This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Geese were holy in Rome

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Interestingly, this custom was derived from the story that took place in 390 BCE. At that time, Capitol relied on the invasion of Gauls from the Padus valley.

The Gauls decided to conquer the hill at night. For this purpose, they chose the most steep approach and the moment when the defenders tired of long-term struggles and hunger fell asleep. However, Romans were warned by geese – sacred birds of goddess Juno – about the approach of the enemy. The commander of the defense Marcus Manlius Capitolinus reacted immediately and the attack was repulsed. The defenders not only defended the hill, they drove the enemy out of Rome.

To commemorate this event, the ancient Romans walk carried one of the geese in the litter. Dogs which fell asleep along with people were punished (one of them was hanged).

Sources
  • R. Joy Littlewood, A Commentary on Ovid's Fasti, Book 6, 2006

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.

Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!

News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: