« ForrigeFortsett »
that were raised on the triumphal monuments of Julius Caesar, Titus, and the Antonines." With some slight alterations, a theatre, an amphitheatre, a mausoleum, was transformed into a strong and spacious citadel. I need not repeat that the mole of Hadrian has assumed the title and form of the castle of St. Angelo; “ the Septizonium of Severus was capable of standing against a royal army;” the sepulchre of Metella has sunk under its outworks; ** the theatres of Pompey and Marcellus were occupied by the Savelli and Ursini families; “ and the rough fortress has been gradually softened to the splendour and elegance of an Italian palace. Even the churches were encompassed with arms and bulwarks, and the military engines on the roof of St. Peter's were the terror of the Vatican and the scandal of the Christian world. Whatever is fortified will be attacked; and whatever is attacked may be destroyed. Could the Romans have wrested from the popes the castle of St. Angelo, they had resolved by a public decree to annihilate that monument or servitude. Every building of defence was exposed to a siege; and in every siege the arts and engines of destruction were laboriously employed. After the death of Nicholas the Fourth, Rome, without a sovereign or a senate, was abandoned six months to the fury of civil war. “The houses,” says a cardinal and poet of the times,”
* As for instance, Templum Jani nunc dicitur, turris Centii Frangapanis; et sane Jano impositae turris lateritiae conspicua hodieque vestigia supersunt (Montfaucon Diarium Italicum, p. 186). The anonymous writer (p. 285) enumerates arcus Titi, turris Cartularia; arcus Julii Caesaris et Senatorum, turres de Bratis; arcus Antonini, turris de Cosectis, &c. * Hadriani molem . . . . magna ex parte Romanorum injuria . . . . disturbavit: quod certe funditus evertissent, si eorum manibus pervia, absumptis grandibus saxis, reliqua moles exstitisset (Poggius de Varietate Fortunae, p. 12). * Against the emperor Henry IV. (Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. ix. p. 147). * I must copy an important passage of Montfaucon: Turris ingens rotunda . . . . Caeciliae Metellae . . . . sepulchrum erat, cujus muri tam solidi, ut spatium perquam minimum intus vacuum supersit: et Torre di Bove dicitur, a boum capitibus muro inscriptis. Huic sequiori aevo, tempore intestinorum bellorum, ceu urbecula adjuncta fuit, cujus moonia et turres etiamnum visuntur; ita ut sepulchrum Metellae quasi arx oppiduli fuerit. Ferventibus in urbe partibus, cum Ursini atque Columnenses mutuis cladibus perniciem inferrent civitati, in utriusve partis ditionem cederet magni Inomenti erat (p. 142). * See the testimonies of Donatus, Nardini, and Montfaucon. In the Savelli palace the remains of the theatre of Marcellus are still great and conspicuous. * James, cardinal of St. George, ad velum aureum, in his metrical Life of Pope Celestin W. (Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. i. P. iii. p. 621, l. i. c. 1, ver. 132, &c.)
Hoc dixisse sat est, Roman caruisse Senatü
* This is inaccurately express's The sepulchre is still standing. See Hobhouse, p. 304.—M.
“were crushed by the weight and velocity of enormous stones; “ the “walls were perforated by the strokes of the battering-ram; the “towers were involved in fire and smoke; and the assailants were “stimulated by rapine and revenge.” The work was consummated by the tyranny of the laws; and the factions of Italy alternately exercised a blind and thoughtless vengeance on their adversaries, whose houses and castles they razed to the ground.” In comparing the days of foreign with the ages of domestic hostility, we must pronounce that the latter have been far more ruinous to the city; and our opinion is confirmed by the evidence of Petrarch. “Behold,” says the laureat, “the relics of Rome, the image of her pristine great“ness! neither time nor the barbarian can boast the merit of this “stupendous destruction: it was perpetrated by her own citizens, by “the most illustrious of her sons; and your ancestors (he writes to a * noble Annibaldi) have done with the battering-ram what the Punic “hero could not accomplish with the sword.” “ The influence of the two last principles of decay must in some degree be multiplied by each other; since the houses and towers which were subverted by civil war required a new and perpetual supply from the monuments
of antiquity." These general observations may be separately applied to the The amphitheatre of Titus, which has obtained the name of the
..., CoLISEUM,” either from its magnitude, or from Nero's
*** colossal statue: an edifice, had it been left to time and
* Muratori (Dissertazione sopra le Antiquità Italiane, tom. i. p. 427–431) finds that stone bullets of two or three hundred pounds' weight were not uncommon; and they are sometimes computed at xii or xviii cantari of Genoa, each cantaro weighing 150 pounds.
