The Tarpeian Rock (Rupe Tarpea) is the rock wall on the south side of the Capitol Hill in Rome. It faces the Roman Forum and it is from this steep 25 meter high cliff that criminals during the Roman Republic were thrown down to die. The luxury fashion house Gucci is financing a restoration of the monument, which is supposed to be completed in 2021.
Tarpeian Rock Rome
It is thought that Mons Tarpeius was the original name of the Capitol Hill and that Tarpeia was the divinity protecting it.
According to the popular legend, however, Tarpeia was a Vestal Virgin who betrayed the Romans by opening the gates of the citadel to the Sabines. In exchange she was going to get the precious bracelets the Sabines wore on their left arms. Everything went according to plan, except that the intruders had never intended to give her her reward. Instead, they killed Tarpeia by submerging her under their heavy shields.
Condemned criminals in the days of the Roman Republic were normally killed by strangling them in the Tullianum. Being thrown off the rock was only for the worst traitors and was considered extra shameful.
Latest news Tarpeian Rock Rome
In June 2019 the fashion brand Gucci pledges 1,6 million Euros for the restoration of the Tarpeian Rock. The works will include the installation of a new lighting system. The path around the cliff will be cleared and the gardens around it will also be restored. The reason for the restoration is that in August 2018 pieces of rock and earth fell down of the cliff. Work is supposed to finish in 2021.