Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our guide was the fastest speaking person I have ever met. Anyone who knows me knows that I am *so* not one to point this sort of thing out, being a fast talker myself.....but this was micromachinemannish. I will upload some videos of parts of our tour so you can hear. It took a few minutes before I was able to get my brain to move fast enough to understand what he was saying, but I got there in the end. The guide was British, and I believe the company itself is Irish-owned. Real Rome Tours, for those who are wondering. Anyway.

We started out learning about the Arch of Constantine. This is one of what was at one time over 100 triumphal arches. After massive victories abroad, they would build a commemorating arch and have a huge parade through the city, going through all of the arches. They displayed the booty they had acquired, along with the slaves and leaders of the conquered area (dead or alive). There were also massive paintings of the area that had been conquered, so the peasant Romans could see the land their government had gotten for them. The arches usually had a giant chariot on top, with horses pulling 'winged victory' (goddess of victory). This particular arch is mostly made up of sculptures/reliefs pulled from buildings or other monuments, since at the time when it was built, there were not many artisans left in Rome.

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