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SPQR
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the Latin initialism. For other uses, see SPQR (disambiguation).
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SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Sentus Populusque Rmnus ("The Senate and People of Rome", see translation), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern day comune (municipality) of Rome. It appears on coins, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions. The phrase appears many hundreds of times in Roman political, legal and historical literature, including the speeches of Cicero and the Ab urbe condita libri ("Books from the Founding of the City") of Titus Livius (Livy).
Contents [hide] 1 Translation 2 Historical context 3 Modern variants 3.1 Civic references 3.2 Informal 4 Gallery 5 References 6 External links

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Translation

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SPQR: Sentus Populusque Rmnus. In Latin, Sentus is a nominative singular noun meaning "Senate". Populusque is compounded from the nominative noun Populus, "the People", and -que, an enclitic particle meaning "and" which connects the two nominative nouns. The last word, Rmnus ("Roman") is an adjective modifying Populus: the "Roman People". Thus, the sentence is translated as the more literal "The Senate and the Roman People", or alternatively as "The Senate and the People of Rome".

Historical context

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This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2010) The title's date of establishment is unknown, but it first appears in inscriptions of the Late Republic, from c. 80 BC onwards. Previously, the official name of the Roman state, as evidenced on coins, was simply ROMA. The abbreviation last appears on coins of Constantine I the Great (ruled AD 312-37). The two legal entities mentioned, Sentus and the Populus Rmnus, are sovereign when combined. However, where populus is sovereign alone, Sentus is not. Under the Roman Monarchy neither entity was sovereign. The phrase, therefore, can be dated to no earlier than the foundation of the Republic. This signature continued in use under the Roman Empire. The emperors were considered the representatives of the people even though the sents consulta, or decrees of the Senate, were made at the pleasure of the emperor. Populus Rmnus in Roman literature is a phrase meaning the government of the People. When the Romans named governments of other countries they used populus in the singular or plural, such as popul Prscrum Latnrum, "the governments of the Old Latins". Rmnus is the established adjective used to distinguish the Romans, as in cvis Rmnus, "Roman citizen". The locative, Rmae, "at Rome", was never used for that purpose. The Roman people appear very often in law and history in such phrases as dignits, maiests, auctorits, lberts popul Rmn, the "dignity, majesty, authority, freedom of the Roman people". They were a populus lber, "a free people". There was an exercitus, imperium, iudicia, honors, consuls, volunts of this same populus: "the army, rule, judgments, offices, consuls and will of the Roman people". They appear in early Latin as Popolus and Poplus, so the habit of thinking of themselves as free and sovereign was quite ingrained.

Hrvatski Bahasa Indonesia Interlingua Italiano Basa Jawa Latina Lietuvi Magyar Nederlands

Norsk bokml Norsk nynorsk Polski Portugus Romn Slovenina / srpski Suomi Svenska Tagalog Trke Vneto Ting Vit

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An aureus with Augustus on the obverse and a winged victory on the reverse with SPQR above.

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The Romans believed that all authority came from the people. It could be said that similar language seen in more modern political and social revolutions directly comes from this usage. People in this sense meant the whole government. The latter, however, was essentially divided into the aristocratic Senate, whose will was executed by the consuls and praetors, and the comitia centurita, "committee of the centuries", whose will came to be safeguarded by the Tribunes. During the regime of Benito Mussolini, SPQR was emblazoned on a number of public buildings and manhole covers in an attempt to promote his dictatorship as a "New Roman Empire".

Modern variants

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Use of SPQR has been revived in modern times, throughout Europe and beyond.[clarification needed] In Rome today sewage and water supply accesses contain the label "SPQR" in recognition of the innovation in sewage and water supply realized during the Roman times.

