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Title: Pagan and Christian Rome
Author: Lanciani, Rodolfo
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's notes:

The following typographical errors have been corrected:
  Page   v, "Romana" changed to "Romano" (by Giulio Romano, Francesco
  Page  59, "Bulletino" changed to "Bullettino" (in footnote [38]: See
            Henzen, _Bullettino dell' Instituto_, 1863,)
  Page  91, "Réceuil" changed to "Récueil" (in footnote [51]: Léon Rénier:
            _Récueil des diplomes militaires_)
  Page 120, "Ardentina" changed to "Ardeatina" (S. Petronilla on the Via
  Page 131, "Venedetto" changed to "Benedetto" (the master-mason Benedetto
            Drei, whose drawing,)
  Page 147, "Winckelman" two times changed to "Winckelmann" (Fea and
            Winckelmann assert and Winckelmann attributes their rapid
  Page 185, "in" changed to "is" (the urn of Agrippina is kept in the
  Page 208, "Emmanuele" changed to "Emanuele" (southwest corner of the
            Piazza Vittorio Emanuele)
  Page 273, "astrinum" changed to "ustrinum" (it was an _astrinum_ where
            corpses were cremated)
  Page 314, "Bulletino" changed to "Bullettino" (in footnote [148]:
            _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_)
  Page 327, "Nicolas" changed to "Nicholas" (from the time of Pope
            Nicholas I.)
  Page 369, "Cèrceo" changed to "Circeo" (defeats the Saracens off Cape
  Page 373, "Guilio" changed to "Giulio" (di Papa Giulio, 254;)


(_From a painting by Giulio Romano, Francesco Penni and Raffaellino
del Colle_)]





[Illustration: The Riverside Press]

=The Riverside Press, Cambridge=

Copyright, 1892,

_All rights reserved._

_The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A._
Electrotyped and Printed by H.O. Houghton & Co.



                      CHAPTER I.
CITY                                                                 1

                      CHAPTER II.
PAGAN SHRINES AND TEMPLES                                           51

                      CHAPTER III.
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES                                                 107

                      CHAPTER IV.
IMPERIAL TOMBS                                                     168

                      CHAPTER V.
PAPAL TOMBS                                                        209

                      CHAPTER VI.
PAGAN CEMETERIES                                                   253

                      CHAPTER VII.
CHRISTIAN CEMETERIES                                               306





by Giulio Romano, Francesco Penni, and Raffaellino del Colle)
(_Heliotype_)                                               _Frontispiece_

ARCH OF CONSTANTINE                                                     20

done at the order of Maria Macellaria)                                  32

THE WESTERN SUMMIT OF THE CAPITOLINE HILL                               86

PANEL FROM THE ARCH OF MARCUS AURELIUS (_Heliotype_)                    90

Nortet's _Les Catacombes Romaines_)                                    118

CIRCUS OF NERO                                                         128

AT THE TIME OF PAUL V. (from a rare engraving
by Benedetto Drei, head master mason to the Pope. The site
of the tomb of S. Peter and the Fenestella are indicated by
the author)                                                            132

S. PETER'S IN 1588 (from an engraving by Ciampini)                     146

THE TWO BASILICAS OF S. PAUL (the original structure of
Constantine in black; that of Theodosius and Honorius shaded)          150

MAP SHOWING THE LOCATION OF PHAON'S VILLA                              188


ROTUNDA AND OBELISK SOUTH OF OLD S. PETER'S (after Bonanni)            202

CRYPT OF POPE CORNELIUS                                                218


TOMB OF INNOCENT VIII. (_Heliotype_)                                   242

TOMB OF PAUL III. (_Heliotype_)                                        246

FIGURE FROM THE TOMB OF CLEMENT XIII. (_Heliotype_)                    250


THE FARNESINA GARDENS                                                  264

(_Heliotype_)                                                          268

TOMB OF THE BOY Q. SULPICIUS MAXIMUS (_Heliotype_)                     282

THE APPIAN WAY AND THE CAMPAGNA                                        286



THE IDEAL ROMAN FIGURE OF CHRIST (_Heliotype_)                         348


TABLET OF ACILIUS GLABRIO                                                4

MAP OF THE VIA SALARIA                                                   7

PORTRAIT BUST OF PHILIP THE YOUNGER                                     13

INSCRIPTION FOUND NEAR THE PORTA DEL POPOLO, 1877                       15




THE FOUR SEASONS (from the Imperial Palace, Ostia)                      24

ACHILLEO                                                                26

THE TEMPLUM SACRÆ URBIS (SS. COSMA E DAMIANO)                           28

MOSAIC FROM THE CHURCH OF S. ANDREA                                     29

THE SHRINE AND ALTAR OF MERCURIUS SOBRIUS                               34

KANTHAROS IN THE COURT OF S. CÆCILIA                                    39

SAMPLE OF A DRINKING-CUP                                                43

A GRANARY OF OSTIA                                                      47

ENTABLATURE OF THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD                                    53


NEMI AND THE SITE OF THE TEMPLE OF DIANA                                60

PORTRAIT BUST OF PERSON CURED AT NEMI                                   60



VOTIVE HEAD                                                             63

D'ARMI)                                                                 65



ARA OF AIUS LOCUTIUS ON THE PALATINE                                    72

PILLAR COMMEMORATING THE LUDI SÆCULARES                                 73


THE FAMILY OF AUGUSTUS (relief from the Ara Pacis, in the Gallery
of the Uffizi, Florence)                                                83

VIEW OF THE PLATFORM OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER                           88

THE SPHINX OF AMASIS                                                    94

OBELISK OF RAMESES THE GREAT                                            95


PLAN OF THE TEMPLE OF AUGUSTUS                                         103

REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF AUGUSTUS (from a sketch by Ligorio)           103

STATUE OF SEMO SANCUS                                                  105

REMAINS OF THE HOUSE OF PUDENS, DISCOVERED IN 1870                     114

PLAN OF POMPEIAN HOUSE                                                 114

MODERN WINDOWS                                                         115

THE COLONNA SANTA                                                      133


NAVE OF SAN LORENZO FUORI LE MURA                                      135

THE FOUNTAIN OF SYMMACHUS                                              136

THE CHAIR OF S. PETER (after photograph from original)                 140

BRONZE STATUE OF S. PETER                                              142

STATUE OF S. HIPPOLYTUS                                                143

THE BURNING OF S. PAUL'S, JULY 15, 1823 (from an old print)            152

TOMBSTONE OF S. PAUL                                                   157

STATUE OF CONSTANTINE THE GREAT                                        164

MILITARY FUNERAL EVOLUTIONS (from the base of the column
of Antoninus)                                                          170

THE APOTHEOSIS OF AN EMPEROR (from the base of the column
of Antoninus)                                                          171

