Chechnya and the Capitoline Wolf

A student of mine, from Chechnya, was asking me about the legend according to which Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome (although Romulus is often said to be the only one), were found, fed and raised by a She-Wolf, known as the Lupa Capitolina in latin, or Capitoline Wolf. He told me that Chechens have a legend according to which they too descend from a Wolf Mother, and their connection to wolves takes various forms. They are often compared to wolves – in positive or negative ways: The Chechen nation are ‘free and equal like wolves’, a famous line recites. The founder of the Chechen nation, Turpalo-Noxchuo, is said to have been raised by a female wolf, just like our Roman heroes.

If you would like to read more about it, here is an interesting link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechen_wolf, and here is the beautiful Chechen National Anthem:

 

We were born at night, when the she-wolf whelped.

In the morning, as lions howl, we were given our names.

In eagles nests, our Mothers nursed us,

To tame a stallion, our Fathers taught us.

 

We were devoted to our Mothers, to people and the Native

land, And if they will need us – we’ll respond courageously,

We grew up free, together with the mountain eagles,

Difficulties and obstacles we overcame with dignity.

 

Granite rocks will sooner fuse like lead,

Than we lose our Nobility in life and struggle.

The Earth will sooner be breached in boiling sun,

Than we appear before the world; losing our honor.

 

Never will we appear submissive before anyone,

Death or Freedom – we can choose only one way.

Our sisters cure our wounds by their songs,

The eyes of the beloved arouse us to the feat of arms.

 

If hunger gets us down – we’ll gnaw the roots.

If thirst harasses us – we’ll drink the grass dew.

We were born at night, when the she-wolf whelped.

 

God, Nation, and the Native land –

We devote ourselves only to their service.

 

It is not hard to relate the pride and strength such words convey to Rome’s own pride and strength. My student also told me that the inhabitants of Chechen are believed to descend from the fleeing citizens of Troy. When the city was sacked and destroyed, according to another famous legend recounted in Homer’s Iliad, another famous mythical figure known as Aeneas sailed away from its shores towards the unknown Latium territory (Latium, or Lazio, is the region where Rome is located), stopping in Carthage and breaking Queen Dido’s heart on the way. His fate was to found a great nation in a foreign country.  He is said to be Romulus and Remus’ ancestor.

I find it a beautiful coincidence, even though I do not believe coincidences exists. I have always thought the world was one big nation with only one heart. The way things are going nowadays seems to show the contrary: nationalism is strong, and is emerging in every country, creating barriers, fear and distrust among all of us.

We cannot forget our history, and if we really knew about our roots we would know that we are all part of each other because of conquests, cultural exchanges, invasions and so on. What’s happening only shows us that we are defending a fake identity, and those who do so are the first who ignore our real past and the history of mankind.

I am so grateful to my Chechnyan student for reminding me of how much we should share and cherish, instead of creating walls and avoiding to communicate with one another on the basis of geographical directions.

 

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3 Responses to “Chechnya and the Capitoline Wolf”

  1. lo_sai_che_caciocavallo_e'_una_parola_araba? Says:

    Hey Ya girl! You came to me in the night, stayin with me in bed till 5am in the morning, then you leaved me and you didn’t call me back the day after omg! you seduced then you dumped me … you handsome devil!
    :DDDDDDD
    quando vieni a trovarmi???
    A presto!
    ciaooooooooo

  2. this is bullshit. the capitoline wolf represents europeans suckn the tittys of the doggs. raised by wolves, devouring nations. nationalism is what is right. all the same? nope. thats trick knowledge. peace

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Could you explain better how nationalism is what is right and what definition would you give to it? Also: you say that the ones who suck the tits of the wolf are the Europeans… So who is the wolf? Or the dogs, as you call them?

      I thought it was an interesting coincidence that two nations should identify their founding myth with the same symbol, but it is interesting how this takes a political dimension. However, I can understand the point about Rome being the hungry wolf devouring nations, and with this I agree – but what about Chechnya?

      Joan

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