A recent discovery has uncovered a message hidden underneath Rome’s massive obelisk. Why is this secret message so interesting? Well, it was written by none other than Benito Mussolini.
This hidden message was written on a piece of parchment paper in Latin. The 1,200 word long essay was then placed inside a metal box along with a few coins. After these items were carefully placed inside the box, the box was buried at the base of the obelisk inscribed with “MVSSOLINI DVX.” This particular obelisk was built to honor fascist power and was unveiled in 1932. The obelisk still stands today at Foro Italico in Rome.
During this time, the Italian government had been turned into a dictatorship thanks to Mussolini. Experts have revealed that the secret message was titled “Codex Fori Mussolini,” and was meant to remain a secret. Researchers believe the intent of Mussolini’s message was to make it’s way to future and only be read during the fall of the obelisk, which also meant the fall of fascism. The obelisk still remains intact because the destruction of the monument was not necessary to find this secret message.
It took two researchers and three very different sources to piece together the message. However, Bettina Reitze-Joose and Han Lamers were able to translate the hidden message.
The text is meant to represent the history of Italian fascism, written by Aurelio Giuseppe Amatucci. Han Lamers states that, “After the First World War, Italy was on the brink of collapse. In the account, Mussolini is seen as regenerating the country through his superhuman insight and resoluteness.”
Lamers also notes that in Mussolini’s text he was attempting to present himself in a different light. He wanted to be seen as “the savior of the Italian people.” He truly believed himself to be the New Roman emperor.
The text continues on to talk about youth programs, specifically the Fascist Youth Organization. In the third part of the text, Mussolini talks about building the obelisk. Lamers comments that, “the monument is presented as a symbol of the eternal reign of Italian fascism.”
One thing that has caught researchers attention is the fact that the entire essay is written in Latin. Reitz-Joose comments that, “Latin had a special significance for fascists. It was the language of the Roman empire that they hoped to regenerate. But it was also an eternal language, rather appropriate to send messages to the future.”
All of the research done by Reitz-Joose and Lamers was published by Bloomsbury publishing. You can read more about this discovery in Discovery News.