Sunday, January 24, 2010

SPQR: Urbino

During our January trip to Urbino I discovered SPQR on a soldier's shield in a 15th century wall painting of the Oratorio of San Giovanni Battista. The scene is set on Golgatha, where a crowd has gathered for the crucifixion of Jesus. The presence of Rome in Jerusalem is very evident.

SPQR are the first letters of the words in the Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus, "The Senate and the People of Rome." It originally referred to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official signature of the government, appearing on coins, civic inscriptions, and on the standards of the Roman legions, not only in the city of Rome, but everywhere in the world under the influence of Rome. Today, SPQR is the motto of the city of Rome and appears in the city's coat of arms, the city's civic buildings, manhole covers, billboards and fountains.

1 comment:

Bill B said...

The Italians have reveled in their "brands" for centuries ~ used to be SPQR, now it's D&G! Thanks for the history, Larry.