FOR GRAIN                                                              184

HEAD OF NERO, IN THE CAPITOLINE MUSEUM                                 186

THE PONTE NOMENTANO                                                    187

PLAN OF THE ALTA SEMITA                                                191

REMAINS OF GETA'S MAUSOLEUM                                            196

THE TORRE PIGNATTARA                                                   197

THE MAUSOLEUM OF S. CONSTANTIA                                         199

PLAN OF THE IMPERIAL MAUSOLEUM                                         200

PORTRAIT HEADS OF S. PETER AND S. PAUL                                 212

TOMBSTONE OF CORNELIUS                                                 215

PORTRAIT OF POPE CORNELIUS (from a fresco near his grave)              219

THE ATRIUM OF OLD S. PETER'S                                           222

STATUE OF S. GREGORY THE GREAT                                         225

THE ANGEL ON THE MAUSOLEUM OF HADRIAN                                  228

CÆLIAN                                                                 230

INSCRIPTION OF VASSALECTUS                                             238


THE ANTINOUS OF THE BANCA NAZIONALE                                    241

ANCIENT HOUSE IN THE FARNESINA GARDENS                                 263

FARNESINA GARDENS                                                      265

THE JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON                                                271


TOMB OF HELIUS, THE SHOEMAKER                                          274

SARCOPHAGUS OF THE LEUKIPPIDES                                         280

TOMB OF ANNIA REGILLA (FRAGMENT)                                       291

ALLA CAFFARELLA                                                        294

THE BODY OF A GIRL, FOUND IN 1485                                      298

ENTRANCE TO THE CRYPT OF THE FLAVIANS                                  316

CUBICULUM OF JANUARIUS                                                 322

SANCTA VIATRIX                                                         334


THE EXECUTION OF ACILLEUS                                              339

PETRONILLA AND VENERANDA                                               341


LANDSLIP IN THE CEMETERY OF CYRIACA                                    351

INSCRIPTION FROM THE TOMBSTONE OF A DENTIST                            353


SURGEON'S INSTRUMENTS (from a relief on a tombstone)                   353

THE SYMBOLIC SUPPER                                                    357

       *       *       *       *       *

The drawings in this volume, with a few exceptions, are by Harold B.
Warren, of Boston, who also made the drawings for "Ancient Rome in the
Light of Recent Discoveries."




     The early adoption of Christianity not confined to the poorer
     classes.--Instances of Roman nobles who were Christians.--The
     family of the Acilii Glabriones.--Manius Acilius the consul.--Put
     to death because of his religion.--Description of his tomb,
     recently discovered.--Other Christian patricians.--How was it
     possible for men in public office to serve both Christ and
     Cæsar?--The usual liberality of the emperors towards the new
     religion.--Nevertheless an open profession of faith hazardous and
     frequently avoided.--Marriages between Christians and
     pagans.--Apostasy resulting from these.--Curious discovery
     illustrating the attitude of Seneca's family towards
     Christianity.--Christians in the army.--The gradual nature of the
     transformation of Rome.--The significance of the inscription on
     the Arch of Constantine.--The readiness of the early Church to
     adopt pagan customs and even myths.--The curious mixture of pagan
     and Christian conceptions which grew out of this.--Churches
     became repositories for classical works of art, for which new
     interpretations were invented.--The desire of the early
     Christians to make their churches as beautiful as possible.--The
     substitution of Christian shrines for the old pagan altars at
     street corners.--Examples of both.--The bathing accommodations of
     the pagan temples adopted by the Church.--Also the custom of
     providing public standards of weights and measures.--These set up
     in the basilicas.--How their significance became perverted in the
     Dark Ages.--The adoption of funerary banquets and their
     degeneration.--The public store-houses of the emperors and those
     of the popes.--Pagan rose-festivals and their conversion into a
     Christian institution.

It has been contended, and many still believe, that in ancient Rome
the doctrines of Christ found no proselytes, except among the lower
and poorer classes of citizens. That is certainly a noble picture
which represents the new faith as searching among the haunts of
poverty and slavery, seeking to inspire faith, hope, and charity in
their occupants; to transform them from things into human beings; to
make them believe in the happiness of a future life; to alleviate
their present sufferings; to redeem their children from shame and
servitude; to proclaim them equal to their masters. But the gospel
found its way also to the mansions of the masters, nay, even to the
palace of the Cæsars. The discoveries lately made on this subject are
startling, and constitute a new chapter in the history of imperial
Rome. We have been used to consider early Christian history and
primitive Christian art as matters of secondary importance, and hardly
worthy the attention of the classical student. Thus, none of the four
or five hundred volumes on the topography of ancient Rome speaks of
the basilicas raised by Constantine; of the church of S. Maria
Antiqua, built side by side with the Temple of Vesta, the two worships
dwelling together as it were, for nearly a century; of the Christian
burial-grounds; of the imperial mausoleum near S. Peter's; of the
porticoes, several miles in length, which led from the centre of the
city to the churches of S. Peter, S. Paul, and S. Lorenzo; of the
palace of the Cæsars transformed into the residence of the Popes. Why
should these constructions of monumental and historical character be
expelled from the list of classical buildings? and why should we
overlook the fact that many great names in the annals of the empire
are those of members of the Church, especially when the knowledge of
their conversion enables us to explain events that had been, up to the
latest discoveries, shrouded in mystery?

It is a remarkable fact that the record of some of these events should
be found, not in church annals, calendars, or itineraries, but in
passages in the writings of pagan annalists and historians. Thus, in
ecclesiastical documents no mention is made of the conversion of the
two Domitillæ, or Flavius Clemens, or Petronilla, all of whom were
relatives of the Flavian emperors; and of the Acilii Glabriones, the
noblest among the noble, as Herodianus calls them (2, 3). Their
fortunes and death are described only by the Roman historians and
biographers of the time of Domitian. It seems that when the official
_feriale_, or calendar, was resumed, after the end of the
persecutions, preference was given to names of those confessors and
martyrs whose deeds were still fresh in the memory of the living, and
of necessity little attention was paid to those of the first and
second centuries, whose acts either had not been written down, or had
been lost during the persecutions.

As the crypt of the Acilii Glabriones on the Via Salaria has become
one of the chief places of attraction, since its re-discovery in 1888,
I cannot begin this volume under better auspices than by giving an
account of this important event.[2]

In exploring that portion of the Catacombs of Priscilla which lies
under the Monte delle Gioie, near the entrance from the Via Salaria,
de Rossi observed that the labyrinth of the galleries converged
towards an original crypt, shaped like a Greek Γ (Gamma), and
decorated with frescoes. The desire of finding the name and the
history of the first occupants of this noble tomb, whose memory seems
to have been so dear to the faithful, led the explorers to carefully
sift the earth which filled the place; and their pains were rewarded
by the discovery of a fragment of a marble coffin, inscribed with the

[Illustration: Tablet of Acilius Glabrio.]

