Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 15, February 9

Back to the Marines and the Navy.

Jefferson welcomed home Eaton and O'Bannon and all the men who had served in Tripoli as heroes.   A monument was sculpted in 1806 to commemorate these men and the courageous war they had staged against the Barbary Pirates.  Today, it resides at the United States Naval Academy. 

The Tripoli Monument is done in Italian Carrera marble, the same material used by Michelangelo.  Its central figure is a tall rostral column, identifical in every detail to the one used in Rome's Colosseum.  It is studded with the carved prows of enemy ships and capped with the American Eagle.  The turbaned heads of the Barbary pirates are depicted in the square pedestal upon which the columns rests.

A wingled angel representing Fame and a female scribe representing History recoring the deeds of the Marines flank the monument.  Commerce was also shown, symbolizing Ameria's right to trade unchallenged by the priates in the Mediterranean.  Finally, a maiden with two young children at her feet was included to represent America.

1 comment:

  1. I find the imagery chosen for America interesting. I can't help wondering what we might choose today.