Silvius Brabo

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Brabo statue, Antwerp

Silvius Brabo [ˈsɪɫviəz ˈbraːboː] was a mythical Roman soldier who was said to have killed a giant, and by this would have created the name Brabant.

Later this story was also used to explain the name Antwerp ('Antwerpen' in dutch) which, according to the story, is a derivative of 'handwerpen' (meaning hand throwing). Brabo once killed a giant, called Druon Antigoon, who asked money from people who wanted to pass the bridge over the river Scheldt. When they didn't want to or couldn't pay, he cut off their hand and threw it in the river. Because of this, Brabo also removed the hand of the giant, and threw it into the river.

This mythical story is still shown by the statue in front of the Antwerp City Hall.

Typical local biscuits named ‘Antwerpse Handjes’, (Antwerp’s hands) also refer to this. Only licenced bakers within the city are allowed to produce and sell them. There is also a chocolate version in the same size and shape. The exact shape of these stylised hands, but in a larger version, is found all over the outside walls of the famous Antwerp MAS museum.

In Music[edit]

  • Referenced in the song "Antwerpen", by British post-hardcore band Enter Shikari

Coordinates: 51°13′16″N 4°23′59″E / 51.22111°N 4.39972°E / 51.22111; 4.39972