Did this fragment really belong to the Γ crypt, or had it
been thrown there by mere chance? And in case of its belonging to the
crypt, was it an isolated record, or did it belong to a group of
graves of the Acilii Glabriones? The queries were fully answered by
later discoveries; four inscriptions, naming Manius Acilius ... and
his wife Priscilla, Acilius Rufinus, Acilius Quintianus, and Claudius
Acilius Valerius were found among the débris, so that there is no
doubt as to the ownership of the crypt, and of the chapel which opens
at the end of the longer arm of the Γ.

The Manii Acilii Glabriones attained celebrity in the sixth century of
Rome, when Acilius Glabrio, consul in 563 (B. C. 191), conquered the
Macedonians at the battle of Thermopylai. We have in Rome two records
of his career: the Temple of Piety, erected by him on the west side of
the Forum Olitorium, now transformed into the church of S. Nicola in
Carcere; and the pedestal of the equestrian statue, of gilt bronze,
offered to him by his son, the first of its kind ever seen in Italy,
which was discovered by Valadier in 1808, at the foot of the steps of
the temple, and buried again. Towards the end of the republic we find
them established on the Pincian Hill, where they had built a palace
and laid out gardens which extended at least from the convent of the
Trinità dei Monti to the Villa Borghese.[3] The family had grown so
rapidly to honor, splendor, and wealth, that Pertinax, in the
memorable sitting of the Senate in which he was elected emperor,
proclaimed them the noblest race in the world.

The Glabrio best known in the history of the first century is Manius
Acilius, who was consul with Trajan, A. D. 91. He was put to death by
Domitian in the year 95, as related by Suetonius (_Domit_. 10): "He
caused several senators and ex-consuls to be executed on the charge of
their conspiring against the empire,--_quasi molitores rerum
novarum_,--among them Civica Cerealis, governor of Asia, Salvidienus
Orfitus, and Acilius Glabrio, who had previously been banished from

The expression _molitores rerum novarum_ has a political meaning in
the case of Cerealis and Orfitus, both staunch pagans, and a religious
and political one in the case of Glabrio, a convert to the Christian
faith, called _nova superstitio_ by Suetonius and Tacitus. Other
details of Glabrio's fate are given by Dion Cassius, Juvenal, and
Fronto. We are told by these authors that during his consulship, A. D.
91, and before his banishment, he was compelled by Domitian to fight
against a lion and two bears in the amphitheatre adjoining the
emperor's villa at Albanum. The event created such an impression in
Rome, and its memory lasted so long that, half a century later, we
find it given by Fronto as a subject for a rhetorical composition to
his pupil Marcus Aurelius. The amphitheatre is still in existence, and
was excavated in 1887. Like the one at Tusculum, it is partly hollowed
out of the rocky side of the mountain, partly built of stone and
rubble work. It well deserves a visit from the student and the
tourist, on account of its historical associations, and of the
admirable view which its ruins command of the vine-clad slopes of
Albano and Castel Savello, the wooded plains of Ardea and Lavinium,
the coast of the Tyrrhenian, and the islands of Pontia and Pandataria.

Xiphilinus states that, in the year 95, some members of the imperial
family were condemned by Domitian on the charge of atheism, together
with other leading personages who had embraced "the customs and
persuasion of the Jews," that is, the Christian faith. Manius Acilius
Glabrio, the ex-consul, was implicated in the same trial, and
condemned on the same indictment with the others. Among these the
historian mentions Clemens and Domitilla, who were manifestly
Christians. One particular of the case, related by Juvenal, confirms
the account of Xiphilinus. He says that in order to mitigate the wrath
of the emperor and avoid a catastrophe, Acilius Glabrio, after
fighting the wild beasts at Albanum, assumed an air of stupidity. In
this alleged stupidity it is easy to recognize the prejudice so common
among the pagans, to whom the Christians' retirement from the joys of
the world, their contempt of public honors, and their modest behavior
appeared as _contemptissima inertia_, most despicable laziness. This
is the very phrase used by Suetonius in speaking of Flavius Clemens,
who was murdered by Domitian _ex tenuissima suspicione_, on a very
slight suspicion of his faith.

[Illustration: Map of the Via Salaria.]

Glabrio was put to death in his place of exile, the name of which is
not known. His end helped, no doubt, the propagation of the gospel
among his relatives and descendants, as well as among the servants and
freedmen of the house, as shown by the noble sarcophagi and the
humbler loculi found in such numbers in the crypt of the Catacombs of
Priscilla. The small oratory at the southern end of the crypt seems to
have been consecrated exclusively to the memory of its first occupant,
the ex-consul. The date and the circumstances connected with the
translation of his relics from the place of banishment to Rome are
not known.

Both the chapel and the crypt were found in a state of devastation
hardly credible, as though the plunderers had taken pleasure in
satisfying their vandalic instincts to the utmost. Each of the
sarcophagi was broken into a hundred pieces; the mosaics of the walls
and ceiling had been wrenched from their sockets, cube by cube, the
marble incrustations torn off, the altar dismantled, the bones

When did this wholesale destruction take place? In times much nearer
ours than the reader may imagine. I have been able to ascertain the
date, with the help of an anecdote related by Pietro Sante Bartoli in
§ 144 of his archæological memoirs: "Excavations were made under
Innocent X. (1634-1655), and Clement IX. (1667-1670), in the Monte
delle Gioie, on the Via Salaria, with the hope of discovering a
certain hidden treasure. The hope was frustrated; but, deep in the
bowels of the mound, some crypts were found, encrusted with white
stucco, and remarkable for their neatness and preservation. I have
heard from trustworthy men that the place is haunted by spirits, as is
proved by what happened to them not many months ago. While assembled
on the Monte delle Gioie for a picnic, the conversation turned upon
the ghosts who haunted the crypt below, when suddenly the carriage
which had brought them there, pushed by invisible hands, began to roll
down the slope of the hill, and was ultimately precipitated into the
river Anio at its base. Several oxen had to be used to haul the
vehicle out of the stream. This happened to Tabarrino, butcher at S.
Eustachio, and to his brothers living in the Via Due Macelli, whose
faces still bear marks of the great terror experienced that day."

There is no doubt that the anecdote refers to the tomb of the Acilii
Glabriones, which is cut under the Monte delle Gioie, and is the only
one in the Catacombs of Priscilla remarkable for a coating of white
stucco. Its destruction, therefore, took place under Clement IX., and
was the work of treasure-hunters. And the very nature of clandestine
excavations, which are the work of malicious, ignorant, and suspicious
persons, explains the reason why no mention of the discovery was made
to contemporary archæologists, and the pleasure of re-discovering the
secret of the Acilii Glabriones was reserved for us.

