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Golden Bough

22 February 2010

Daily Telgraph February 18th (see online at www.telegraph.co.uk ) … Italian archaeologists claim to have found a stone enclosure which once protected the legendary ‘Golden Bough’ of the Aeneas myth. It was discovered while excavating a religious sanctuary built in honour of the goddess Diana near a volcanic lake 20 miles south of Rome. The enclosure, it is claimed, protected a large cypress or oak tree sacred to the Latins. The tree was central to the tale of Aeneas flight from Troy – and it also symbolised the power of the priest-king. Anyone who broke of a branch, even a slave, could then challenge the king in a fight to the death.

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