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Bocca della Veritá

Listed under Visitor Attractions in Rome, Italy.

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The Bocca della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth on the wall of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a legendary marble carving of a man-like face. The mask has been in the church of Santa Maria since 1632 but is estimated to be around 2,200 years old, thought to be part of an ancient Roman fountain or a manhole cover that could be portraying a pagan gods - there are many theories about the sculpture’s origins. A theory that started in the Middle Ages is that if you put your hand in the mouth of the sculpture and tell a lie, the mouth would snap shut and bite off your hand. A sculpture serving to confirm oaths as far back as 800 BC or a drain cover of the ancient world formerly located in the Hercules temple?

Written by  Sari Schutrum-Boward.

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