"Roman Muscle – Ancient & Today"
Newsletter No. 9
Many Civilizations have come and gone on this planet during the history of mankind but none have compared to the Powerful, Sophisticated, Intellectual, Architectural and Engineering Geniuses, yet Brutal Civilization, which lasted more than 1,000 Years, known as the Roman Empire. This October 2013 I had the privilege and Honor to once again for the second time in my lifetime visit the exhilarating and fascinating Country known as Italy. Throughout the history of this Great Country, much of the Worlds History has been written and continues to do be written today. The Government of the United States of America is built on the building blocks of the Governing ideas of the Ancient Romans with its Laws and Legal system, Governing Senate, and Buildings with columns with Ancient Latin inscribed in the marble that resemble the Great Monuments and Structures of Ancient Rome. To paraphrase the very talented Actor Russell Crowe from one of the best roles that he has ever played in his career in the blockbuster movie Gladiator, “Alas, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” No Words Better Describes the Roman Empire! What they did in life has echoed in eternity!
Joe Carrero at the Ancient Roman Forum in 2013
While this Newsletter is not a lesson on Ancient Rome, it is rather, a brief account of my experience while visiting this Ancient yet Modern land. The Romans and all Italians in general have always had a Great appreciation for the human body; this is obvious all throughout Italy from the ancient statues that line the many Museums, to the Renaissance Marble Statues of the 15th and 16th centuries that come to life by the unbelievably gifted artist and sculpturing Renaissance Genius, Michelangelo.
Ancient Marble Sculpture of Gladiators in Battle from the Roman Colosseum – sculptor unknown
I could not write a Newsletter about Italy without mentioning the Greatest Muscleman to ever come out of Italy in my opinion, none other than Franco Columbu! Born in Sardinia Italy, this Two Time Mr. Olympia Champion was one of the Strongest Bodybuilders that has ever lived! At 5’5’’ tall, Franco Columbu even placed 5th Overall in the World’s Strongest Man Competition in 1977 to men much larger than he. Mr. Columbu at first was an Olympic Weightlifter and Power Lifter and holds World Records in both Sports. Franco Columbu was also the training partner of the Legend himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition to Franco’s Athletic Victories and Successes, Franco Columbu is an Actor and a distinguished Chiropractor in California.
Franco Columbu Posing in Rome Italy
While walking through Rome it is almost eerie to imagine all that occurred on this land. From the Gladiator battles that took place in the Colosseum, to the battles that took place on the land; the Roman Empire conquered lands near and far all throughout most of Europe, Britain, North Africa, Western Asia and the Mediterranean Islands.
The Ancient Roman Forum
The Roman Colosseum
While the Romans were Conquerors, they were also innovators and what they accomplished during their timeframe on Earth was nothing short of amazing. All Stadiums and Coliseums around the globe are based on portions of the blueprint of the Ancient Roman Colosseum summoned to be built by the Infamous Emperors of the Flavian Dynasty between 70 BC and 80 BC. And while most refer to this Massive architectural structure as the Colosseum, the original name is the Flavian Amphitheatre.
The Interior of the Roman Colosseum
Joe Carrero in the Roman Colosseum 2013
The modern western civilization owes much to the Ancient Romans for their incredible knowledge and engineering know how such as the Roman alphabet, the Western calendar, aqueducts, bridges and roads, and let us not forget one of my favorites, wine making! While Modern Rome is a vibrant Metropolis, it is unlike any other bustling city in the World. Rome today is not only full of energy, but filled with tourists from all over the World visiting the endless historic ancient sites, spectacular beautiful Catholic Churches, and numerous museums filled with paintings, frescoes, mosaics and marble sculptures. History is everywhere. When walking through the streets of Rome it is like walking back in time because everywhere you look you are reminded of the Roman Empire. Yet these Ancient structures are surrounded by millions of people, cars, buses and vespa scooters each and every day reminding you that it is presently 2013. It is such a contrast to visit the Piazza Della Rotonda where one of the most spectacular Roman buildings stands, the Pantheon, and then walk a few blocks away down the busy Via del Corso street and see modern clothing stores, shoe stores, restaurants and shops. A contrast yes, but magically enchanting!
Joe Carrero at the Ancient Roman Forum with Palatine Hill in the background – 2013
Whether visiting Rome for a few days or a week, sites such as the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, the Ancient Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, St Peters Basilica in Vatican City, Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the National Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II, the Castel Sant’Angelo and so many other places are worth seeing. And the exhilarating Modern Roman People of today will make your visit exciting and memorable. As with my trip to China last year, I could not help but to have some fun and strike a Biceps Pose at some of the World’s Most Famous places on Earth! After all the Roman Empire was synonymous with Power and Strength! And, like I did in 1999 during my first visit to this fascinating Country, I tossed a coin over my shoulder into Rome’s Trevi Fountain with wishes of returning again someday soon. This time it will not take so many years; this Spaniard will be back! A piu tardi Roma! Ciao!