Ponte di Cecco - Legend Of A Bridge Built By An Astrologer With The Help Of The Devil

Ponte di Cecco – Legend Of A Bridge Built By An Astrologer With The Help Of The Devil

Jan Bartek – Icestech.info – Many places are associated with strange legends telling people to use supernatural power or get help from dark forces to accomplish something. In Italy, there are several ancient structures associated with the Devil. One of them is the Ponte di Cecco bridge located in the town of Ascoli Piceno.

Having long been wrongly identified as being built during the Middle Ages, the Ponte di Cecco bridge is actually much older.

Ponte di Cecco - Legend Of A Bridge Built By An Astrologer With The Help Of The Devil

Ponte di Cecco – Credit: Infinitispazi – CC BY-SA 3.0

When archaeologists and architect Giambattista Carducci examined the bridge over the Castellano river connecting the Malatesta Fortress to the rest of the city, he discovered an ancient Roman structure. The Ponte di Cecco bridge is probably more than 2,000-year-old. During WWII, the bridge was destroyed by German warplanes and had to be reconstructed. The current bridge we see now is a complete reconstruction of the original one, which took place in the 1960s, using the same material recovered from the waters of the stream below.

Two legends mention the Ponte di Cecco bridge is a work of the Devil. Cecco d’Ascoli writes one legend, and the other is a doubtful piece of work by a man known as Maestro Cecco Aprutino, who cannot be identified. In both versions, there is a mention made of an alleged collaboration of the Devil.

As the story goes, Cecco d’Ascoli, a poet and astrologer, is credited with the construction of the bridge, which took place in one night with the help of the Devil.

Some scholars argue, however, that the name of Cecco may be related to Cecco Aprutino, a Medieval master who would have restored the ancient Roman bridge, in 1349, on commission from Galeotto I Malatesta.

With the help of the Lord of the Underworld, the Ponte di Cecco bridge was built in a single night. This legend reminds a little of the story behind the Pyramid of the Magician in the ancient, Pre-Columbian city of Uxmal, Mexico.

“The name of the pyramid is derived from ancient legends told by the indigenous Mayan people.

According to one legend, a magician-god named Itzamna was single-handedly supposed to have erected the pyramid in one night, using his strength and magic.” 1

Most would say today it is unlikely we can give the Devil credit for constructing towers, bridges, and other structures. However, people have long had a fascination with the Lord of the Underworld.

After all, the world’s oldest fairy tale known as The Smith And The Devil has survived for several millennia to encompass more than 35 languages.

“The Smith and the Devil has a simple plot. It’s about a smith who makes a pact with the Devil. The craftsman trades his soul for supernatural power, then uses his magic to trap the diabolical creature he made the deal with.

The official version is that the fairy tale The Smith and the Devil is of European origin. Folklorists and the Brothers Grimm have long assumed the story, as well as other tales such as Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast, is ancient.

There is now firm evidence all those tales are truly old. According to anthropologist Jamshid Tehrani and New University of Lisbon social scientist Sara Graça da Silva, the story is much older than previously thought.

The basic plot spread throughout the Indo-European speaking world from India to Scandinavia, possibly being first told in Indo-European 6,000 years ago in the Bronze Age.” 2

One cannot say anything with certainty, but maybe many ancient legends were influenced by the Smith and the Devil story.

Updated on February 7, 2022

Written by Jan Bartek – Icestech.info Staff Writer

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Expand for references

  1. Sutherland – Magnificent Pyramid Of The Magician – The Tallest Structure In Ancient City Of Uxmal, Icestech.info
  2. Ellen Lloyd – World’s Oldest Fairy Tale – The Smith And The Devil Has Survived For Several Millennia, Icestech.info
  3. Aldo Castelli – Un maestro muratore, un poeta astrologo e il diavolo
  4. Wikipedia

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