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Capitolin wolf Roman empire symbol

Capitoline she-wolf

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Description of Capitoline she-wolf

Roman mythology is laced with countless recognisable icons, but hardly any are quite as iconic as the Capitoline she-wolf. Symbolizing the she-wolf who, according to Roman myth & legend, nursed Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, these statues are often found sculpted from bronze or marble.

Legend has it that Romulus and Remus were children of the god Mars and the princess Rhea Silvia. Abandoned on the banks of the Tiber river and saved by a she-wolf, the twins were then raised by a shepherd. After the twins founded the city of Rome on the seven hills, the she-wolf swiftly came to symbolize their connection to both the wild and the new city of Rome. The statue was associated with the Capitoline Hill, the sacred hill of Rome, from which its name derives.

The Capitoline she-wolf is often depicted in a protective pose with Romulus and Remus crouching beneath her. Its statues soon became an emblem of power and identity for ancient Rome; a legacy which lives on to this day. The Capitoline she-wolf continues to define Roman culture and art, representing the mythical foundations of the city and its foundational link to maternal strength and protection.

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