These are by no means the only patricians of high standing whose names
have come to light from the depths of the catacombs. Tacitus (_Annal_.
xiii. 32) tells how Pomponia Græcina, wife of Plautius, the conqueror
of Britain, was accused of "foreign superstition," tried by her
husband, and acquitted. These words long since gave rise to a
conjecture that Pomponia Græcina was a Christian, and recent
discoveries put it beyond doubt. An inscription bearing the name of
ΠΟΜΠΟΝΙΟC ΓΡΗΚΕΙΝΟC has been found in the Cemetery of
Callixtus, together with other records of the Pomponii Attici and
Bassi. Some scholars think that Græcina, the wife of the conqueror of
Britain, is no other than Lucina, the Christian matron who interred
her brethren in Christ in her own property, at the second milestone of
the Appian Way.

Other evidence of the conquests made by the gospel among the
patricians is given by an inscription discovered in March, 1866, in
the Catacombs of Prætextatus, near the monument of Quirinus the
martyr. It is a memorial raised to the memory of his departed wife by
Postumius Quietus, consul A. D. 272. Here also was found the name of
Urania, daughter of Herodes Atticus, by his second wife, Vibullia
Alcia,[4] while on the other side of the road, near S. Sebastiano, a
mausoleum has been found, on the architrave of which the name
URANIOR[UM] is engraved.

In chapter vii. I shall have occasion to refer to many Christian
relatives of the emperors Vespasian and Domitian. Eusebius, in
speaking of these Flavians, and particularly of Domitilla the younger,
niece of Domitian, quotes the authority of the historian Bruttius. He
evidently means Bruttius Præsens, the illustrious friend of Pliny the
younger, and the grandfather of Crispina, the empress of Commodus. In
1854, near the entrance to the crypt of the Flavians, at Torre
Marancia (Via Ardeatina), a fragment of a sarcophagus was found, with
the name of Bruttius Crispinus. If, therefore, the history of
Domitilla's martyrdom was written by the grandfather of Bruttia
Crispina, the empress, it seems probable that the two families were
united not only by the close proximity of their villas and tombs, and
by friendship, but especially by community of religion.

I may also cite the names of several Cornelii, Cæcilii, and Æmilii,
the flower of Roman nobility, grouped near the graves of S. Cæcilia
and Pope Cornelius; of Liberalis, a _consul suffectus_,[5] and a
martyr, whose remains were buried in the Via Salaria; of Jallia
Clementina, a relative of Jallius Bassus, consul before A. D. 161; of
Catia Clementina, daughter or relative of Catius, consul A. D. 230, not
to speak of personages of equestrian rank, whose names have been
collected in hundreds.

A difficulty may arise in the mind of the reader: how was it possible
for these magistrates, generals, consuls, officers, senators, and
governors of provinces, to attend to their duties without performing
acts of idolatry? In chapter xxxvii. of the Apology, Tertullian says:
"We are but of yesterday, yet we fill every place that belongs to you,
cities, islands, outposts; we fill your assemblies, camps, tribes and
decuries; the imperial palace, the Senate, the forum; we only leave to
you your temples." But here lies the difficulty; how could they fill
these places, and leave the temples?

First of all, the Roman emperors gave plenty of liberty to the new
religion from time to time; and some of them, moved by a sort of
religious syncretism, even tried to ally it with the official worship
of the empire, and to place Christ and Jupiter on the steps of the
same _lararium_. The first attempt of the kind is attributed to
Tiberius; he is alleged to have sent a message to the Senate
requesting that Christ should be included among the gods, on the
strength of the official report written by Pontius Pilatus of the
passion and death of our Lord. Malala says that Nero made honest
inquiries about the new religion, and that, at first, he showed
himself rather favorable towards it; a fact not altogether improbable,
if we take into consideration the circumstances of Paul's appeal, his
absolution, and his relations with Seneca, and with the converts _de
domo Cæsaris_, "of the house of Cæsar." Lampridius, speaking of the
religious sentiments of Alexander Severus, says: "He was determined to
raise a temple to Christ, and enlisted him among the gods; a project
attributed also to Hadrian. There is no doubt that Hadrian ordered
temples to be erected in every city to an unknown god; and because
they have no statue we still call them temples of Hadrian. He is said
to have prepared them for Christ; but to have been deterred from
carrying his plan into execution by the consideration that the temples
of the old gods would become deserted, and the whole population turn
Christian, _omnes christianos futuros_."[6]

The freedom enjoyed by the Church under Caracalla is proved by the
_graffiti_ of the Domus Gelotiana, described in my "Ancient Rome."[7]
The one caricaturing the crucifixion, which is reproduced on p. 122 of
that volume, stands by no means alone in certifying to the spreading
of the faith in the imperial palace. The name of Alexamenos, "the
faithful," is repeated thrice. There is also a name, LIBANUS, under
which another hand has written EPISCOPUS, and, lower down, LIBANUS
EPI[SCOPUS]. It is very likely a joke on Libanus, a Christian page
like Alexamenos, whom his fellow-disciples had nicknamed "the bishop."
It is true that the title is not necessarily Christian, having been
used sometimes to denote a municipal officer;[8] but this can hardly
be the case in an assembly of youths, like the one of the Domus
Gelotiana; and the connection between the _graffiti_ of Libanus and
those of Alexamenos seems evident. In reading these _graffiti_, now
very much injured by dampness, exposure, and the unscrupulous hands of
tourists, we are really witnessing household quarrels between pagan
and Christian dwellers in the imperial palace, in one of which
Caracalla, when still young, saw one of his playmates struck and
punished on account of his Christian origin and persuasion.

Septimius Severus and Caracalla issued a constitution,[9] which
opened to the Jews the way to the highest honors, making the
performance of such ceremonies as were in opposition to the principles
of their faith optional with them. What was granted to the Jews by the
law of the empire may have been permitted also to the Christians by
the personal benevolence of the emperors.

When Elagabalus collected, or tried to collect, in his own private
chapel the gods and the holiest relics of the universe, he did not
forget Christ and his doctrine.[10] Alexander Severus, the best of
Roman rulers, gave full freedom to the Church; and once, the
Christians having taken possession of a public place on which the
_popinarii_, or tavern-keepers, claimed rights, Alexander gave
judgment in favor of the former, saying it was preferable that the
_place_ should serve for divine worship, rather than for the sale of

[Illustration: Portrait Bust of Philip the Younger.]

There can scarcely be any doubt that the emperor Philip the Arab
(Marcus Julius Philippus, A. D. 244), his wife Otacilia Severa, and
his son Philip the younger were Christians, and friends of S.
Hippolytus. Still, in spite of these periods of peace and freedom of
the Church, we cannot be blind to the fact that for a Christian
nobleman wishing to make a career, the position was extremely
hazardous. Hence we frequently see baptism deferred until mature or
old age, and strange situations and even acts of decided apostasy
created by mixed marriages.

