Olympic salute


The Olympic salute is a variant of the Roman salute, with the right arm and hand are stretched and pointing upward, the palm is outward and downward, with the fingers touching. However, the arm is raised higher and at an angle to the right from the shoulder.[27][28] The greeting is visible on the official posters of the games at Paris 1924[27] and Berlin 1936.[29] Also famous is the French and Canadian teams entering the Olympic stadium in Berlin, 1936 with their arms raised. In the Leni Riefenstahl film Olympia this scene was captured, and afterwards led to repeated misinterpretations suggesting that the French and Canadian delegations were saluting Hitler. The Roman salute (Saluto Romano) is a gesture in which the arm is held out forward straight, with palm down, and fingers touching. In some versions, the arm is raised upward at an angle; in others, it is held out parallel to the ground. The former is a well known symbol of fascism that is commonly perceived to be based on a custom in ancient Rome.[1] However, no Roman text gives this description and the Roman works of art that display salutational gestures bear little resemblance to the modern Roman salute.[1] Jacques-Louis David's painting The Oath of the Horatii (1784) provided the starting point for the gesture that became later known as the Roman salute. The gesture and its identification with Roman culture was further developed in other French neoclassic artworks. This was further elaborated upon in popular culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in plays and films that portrayed the salute as an ancient Roman custom. These included a 1914 film called Cabiria based upon

screenplay by the Italian nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio. In 1919, d'Annunzio adopted the cinematographically depicted salute as a neo-imperial ritual when he led the occupation of Fiume. Through d'Annunzio's influence, the gesture soon became part of the Italian Fascist movement's symbolic repertoire. In 1923 the salute was gradually adopted by the Italian Fascist regime. It was made compulsory within the Nazi party in 1926, and adopted by the German state when the Nazis took power in 1933. It was also adopted by other fascist movements. Since World War II, the salute has been a criminal offense in Germany and Austria. Legal restrictions on its use in Italy are more nuanced, and use there has generated controversy. The gesture and its variations continue to be used in neo-fascist contexts. Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that began growing on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world.[1] In its approximately twelve centuries of existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to an aristocratic republic to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Southern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa, parts of Northern Europe, and parts of Eastern Europe. Rome was preponderant throughout the Mediterranean region and was one of the most powerful entities of the ancient world. It is often grouped into "Classical Antiquity" together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world.