21 April 2014

A parade celebrating Rome's founding

Quite unbeknownst to me when I set out this afternoon to spend several hours at the beach reading a large commentary on the Code of Canon Law, today is the 2,767th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Rome (saying that always brings to mind my second favorite line of the Proclamation of the Date of Easter, the first being the one with the word "Olympiad" (it isn't every day you can use it]). So it was that I found myself caught in the midst of a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of the Emperor Augustus, the first of Rome's emperors and perhaps her greatest, who ruled from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14.

In his chapter on the life of Augustus, Suetonius tells us that "whenever he had heard of anyone having passed away quickly and painlessly he used to pray, "May Heaven grant the same euthanasia [happy death] to me and mine (The Twelve Caesars, Divus Augustus, 99). He seems to have had his wish, for after kissing his wife he said to her, "Goodbye, Livia; remember our marriage!" and, says Suetonius, "died almost at once."

Here follow a few pictures of what I encountered today when I realized I was trapped in the crowd with no chance of escape (I really don't like crowds):

Once the wreath was laid the crowd was allowed to continue along the Via dei Fori Imperiali and I soon found myself ahead of the parade (Romans tend to move almost as slowly as tourists), which gave me a good position from which to take a few better pictures:

1 comment:

  1. My sympathies on the crowds! But, thanks for sharing the great pictures!!!