Friday, September 10, 2010

SPQR: September 10

Today I noticed a new plaque with SPQR near the Colosseum.
It commemorates the victory of Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian Marathon winner of the XVII Olympiad, held in Rome 50 years ago. The world watched as this champion ran barefoot through the streets of Rome.

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, appearing on coins, civic inscriptions, and on the standards of the Roman legions. 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 even on commemorative plaques!

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