Sicily between history and fantasy: the myth of the Genius of Palermo

Jan 21, 2022 225

Once upon a time, there lived a brave general, feared by the very most because of his political and military ability. We are in Roman times, when the power of Scipio Africanus, fresh from his resounding victory over Hannibal during the Second Punic War, raged across Sicily.

The city of Palermo was a precious ally in the war against Carthage, so Scipio gifted the town with a representation of its so-called genius loci. Tall and vigorous, proudly wearing his crown while holding a dangerous snake to his chest: who is he, and what does he symbolize?

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