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 steepest 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 defence Marcus Manlius Capitolinus reacted immediately and the attack was repulsed. The defenders not only defended the hill but also drove the enemy out of Rome.

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

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

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: