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Rupe Tarpea, Rome

3.6
#385 of 526 in Historic Sites in Rome
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Rupe Tarpea Reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • A mixture of history and legend is encased in the events related to the Cliff Tarpea. It is said that, at the time of the founding of Rome, the hill was conquered by the Sabini thanks to the betrayal of Tarpea, who opened the gates of the city to enemies who could surprise the Romans in their sleep. But the woman had no luck: she was unmasked and thrown into the void by a cliff of the hill. From then on, that place, the Romans used it as a ravine from which were rushed all those accused of treason of the homeland. No doubt, this city will live forever of its legends.
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  • In the first book of his history of Rome, the historian Tito Livio recounts that the young washer Tarpea, daughter of the commander of the Roman garrison who defended the city during the siege of the Sabini, corrupted by the lust for riches and jewels, opened nighttime to the enemies a gap in the walls of the Capitol. As the fighting raged throughout the city and the Sabines worked to make peace among the contenders, Tarpea was killed by the invaders themselves (who did not want to leave witness to the betrayal) crushing her under the weight of the gold she had been promised. In memory of the legendary episode, the sheer rock wall on the southern side of the Capitol Hill was called Rupe Tarpea (Saxum Tarpeium). According to other sources, less imaginative but not without a certain historical foundation, the name would derive instead from an ancient temple that stood on the top of the hill, dedicated to the goddess Tarpea: that is, the mortiferous deity that in the ancestral religious imagination of the Romans cut ("tarpava" precisely) the thread of life to the enemies of the Urbe, on the model of the Greek Moire. However, no trace of this temple today has been found. According to various accounts, this was the place where the Romans executed the traitors, throwing them into the void and driving them away, not only symbolically, from the city. Sorte touched, among others, in the 4th century BC to the consul Spurio Cassio Vecellino, valiant commander winner of many battles, and author of the ancient agrarian reform that bore his name: "Lex Cassia". He was executed on charges of wanting to restore the monarchy to his own personal advantage. It is said that his house was destroyed and his possessions, confiscated by the state, served to build a temple to the goddess Ceres. A similar fate was perhaps reserved for perjury and those who refused to testify on matters of public interest. On the other hand, the legend that the Romans threw deformed infants from the cliff is completely unfounded. No original historical source mentions it. In all likelihood, the invention is the result of confusion with Mount Taigeto; on which, as Plutarch reports, the inhabitants of Sparta would have used to abandon the physically incapacitated children (possibility, however, strongly denied by archaeological excavations carried out in the area). From a geological point of view, the Tarpea Rock is made up of tufa rock, of which Rome and its surroundings are particularly rich. Flexible and easily workable material, as evidenced by the numerous cavities excavated in ancient times in the cliff itself, both for residential use and as deposits of materials (which, however, are not accessible for obvious safety reasons). The current Via di Monte Tarpeo, climbing with narrow hairpin bends on the eponymous hill, connects Piazza del Campidoglio to the below Via della Consolation (adjacent to the Roman Forum). Pedestrians can use appropriate staircases that shorten the route.
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  • Famous for the legend of the young Tarpea who brought enemies into the city and since then place of execution of traitors (always according to legends). There is not much left to see or admire but the charm of a timeless story remains.
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Google
  • 5/5 best way to get executed.
  • Not much to see beyond a wall and a cliff face but the sheer amount of history associated with the site is simply stunning. Imagine the thousands of criminals and martyrs that were flung from those heights... sobering.
  • For execution from thowing the prisoner down for this rock.
  • a rock and ruins
  • legendary place...
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