19 Facts About Roman salute


Roman salute, alternatively called the Fascist salute or the Nazi salute, is a gesture in which the right arm is fully extended, facing forward, with palm down and fingers touching.

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The gesture and its identification with Roman salute culture were further developed in other neoclassic artworks.

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In 1923, the Roman salute was gradually adopted by the Italian Fascist regime.

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Since the end of World War II, displaying the Nazi variant of the Roman salute has been a criminal offence in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.

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Roman salute's left hand is holding three swords, while his right hand is empty, with fingers stretched but not touching.

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Gesture, already established in the United States through the Bellamy Roman salute, has been traced to the Broadway production of the play Ben-Hur.

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The Roman salute was evidently added in keeping with the exaggerated style of acting in 19th century theater, which in turn influenced acting in the silent cinema.

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Variations on the salute occur throughout Cabiria on the part of Romans and Africans.

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The diversity of the gesture and the variety of nationalities who use it in Cabria is seen as further evidence that the Roman salute is a modern invention, used in the film to highlight the exotic nature of antiquity.

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Symbolic value of the gesture grew, and it was felt that the proper Roman salute "had the effect of showing the fascist man's decisive spirit, which was close to that of ancient Rome".

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The Roman salute was seen to demonstrate the fascist's "decisive spirit, firmness, seriousness, and acknowledgment and acceptance of the regime's hierarchical structure".

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In Germany, the Roman salute, sporadically used by the Nazi Party since 1923, was made compulsory within the movement in 1926.

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Early objections focused on its resemblance to the Roman salute employed by Fascist Italy, and hence on it not being Germanic.

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The Wehrmacht refused to adopt the Hitler Roman salute and was able for a time to maintain its own customs.

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The Parti Populaire Francais, generally regarded as the most pro-Nazi of France's collaborationist parties, adopted a variant of the Roman salute that distinguished itself from others by slightly bending the hand and holding it at face level.

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In Greece in 1936, when Ioannis Metaxas and his 4th of August Regime took power, an almost identical Roman salute was adopted – first by the National Youth Organization and later by the government as well as common people – and used even while fighting against Italy and Germany in WW2.

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The Roman salute was on display in the 1968 funeral for Mussolini's youngest daughter, Anna Maria Mussolini Negri.

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Use of the Roman salute and accompanying phrases has been forbidden by law in Germany since the end of World War II.

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In Portugal the Roman salute is still used today by the military to take their oath to the national flag, when they successfully complete the first phase of military instruction.

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