The wavering between public honors and Christian retirement is
illustrated by some incidents in the life of Licentius, a disciple of
S. Augustine. Licentius was the son of Romanianus, a friend and
countryman of Augustine; and when the latter retired to the villa of
Verecundus, after his conversion, in the year 386, Licentius, who had
attended his lectures on eloquence at Milan, followed him to his
retreat. He appears as one of the speakers in the academic disputes
which took place in the villa.[12] In 396, Licentius, who had followed
his master to Africa, seduced by the hopes of a brilliant career,
determined to settle in Rome. Augustine, deeply grieved at losing his
beloved pupil, wrote to call him back, and entreated him to turn his
face from the failing promises of the world. The appeal had no effect,
and no more had the epistles, in prose and verse, addressed to him for
the same purpose by Paulinus of Nola. Licentius, after finishing the
course of philosophy, being scarcely a catechumen, and a very unsteady
one at that, entered a career for public honors. Paulinus of Nola
describes him as aiming not only at a consulship, but also at a pagan
pontificate, and reproaches and pities him for his behavior. After
this, we lose sight of Licentius in history, but a discovery made at
S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura in December, 1862, tells us the end of the
tale. A marble sarcophagus was found, containing his body, and his
epitaph. This shows that Licentius died in Rome in 406, after having
reached the end of his desires, a place in the Senate; and that he
died a Christian, and was buried near the tomb of S. Lorenzo. This
sarcophagus, hardly noticed by visitors in spite of its great
historical associations, is preserved in the vestibule of the
Capitoline Museum.

[Illustration: Inscription found near the Porta del Popolo, 1877.]

As regards mixed marriages, a discovery made in 1877, near the Porta
del Popolo, has revealed a curious state of things. In demolishing one
of the towers by which Sixtus IV. had flanked that gate, we found a
fragment of an inscription of the second century, containing these
strange and enigmatic words: "If any one dare to do injury to this
structure, or to otherwise disturb the peace of her who is buried
inside, because she, my daughter, has been [or has appeared to be] a
pagan among the pagans, and a Christian among the Christians" ... Here
followed the specification of the penalties which the violator of the
tomb would incur. It was thought at first that the phrase _quod inter
fedeles fidelis fuit, inter alienos pagana fuit_ had been dictated by
the father as a jocose hint of the religious inconsistency of the
girl; but such an explanation can hardly be accepted. A passage of
Tertullian in connection with mixed marriages leads us to the true
understanding of the epitaph. In the second book Ad Uxorem, Tertullian
describes the state of habitual apostasy to which Christian girls
marrying gentiles willingly exposed or submitted themselves,
especially when the husband was kept in ignorance of the religion of
the bride. He mentions the risks they would incur of betraying their
conscience by accompanying their husbands to state or civil
ceremonies, thus sanctioning acts of idolatry by the mere fact of
their presence. In the book De Corona, he concludes his argument with
the words: "These are the reasons why we do not marry infidels,
because such marriages lead us back to idolatry and superstition." The
girl buried on the Via Flaminia, by the modern Porta del Popolo, must
have been born of a Christian mother and a good-natured pagan father;
still, it seems hardly consistent with the respect which the ancients
had for tombs that he should be allowed to write such extraordinary
words on that of his own daughter.

We must not believe, however, that gentiles and Christians lived
always at swords' points. Italians in general, and Romans in
particular, are noted for their great tolerance in matters of
religion, which sometimes degenerates into apathy and indifference.
Whether it be a sign of feebleness of character, or of common sense,
the fact is, that religious feuds have never been allowed to prevail
among us. In no part of the world have the Jews enjoyed more freedom
and tolerance than in the Roman Ghetto. The same feelings prevailed in
imperial Rome, except for occasional outbursts of passion, fomented by
the official persecutors.

[Illustration: Inscription in a tomb of the Via Severiana at Ostia.]

An inscription was discovered at Ostia, in January, 1867, in a tomb of
the Via Severiana, of which I append an accurate copy.

The tomb and the inscription are purely pagan, as shown by the
invocation to the infernal gods, Diis Manibus. This being the case,
how can we account for the names of Paul and Peter, which, taken
separately, give great probability, and taken together give almost
absolute certainty, of having been adopted in remembrance of the two
apostles? One circumstance may help us to explain the case: the
preference shown for the name of Paul over that of Peter; the former
was borne by both father and son, the latter appears only as a surname
given to the son. This fact is not without importance, if we recollect
that the two men who show such partiality for the name of Paul belong
to the family of Anneus Seneca, the philosopher, whose friendship with
the apostle has been made famous by a tradition dating at least from
the beginning of the fourth century. The tradition rests on a
foundation of truth. The apostle was tried and judged in Corinth by
the proconsul Marcus Anneus Gallio, brother of Seneca; in Rome he was
handed over to Afranius Burro, prefect of the prætorium, and an
intimate friend of Seneca. We know, also, that the presence of the
prisoner, and his wonderful eloquence in preaching the new faith,
created a profound sensation among the members of the prætorium and of
the imperial household. His case must have been inquired into by the
philosopher himself, who happened to be _consul suffectus_ at the
time. The modest tombstone, discovered by accident among the ruins of
Ostia, gives us the evidence of the bond of sympathy and esteem
established, in consequence of these events, between the Annei and the
founders of the Church in Rome.

Its resemblance to the name of the Annei reminds me of another
remarkable discovery connected with the same city, and with the same
question. There lived at Ostia, towards the middle of the second
century, a manufacturer of pottery and terracottas, named Annius
Ser......, whose lamps were exported to many provinces of the empire.
These lamps are generally ornamented with the image of the Good
Shepherd; but they show also types which are decidedly pagan, such as
the labors of Hercules, Diana the huntress, etc. It has been surmised
that Annius Ser...... was converted to the gospel, and that the
adoption of the symbolic figure of the Redeemer on his lamps was a
result of his change of religion; but to explain the case it is not
necessary to accept this theory. I believe he was a pagan, and that
the lamps with the Good Shepherd were produced by him to order, and
from a design supplied to him by a member of the local congregation.

[Illustration: Lamp of Annius Ser......, with figure of the Good

Another question concerning the behavior of early Christians has
reference to their military service under the imperial eagles, and to
the cases of conscience which may have arisen from it. On this I may
refer the reader to the works of Mamachi, Lami, Baumgarten, Le Blant,
and de Rossi,[13] who have discussed the subject thoroughly. Speaking
from the point of view of material evidence, I have to record several
discoveries which prove that officers and men of the _cohortes
prætoriæ_ and _urbanæ_ could serve with equal loyalty their God and
their sovereign.

