Tarpeian Rock

Tarpeian Rock

[tahr-pee-uhn]
noun
a rock on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, from which criminals and traitors were hurled.

Origin:
1600–10; < Latin (mōns) Tarpēi(us) Tarpeian (hill) + -an

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World English Dictionary
Tarpeian Rock (tɑːˈpiːən)
 
n
(in ancient Rome) a cliff on the Capitoline hill from which traitors were hurled

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Tarpeian rock
1607, rock face on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, from which persons convicted of treason were thrown headlong, from L. (mons) Tarpeius "(rock) of Tarpeia," said to have been a Vestal virgin who betrayed the capitol to the Sabines and was buried at the foot of the rock. Her name probably is of Etruscan-Tyrrhenian
origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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"I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo—that man who was great in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture—great in every thing he undertook. But I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast—for luncheon—for dinner—for tea—for supper—for between meals. I like a change, occasionally. In Genoa, he designed every thing; in Milan he or his pupils designed every thing; he designed the Lake of Como; in Padua, Verona, Venice, Bologna, who did we ever hear of, from guides, but Michael Angelo? In Florence, he painted every thing, designed every thing, nearly, and what he didn't design he used to sit on a favorite stone and look at, and they showed us the stone. In Pisa he designed everything but the old shot-tower, and they would have attributed that to him if it had not been so awfully out of the perpendicular. He designed the piers of Leghorn and the custom house regulations of Civita Vecchia. But, here—here it is frightful. He designed St. Peter's; he designed the Pope; he designed the Pantheon, the uniform of the Pope's soldiers, the Tiber, the Vatican, the Coliseum, the Capitol, the Tarpeian Rock, the Barberini Palace, St. John Lateran, the Campagna, the Appian Way, the Seven Hills, the Baths of Caracalla, the Claudian Aqueduct, the Cloaca Maxima—the eternal bore designed the Eternal City, and unless all men and books do lie, he painted every thing in it!... I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled with a blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael Angelo was dead."
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