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Which Roman monument is said to function as a lie detector?Answer – The Bocca della Verità – If you’ve vicariously roamed around Rome with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday,” then you’re familiar with the Bocca della Verità. In the film, Peck feigns having his hand bit off by this giant, disk-like marble mask, which translates to the “Mouth of Truth.” Superstitious legend has it that the ancient mask of Oceanus can expose a person’s dishonesty by biting off the liar’s hand. The legend originated in the Middle Ages, in which a Roman nobleman thought his wife had committed adultery. When she denied it, her husband decided to test her by placing her hand in the Mouth of Truth in front of a crowd. Knowing she was lying, the woman cleverly staged her lover in the crowd to kiss her and claim he was a madman. The woman then placed her hand in the Bocca della Verità, saying she’d only ever kissed her husband and the madman that had been driven away, thus saving her hand. You can see the 2,900-pound mask in person today in the portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church in Rome.:
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