In November, 1885, I was present at the discovery of a marble
sarcophagus in the military burial-grounds of the Via Salaria,
opposite the gate of the Villa Albani. It bore two inscriptions, one
on the lid, the other on the body. The first defies
interpretation;[14] the second mentions the name of a little girl,
Publia Ælia Proba, who was the daughter of a captain of the ninth
battalion of the prætorians, and a lady named Clodia Plautia. They
were all Christians; but for a reason unknown to us, they avoided
making a show of their persuasion, and were buried among the gentiles.

Another stray Christian military tomb, erected by a captain of the
sixth battalion, named Claudius Ingenuus, was found, in 1868, in the
Vigna Grandi, near S. Sebastiano. Here also we find the intention of
avoiding an open profession of faith. A regular cemetery of Christian
prætorians was found in the spring of the same year by Marchese
Francesco Patrizi, in his villa adjoining the prætorian camp. It is
neither large nor interesting, and it seems to prove that the gospel
must have made but few proselytes in the imperial barracks.

       *       *       *       *       *

We must not believe that the transformation of Rome from a pagan into
a Christian city was a sudden and unexpected event, which took the
world by surprise. It was the natural result of the work of three
centuries, brought to maturity under Constantine by an inevitable
reaction against the violence of Diocletian's rule. It was not a
revolution or a conversion in the true sense of these words; it was
the official recognition of a state of things which had long ceased to
be a secret. The moral superiority of the new doctrines over the old
religions was so evident, so overpowering, that the result of the
struggle had been a foregone conclusion since the age of the first
apologists. The revolution was an exceedingly mild one, the
transformation almost imperceptible. No violence was resorted to, and
the tolerance and mutual benevolence so characteristic of the Italian
race was adopted as the fundamental policy of State and Church.

The transformation may be followed stage by stage in both its moral
and material aspect. There is not a ruin of ancient Rome that does not
bear evidence of the great change. Many institutions and customs still
flourishing in our days are of classical origin, and were adopted, or
tolerated, because they were not in opposition to Christian
principles. Beginning with the material side of the question, the
first monument to which I have to refer is the Arch of Constantine,
raised in 315 at the foot of the Palatine, where the Via Triumphalis
diverges from the Sacra Via.

The importance of this arch, from the point of view of the question
treated in this chapter, rests not on its sculptured panels and
medallions,--spoils taken at random from older structures, from which
the arch has received the nickname of Æsop's crow (_la cornacchia di
Esopo_),--but on the inscription engraved on each side of the attic.
"The S. P. Q. R. have dedicated this triumphal arch to Constantine,
because _instinctu divinitatis_ (by the will of God), and by his own
virtue, etc., he has liberated the country from the tyrant [Maxentius]
and his faction." The opinion long prevailed among archæologists that
the words _instinctu divinitatis_ were not original, but added after
Constantine's conversion. Cardinal Mai thought that the original
formula was _diis faventibus_, "by the help of the gods," while Henzen
suggested _nutu Iovis optimi maximi_, "by the will of Jupiter."
Cavedoni was the first to declare that the inscription had never been
altered, and that the two memorable words--the first proclaiming
officially the name of the true God in the face of imperial
Rome--belonged to the original text, sanctioned by the Senate. The
controversy was settled in 1863, when Napoleon III. obtained from the
Pope the permission to make a plaster cast of the arch. With the help
of the scaffolding, the scholars of the time examined the inscription,
the shape of each letter, the holes of the bolts by which the
gilt-bronze letters were fastened, the joints of the marble blocks,
the color and quality of the marble, and decided unanimously that the
inscription had never been tampered with, and that none of its letters
had been changed.


The arch was raised in 315. Was Constantine openly professing his
faith at that time? Opinions are divided. Some think he must have
waited until the defeat of Licinius in 323; others suggest the year
311 as a more probable date of his profession. The supporters of the
first theory quote in its favor the fact that the pagan symbols and
images of gods appear on coins struck by Constantine and his sons; but
this fact is easily explained, when we consider that the coinage of
bronze was a privilege of the Senate, and that the Senate was pagan by
a large majority. Many of Constantine's constitutions and official
letters speak in favor of an early declaration of faith. When the
Donatists appealed to him from the verdict of the councils of Arles
and Rome, he wrote to the bishops: _Meum judicium postulant, qui ipse
judicium Christi expecto_: "They appeal to me, when I myself must be
judged by Christ." The verdict of the council of Rome against the
sectarians was rendered on October 2, 313, in the "palace of Fausta in
the Lateran;" the imperial palace of the Lateran, therefore, had
already been handed over to the bishop of Rome, and a portion of it
turned into a place of worship. The basilica of the Lateran still
retains its title of "Mother and head of all churches of Rome, and of
the world," ranking above those of S. Peter and S. Paul in respect to

Such being the state of affairs when the triumphal arch was erected,
nothing prevents us from believing those two words to be original, and
to express the relations then existing between the first Christian
emperor and the old pagan Senate. At all events, nothing is more
uncompromising than these two words, because the titles of _Deus
summus, Deus altissimus, magnus, æternus_, are constantly found on
monuments pertaining to the worship of Atys and Mithras. "These
words," concludes de Rossi, "far from being a profession of
Christianity engraved on the arch at a later period, are simply a
'moyen terme,' a compromise, between the feelings of the Senate and
those of the emperor."[15]

Many facts related by contemporary documents prove that the change of
religion was, at the beginning, a personal affair with the emperor,
and not a question of state; the emperor was a Christian, but the old
rules of the empire were not interfered with. In dealing with his
pagan subjects Constantine showed so much tact and impartiality as to
cast doubts upon the sincerity of his conversion. He has been accused
of having accepted from the people of Hispellum (Spello, in Umbria),
the honor of a temple, and from the inhabitants of Roman Africa that
of a priesthood for the worship of his own family (_sacerdotium Flaviæ
gentis_). The exculpation is given by Constantine himself in his
address of thanks to the Hispellates: "We are pleased and grateful for
your determination to raise a temple in honor of our family and of
ourselves; and we accept it, provided you do not contaminate it with
superstitious practices." The honor of a temple and of a priesthood,
therefore, was offered and accepted as a political demonstration, as
an act of loyalty, and as an occasion for public festivities, both
inaugural and anniversary.

