This wasn’t the first time one of Mussolini’s plans failed.

According to new archival research, a relic from Mussolini’s fascist reign over Italy has just been unearthed in the form of a “secret message.”

According to Rossella Lorenzi for LiveScience, a 1,200 word essay—written in Latin—was recently discovered underneath a 120-foot obelisk at the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome (home of the 960 Olympics). The 300-ton obelisk contains an inscription: MVSSOLINI DVX, which is Latin for “Mussolini Duce”—in other words, Mussolini the leader.


The message (titled Codex Fori Mussolini) was intended to be kept a secret until the obelisk’s collapse. However, two modern day researchers—Bettina Reitz-Joosse and Han Lamers—used sources from Roman libraries and archives to piece together the text.

The letter—penned by classical scholar Aurelio Giuseppe Amatucci—served as a piece of Italian fascist propaganda that was intended to reach audiences in the future. According to one of the researchers, Bettina Reitz-Joosse, the message was written in Latin because that was the language of the Roman Empire—but it was also considered to be an “eternal language” by many Italians.

Reitz-Joose and Lamers explore the letter in-depth in their recently published book, “The Codex Fori Mussolini.”