Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014: Horses in Rome Advent Calendar

For the first day of December we go to the center of Rome on the Capitoline Hill. In the Piazza Campidoglio designed by Michaelangelo is what is probably the world's most famous equestrian monument, the 2nd Century AD statue of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, seated on a Hungarian horse. Depicted without weapons or armour, Marcus Aurelius seems to be a bringer of peace rather than a military hero, which is how he saw himself.

Today a reproduction is the the piazza, while the original is housed in the adjacent Capitoline Museums. It is the only surviving bronze statue of a pre-Christian emperor to survive, only because it was originally thought to be Constantine, the first Christian emperor.

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