Dying Gaul Capitoline Museums Rome Italy

“THE DYING GAUL,” CAPITOL, ROME — One of the best known and most justly admired statues which have come down to us from antiquity is this pathetic figure popularly called the “Dying Gladiator,” but probably representing a dying Gaul. In any case no words which have ever been written in regard to it are so appropriate and eloquent as the immortal lines of Byron:

“I see before me the Gladiator lie;

He leans upon his hand — his manly brow,

Consents to death, but conquers agony,

And his droop’d head sinks gradually low —

And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow

From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,

Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now

The Arena swims around him — he is gone,

Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.

“He heard it, but he heeded not — his eyes

Were with his heart, and that was far away;

He reck’d not of the life he lost nor prize,

But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,

There were his young barbarians all at play,

There was their Dacian mother — he, their sire,

Butcher’d to make a Roman holiday —

All this rush’d with his blood — Shall he expire?

And unavenged? Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!”

(from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

Dying Gaul Capitoline Museums Rome Italy 2016

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