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.

Sub rosa – meaning “secret”

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Rose in ancient times had a very important symbolic meaning. This flower was associated with numerous religious rituals, imposing the obligation of secrecy on all persons participating in the ceremony.

In ancient Egypt, the rose represented, among others Horus, whom the Greeks later identified with Harpokrates – the god of secrets. In Roman and Greek myths, Venus (Aphrodite) gave a rose to Amor (Eros), who in turn gave it to Harpocrates. The rose also appears in the images of the goddess Isis, who in Roman times was assimilated with the beautiful goddess Venus.

Due to the popularity of the rose motif, Roman patricians eagerly adorned the ceilings of their banquet rooms (triclinium) with paintings of roses, suggesting that those attending feasts under the influence of wine (sub vino), they should remain sub rosa (meaning “secretly”).

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.


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: