Marcus Aurelius Rides On In Rome: by Arthur Cola
You’ve just walked up Michelangelo’s Cordonato and are a bit winded. And yet you’re surrounded by the perfection and balance that the genius of Renaissance Italy created. From the matching palazzos to the design of the Piazza Campidoglio’s pavement that walk up the inclined stairway without real stairs was well worth it. As you look around you, it’s hard to believe that he did it at the same time that he was painting the fresco of The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel in 1537. Then you look up to a bronze equestrian statue of an ancient dude on a horse. It turns out that this guy is no ordinary dude but is the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
You almost feel as if he’s welcoming you to the most sacred soil of ancient Rome. For on this spot, the Capitoline Hill, stood the governance center of the empire over two thousand years ago. Now his bronze statue glistens in the Roman sun as he extends his arm forward as if to say “Ave.” Hail and welcome to Rome. Now there’s a secret to how the emperor’s statue survived the years of destruction of ancient art. In fact there is another often overlooked side bar regarding the statue before which one who stands in the center of the piazza in front of the statue may not be aware. Those little notes to history and the Campidoglio itself are more than charming. What Michelangelo did to design and create the piazza, its buildings and his use of newly found ancient statuary, like that of the Roman god Castor, and the Emperor as accents to his work is more than phenomenal. It makes for great story telling.
And that is why, when I made that trek up the Cordonato with my students, two of my sons and wife, those anecdotes to history were added to what would become the plot of my new novel, THE BROOCH.
Now, in just a few days, you can learn more about the Piazza Campidoglio and its place in legend and history when THE BROOCH is published at http://www.amazon.com/Kindle. By August you can actually hold the book in your hands upon ordering it at http://www.feedaread.com/arthurcola. In fact you Kindle owners can actually go to the Kindle Direct Library and check out the book for your enjoyment for free over the next few weeks.
So give an “Ave” back to the Emperor and enter the pages, whether electronic or paper, to learn about a mystery waiting 500 years to be solved and the six sons who are caught in the thick of the adventure which takes you from Britain to Italy.