[Illustration: Picture of Orpheus found in the Catacombs of

In accepting rites and customs which were not offensive to her
principles and morality, the Church showed equal tact and foresight,
and contributed to the peaceful accomplishment of the transformation.
These rites and customs, borrowed from classical times, are nowhere so
conspicuous as in Rome. Giovanni Marangoni, a scholar of the last
century, wrote a book on this subject which is full of valuable
information.[16] The subject is so comprehensive, and in a certain
sense so well known, that I must satisfy myself by mentioning only a
few particulars connected with recent discoveries. First, as to
symbolic images allowed in churches and cemeteries. Of Orpheus playing
on the lyre, while watching his flock, as a substitute for the Good
Shepherd, there have been found in the catacombs four paintings, two
reliefs on sarcophagi, one engraving on a gem. Here is the latest
representation discovered, from the Catacombs of Priscilla (1888).

[Illustration: The Four Seasons, from the Imperial Palace, Ostia.]

The belief that the sibyls had prophesied the advent of Christ made
their images popular. The church of the Aracœli is particularly
associated with them, because tradition refers the origin of its name
to an altar--ARA PRIMOGENITI DEI--raised to the son of God by the
emperor Augustus, who had been warned of his advent by the sibylline
books. For this reason the figures of Augustus and of the Tiburtine
sibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar.
They have actually been given the place of honor in this church; and
formerly, when at Christmas time the _Presepio_ was exhibited in the
second chapel on the left, they occupied the front row, the sibyl
pointing out to Augustus the Virgin and the Bambino who appeared in
the sky in a halo of light. The two figures, carved in wood, have now
disappeared; they were given away or sold thirty years ago, when a new
set of images was offered to the _Presepio_ by prince Alexander
Torlonia. Prophets and sibyls appear also in Renaissance monuments;
they were modelled by della Porta in the Santa Casa at Loretto,
painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel, by Raphael in S. Maria
della Pace, by Pinturicchio in the Borgia apartments, engraved by
Baccio Baldini, a contemporary of Sandro Botticelli, and "graffite" by
Matteo di Giovanni in the pavement of the Duomo at Siena.

The images of the Four Seasons are not uncommon on Christian
sarcophagi. The latest addition to this class of subjects is to be
found in the church of S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane. Four medallions of
polychrome mosaic, representing the _Hiems_, _Ver_, _Æstas_, and
_Autumnus_, discovered in the so-called imperial palace at Ostia, were
inserted in the pavement of this church by order of Pius IX. Galenus
and Hippokrates, manipulating medicines and cordials, were painted in
the lower basilica at Anagni, Hermes Trismegistos was represented in
mosaic in the Duomo of Siena, the labors of Hercules were carved in
ivory in the cathedra of S. Peter's. Montfaucon describes the tomb of
the poet Sannazzaro in the church of the Olivetans, Naples, as
ornamented with the statues of Apollo and Minerva, and with groups of
satyrs. In the eighteenth century the ecclesiastical authorities tried
to give a less profane aspect to the composition, by engraving the
name of David under the Apollo, and of Judith under the Minerva.
Another mixture of sacred and profane conceptions is to be found in
the names of some of our Roman churches,--as S. Maria in Minerva, S.
Stefano del Cacco (Kynokephalos), S. Lorenzo in Matuta, S. Salvatore
in Tellure, all conspicuous landmarks in the history of the
transformation of Rome.

I shall mention one more instance. The portrait bust of S. Paul, of
silver gilt, from the chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum, was loaded with
gems and intaglios of Greek or Græco-Roman workmanship, among which
was a magnificent cameo with the portrait-head of Nero, which had been
worn, most probably, by the very murderer of the apostle.[17]

[Illustration: Ancient Candelabrum in the church of SS. Nereo ed

In the next chapter I shall speak of ancient temples as museums of
statuary, galleries of pictures, and cabinets of precious objects. I
need not describe the acceptance and development of this tradition by
the Church. To it we are indebted for the inexhaustible wealth in
works of art of every kind, of which Italy is so proud. But in the
period which elapsed between the fall of the empire and the foundation
of the Cosmati school, the Christians were compelled, by the want of
contemporary productions, to borrow works of art and decorative
fragments from temples, palaces, and tombs. The gallery of the
Candelabra, in the Vatican museum, has been formed mostly of
specimens formerly set up in churches. The accompanying cut represents
the candelabrum still existing in the church of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo,
one of the most exquisite and delicate works of the kind. The Biga, or
two-horse chariot, in the Vatican, was used for centuries as an
episcopal throne in the choir of S. Mark's. In the church of the
Aracœli there was an altar dedicated to Isis by some one who had
returned safely from a perilous journey. This bore the conventional
emblem of two footprints, which were believed by the Christians to be
the footprints of the angel seen by Gregory the Great on the summit of
Hadrian's tomb. Philip de Winghe describes them as those of a _puer
quinquennis_, a boy five years old.[18] This curious relic has been
removed to the Capitoline Museum.

The indifference with which these profane and sometimes offensive
works were admitted within sacred edifices is astonishing. The high
altar in the church of S. Teodoro was supported, until 1703, by a
round _ara_, on the rim of which the following words are now engraved:
"On this marble of the gentiles incense was offered to the gods."
Another altar, in the church of S. Michele in Borgo, was covered with
bas-reliefs and legends belonging to the superstition of Cybele and
Atys; a third, in the church of the Aracœli, had been dedicated to
the goddess Annona by an importer of wheat. The pavement of the
basilica of S. Paul was patched with nine hundred and thirty-one
miscellaneous inscriptions; and so were those of S. Martino ai Monti,
S. Maria in Trastevere, SS. Giovanni e Paolo, etc. We have one
specimen left of these inscribed pavements in the church of SS.
Quattro Coronati on the Cælian, which may be called an epigraphic

[Illustration: The Templum Sacræ Urbis (SS. Cosma e Damiano).]

In the third chapter I shall have occasion to describe the
transformation of nearly all the great public buildings of imperial
Rome into places of Christian worship, but it falls within the scope
of this chapter to remark that, in many instances, the pagan
decorations of those buildings were not affected by the change. When
Felix IV. took possession of the _templum sacræ urbis_, and dedicated
it to SS. Cosma and Damianus, the walls of the building were covered
with incrustations of the time of Septimius Severus representing the
wolf and other profane emblems. Pope Felix not only accepted them as
an ornament to his church, but tried to copy them in the apse which he
rebuilt. The same process was followed by Pope Simplicius (A. D.
468-483), in transforming the basilica of Junius Bassus on the
Esquiline into the church of S. Andrea.[19] The faithful, raising
their eyes towards the tribune, could see the figures of Christ and
his apostles in mosaic; turning to the side walls, they could see
Nero, Galba, and six other Roman emperors, Diana hunting the stag,
Hylas stolen by the nymphs, Cybele on the chariot drawn by lions, a
lion attacking a centaur, the chariot of Apollo, figures performing
mysterious Egyptian rites, and other such profanities, represented in
_opus sectile marmoreum_, a sort of Florentine mosaic. This unique set
of intarsios was destroyed in the sixteenth century by the French
Antonian monks for a reason worth relating. They believed that the
glutinous substance by which the layer of marble or mother-of-pearl
was kept fast was an excellent remedy against the ague; hence every
time one of them was attacked by fever, a portion of those marvellous
works was sacrificed. Fever must have raged quite fiercely among the
French monks, because when this wanton practice was stopped, only
four pictures were left. Two are now preserved in the church of S.
Antonio, in the chapel of the saint; two in the Palazzo Albani del
Drago alle Quattro Fontane, on the landing of the stairs.[20]

[Illustration: Mosaic from the church of S. Andrea.]

