As Firm as the Roman Legionary


This watercolor illustration portrays an armed Roman legionary holding a standard with the colors of the Italian flag while facing a German barbarian wearing a winged helmet. The image overtly suggests a parallel between the Italians fighting the Germans during World War I and the legions of ancient Rome which fought against the barbarian German tribes in the time of Julius Caesar. The standard bears the letters “S.P.Q.R.” (Senatus Populusque Romanus; The Roman Senate and the People), the motto of ancient Rome that was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions. Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies, France and Great Britain, in 1915, and fought mainly against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was backed by the other great Germanic power of Europe, Imperial Germany.

Last updated: April 13, 2016