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Rome 2006

Capitoline Museum

Capitoline steps
Located just off the Forum in the Piazza del Campidoglio, the Capitoline Museum is actually made of 2 separate 'wings' connected by an underground passageway. The Palazzo dei Conservatori was originally the seat of city officials during the Middle Ages and the Palazzo Nuovo was designed by Michelangelo. The buildings are angled slightly away from each other at the main entrance, so as you walk up the steps and get to the square, the effect is of the plaza being more opening and huge than it actually is.
Capitoline plaza
Marcus Aurelius statue
In the center of the plaza is a copy of a bronze statue of Marcus Aurelias - the original is in the museum to protect it. Flanking the stairway are giant statues of Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus and Leda (whom he appeared to as a swan to seduce her!). They are the twins that we get the Gemini horoscope sign from... 

Castor (or Pollux?)

Huge head
Giant pieces of colossal statues are everywhere. The head and hand above are from a statue of the emporer Constantine that used to stand in the basilica of Constatntine and Maxentius in the Forum. 

Remnants of thousands of the monuments that have littered Rome through the years are spread on every floor of the museum. Some of my favorites follow:

Commodus as Herakles
The Dying Gaul
Clockwise from above:
The Dying Gaul shows a foreign fighter as he lays mortally wounded

Spinario - a young boy removes a thorn from his foot

Emperor Commodus dressed as Herakles (Hecules), reinforcing his divine claim to the leadership

A wounded warrior - actually a restoration of an earlier Greek statues of a discobolus, or discus-thrower!

The Red Faun, from one of the emperor Hadrian's villas, done in an unusual red colored marble.

Don't let your kids do this!! Actually it is supposed to be a young Hercules strangling a snake...

Hercules with snake
Wounded warrior
Red Faun
Funerary decorations were also well worth close looks - I especially enjoyed these 2 - a view of Roman soldiers battling Amazon warriors and a boar hunt in progress
Amazons vs Romans Boar hunt

The museum has about 4 rooms filled with nothing but heads of marble - some of them busts commissioned as such; some of them taken off statues. I took a close up of one from an unknown man to see the detailing, and also included a shot of the blind poet Homer, credited with some of the greatest stories of the ancient world.
Hall of Philosophers
Bust close up

Roman legends are also represented...
Here is Horatius holding off the entire Etruscan army single-handedly from crossing the only bridge into Rome (while Roman soldiers work desperately to cut it behind him). 

Below, the legendary twins Romulus and Remus founded the city of Rome after being raised by a wolf; there are quite a number of representations of this story throughout the museums - the most famous is at the bottom of the page.

The Marforio is an enormous reclining figure, perhaps representing the Tiber River or even Neptune, god of the seas

Romulus and remus painting Reclining fountain

While the museum is full of many, many famous pieces of work, the one that I most wanted to see was the bronze statue of the she wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. I was (very pleasantly) surprised to come across the statue out in the open in the middle of the room. It topped off a great day of wandering around the stored pieces of such a important slice of human history.
Dave, She-Wolf, Romulus, and Remus

Rome 2006:

Main Rome 2006 Page - Pyramide - Baths - Circus Maximus - Colosseum - Forum - Trajan's Column - Piazza Venezia - Capitoline - Trevi Fountain - Santa Maria sopra Minerva - Pantheon - Navano - Spanish Steps - Sant Angelo - St. Peter's - Vatican - Life in Rome - Other

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