Lacus Curtius - Roma, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 41° 53.540 E 012° 29.102
33T E 291358 N 4640880
Quick Description: This historical marker is located in front of the Lacus Curtius, near the column of Phocas in the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 7/13/2019 10:04:02 AM
Waymark Code: WM10YP3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:
The inscription reads: "LACUS CURTIUS - This is the name given to the low paved area at the centre of which a circular altar can be seen. The name is explained by the presence of a swamp in very ancient times, drained only under Augustus. According to legend, a noble Roman named Marcus Curtius, depicted on a marble relief of the 1st century BC (a cast can be seen at the edge of the basin), sacrificed himself by leaping into swamp at the wishes of an oracle."

The Lacus Curtius is on the Roman forum a place surrounded by a trellis fence, where are located a rounded well "puteal" and several altars. A marble relief probably dating from the time of Caesar was discovered nearby in 1553, it represents the hero Marcus Curtius throwing himself in the abyss.

The Lacus Curtius ("Lake of Curtius") was a mysterious pit or pool in the ground in the Forum Romanum. The area where the Forum would later be built was originally likely a lake, as the area it was in is known to have been surrounded by brooks and marshes. One part of the area was never drained, but gradually became smaller until only a basin, known as the Lacus Curtius, was left. Its nature and significance in Rome's early history is uncertain, and several conflicting stories exist about its history.

The most popular story (~362 BCE) was of a myth glorifying the nation: Rome was endangered when a great chasm opened on the Forum. An oracle told the people that they were to throw into the chasm "that what constituted the greatest strength of the Roman people," and that if they did the Roman nation would last forever. After dropping many things into the ravine without result, a young horseman named Marcus Curtius saved the city by realizing that it was youth that the Romans held most dear. He jumped in, in full armour on his horse, whereupon the earth closed over him and Rome was saved. The story, though clearly epic in nature, was likely a copy of another very similar Greek story concerning king Midas.

Marcus Curtius' self sacrifice has been a popular theme since the Renaissance, depicted by Paolo Veronese, Lucas Cranach the Elder and many others.

Source: (visit link)
Group that erected the marker: Municipio Rome I Rione Campitelli

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
Roman Forum
Roma, Italy

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