* The vith law of the Wisconti prohibits this common and mischievous practice; and strictly enjoins that the houses of banished citizens should be preserved pro communi utilitate (Gualvaneus de la Flamma, in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xii.
... 1041). P 48 * thus addresses his friend, who, with shame and tears, had shown him the monia, lacerae specimen miserabile Romao, and declared his own intention of restoring them (Carmina Latina. l. ii. epist. Paulo Annibalensi, xii. p. 97, 98).
Nec te parva manet servatis fama ruinis
• The fourth part of the Verona Illustrata of the Marquis Maffei professedly treats of amphitheatres, particularly those of Rome and Verona, of their dimensions, wooden galleries, &c. It is from magnitude that he derives the name of Colosseum, or
* Bunsen has shown that the hostile Guiscard, who burned down whole disattacks of the Emperor Henry the Fourth, tricts, inflicted the worst damage on the but more particularly that of Robert ancient city. Wol. i. p. 247.-M.
nature, which might perhaps have claimed an eternal duration. The curious antiquaries, who have computed the numbers and seats, are disposed to believe that above the upper row of stone steps the amphitheatre was encircled and elevated with several stages of wooden galleries, which were repeatedly consumed by fire, and restored by the emperors. Whatever was precious, or portable, or profane, the statues of gods and heroes, and the costly ornaments of sculpture, which were cast in brass, or overspread with leaves of silver and gold, became the first prey of conquest or fanaticism, of the avarice of the barbarians or the Christians. In the massy stones of the Coliseum many holes are discerned; and the two most probable conjectures represent the various accidents of its decay. These stones were connected by solid links of brass or iron, nor had the eye of rapine overlooked the value of the baser metals;” the vacant space was converted into a fair or market; the artisans of the Coliseum are mentioned in an ancient survey; and the chasms were perforated or enlarged to receive the poles that supported the shops or tents of the mechanic trades.” Reduced to its naked majesty, the Flavian amphitheatre was contemplated with awe and admiration by the pilgrims of the North; and their rude enthusiasm broke forth in a sublime proverbial expression, which is recorded in the eighth century, in the fragments of the venerable Bede: “As long as the Coliseum “stands, Rome shall stand; when the Coliseum falls, Rome wil. “fall; when Rome falls, the world will fall.” ” In the modern system of war, a situation commanded by three hills would not be chosen for a fortress; but the strength of the walls and arches could resist the engines of assault; a numerous garrison might be lodged
Coliseum: since the same appellation was applied to the amphitheatre of Capua, without the aid of a colossal statue; since that of Nero was erected in the court (in atrio) of his palace, and not in the Coliseum (P. iv. p. 15-19, l. i. c. 4).
* Joseph Maria Suarés, a learned bishop, and the author of an history of Praeneste, has composed a separate dissertation on the seven or eight probable causes of these holes, which has been since reprinted in the Roman Thesaurus of Sallengre. Montfaucon (Diarium, p. 233) pronounces the rapine of the barbarians to be the unam germanamgue causam foraminum."
* Donatus, Roma Vetus et Nova, p. 285.”
* Quamdiu stabit Colyseus, stabit et Roma; quando cadet Colyseus, cadet Roma; quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus (Beda in Excerptis seu Collectaneis apud Ducange Glossar. med. et infimae Latinitatis, tom. ii. p. 407, edit. Basil). This saying must be ascribed to the Anglo-Saxon pilgrims who visited Rome before the year 735, the aera of Bede's death; for I do not believe that our venerable monk ever passed the sea.
* The improbability of this theory is seum. The Bandonarii, or Bandererii, shown by Bunsen, vol. i. p. 239.—M. were the officers who carried the standards * Gibbon has followed Donatus, who of their school before the pope. Hobhouse, sup that a silk manufactory was esta- p. 269.-M. i. in the xiith century in the Coli
in the enclosure; and while one faction occupied the Vatican and the Capitol, the other was intrenched in the Lateran and the Coliseum.” The abolition at Rome of the ancient games must be understood dams, or with some latitude; and the carnival sports, of the Testa* cean mount and the Circus Agonalis,” were regulated by the law o or custom of the city. The senator presided with dignity and pomp to adjudge and distribute the prizes, the gold ring, or the pallium,” as it was styled, of cloth or silk. A tribute on the Jews supplied the annual expense;” and the races, on foot, on horseback, or in chariots, were ennobled by a tilt and tournament of seventy-two Alon... of the Roman youth. In the year one thousand three In the hundred and thirty-two, a bull-feast, after the fashion of
o, the Moors and Spaniards, was celebrated in the Coliseum
itself; and the living manners are painted in a diary of the times.” A convenient order of benches was restored; and a general proclamation, as far as Rimini and Ravenna, invited the nobles to exercise their skill and courage in this perilous adventure. The Roman ladies were marshalled in three squadrons, and seated in three balconies, which on this day, the third of September, were lined with scarlet cloth. The fair Jacova di Rovere led the matrons from beyond the Tiber, a pure and native race, who still represent the features and character of antiquity. The remainder of the city was
* I cannot recover, in Muratori's original Lives of the Popes (Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. i.), the passage that attests this hostile partition, which must be applied to the end of the xith or the beginning of the xiith century."
