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Cristian Rode (Xx)

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The salute is widely, and erroneously, believed to be based on an ancient Roman custom. This view is erroneous since no known Roman work of art depicts it, nor does any extant Roman text describe it.<winnkler p.2> The salutary gesture in an ancient Roman setting was depicted in Jacques-Louis David's painting Oath of the Horatii (1784). This was followed by depictions in other French neoclassic art.<winkler p.50, 51, 40> In 1892, Francis Bellamy introduced the American pledge of allegiance and a visually similar saluting gesture.<winkler p57> Established in the United States through the Bellamy Salute, the gesture was used in the 1899 American stage production of Ben Hur.<winkler p70, 72, 74> and its 1907 film adaption.<winkler p.83> The gesture was further elaborated upon in silent era Italian films <winkler p. 85-90> This included the silent film Cabiria (1914), whose screenplay was written by the Italian ultra-nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio.<winkler p94>, arguably the forerunner of Italian facism <Ledeen, Michael Arthur (2001). "Preface". D'Annunzio: the First Duce> In 1919, when he led the occupation of Fiume, d'Annunzio adopted the style of salute depicted in the film as a neo-Imperialist ritual and it was quickly adopted by the Italian Fascist Party. <Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta (2000). Fascist spectacle: the aesthetics of power in Mussolini's Italy. Studies on the history of society and culture. 28 (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. pp. 110–113.>