Once upon a time there lived an intrepid Roman warlord, feared by the very most because of his political and military ability: Scipio called The African due to his glorious victory against Hannibal in 202 BC, during the Second Punic War.
The city of Palermo was a precious ally in the war against Carthage, so Scipio gifted the town with a so called genius loci and its sculptural representation.
Tall and handsome, proudly wearing his crown while holding a dangerous snake to his chest…
The only question is: who is he and what does he symbolize?
Through the centuries there have been many speculations about the identity of the Genius and the symbols that he embodies, but the most accredited sees him as the personification of Palermo and the snake as Scipio and the gratitude of the whole Roman people for the help given during the battles against Hannibal.
The Genius has also come to represent a sort of laic protector of the town, often associated with the original patron saint of Palermo, S. Rosalia.
The most important representations of the Genius of Palermo are 8 and you can find them all over the city.
Find them with us! And discover some of the most important historical locations in Palermo:
You can find the most ancient representation, dating back to the 16th century in Via Emerico Amari near the entrance of the port.
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