Friday, January 20, 2012


Senātus Populusque Rōmānus,” Latin for, "The Senate and People of Rome,” can be found on many things in the city and dates back to the Roman Republic. It has been used since this time to describe public works and today is engraved on many things in the city of Rome. The ancient Romans put this phrase on the shields of the Roman Legions, coins and monuments. It can still be found today on statues and monuments but on manhole covers, lampposts and public documents as well.

SPQR can also be seen in the movie Gladiator as a brand on Maximus’ arm, which he later tries to carve out of his skin with a knife. A subtle moment that I entirely missed the first time I saw the movie. Having watched it more recently, I have a much greater appreciation for the scenes in which the gladiators enter the city, awed by its scale. It must have been incredibly impressive to travel from the far reaches of the Roman Empire to Rome itself, seeing the Coliseum and Forum in all of its original glory. 

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