Roman Forum, Colosseum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, OH MY!

Roman Forum

Sorry for the delay in this post. I am a procrastinator. Who would have thought there would be so much to do in Rome :)? Last Saturday (like I said, apologies for the delay), we took a hike to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Talk about jumping right into the tourist capitol of Rome. I’m sure many have seen my pictures on Facebook (at least I was on the ball with those), but now for my reflection, what I hope is the cool part.  The Roman Forum is the center of public life in ancient Rome. This is where the great-of-the-great hung out and where all political action took place. This is the site of elections, trials, speeches, basically everything cool happened here (minus what took place at the Colosseum, but I will get to that later). Monument, arches, statues, etc., are located here to commemorated the city’s great men (key-word: men, women were not notable at that time). It is located in the small valley between the Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill (Rome was built on seven hills, the Palatine Hill is said to be where Romulus chose to erect Rome). Today, it is full of cool ruins, fragments of ancient Roman architecture, and archeological excavations. And, along with that come loads of tourists, and, of course, Saint Mary’s students.

So just some of the super sweet things I saw at this place:

1) The Temple of Castor and Pollux– These twins share the same mother, but

Temple of Castor and Pollux

different fathers. Castor is the mortal son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and Pollux is the divine son of Zeus. These twins are also known as Gemini (yes, this is my astrological sign). When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. That’s what I call brotherly love.

The ashes of Julius Caesar were entombed here.

2) The Tomb of Julius Caesar- Super cool fun fact It is said that Julius Caesar was actually killed near our hotel and not in the forum. A pyre was then built in the Forum and his ashes were entombed. I am living where Julius Caesar died! “Et tu, Brute!” (Act III, Scene I)

3) Tiberius’s Palace- Located on Palatine Hill, this was his palace during the life of Christ.

Palace of Tiberius

Next stop was the Colosseum! This super-cool place was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater. It is capable of seating 50,000 spectators (really not that big considering the stadiums we have now). The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical Mythology. One’s seat represented status, so even though tickets were cheap, you sat where your status permitted. Very unlike today. The Colosseum symbolized unity and pride for the Roman citizens. As Dr. Hansen says, “Look at us! We are Romans!” Gladiators were like athletes and became famous for their victories. Going to the Colosseum was the highlight of entertainment at the time.

After all the walking, let me tell you, my feet were killing! But, it was worth it!

Yes, the Pope is standing in this window talking to the people of Rome!

Then, on Sunday, a small group of us journeyed to the Vatican for mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica. It has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is the burial site of Saint Peter, yes, Saint Peter, one of the twelve disciple of Jesus, and is said to be the first Bishop of Rome. Mass was beautiful. It was great to see so many come to celebrate God. I did get to see the Swiss Guard. I did receive communion. I did see the Pope!

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2 responses to “Roman Forum, Colosseum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, OH MY!

  1. I am so crazy jealous! I wish I was there with you to give you my personal take on all these things. I know we’d have a super time… But, we’ll just have to do it in the future.

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