A text hidden underneath an obelisk in Rome throws new light on Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime and how it wished to be seen by future generations.
Written in Latin on parchment, the text is buried along with gold coins at the base of the Mussolini Obelisk in the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome.
It is a eulogistic account of the rise of fascism and Mussolini’s feats.
Its existence was uncovered by two classical scholars.
Bettina Reitz-Joosse and Han Lamers are the first to translate and study in detail the Codex Fori Mussolini, which, despite being buried at the base of the 300-tonne monument to the power of fascism when it was erected in 1932, has largely been forgotten in the intervening decades.
They pieced together what they believe to be an accurate version of the text – which remains out of reach in the base of the obelisk – from three obscure sources found in libraries and archives in Rome.