The Forgotten Roads of Ancient Rome
I wrote about a vivid, dark dream that deeply troubled me over a year ago. There was more imagery to the dream that were often only flashes, but this is all I could remember. I have only recently interpreted the meaning of it, which appears below...
A father and his son pulled their wooden cart over worn and cobbled stones. After passing through the giant gates of Rome, they kept true to the path of their journey, searching for the road that would finally lead them from the great city.
The roads they traveled were labyrinths, and invariably guided them back to the origin of their travels where the massive gates once again opened to the vastness of Rome.
With each turn off the cart’s wheels, countless years would unfold and pass before them.
Architecture and engineering flourished…then decayed before their eyes. Triumphant arches, once proud and strong, bowed from neglect and the burdens of the world.
Many citizens pulled their children in haste from the streets. Families resided in homes with darkened rooms, wherein thin lights of cold, blue radiance seemed to imprison their dreams.
Throughout centuries, the father and his son continued their journey. They passed the great libraries where thoughts no longer read became ashes from the fires of indifference. The wind cast the gray cinders into silent streams, filled with tears of the ancient readers in sadness of what was to come.
They shunned the crumbling specter of the Colosseum. Echoes of war, death and pageantry still roared for endless crowds that cheered and wept amidst the blackened columns. From a distance, they could see horseless chariots of molten colors sear the sky before falling to the earth in homage to the vacant stare of a golden eagle towering above.
They passed through the poorer sections and alleyways of the crowded Subura, where they purchased a few meager supplies for their cart. They entered the Forum in the dark of night, for only the wealthiest citizens were welcomed to share in the light of its splendor without fear of derision.
They walked by the Senate Hall where an assembly of elders - all dressed in their finest apparel - argued over the dispersal of public means. Senators bickered in strange tongues over constitutional rule and the fate of kings, while the melancholy ghost of Cicero wandered the corridors of sorrow.
The father and his son hurried their pace, tugging at the old cart as they walked past the steps of Justice. Money changers sold the visage of an innocent child to a crowd of citizens, screaming for the blood of her mother, the Medea who cowered behind the walls beyond.
Weary from their travels, they finally paused to rest at Capitoline Hill. They knelt down in prayer to the symbol of the unifying and loving God that stood in the giant stone shadows of the Ancient Triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus.
“But where are the statues that cast these shadows, father?” the son asked, gazing upward.
The father brushed away his tears in remembrance of all they had witnessed. “These are the shadows that never left the heart of man.”
From "Gladiator" - Elysium, Honor Him, Now We Are Free by Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer.
As I mentioned in the intro, there were flashes of other images I couldn't understand or remember. And perhaps having watched an older film, “Gladiator,” was part of the impetus behind the dream. This is my interpretation:
The circuitous and repetitive journey throughout Rome was to bear witness to the ways in which mankind has continued to make the same mistakes over centuries. Ancient Rome was thought by many to have been the birth of civilization.
The parents, pulling their children from the streets out of fear, is sadly obvious. Our public streets grow more dangerous with the passage of time. I think the thin, cold radiance epitomized technology. As with the Industrial Revolution, despite numerous benefits, technology has also created a disassociation from healthy relationships and nature’s life support systems.
The coliseum was the most recognizable: the modernization of war and aggression against one another that causes some to cheer while others weep.
The library symbolized the slow death of reading history, philosophy, the classics, etc., and the mode of substantive, critical thinking that is endangered as a result. Our society is becoming more entertained, albeit less informed and enlightened.
The Forum of Rome -- inundated with temples, statues and basilicas -- was essentially the triumph of Roman life for wealthy patricians, politicians and the elite. The father and his son represented the lower classes…the poor and the homeless for whom there is much derision today.
The money changers at the steps of justice were an enigma until I remembered the Casey Anthony trial. The media frenzy indulged and assassinated as vendors sold t-shirts imprinted with Caylee’s image to spectators who demanded the death penalty for her mother. Medea was a sorceress from Greek mythology who murdered her own children.
Cicero was the famously controversial orator, philosopher and senator of Rome. He was murdered at the behest of Mark Antony and Octavian (Augustus Caesar); his ghost was rumored to wander the senate halls. The Roman Republic established a form of government that served as a blueprint for other countries. The senators speaking in strange tongues represented disagreement, lack of trust, understanding and/or compromise..not just in our American Congress, but between nations.
Jupiter was the god of excess; Mars became the god war; Quirinus, the spear.
Man’s greatest sin is indifference. I firmly believe that the father and the son exemplified love, hope and awareness. They are the messengers of our conscience...and so much more.
© Copyright 2013 Genna East All rights reserved.