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Roman salute in time of Romans

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Oath of the Horatii, Jacques-Louis David
Oath of the Horatii, Jacques-Louis David

In ancient Rome, a Roman salute performed with the right hand (called dextera or dextra) meant trust, friendship and loyalty or simple greeting.

The Roman salute used in recent history (especially among national movements), according to many, comes from ancient Rome. However, we do not have any descriptions of this gesture in Roman literature or in the works of historians. Moreover, the Roman salute had little to do with the present symbolism of the gesture.

This gesture is probably related to the solar cult. By extending the hand upwards, homage was paid to the sun god. Importantly, the gestures with which Roman soldiers greeted each other are unknown to us.

More about the Roman Salute

  • Graeme Donald, Loose Cannons: 101 Myths, Mishaps and Misadventures of Military History, Osprey Publishing, 2009

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