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Civic references [edit]


SPQx is sometimes used as an assertion of municipal pride and civic rights. Reggio Emilia, for instance, has SPQR in its coat of arms, standing for "Senatus Populusque Regiensis". There have been reports of SPQx from: Amsterdam, Netherlands, SPQA at one of the major theatres and some of the bridges[1] Antwerp, Belgium, SPQA on the Antwerp City Hall[2] Benevento, Italy, SPQB on manhole covers[3] Bremen, Germany, SPQB in the Town Hall of Bremen[4] Bruges, Belgium, SPQB on its coat of arms[5] Brussels, Belgium, SPQB found repeatedly on the Law Courts of Brussels,[6] and over the main stage of La Monnaie/De Munt opera house Dublin, Ireland, SPQH on the City Hall, Dublin built in 1769 Florence, Italy, SPQF[3] Florianpolis, Brazil, SPQF[3] Freising, Germany, SPQF, above the door of the town hall Ghent, Belgium, SPQG on the Opera, Theater and some other major buildings. Hamburg, Germany, SPQH on a door in the Hamburg Rathaus[7] Hannover, Germany Haarlem, the Netherlands, SPQH on the face of the town hall at the "Grote Markt" Hasselt, Belgium, SPQH Kortrijk, Belgium, SPQC, city hall Leeuwarden, Netherlands, SPQL on the mayor's chain of office[8] Liverpool, England, SPQL on various gold doors in St George's Hall[9] City of London, England, SPQL[10] Lbeck, Germany, SPQL on the Holstentor[11] Lucerne, Switzerland Modica, Italy, SPQM is on the coat of arms Molfetta, Italy, SPQM is on the coat of arms[12] Olomouc, Czech Republic, SPQO on its coat of arms[3] Palermo, Italy, SPQP[13] Siena, Italy, SPQS[14] Solothurn, Switzerland, on the Cathedral of St Ursus and Victor Terracina, Italy, SPQT[15] Tivoli, Italy, SPQT[16] Verviers, Belgium, SPQV on the Grand Theatre[17] Vienna, Austria[3]

Modern manhole cover in Rome with SPQR inscription.

A modern recreation of a Roman standard.

Informal [edit]
The letters "SPQR" can sometimes be seen displayed on London market trader's stalls. In this instance it is alleged to stand for, 'Small Profits, Quick Returns', a reminder not only of their trading philosophy but also of the Londoner's sense of humour. MPQN, standing for Metallica Populusque Nimus, appears on the cover of Metallica live DVD Franais Pour une Nuit, which was recorded in the Arena of Nmes, a remodelled Roman amphiteatre.

Gallery

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Senatus Populusque Romanus

The inscription in the Arch of Titus

Modern coat of arms of Rome

Manhole cover in Rome with SPQR inscription

SPQR with eagle and full Latin wording

SPQR of in the coat of arms of Reggio Emilia

Detail from the mosaic floor in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

"Superiority of the warrior class. State 2." Etching by Wenceslaus Hollar, (University of Toronto)

Arch of Septimius Severus top inscription

Dedicatory plaque to Federico Fellini on Via Veneto

References

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1. ^ Heraldic symbols of Amsterdam , Livius.org , 2 December 2006.


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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

^ Flickr.com ^ a b c d e "Rome - Historical Flags (Italy)" , CRWflags.com , 14 November 2003. ^ Unesco.org ^ NGW.nl ^ Eupedia.com ^ (German) Nefershapiland.de ^ (Dutch) Gemeentearchief.nl ^ BBC.co.uk ^ Cityoflondon.gov.uk ^ Flickr.com ^ it:File:Molfetta-Stemma.png ^ Flickr.com ^ Flickr.com ^ O. A. W. Dilke and Margaret S. Dilke (October 1961). "Terracina and the Pomptine Marshes". Greece & Rome (Cambridge University Press) II:8 (2): 172178. ISSN 00173835 . OCLC 51206579 . 16. ^ Tibursuperbum.it 17. ^ (French) Bestofverviers.be

External links

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Look up SPQR in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: SPQR

Instances of "Roman Senate and People" in www.Perseus.edu Lewis & Short dictionary entry for populus on www.Perseus.edu Polybius on the Senate and People (6.16)

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Ancient Rome topics

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Categories: Ancient Roman government Latin mottos Initialisms

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