Geese were said to have played a key role in saving Rome during the Celtic rampage and therefore became a sacred bird to the Romans. The legend states that the geese of Juno warned the Romans of the Gaul invasion by honking and quaking which in turn woke the soldiers up. The Celtics expansion had caused large disruption across Europe. A group of Celts, known as Senone, led by Brennus, started moving through Italy. The Fabii, the patrician gens in ancient Rome, decided to intervene with the Gaul resulting in the killing of a Senone chieftain. This angered Brennus and he abandoned his invasions and headed straight for Rome. Rome was unprepared for the attack and as a result, fled from the battle with most of the Roman soldiers heading to Veii, sixteen kilometres from Rome. The cities defence was now weakened and the Gaul marched on to Rome, many of the civilians fled to the Capitoline Hill. After several unsuccessful attacks, the Gaul decided to climb the walls into Capitoline under the nights sky. None of the guards or their dogs heard them except for the sacred geese of Juno who then woke the Roman soldiers allowing them to attack and defend. The geese were known as the saviours of Rome.
Roman Bronze Goose Finial
An ancient Roman goose finial cast from bronze depicting a standing goose upon a base with its wings by its sides. Careful attention has been applied to the rendering of the anatomical features in a naturalistic manner with fine incised detailing to the wings. Below the goose is the fragmentary handle which gradually tapers to a point.
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister, from her collection formed early 1960's-90's.
Condition: Fine condition, slight cracking and chipping to the end of the handle.