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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

28/04/2019, 12:43

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #oma, #archeologia, #archeology, #bellona, #tempio, #temple



TEMPLE-OF-BELLONA


 Some marble pieces in a small area of Rome are related to an archaic goddess, a strange ritual and an important aspect for the Roman society: war...



In Rome some anonymous marble pieces could tell us several things! For example nearby the Theatre of Marcellus and the imposing marble columns of the Temple of Apollo the archeologistis found, just 80 years ago, the base of another temple. Probably this sacred place was dedicated to Bellona, the female version of Mars, and so the Goddess of War! Mainly inside the ancient Roman senators, at the beginning of the Roman history, used to speak and debate about several things: here they received special guests like ambassadors, here the Proconsuls came before to go to their Provinces, here the Senators debating if a war campaing was usefull or not. Always here, inside the Temple of Bellona, the Procunsuls came after their mission in order to speak about their achievements. This place was a sort of ministry, in some degree. It is not a case if we read something about it in some documents and literary sources dates back to the III century BC, when the ancient Roman Senator Appio Claudio Cieco (that one who commissioned the famous Appian Way), during a hard moment for Rome. It was the time of the great expansion of the Eternal City in Italy, when Rome was fighting against several and different enemies. Moreover we know that Bellona is a locan and archaic goddess, and probably it is the reason why her name and this temple are related to strange and almost primiteve ritual, which were managed until the kingdom of the Roman emperor Marcu Aurelius. In front the temple stood the so called "Columna Bellica": it was a small column, wooden or stone made, completely surrounded by a corral. A member of the group of "Feziali", special ministers who used to declare war for the Roman community, used to throw a spear beyond the sacred corral. This act symbolized the beginning of a war, a specific warning for the Romans who could know when a new war was declared. At the beginning the ritual took place directly along the borders between Rome and its enemies, and then the columns was added. Why? Imagine how this archaic ritual could be good when Rome was a small city, when the "Feziali" could use their spears directly in the opposing land. But what happened when Rome fought with Taranto or the Greek colonies in Sicily? The ritual was not usefull anymore! And it is the reason why in front of the temple the "Columna Bellica" was put, to symbolize the opposing lands. But the Romans could also find strange and unusual solutions... at the beginning of the III century Rome was fighting against Pirro, in the south of Italy. So a war prisoner from the opposing army was forced to by a small piece of ground, just in front of the Temple of Bellona. In this way, when the spear was thrown in an easy way in this ground, for the Romans symbolized just one thing: war! #unaguidaturisticaroma #atourguiderome#archeologia #archeology #romeisus #Rome #tempio #Bellona 


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