Friday, September 14, 2007

The Lupa Capitolina

Wolf statue in Siena

The founding of Rome is based on the legend of the Lupa Capitolina. Romulus and Remus were found on the bank of the River Tevere by a she wolf and she nursed them. Later they were found by a Shepard and his wife. Twenty years later, Romulus and Remus decided to found a city. Romulus was casting a ditch where he designed the foundation of the city wall, but got in an argument with Remus and killed him. Afterwards, Romulus founded the city that he called Roma. True or not the she wolf suckling the twins is the symbol for the city of Rome. Like the patron saints of many cities in Italy this statue is revered and immediately recognizable.

What was interesting is that this same statue could be found in Siena as well. According to another ancient legend, Siena was founded by Remus’ sons, Senius and Aschius, who left Rome with the statue of the she-wolf, stolen from Apollo’s temple. I found this statue outside the piazza Del Campo, it indicates that Siena was a sister city of Rome.

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