Talking Statues

Nice History check… You gain 50 XP

While there are all sorts of legends about statues coming to life, including golems and gargoyles, the Talking Statues of Rome don’t count. Yes, they are a real thing. No they don’t actually talk.

Talking States 500 x 347

See, back around the 15th Century, the Catholic Pope gained direct control over the Roman government. The thing was, this opened the Pope to critcism. See, you couldn’t criticize the Pope as Pope because he was the Pope. He had the authority of, well, God, backing him. But as a government official, he was just a fallable dude. So, the Pope’s government policies were often criticized. But, the thing was, it was still not a great idea to go around making fun the spiritual and political king of the city. So, people got into the habit of positing little, critical poems tacked to various statues around the city. This actually grew out of a poetry contest that the Cardinal Oliviero Carafa held every year. People would leave their poems tacked to the statue of Pasquino. But soon thereafter, people started tacking poems to the statue outside of the contest. And to other statues. One of the earliest poems was:

Da quando è Niccolò papa e assassino,
abbonda a Roma il sangue e scarso è il vino.

Basically: Ever since Nicholas became pope and killer, blood is abundant in Rome and wine is scarce.

Snappy, huh?