PRINT October 1986


Eureka—Mona Helga.

A report arose on April 18, 1485, that the corpse of a young Roman lady of the classical period [“Julia, daughter of Claudius”]—wonderfully beautiful and in perfect preservation—had been discovered. . . .The body had been coated with an antiseptic essence, and was as fresh and flexible as that of a girl of fifteen the hour after death. It was said that she still retained the colors of life, with eyes and mouth half open. She was taken to the Palazzo dei Conservators on the Capitol; and then began a veritable pilgrimage to see her. Many came to paint her "for she was more beautiful than can be said or written, and were it said or written, it would not be believed by those who had not seen her.” . . .The touching point in the story is not the fact itself, hut the firm belief that an ancient body, which was now thought to be at last really before men’s eyes, must be far more beautiful than

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