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were indeed precious: the Goths evacuated Rome on the sixth, ?1 the Vandals on the fifteenth day ; 22 and, though it be far more difficult to build than to destroy, their hasty assault would have made a slight impression on the solid piles of antiquity. We may remember that both Alaric and Genseric affected to spare the buildings of the city; that they subsisted in strength and beauty under the auspicious government of Theodoric ; 23 and that the momentary resentment of Totila 24
was disarmed by his own temper and the advice of his friends and enemies. From these innocent barbarians the reproach may be transferred to the Catholics of Rome. The statues, altars, and houses of the dæmons were an abomination in their eyes; and in the absolute command of the city, they might labour with zeal and perseverance to erase the idolatry of their ancestors. The demolition of the temples in the East 25 affords to them an example of conduct, and to us an argument of belief; and it is probable that a portion of guilt or merit may be imputed with justice to the Roman proselytes. Yet their abhorrence was confined to the monuments of heathen superstition; and the civil structures that were dedicated to the business or pleasure of society might be preserved without injury or scandal. The change of religion was accomplished, not by a popular tumult, but by the decrees of the emperors, of the senate, and of time. Of the Christian hierarchy, the bishops of Rome were commonly the most prudent and least fanatic; nor can any positive charge be opposed to the meritorious act of saving and converting the majestic structure of the Pantheon.26 &
III. The value of any object that supplies the wants or pleasures III. The use of mankind is compounded of its substance and its form, of
the materials and the manufacture. Its price must depend
on the number of persons by whom it may be acquired and used; on the extent of the market; and consequently on the ease or
and abuse of the materials
21 History of the Decline, &c., vol. iv. p. 108.
vol. iv. p. 256.
vol. iii. c. xxviii, p. 413-416. ** Eodem tempore petiit a Phocate principe templum, quod appellatur Pantheon, in quo fecit ecclesiam Sanctæ Mariæ semper Virginis, et omnium martyrum; in qua ecclesiæ princeps multa bona obtulit (Anastasius vel potius Liber Pontificalis in Boni. facio IV. in Muratori
, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. i. p. 135). According to the anonymous writer in Montfaucon, the Pantheon had been vowed by Agrippa to Cybele and Neptune, and was dedicated by Boniface IV. on the calends of November to the Virgin, quæ est mater omnium sanctorum (p. 297, 298).
The popes, under the dominion of and monuments of the city according to the emperor and of the exarchs, according their own will. Bunsen and Platner, vol, to Fea's just observation, did not possess i. p. 241.-M. too power of disposing of the buildings
difficulty of remote exportation, according to the nature of the commodity, its local situation, and the temporary circumstances of the world. The barbarian conquerors of Rome usurped in a moment the toil and treasure of successive ages; but, except the luxuries of immediate consumption, they must view without desire all that could not be removed from the city in the Gothic waggons or the fleet of the Vandals.27 Gold and silver were the first objects of their avarice; as in every country, and in the smallest compass, they represent the most ample command of the industry and possessions of mankind. A vase or a statue of those precious metals might tempt the vanity of some barbarian chief; but the grosser multitude, regardless of the form, was tenacious only of the substance; and the melted ingots might be readily divided and stamped into the current coin of the empire. The less active or less fortunate robbers were reduced to the baser plunder of brass, lead, iron, and copper : whatever had escaped the Goths and Vandals was pillaged by the Greek tyrants; and the emperor Constans, in his rapacious visit, stripped the bronze tiles from the roof of the Pantheon.28 The edifices of Rome might be considerea as a vast and various mine : the first labour of extracting the materials was already performed; the metals were purified and cast; the marbles were hewn and polished ; and after foreign and domestic rapine had been satiated, the remains of the city, could a purchaser have been found, were still venal. The monuments of antiquity had been left naked of their precious ornaments; but the Romans would demolish with their own hands the arches and walls, if the hope of profit could surpass the cost of the labour and exportation. If Charlemagne had fixed in Italy the seat of the Western empire, his genius would have aspired to restore, rather than to violate, the works of the Cæsars; but policy confined the French monarch to the forests of Germany; his taste could be gratified only by destruction; and the new palace of Aix la Chapelle was decorated with the marbles of Ravenna 29 and Rome.30 Five
11 Flaminius Vacca (apud Montfaucon, p. 155, 156: his memoir is likewise printed, p. 21, at the end of the Roma Antica of Nardini) and several Romans, doctrinâ graves, were persuaded that the Goths buried their treasures at Rome, and bequeathed the secret marks filiis nepotibusque. He relates some anecdotes to prove that, in his own time, these places were visited and rified by the Transalpine pilgrims, the heirs of the Gothic conquerors.
*** Omnia quæ erant in ære ad ornatum civitatis deposuit; sed et ecclesiam B. Mariæ ad martyres quæ de tegulis æreis cooperta discooperuit (Anast, in Vitalian. p. 141). The base and sacrilegious Greek had not even the poor pretence of plundering an beathen temple; the Pantheon was already a Catholic church.
99 For the spoils of Ravenna (musiva atque marmora) see the original grant of Popo Adrian I. to Charlemagne (Codex Carolin, epist. lxvii, in Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. üi. P. ii. p. 223). so I shall quote the authentic testimony of the Saxon poet (A.D. 887-899), de
hundred years after Charlemagne, a king of Sicily, Robert, the wisest and most libe: al sovereign of the age, was supplied with the same materials by the easy navigation of the Tiber and the sea; and Petrarch sighs an indignant complaint, that the ancient capital of the world should adorn from her own bowels the slothful luxury of Naples.31 But these examples of plunder or purchase were rare in the darker ages; and the Romans, alone and unenvied, might have applied to their private or public use the remaining structures of antiquity, if in their present form and situation they had not been useless in a great measure to the city and its inhabitants. The walls still described the old circumference, but the city had descended from the seven hills into the Campus Martius; and some of the noblest monuments which had braved the injuries of time were left in a desert far remote from the habitations of mankind. The palaces of the senators were ao longer adapted to the manners or fortunes of their indigent successors : the use of baths 32 and porticoes was forgotten : in the sixth century the games of the theatre, amphitheatre, and circus had been interrupted : some temples were devoted to the prevailing worship; but the Christian churches preferred the holy figure of the cross; and fashion, or reason, had distributed after a peculiar model the cells and offices of the cloister. Under the ecclesiastical reign the number of these pious foundations was enormously multiplied ; and the city was crowded with forty monasteries of men, twenty of women, and
Rebus gestis Caroli Magni, 1. v. 437–440, in the Historians of France (tom. v. p. 180:
Ad quæ marmoreas præstabat Roma columnas,
Quasdam præcipuas pulchra Ravenna dedit.
Illius ornatum, Francia, ferre tibi.
And I shall add, from the Chronicle of Sigebert (Historians of France, tom. v. p. 378) extruxit etiam Aquisgrani basilicam plurimæ pulchritudinis, ad cujus structuram á Roma et Ravenna columnas et marmora devebi fecit.
31 I cannot refuse to transcribe a long passage of Petrarch (Opp. p. 536, 537) in Epistola hortatoriâ ad Nicolaum Laurentium; it is so strong and full to the point: Nec pudor aut pietas continuit quominus impii spoliata Dei templa, occupatæs arces, opes publicas, regiones urbis, atque honores magistratûum inter se divisos; (habeant ?) quam und in re, turbulenti ac seditiosi homines et totius reliquæ vitæ consiliis et rationibus discordes, inhumani foederis stupendâ societate convenirent, in pontes et mænia atque immeritos lapides desævirent. Denique post vi vel senio collapsa palatia, quæ quondam ingentes tenuerunt viri, post diruptos arcus triumphales (unde majores horum forsitan corruerunt), de ipsius vetustatis ac propriæ impietatis fragminibus vilem quæstum turpi mercimonio captare non puduit. Itaque nunc, heu dolor! heu scelus indignum! de vestris marmoreis columnis, de liminibus templorum (ad quæ nuper ex orbe toto concursus devotissimus fiebat), de imaginibus sepulchrorum sub quibus patrum vestrorum venerabilis civis (cinis?) erat, ut reliquas sileam, desidiosa Neapolis adornatur. Sic paullatim ruinæ ipsæ deficiunt. Yet king Robert was the friend of Petrarch.
32 Yet Charlemagne washed and swam at Aix-la-Chapelle with an hundred of his courtiers (Eginhart, c. 22, p. 108, 109); and Muratori describes, as late as the year 814, the public baths which were built at Spoleto in Italy (Aunali, tom. vi. p. 416).
sixty chapters and colleges of canons and priests, 38 who aggravated, instead of relieving, the depopulation of the tenth century. But if the forms of ancient architecture were disregarded by a people insensible of their use and beauty, the plentiful materials were applied to every call of necessity or superstition; till the fairest columns of the Ionic and Corinthian orders, the richiest marbles of Paros and Numidia, were degraded, perhaps to the support of a convent or a stable. The daily bavoc which is perpetrated by the Turks in the cities of Greece and Asia may afford a melancholy example; and in the gradual destruction of the monuments of Rome, Sixtus the Fifth may alone be excused for employing the stones of the Septizonium in the glorious edifice of St. Peter's.34 A fragment, a ruin, howsoever mangled or profaned, may be viewed with pleasure and regret; but the greater part of the marble was deprived of substance, as well as of place and proportion; it was burnt to lime for the purpose of cement." Since the arrival of Poggius the temple of Concord 35 and many capital structures had vanished from his eyes; and an epigram of the same age expresses a just and pious fear that the continuance of this practice would finally annihilate all the monuments of antiquity.36 The smallness of their numbers was the sole check on the demands and depredations of the Romans. The imagination of Petrarch might create the presence of a mighty people ; 37 and I hesitate to believe that, even in the fourteenth century, they could be
33 See the Annals of Italy, A.D. 988. For this and the preceding fact Muratori himself is indebted to the Benedictine history of Père Mabillon,
34 Vita di Sisto Quinto, da Gregorio Leti, tom. iii. p. 50.
85 Porticus ædis Concordiæ, quam cum primum ad urbem accessi vidi fere integram opere marmoreo admodum specioso: Romani postmodum ad calcem ædem totam et porticûs partem disjectis columnis sunt demoliti (p. 12). The temple of Concord was therefore not destroyed by a sedition in the xiiith century, as I have read in a MS. treatise del Governo civile di Rome, lent me formerly at Rome, and ascribed (I believe falsely) to the celebrated Gravina. Poggius likewise affirms that the sepulchre of Cæcilia Metella was burnt for lime (p. 19, 20).
36 Composed by Æneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II., and published by Ala• billon, from a MS. of the queen of Sweden (Musæum Italicum, tom. i. p. 97).
Oblectat me, Roma, tuas spectare ruinas;
Ex cujus lapsų gloria prisca patet.
Calcis in obsequium marmora dura coquit.
Nullum hinc indicium nobilitatis erit. 37 Vagabamur pariter in illâ urbe tam magnâ; quæ, cum propter spatium vacua videretur, populum habet immensum (Opp. p. 605, Epist. Familiares, ii. 14).
• From the quotations in Bunsen's Rome was considered a quarry from which Dissertation it may be suspected that the church, the castle of the baron, or this slow but continual process of de- even the hovel of the peasant, might be struction was the most fatal. Ancient repaired.-M.
IV. The domestic quarrels of
red.ced to a contemptible list of thirty-three thousand inhabitants. From that period to the reign of Leo the Tenth, if they multiplied to the amount of eighty-five thousand, 38 the increase of citizens was in some degree pernicious to the ancient city. IV. I have reserved for the last the most potent and forcible cause
of destruction, the domestic hostilities of the Romans them
selves. Under the dominion of the Greek and French em the Romans. perors the peace of the city was disturbed by accidental, though frequent, seditions: it is from the decline of the latter, froin the beginning of the tenth century, that we may date the licentiousness of private war, which violated with impunity the laws of the Code and the Gospel, without respecting the majesty of the absent sovereign, or the presence and person of the vicar of Christ. In a dark period of five hundred years Rome was perpetually afflicted by the sanguinary quarrels of the nobles and the people, the Guelphs and Ghibelines, the Colonna and Ursini; and if much has escaped the knowledge, and much is unworthy of the notice, of history, I have exposed in the two preceding chapters the causes and effects of the public disorders. At such a time, when every quarrel was decided by the sword, and none could trust their lives or properties to the impotence of law, the powerful citizens were armed for safety, or offence, against the domestic enemies whom they feared or hated. Except Venice alone, the same dangers and designs were common to all the free republics of Italy; and the nobles usurped the prerogative of fortifying their houses, and erecting strong towers 39 that were capable of resisting a sudden attack. The cities were filled with these hostile edifices; and the example of Lucca, which contained three hundred towers; her law, which confined their height to the measure of fourscore feet, may be extended with suitable latitude to the more opulent and populous states. The first step of the senator Brancaleone in the establishment of peace and justice was to demolish (as we have already seen) one hundred and forty of the towers of Rome; and, in the last days of anarchy and discord, as late as the reign of Martin the Fifth, forty-four still stood in one of the thirteen or fourteen regions of the city. To this mischievous purpose the remains of antiquity were most readily adapted: the temples and arches afforded a broad and solid basis for the new structures of brick and stone; and we can name the modern turrets
** These states of the population of Rome at different periods are derived from an irgenious treatise of the physician Lancisi, de Romani Cæli Qualitatibus (p. 122).
30 All the facts that relate to the towers at Rome, and in other free cities of Italy, may be found in the laborious and entertaining compilation of Muratori, Antiquitates Italiæ medii Ævi, dissertat. xxvi. (tom. i. p. 493-496, of the Latin; tom. i. p. 446, of the Italian work).