Procession of the Salii
The Salii (Ancient Roman Priests of Mars) were known as the “leaping priests”. They were patrician youths dressed as archaic warriors. They had breastplates and they were charged with bronze shields one of which was said to have fallen from heaven. Copies of the shield were made to protect the identity of the heavenly shield on the advice of the nymph Egeria who prophesised that possession of the heavenly shield assured Roman dominance on earth.
Each year in March the Salii came down from the Palatine Hill and moved through the streets of Rome in celebration and they danced (leaped) and sang.
The installation “The Procession of the Salii” seeks to celebrate this event in ancient history. It has multiple figures. Each figure twists and bows slightly in preparation for movement (the leap).
The complete installation consists of twelve Salii …….. Eleven facsimiles and one in true bronze (Praesul).