Whipping boys and the bishop of Rome

In AD 495, Christian bishop of Rome, Gelasius, finally managed to suppress the more than thousand year old Roman festival of Lupercalia. Gelasius’ letter to senator Andromachus taunted the nominally Christian senators who were intent on preserving the Roman tradition: “If you assert that this rite has salutary force, celebrate it yourselves in the ancestral […]

Rome and the wolf

The shocking news that the icon of Rome’s foundation, a life-size bronze statue of a she-wolf with two human infants suckling her, is about 1,700 years younger than its city hit the headlines this summer.

Scholars had long established that the bronze figures of Romulus and Remus feeding from their adopted wolf mother were added […]