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Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

20/09/2019, 12:53

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #marmo, #marble, #statua, #statue, #dioscuri, #gemelli



THE-"DIOSCURI":-THE-MYTHOLOGICAL-TWINS-OF-ROME


 In the Capitoline Hill there are two incredible and awesome marble sculpted groups depicting two twins, the "Dioscuri". For the Romans they were not just Gods, but real heros...



Climbing the Cordonata, the monumental staircase designed by Michelangelo which lead us to the Capitoline Hill, you will find two impressive marble sculpted groups: both are depicting two young boys in an heroic naked body, with their proud horses next to them. No doubts that the two figures are twins! Who are they? The two statues, which could date back to the III - IV century AD, probably coming from the original Greek version of the V century BC, are two important God for the Romans: Castor and Pollux, the so called "Dioscuri". By the Greeks they were considered the protector of the sailors, mainly during a storm. They used to make their deeds always all together. Moreover each twin had a specific characteristic: Castor was a horses tamer, meanwhily Polloux wass a great boxeur. Sometimes they were also considered as the protectors of the music, dancing and poetry. Over the centuries the two twins were assimilated to the Gemini, the famous astrological sign! But let’s start by the origins, because Castor and Pollux were born in a very curious way. According to the myth the mother was Leda, a wonderful girl loved by Jupiter who took her in the shape of a swan. From this strange union two eggs came from, and from there the "Dioscuri" came out. According to another version the real father of the two twins was Tindaro, legendary king of Sparta. Moreover at a certain moment the life of the two young boys became tragic. Pollux had a great gift: the immortality. But his twin Castor was not so lucky, and one day he died. Pollux was really sad and he asked to the Gods to do something. But Jupiter too could not defeat the Death, and it is the reason why Pollux made an important decision: he refused a part of his immortality, in order to spent one day with his father Jupiter, at the sky, and one day with his brother and twin at the Hell. Anyway for the Romans the "Dioscuti" became, more than Gods, real heroes who helped Rome during an hard time for the city, mainly at the beginning of the millitary expansion. We are at the beginning of the V centuty BC, some years after the proclamation of the Republic. At that time Rome was not so large: just the famous seven hills and maybe something more host the city. The Roman community had as allies several tribes which lived around Rome, like the Latins. Step by step and day by day the Latins started to think that Roma was a dangerous and cumbersome presence. They were scared about the military power of the Roman community. Moreover there was another problem: the last king of Rome, Tarquinio il Superbo, who escaped from Rome due to the civil war which declared the new Republic, went to his son in law Manilio. He would avenge what the Romans did to him. It is the reason why Manilio organized a league in order to defeat Rome, a league mad of all the tribes which lived around the city. The main battle took pace at the 496 BC at the Regillo Lake: still today we don’t know excatly where it was located, but probably we around Ariccia, a small town in the south of Rome! The Latins were more organized and at the beginning the war was getting very hard for the Romans. Until the arrive of Castor and Pollux who, for the Roman traditions, came with their horses helping Rome. Now read the words by Dionigi d’Alicarnasso, who described the episode: "During the fight appeared, to the dictator Postumio and to the soldiers, two young knight, really superior for beauty and height. They stood in front of the Roman cavalry, blocking the attacks of the Larins, who escaped. It’s fame that the same night two boys with rare beauty, dressed with millitary clothes, who seemed survivor for a war, were seen in the Roman Forum. They watered their horses, washing at the spring standing next to the Temple of Vesta. And to all the people who asked them news about the war, they answered that everything got well, and that the Romans won. After that they never returned in Rome". For this reason the Romans, after the victory, erected temples and sacred areas to the "Dioscuri", as the temple which stood in the Roman Forum, where they were seen. This episode became so famous that other masterpieces are depicting it, as the wonderful fresco, from the Renaissance age, that is in the "Sala dei Capitani" at the Capitoline Museums. For the myth and the historical and mythological event, the twins are usually depicted as two handsome boys with their horses, exactly as in this case. History and myth, another time, are the same thing here in Rome. #romeisus #Rome #Roma #unaguidaturisticaroma #atourguiderome #mito #myth #gemini #marmo #marble #statue #statua #campidoglio




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