Thursday, April 17, 2008

Favorite Fountain Revisited

The fountain in it's new light.
How did the fish fit into the story?  Neptune of course!

For those of you who expressed shock at Catania having a fountain dedicated to rape, let me clear the air with the information below that I found on a Google search.  In the ancient Roman context rape meant the abduction of the women, not the physically violent act against women the term has come to mean today.  Sorry for the mix-up.

"The Rape of the Sabine Women is a mythological event from just after the founding of Rome. The young city of Rome had granted citizenship to criminals and lawless persons to grow quickly, and was therefore winning the wars againgst its neighbours, but a lack of women made it clear that the greatness of the city would vane in a generation or two due to lack of male offspring.

The neighbouring town scorned at Roman requests to marry their women, but accepted an invitation to a huge religious celebration in honour of Neptune. In the middle of the party, the Romans rushed in and abducted the Sabine women, who were the forced to marry their rapists.

The Sabines were horrified at this open breach of the rules of hospitality, and went home to prepare for war. When they later returned in arms to take back their women by force, the Sabine women had reconciled with their now husbonds, and stopped the commencing battle before it started by placing themselves inbetween the two battleready groups.

The Romans and the Sabines were reconciled and the city oRome could continue on the path to greatness."

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