have been conflated and conflicted for ages. No one can agree on if they were related or the golden one was just a fancy version dedicated by Augustus Caesar. The Golden Milestone was the zero marker from which all distance to other cities was measured.

In reading about both and their relationship to each other, I came across this section of a book, Historical Tales: The Romance of Reality from 1896. (Seriously, one day I need to look up what major planetary aspects were going on in the 1890's because so many books about ancient Italy were written in that time frame). This is interesting, at least to me, because it's not just about the founding of Rome, but how it was consecrated, and how he went to the Etruscans to learn how to do it!

Far back in time as it was when this took place, Italy seems to have already possessed numerous cities, many of which were to become enemies of Rome in later days. The most civilized of the Italian peoples were the Etruscans, a nation dwelling north of the Tiber, and whose many cities displayed a higher degree of civilization than those around them. From these the Romans in later days borrowed many of their religious customs, and to them Romulus sent to learn what were the proper ceremonies to use in founding a city.
The ceremonies he used were the following. At the centre of the chosen area he dug a circular pit through the soil to the hard clay beneath, and cast into this, with solemn observances, some of the first fruits of the season. Each of his men also threw in a handful of earth brought from his native land. Then the pit was filled up, an altar erected upon it, and a fire kindled on the altar. In this way was the city consecrated to the gods.

Having just consecrated my own piece of land to a specific purpose, I thought the timing was fitting. I know this is likely just a story and there is no specific evidence supporting the idea that Romulus went to the Etruscans to learn how to consecrate his city (and no reason why they would help him to do this...). I thought it was an interesting idea. More tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment