Genius of Palermo

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Palermu lu Grandi (1483), one of seven monumental representations of the Genius of Palermo.

«Panormus conca aurea suos devorat alienos nutrit» (Palermo the golden dell, devours hers and feeds the foreigners. Latin inscription on the edge of the basin of the Genius statue at City Hall of Palermo.)

The Genius of Palermo (in Italian Genio di Palermo, also called Genio or Palermo) is one of the city symbols and the laic patron of Palermo. He was the ancient numen and genius loci of the Sicilian city.

The Genius is the emblem of Palermo, the personification of the city, and symbol of its inhabitants, of every origin or ethnic, cultural, religious and social. Perhaps its origins are pre-Roman, but there is a mythology Check on the archetipo of the legendary and mysterious patron deity, whose origins are uncertain and symbols. According to the myths passed down from Ovid in the first century symbolized the genius loci, or the metamorphosis of the male figure. The snake symbolized Scipio Africanus helped by Palermo in the war against the Carthaginians of Hannibal. Scipio would have won the gratitude a hollow golden city, with a central statue of a warrior who had a snake from his chest. The symbolism of the serpent, may have more than one meaning: it is linked to land and water, fertility, rebirth and renewal, the animal is also a symbol of prudence, antagonist of the sun, and bearer of knowledge related to physical force. In addition to the snake, the attributes of Engineers are the crown, scepter and the dog. In 1400 the jurors of Palermo adopted the image of engineering in their arms. The Genius of Revolution Square will find a new role during the riots of 1848, becoming the symbol of the desire for freedom and emancipation from Palermo Bourbon rule: in that time the people in revolt gathered around the statue, draped in the flag in protest. Personifying the ideals of the city took on a role as a lay patron, complementary to that of Santa Rosalia.

See also[edit]



  • Vincenzo Di Giovanni, Palermo restaurato (17th century), pp 544, Palermo, Sellerio, reprint 1989 ISBN 88-389-0591-6
  • Vincenzo Auria. Istoria cronologica dei viceré di Sicilia dal 1409 sino al 1697. Palermo, 1697.[1]
  • Anonymous, manuscript to the public library of Palermo, 1703.
  • Francesco Gaetani di Villabianca. Notizie storiche intorno agli antichi uffizii del regno di Sicilia. Palermo, 1776.
  • Luigi Genuardi (1882-1935). Storia municipale di Palermo.
  • Georges Dumézil. La religione romana arcaica. Milan, Rizzoli, 1977. ISBN 88-17-86637-7
  • Giuseppe Pitrè. Almanoacco popolare palermitano. Palermo, Ristampe Siciliane, 1985.
  • [[Giuseppe Bellafiore]]. Palermo. Guida della città e dintorni. Palermo, 1980/1986.
  • Citti Siracusano, La pittura del Settecento in Sicilia. Rome, De Luca, 1986.
  • Vincenzo Di Giovanni. Palermo restaurato. Palermo, Sellerio, 1989. ISBN 88-389-0591-6
  • Alessandro Dell’Aira, Van Dyck a Palermo. Palermo, Kalós, 1999.
  • Giulia Sommariva. Palazzi nobiliari di Palermo. Palermo, Flaccovio, 2004. ISBN 88-7758-598-6
  • Salvatore Requirez. Le ville di Palermo. Palermo, Flaccovio, 2009. ISBN 88-7804-464-4


  1. ^ Vincenzo Auria Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine., file card of the Archive of the town of Palermo. Retrieved 3 September 2010.