Roma quanta fuit, ipsa ruina docet

An antique micromosaic of the Colosseum in a later setting, Rome c. 1850

Roma quanta fuit, ipsa ruina docet - "How great Rome was, even her ruins bear witness to." This quote by Francesco Albertini (1469 - after 1510), which has become a proverb, laments the decline of antiquity. From the point of view of the Italian scholar and humanist of the Renaissance, the time since the fall of the empire had brought only decay - and longingly and a little sadly, artists, architects and writers of the early 16th century sensed what treasure of culture, technology and knowledge they would first have to painstakingly regain. But "How great Rome was, even her ruins bear witness to" - this sentence of Albertini's was soon also turned into irony. For with each step further towards the study of antiquity, one also became aware of the cracks, the tensions and the shallows of this epoch. It is true that the ruins still bear witness to the Roman empire - but perhaps not everything was as worthy of imitation and exemplary as had been assumed in the meantime? This brooch presents us with a fabulously detailed mosaic depicting the ruins of the Colosseum. Under the Roman sky, between light blue and a light rose, the walls of the amphitheatre rise up into the air. But what does the view of the ruin teach us? Surely a lesson about transience, about the fall of empire and its culture, and reverence for the way of the world. But the view also holds hope: for the place where thousands of slaves, prisoners, Christians, and animals had to lay down their lives for the pleasure of the city's populace has now, as a ruin, become a peaceful place: Of the greatness of Rome, which was also a terrible, brutal greatness, this ruin tells. And at the same time it shows that there can also be improvement in the world and perhaps even progress. The mosaic dates from the 1850s and is excellently preserved. In the second half of the 20th century it was given a simple setting of gilded silver and made wearable as a brooch.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.