2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
In 160-180 AD, the famous monument to Marcus Aurelius was created. This man ruled the state thousands of years ago, but people still remember his name with respect and reverence. How did the Roman ruler deserve such an attitude? Why is the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius the main monument of Rome?
Why is the philosopher-emperor remembered?
"The state will prosper when philosophers rule and the rulers become philosophic" - Aurelius's favorite saying.
He became famous for his great wisdom, which distinguished him from previous masters. The philosopher who occupied the throne could spend hours alone in a room and talk to himself. This is a man who loved and revered the art of philosophy, understood the science of life and the human soul.
During the reign of Marcus Aurelius, many troubles fell: floods, wars, plague, betrayal. However, people lived in those years with firm confidence in the future. When the emperor was informed of the betrayal of his best commander, the philosopher only shook his head and replied: “If he is destined to become a ruler, hewill definitely gain power. If he is destined to die, he will come to death without our help. We don’t live so badly that he wins.” The prediction turned out to be prophetic. After 3 months, the associates of the rebellion themselves cut off the head of the general and sent it as a gift to the real ruler. He spared everyone except for some important people.
Also, history knows another case that proves the wisdom of the emperor-philosopher. During a difficult war, there were not enough people or gold. Slaves and gladiators were freed to participate in hostilities. To find money, the ruler began to sell his own property. The auction lasted for two months, but funds were still found. After the victory, the emperor offered to return the gold in exchange for things, but did not force those who wanted to keep the purchase.
Many critics and researchers note the period of his reign as a time of prosperity and prosperity. Historians say that this is one of the wisest rulers of Rome, who glorified his state and his people.
Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius
Let's find out her story. The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome was built in 160-180. n. e. At the moment, it is the most popular attraction in the city and the only surviving monument of that time.
In the 12th century, a rider with a horse was located in front of the Lateran Palace. In 1538, they were moved to the Capitoline Square, after which Michelangelo Buonarroti began reconstruction.
Why the monumentpreserved to our times?
During the period of destruction by Christians of all sculptures from the time of pre-Christian rulers, an error occurred. The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius was taken not for the image of a pagan emperor, but for the appearance of Constantine the Great. This is what saved the monument from destruction.
If you look at the original version of the sculpture, you can see an owl on a horse's head. The legend says that when the gilding comes off the monument, and the owl sings between the ears of the horse, the end of the world will come and all mankind will plunge into darkness. Such a sad future would have awaited the entire population of the globe if the statue had not been reconstructed several times.
Attitude towards the great ruler today
In 1981, the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius was removed from the square and sent for restoration. At that time, there was practically no gilding left on the sculpture.
April 12, 1990, the repair of the image of the great ruler was completed, and it had to be returned to its rightful place. The transportation of the sculpture was not particularly advertised and was accompanied by several police cars and motorcycles.
Suddenly a miracle happened. People began to gather from all sides to look at the monument. The crowd with joyful faces shouted "Hail, emperor!", waved their hands and applauded. A huge number of spectators gathered, who were looking forward to the return of the historical landmark to its rightful place. Thousands of people raised their right hand,palm down, as a sign of honor and respect for Marcus Aurelius.
Cars honked in greeting, no one cared about the resulting traffic jam. It seemed that in front of them was not a statue, but the emperor himself, returning home after another battle. The atmosphere of that day seemed to be transferred to the era of the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Due to the crowd that had formed, the crew drove at a walking pace, but they were in no hurry to disperse the people. For Rome, this day has become a real holiday, many residents will remember this date for the rest of their lives - the day the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius returns home.
Now there is a copy of the monument on the Capitol Square, and the original itself stands in the museum nearby.
It was a clear example of the power and significance of history for the people. The statue carried the memory of the ruler through so many centuries. And the reaction of the inhabitants proves that the love for the great Marcus Aurelius has not faded away. People remember his wisdom and everything he did for his people.
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