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The Laocoon & Sons

The Laocoon & Sons

In 1503 a.d., a farmer unearthed a magnificent statue from out of the ground on his vineyard in the outskirts of Rome. Recognizing a great opportunity to make some money, the farmer sent word to the Vatican to see if the Pope would be interested in purchasing the statue, as it seemed to be very grand and of great importance. Pope Julius II quickly sent two of his full time artists to go look at the statue and verify its importance. One of those artists was Michelangelo, who upon seeing the statue immediately knew that it was the “Laocoon and Sons.” The statue, a Roman recreation of a 2nd century B.C. Greek classic, depicts the Trojan priest Laocoon and his two sons in their last moments on earth. The Trojan priest had been condemned to die along with his two sons after he warned the Trojans about the deception of the wooden horse, a gift from the Greeks. Athena, the goddess of war, who favored the Greeks, sent the giant serpents from the depths of the sea to strangle Laocoon and his sons. The Romans held Laocoon in great esteem, believing him to be a real person who had been able to successfully warn at least one Trojan to leave Troy, which had a great impact on the future of Rome. Aeneas, who heeded Laocoon’s warning and fled Troy with his family. His descendants, Romulus and Remus would eventually go on to found Rome.