What does SPQR mean?

Due to nasty cold no. 2, I present fact no. 2:

When you’re in the urbs aeterna (Eternal City), you’ll see these four letters everywhere. And if you paid attention in high school Latin class, you already know that SPQR stands for SENATUS POPULUSQUE ROMANUS, which means “the Senate and People of Rome.” The city government has long attached this abbreviation to any kind of municipal property or municipally approved works, including monuments, lampposts, sewer lids, garbage cans, taxis — even Russell Crowe’s shoulder in Gladiator. Lovers of Italian can have all kinds of fun traipsing around Rome, tracking down inscriptions and translating them, whether carved into triumphal arches or printed on banners at the soccer stadium (UBI MAIOR MINOR CESSAT).

— From Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to Rome (photos by CCM)


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