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In: Valuing Labour in Greco-Roman Antiquity

Abstract

This article analyses Francesco Giammaria’s Capitolium Novum, a Latin poem describing a tour of the historic center of Rome in 1933, in its historical, architectural, and intellectual contexts. It offers a detailed analysis of three key sections of the poem, which deal with the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, and the Ara dei caduti fascisti respectively. The authors show how Giammaria’s poem responds to urbanistic interventions in the city center during the ventennio, and specifically to the Fascist ‘recoding’ of the city as the ‘Third Rome’, with a narrative emphasizing the historically layered nature of Rome. Giammaria offers his own interpretation of the respective importance and interrelation of the city’s historic layers: the rhetoric of his poem is aimed at superimposing Catholic Rome over pagan Rome, and at framing all historical layers of the city, including the Fascist one, as part of its Christian mission and destiny. Thus, Capitolium novum resonates with efforts of intellectuals gathered around Carlo Galassi Paluzzi’s Istituto di Studi Romani, who aimed to promote a cultural reconciliation between Fascism and Catholicism.

Open Access
In: Fascism

‘Much of what was the immortal spirit of Rome is reborn in fascism: the lictor is Roman, our organisation of combat is Roman, our pride and our courage are Roman: Civis Romanus sum.’The Italian text can be found in Opera omnia di Benito Mussolini, ed. by Eduardo & Duilio Susmel, vol. 18 (Florence: La Fenice, 1956), 161 (originally in Il popolo d’Italia 95, 21 April 1922, p. ix). Just months before his seizure of power, Benito Mussolini thus stressed the connection between Italian fascism and anc...

in Brill's Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World Online

Abstract

This article explores the role of the Latin language in the context of political performance and spectacle under Italian Fascism. We investigate the different ways in which Latin words, phrases, and texts are used as visual and symbolic elements of Fascist performances and how they are staged in contemporary media coverage. Specifically, this article focuses on three case studies: first, human mosaics of the word DVX; second, the use of a tapestry bearing a Latin motto in the context the fourteenth anniversary of Fascism; and finally, the role of a Latin foundation deposit in an inauguration ceremony for building works at the Esposizione Universale di Roma. Two main arguments connect the three case studies. First, we argue that the Latin language does not simply gesture towards Roman antiquity, but that it is used to evoke several different pasts at the same time. Second, we show that the Latin language has a range of affordances for diverse audiences, which are tied closely to the visuality, materiality, and symbolism of Latin during the ventennio fascista.

Open Access
In: Fascism