17/4/16 – Via Flaminia

No post yesterday as we had a free day!

Today we explored the Ancient Via Flaminia, escaping in the afternoon to the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta on the 9th mile of the Via Flaminia.  Depicted below is a reconstructed laurel grove, indeed the ancient sources tell of the arboreal mythology of this Villa.

“Livia was returning to her estate near Veii, immediately after her marriage with Augustus, an eagle which flew by dropped into her lap a white hen, holding in its beak a sprig of laurel, just as the eagle had carried it off. Livia resolved to rear the fowl and plant the sprig, whereupon such a great brood of chickens was hatched that to this day the villa is called Ad Gallinas, and such a grove of laurel sprang up, that the Caesars gathered their laurels from it when they were going to celebrate triumphs.” (Suetonius, Life of Galba, 1.)



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