Warrior of Capestrano
"Me Beatiful Imagine, Done by Aninis for King Nevio Pompuledio"
This is the translation of the inscription in a south-Picena language found on the statue.
Was he a warrior, a king or a woman?
The figure seems to be wearing a mask, and seems to be devoid of a distinguishable sex; an androgynous person.
It is one of the most mysterious artifacts left to us from the past. A stone and marble sculpture dated in the VI century B.C. which was found in 1934 near Capestrano (AQ), (from which come its fictitious epithet).
Today, the Warrior of Capestrano is the artistic symbol of Abruzzo
Angitia. Goddess of Abruzzo. Goddess of Snakes.
In the pre-Roman Italic Abruzzo, the archaic divinity that embodied The Great Mother was called Maya; in the Marsi territory, she was called Angitia. They were two distinct divinities, but often confused as one. With Angitia relives the memory of the Great Mother, the Goddess of the cycle of death and rebirth, holder of mysterious feminine powers and mother of all magic, an authority in Nature’s secrets, she was able to dominate the Moon, whose phases are analogous to the different cycles of a Woman’s life. She had the power to heal from the wounds of venomous serpent bites. The life cycles of serpents, punctuated by the deep sleep of hibernation and seasonal shedding of skin, are emblematic of the immobility, the transformation, and subsequent re-awakening within Nature. She was the Goddess of primordial animal forces, of the predator istinct, and of the forest’s unihibited existence. She is the root of wild and primitive human nature, of the untamed being possessed by instinctual passions. In the period of conversion of ancient pagan rites to Christianity, the worship of Angitia was transformed in the celebration of the life of Saint Dominic, still venerated as the Saint who has the power over the venom of the serpent celebrated on the first of May in Cocullo during the Festa of the serpents.
"Angitia was Eeta’s daughter, the first to discover the poisonous plants, it is said; she is the mistress of poisons and herself drew down the moon; with a shout she commands the rivers and by calling to them, she draws the forests from the mountains." Silius, Punicae, book VIII, 495-501
"Angitia, daughter of Eeta, sister of Circe and Medea, lived in the forest by the river Fucinpo. She battled human illness with her medicinal arts; she, by allowing the survival of humanity, was considered a Goddess." Silius, Punicae, book VIII, 495, 501
"The Oscan Alphabet"
Oscan is an ancient language represented through three fundmental graphic systems, three alphabets, with
different written forms from which Etruscan, Latin and Greek languages are derived.
The Oscan language, spoken by the Oscan and the Samite people,was used by a polutaion greater than that of the Roman Empire, occupying territories ranging from Greece to Abruzzo, spanning of the entire area of the central-southern Apennines, where there were growing cultural influences stemming from Greek emigration and the expansion of the Roman Empire.The close similarity of the Oscan alphabet to the Etruscan alphabet is due to the constant communications between the two cultures. The Oscan language gave birth to the Oscan-Umbrian language, a branch of Indo-European language that includes the Umbrian and Samite dialects. The first Oscan inscrictions discovered were dated in the V cent. B.C. Oscan is also written in retrograde, the practice of writing from right to left, like characters viewed in a mirror.
The Hard Shell - Theriomorphic images of the unconscious
Unique components of the Samnite armor, the hard shells date back to the VIIth century B.C. and were aimed at the defense of the chest, the Kardiophylax. The represented monstrous animals, with a terrifying and apotropaic valences (probably the images were arised from the collective unconscious of the time through the dream-like activity), were intended to intimidate the adversary and to confer prestige and a sort of magical protection to the warrior who wore the Kardio adorned that way.
The presence in the armor of this elements with a theriomorphic character projects in that mental and behavioral universe of the warrior that rooted in a land of magic-sacral type, able to assimilate or transform the warrior in a divine beast; the latter, was a typical custom in the ancient world, in the pre-Roman Italy.
Thanks to the stylistic and typological analysis emerges the certain paternity of Abruzzo rather of the Fucino concerning this extraordinary class of material. Two well-known examples concerning the custom of these hard shells by the Samnite warriors in the VII-VI cent. are the Warrior of Capestrano and the Warrior of Guardiagrele.