Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Capitoline Wolf a Creation of the Middle Ages?

Major changes are in store for me in the near future, which is why updates were absent last week. Moreover, writing posts ahead of time only works if I remember to bring them to work with me. At any rate. blogging will continue as planned with some irregularity likely over the next couple of weeks as I relocate.

Fairly big news has been reported by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and by the BBC (latter in English). The famed “Capitoline Wolf”, pictured above, has been carbon-dated and shown to date to the Middle Ages, and not circa 500 BC as is previously thought. None of the articles give much detail about the precise technique used, and I haven’t seen the paper, so I cannot elaborate. One doesn’t normally associate C14 dating with bronze but I assume that there were carbon impurities in the alloy which allowed the procedure to be performed.

The wolf is considered a symbol of the city of Rome, as according to myth a she-wolf suckled the twins Romulus and Remus after they were exposed by their father. The wolf was an important symbol to the early Romans, as she appears on Republican coins and according to ancient authors there was a famous bronze statue of the wolf and twins in the city.

The statue in question has long been thought to be that wolf, although the figures of the children were added in the Renaissance. It appears as an example of Etruscan metalwork and sculpture in all the textbooks. If the finding of the Italian scholars hold up, however, those texts will have to be changed.

Doubt was first cast on the statue’s date in 2006, when an Italian scholar published an article arguing that it was produced in a single piece via a wax mold – a technique used on such a large scale only in the Middle Ages. Although the Greeks and Romans knew the lost-wax method, it was mainly used for small figurines, whereas larger statues were cast in pieces then assembled.


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Capitoline Wolf is a bronze sculpture of mythical she-wolf ,from 11th/12th century and late 15th century of that twins. This sculpture looks unique great .They are from Roman history .
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Anonymous said...

"And thou, the thunder-stricken nurse of Rome!
⁠She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart
⁠The milk of conquest yet within the dome
⁠Where, as a monument of antique art,
⁠Thou standest:—Mother of the mighty heart,
⁠Which the great Founder sucked from thy wild teat,
⁠Scorched by the Roman Jove's ethereal dart,
⁠And thy limbs black with lightning—dost thou yet
Guard thine immortal cubs, nor thy fond charge forget?"

Anonymous said...

"When Rhea Silvia, princess and virgin, came down to the Tiber
Just to fetch water, a god seized her and that is the way
Mars begat himself sons, a pair of twins whom a she wolf
Suckled. Today a proud Rome claims to be queen of the world..."