* Although the structure of the Circus Agonalis be destroyed, it still retains its form and name (Agona, Nagona, Navona); and the interior space affords a sufficient level for the purpose of racing. But the Monte Testaceo, that strange pile of broken pottery, seems only adapted for the annual practice of hurling from top to bottom some waggon-loads of live hogs for the diversion of the populace (Statuta Urbis Roma, p. 186).
* See the Statuta Urbis Roma, l. iii. c. 87, 88, 89, p. 185, 183. I have already given an idea of this municipal code. The races of Nagona and Monte Testaceo are likewise mentioned in the Diary of Peter Antonius from 1404 to 1417 (Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xxiv. p. 1124).
* The Pallum, which Menage so foolishly derives from Palmarium, is an easy extension of the idea and the words, from the robe or cloak to the materials, and from thence to their application as a prize (Muratori, dissert. xxxiii.).
* For these expenses the Jews of Rome paid each year 1130 florins, of which the odd thirty represented the pieces of silver for which Judas had betrayed his Master to their oucestors. There was a foot-race of Jewish as well as of Christian youths (Statuta Urbis, ibidem).
* This extraordinary bull-feast in the Coliseum is described, from tradition rather than memory, by Ludovico Buonconte Monaldesco, in the most ancient fragments of Roman annals (Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum; tom. xii. p. 535, 536); and however fanciful they may seem, they are deeply marked with the colours of truth and nature.
* “The division is mentioned in Wit. “frequent other records of it at other “Innocent. Pap. II. ex Cardinale Arra- “ dates.” Hobhouse's Illustrations of “gonio (Script. Rer. Ital, vol. iii. P. i. Childe Harold, p. 130.—M. “p. 435), and Gibbon might have found
divided as usual between the Colonna and Ursini: the two factions were proud of the number and beauty of their female bands: the charms of Savella Ursini are mentioned with praise; and the Colonna regretted the absence of the youngest of their house, who had sprained her ankle in the garden of Nero's tower. The lots of the champions were drawn by an old and respectable citizen; and they descended into the arena, or pit, to encounter the wild bulls, on foot as it should seem, with a single spear. Amidst the crowd, our annalist has selected the names, colours, and devices of twenty of the most conspicuous knights. Several of the names are the most illustrious of Rome and the ecclesiastical state: Malatesta, Polenta, della Valle, Cafarello, Savelli, Capoccio, Conti, Annibaldi, Altieri, Corsi : the colours were adapted to their taste and situation; the devices are expressive of hope or despair, and breathe the spirit of gallantry and arms. “I am alone, like the youngest of the Horatii,” the confidence of an intrepid stranger: “I live disconsolate,” a weeping widower: “I burn under the ashes," a discreet lover: “I adore “Lavinia, or Lucretia,” the ambiguous declaration of a modern passion: “My faith is as pure,” the motto of a white livery: “Who “is stronger than myself?” of a lion's hide: “If I am drowned in “blood, what a pleasant death!” the wish of ferocious courage. The pride or prudence of the Ursini restrained them from the field, which was occupied by three of their hereditary rivals, whose inscriptions denoted the lofty greatness of the Colonna name: “Though sad, I “am strong : ” “Strong as I am great:” “If I fall,” addressing himself to the spectators, “you fall with me:”—intimating (says the contemporary writer) that, while the other families were the subjects of the Vatican, they alone were the supporters of the Capitol. The combats of the amphitheatre were dangerous and bloody. Every champion successively encountered a wild bull; and the victory may be ascribed to the quadrupeds, since no more than eleven were left on the field, with the loss of nine wounded and eighteen killed on the side of their adversaries. Some of the noblest families might mourn, but the pomp of the funerals, in the churches of St. John Lateran and Sta. Maria Maggiore, afforded a second holiday to the people. Doubtless it was not in such conflicts that the blood of the Romans should have been shed; yet, in blaming their rashness, we are compelled to applaud their gallantry; and the noble volunteers, who display their magnificence, and risk their lives, under —e balconies of the fair, excite a more generous sympathy than the thousands of captives and malefactors who were reluctantly dragged to the scene of slaughter.”
* Muratori has given a separate dissertation (the xxixth) to the games of the Italians in the middle ages.