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Our “Songs of stone” series continues with a cycle of poetry readings dedicated entirely to the Roman Forum.

Following Michele Placido’s reading, Roberto Davi will read “Apollo” by the writer-poet Gabriele Tinti, starting at 21:00 on Friday 11 December on the Parco archeologico del Colosseo Facebook page and YouTube and IGTV channels. In celebration of the Agonalia, the poem is dedicated to Apollo-Sol and inspired by the statuary once present in the Portico of the Harmonious Gods in the Roman Forum, on the slopes of the Campidoglio. Here, the statue of Apollo was likely paired with that of Diana.

The Portico of the Dii Consentes once housed the statues of the twelve deities of the Roman pantheon, six male and six female, organized in pairs: Jupiter-Juno; Neptune-Minerva; Mars-Venus; Apollo-Diana; Vulcan-Vesta; Mercury-Ceres. Their cult in the Forum is documented in the 1st century BC by Varro, who mentions the gilded statues of the gods. The etymology seems to derive from the Latin verbs consentio or conso, which respectively mean “to agree” and “to deliberate”.

That statues that once stood in the portico have never been recovered, but from the numerous ideal sculptures on display in the Palatine Museum, a splendid Antium-type head of Apollo from the Domus Augustana has been chosen as an image of the god. The sculpture is one of the best Imperial-age Roman replicas of a Greek original from the late 4th century BC.