Postcard from Rome, Italy: Afflicted by a case of leo-mania

I give up. I can’t locate a word for it. Leo-mania? Highly contagious for camera lenses, particularly when held in the hand of a Leo.

Whatever the appropriate label might be, Romans through the centuries appear obsessed by lions. Ancient art, classical art, papal art, Renaissance art and even contemporary art continually focus on the lion. Lions are everywhere.

The lion is considered a symbol of strength. A powerful hunter devouring animals. An opponent for gladiators. A way to dispose of Christians, although not employed as often as numerous other methods of torturing them to death. By the time Romans felt the need to dispose of Christians, lions were becoming rather scarce in what we now know as Italy. They had to be imported for sporting events from Greece and, more often, from Africa.

But even when behaving savagely, as with a severed human head under-paw, the lions found along the streets of Rome and in her palaces and churches generally appear gentle. As lovable as the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz. Pet-able. The stylized Egyptian lions in the fountain surrounding the obelisk at the center of Piazza del Popolo rarely are permitted a moment’s rest from children eagerly climbing atop their backs.

 

2 thoughts on “Postcard from Rome, Italy: Afflicted by a case of leo-mania

  1. Roland Rodriguez says:

    That’s a fantastic photo with the fountain in the Piazza del Popolo. I just noticed that there are soap bubbles floating past the church of Santa Maria in Montesanto. Ah, those Romans and their “Bella Citta.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are almost always soap bubble floating around the plaza. Don’t know whether this was true when you were there, but cars no longer are zipping around the piazza. Traffic is restricted to two sides, and pedestrians pretty much rule those access points.

      Like

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