Monday, 1 March 2021

Trump's Eagle - Aquila - SPQR

Jaws are flapping about the Trump campaign's use of the Nazi eagle. Students of history would recognize the Nazi eagle as that stolen from the Romans. The Nazi swastika was similarly hijacked from ancient sources. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being."
An aquila, or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, carried this standard. Each legion carried one eagle.
The eagle was very important to the Roman military, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion. A lost standard was considered an extremely grave event. The Roman military often went to great lengths to protect a standard and to recover it if lost. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest the Romans spent decades trying to recover the lost standards of the three destroyed legions. SPQR stood for Senatus Populusque Romanus. The meaning was "The Senate and People of Rome". No legionary eagles are known to have survived.