Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When All Roads Lead to Rome

A friend has just finished a chapter of his life and is making a pilgrimage to Rome as a reward of sorts.  My friend has tastes that lean towards the exotic and the esoteric.   He has studied well the ancient mysteries and is a worthy recipient of the ancient knowledge.  He has asked me what he might see when in Rome and I have come up with a tentative first list that does not begin to be exhaustive.   It is also a little terse and will hopefully be somewhat annotated and extended later.

Before you go to Rome, buy the Oxford Archaeological Guide to Rome.

Review the website listed below which is about underground Rome.

When in Rome, do these things:

Remember when you are there that the accursed Christians stole from everyone and desecrated the sacred buildings that were left in their trust.  Whenever you see ancient concrete you are seeing the foundations of a building that has had its stone and marble exterior and other accessories, windows, doors, lamps and so forth,  stolen.

Remember that there have been styles of restoration over the last few millennia and that it can be very hard to tell without guidance how old certain things are, what is a restoration, what is authentic etc.  

Some of the most hated architecture is from the Fascist period of the last century.  But this posed hatred is an affectation and history will probably judge their work better than the art snobs of a few years ago.  Or maybe not, I am just biased against art snobs in principle and haven't really looked that closely.

When the Roman Empire "fell", it did not actually fall and lasted another 1000 years or so in the East, and that nothing architectural really went away.  The population dived from a high of about one million to a number that is quite small, quite possibly a few tens of thousands.

The entire city then was a ruin and a garden.  As time went by, some of the rich families acquired great tracts of Rome and made them their private gardens.  And why not?  No one else was taking care of things.  If only they had not destroyed so many antiquities in the process of making their gardens.  See the Farnese Gardens here at Wikipedia.

Remember that Rome is not open all the time, things have weird hours, sometimes an attendant or guard will let you in if you ask nicely or perhaps provide a tip or honoraium.  Apparently you need to make a reservation in advance to see the Vatican.   Same with the Borghese gallery which comes highly recommended.

Many of the originals of things you see are in museums and what is in situ, on the street as it were, is a restoration.

See the Museum of Roman Civilization which has among other things a recreation of the 2nd century Rome from the Forma Urba..

Count how many words in this post are standard English and yet are also perfectly good Latin.   

Climb the victory tower of Trajan which inside has a spiral staircase to the top. 

See one of the vast caverns inside the hills of Rome left over from quarrying the local tufa before they built their monuments out of marble, an affectation they picked up from the Greeks.   I keep reading about these caverns but I have never heard of anyone who has actually seen them.  Possibly they are closed or just dangerous.

Constantine giving the "finger"

When you see a giant marble head, or hand or foot, recall that Romans often made their cult statues (the image of the God for the temple) in a way that economized on the marble or other stone required. The head, hand, and feet are what was exposed of the statue, the rest might be in a toga and therefore did not have to be carved (not to mention quarried, transported, etc).

See the black stone from the 6th century BC and ponder the meaning of the archaic Latin.

Walk the floor of the original Roman senate (not the one that Augustus built) and stand where Julius stood when he was murdered by his fellow senators in the name of freedom, which really meant to preserve the privileges of their class.

See the aqueduct switching center and distribution system.

Find the recently discovered Orbs of Imperium hidden by Maxentius when he was defeated by the traitor Constantine at the Milvius Bridge.

Horatius at the Bridge.   Find the bridge.

Make contact with those who are attempting to revive the old religion in Rome against the hated Christians and perform some ceremony with them.

Go to the Kings House (the Regia) and ponder what it means about the origins of Rome, the kings of Rome and what is true and what is not.

Go to the bridges of Rome and remember that the leading religious figure was the Pontifex Maximus and that bridges and early Roman religion are somehow connected. (The Pope is still officially the Pontifex Maximus of Rome).

Go to the House of the Vestals and light a fire.

Go to Alba Longa and wonder if the brother-murderer Romulus really came from there.

Trace the route of the Lupercalia. Best to do so naked while wearing a thong made of the sacrificed goats or dog.   The Lupercalia was probably an initiation rite of young men to a brotherhood from the time of the earliest Rome or before.

Trace the route of the Triumph.

Go to where the Sibylline books were kept (in the archives of one of the Temples) and lament the loss of important knowledge in the various fires and tragedies of Rome.

Go underground at one of the Baths and see how the plumbing worked.

Go to Ostia / Portus and see the port of Rome which has much more of an authentic Roman city from the late empire.

Go to Pompeii/Herculaneum before they are destroyed by being exposed to the weather and the light and ask yourself why the roads had those stepping stones.

Go to the tombs and memorials of the murdered Gracchi Brothers and learn about the Social Wars and then think about the future of America.

Find the Milvius Bridge and realize that this is where Western Civilization was destroyed  by Constantine who fell into superstition and began to worship the hateful murdered god/king of the Christians.

See the Parthenon and imagine what it looked like before the wretched Christians got there.  It has stood for 2000 years and we can't make buildings that last for 100.

Tour some of the catacombs and realize that they were not just for Christians and that Christians never really worshipped there in secret.  The catacombs were a response to the lack of space in and around Rome and its expense.  So they dug underground and put their crypts there.    Many of the catacombs have not been explored (or at least we are told that).

Realize that the Romans were not permitted to bury the dead within the sacred boundaries of the city (the Pomeranium) so they built their tombs on roads leading out of the city. Therefore go to the Appian way and outside the formal walls of Rome see some of the tombs.   In a prime spot outside the walls of the city is the tomb of the Scipio Family, the family of the famous Scipio Africanus.

When in Rome keep your eyes open for the family name Colonna.   I am friends with Kerry Colonna who worked with us at deGraf/Wahrman.   The Colonna mansion and private art collection, one of the three most prestigious private art collections in the world, is open for tourists on Saturday morning each week.  Go see it.

See the tomb of Augustus and imagine what it looked like before the Christians plundered it.  (Note: I read that the tomb will have some restoration work done to it after all these years of being essentially ignored. Something to do with the 2000 year anniversary of the death of Augustus).

See the Golden House of Nero underneath one of the Christian Slave Churches.

See the secret library of the Vatican where both truth and lies are told.

Visit the Etruscan tombs.  What were the "mirrors" for?

The Cloaca Maxima was originally above ground and used as drainage for rivers that flooded what would become the Forum.   It was started in the 6th century BC and many workers were killed building it.

See the great sewer of Rome, the Cloaca Maxima, built in the time of the Kings.   A good article on the history of the Cloaca Maxima can be found here.

Remember that the Cult of Mithra was a a late empire cult, mostly in the army. Perseus slaying the Bull probably refers to the secret information involving what the soul must do after death to pass safely among the stars. This Mithra may or may not have anything to do with the religions of the East, although they are certainly an Eastern import.

Ave Imperator, Morituri te Salutant.

Read about the time I first saw a Roman ruin in this post.

No comments:

Post a Comment