Intarsios of the same kind have been seen and described in the
basilica of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, in the church of S. Stefano
Rotondo, in that of S. Adriano, etc. When the offices adjoining the
Senate Hall were transformed into the church of S. Martina, the side
walls were adorned with the bas-reliefs of the triumphal arch of M.
Aurelius, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (first landing, nos. 42,
43, 44). One of them, representing the emperor sacrificing before the
Temple of Jupiter, is given opposite page 90.

The decoration of the churches, like that of the temples, was mostly
done by private contributions and gifts of works of art. The laying
out of the pavement, for instance, or the painting of the walls was
apportioned to voluntary subscribers, each of whom was entitled to
inscribe his name on his section of the work. The pavement of the
lower basilica of Parenzo, in Dalmatia, is divided into mosaic panels
of various sizes, representing vases, wreaths, fish, and animals; and
to each panel is appended the name of the contributor:--

"Lupicinus and Pascasia made one hundred [square] feet.

"Clamosus and Successa, one hundred feet.

"Felicissimus and his relatives, one hundred feet.

"Fausta, the patrician, and her relatives, sixty feet.

"Claudia, devout woman, and her niece Honoria, made one hundred and
ten feet, in fulfilment of a vow."[21]

Theseus killing the Minotaur in the labyrinth of Crete, and labyrinths
in general, were favorite subjects for church pavements, especially
among the Gauls. The custom is very ancient, a labyrinth having been
represented in the church of S. Vitale at Ravenna as early as the
sixth century. Those of the cathedral at Lucca, of S. Michele Maggiore
at Pavia, of S. Savino at Piacenza, of S. Maria in Trastevere at Rome
(destroyed in the restoration of 1867), are of a later date. The image
of Theseus is accompanied by a legend in the "leonine" rhythm:--

    _Theseus intravit, monstrumque biforme necavit._

The symbolism of the subject is explained thus: The labyrinth, so easy
of access, but from which no one can escape, is symbolical of human
life. At the time of the Crusades, church labyrinths began to be used
for a practical purpose. The faithful were wont to go over the
meandering paths on their knees, murmuring prayers in memory of the
passion of the Lord. Under the influence of this practice the classic
and Carolingian name--labyrinth--was forgotten; and the new one of
_rues de Jerusalem_, or _leagues_, adopted. The _rues de Jerusalem_ in
the cathedral at Chartres, designed in blue marble, were 666 feet
long; and it took an hour to finish the pilgrimage. Later the
labyrinths lost their religious meaning, and became a pastime for
idlers and children. The one in the church at Saint-Omer has been
destroyed, because the celebration of the office was often disturbed
by irreverent visitors trying the sport.[22]

In Rome we have several instances of these private artistic
contributions in the service of churches. The pavement of S. Maria in
Cosmedin is the joint offering of many parishioners; and so were those
of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura and S. Maria Maggiore before their modern
restoration. The names of Beno de Rapiza, his wife Maria Macellaria,
and his children Clement and Attilia are attached to the frescoes of
the lower church of S. Clemente; and that of Beno alone to the
paintings of S. Urbano alla Caffarella. In the apse of S. Sebastiano
in Pallara, on the Palatine, and in that of S. Saba on the Aventine,
we read the names of a Benedictus and of a Saba, at whose expense the
apses were decorated.

We cannot help following with emotion the development of this artistic
feeling even among the lowest classes of mediæval Rome.[23] We read of
an Ægidius, son of Hippolytus, a shoemaker of the Via Arenula, leaving
his substance to the church of S. Maria de Porticù, with the request
that it should be devoted to the building of a chapel, "handsome and
handsomely painted, so that everybody should take delight in looking
at it." Such feelings, exceptional in many Italian provinces, were
common throughout Tuscany. When the triptych of Duccio Buoninsegna,
now in the "Casa dell' opera" at Siena, was carried from his studio to
the Duomo, June 9, 1310, the whole population followed in a triumphant
procession. Renzo di Maitano, another Sienese artist of fame, had the
soul of a poet. He was the first to advocate the erection of a church,
"grand, beautiful, magnificent, whose just proportions in height,
breadth, and length should so harmonize with the details of the
decoration as to make it decorous and solemn, and worthy of the
worship of Christ in hymns and canticles, for the protection and glory
of the city of Siena." So spoke the artists of that age, and their
language was understood and felt by the multitudes. Their lives were
made bright and cheerful in spite of the troubles and misfortunes
which weighed upon their countries. Think of such sentiments in our

[Illustration: THE TRANSLATION OF S. CYRIL'S REMAINS (Fresco in S.
Clemente, done at the order of Maria Macellaria)]

But I am digressing from my subject. Another step of the religious and
material transformation of the city is marked by the substitution of
chapels and shrines for the old _aræ compitales_, at the crossings of
the main thoroughfares. The institution of altars in honor of the
_Lares_, or guardian genii of each ward or quarter, is ancient, and
can be traced to prehistoric times. When Servius Tullius enclosed the
city with his walls, there were twenty-four such altars, called
_sacraria Argeorum_. Two facts speak in favor of their remote
antiquity. The priestess of Jupiter was not allowed to sacrifice on
them, unless in a savage attire, with hair unkempt and untrimmed. On
the 17th of May, the Vestals used to throw into the Tiber, from the
Sublician bridge, manikins of wickerwork, in commemoration of the
human sacrifices once performed on the same altars.

When Augustus reorganized the capital and its wards, in the year 7
B. C., the number of street-shrines had grown to more than two hundred.
Two hundred and sixty-five were registered, A. D. 73, in the census
of Vespasian; three hundred and twenty-four at the time of
Constantine. A man of much leisure, and evidently of no occupation,
the cavaliere Alessandro Rufini, numbered and described the shrines
and images which lined the streets of Rome in the year 1853. As modern
civilization and indifference will soon obliterate this historical
feature of the city, I quote some results of Rufini's
investigations.[24] There were 1,421 images of the Madonna, 1,318
images of saints, ornamented with 1,928 precious objects, and 110
ex-votos; 1,067 lamps were kept burning day and night before them,--a
most useful institution in a city whose streets have not been
regularly lighted until recent years.

[Illustration: The Shrine and Altar of Mercurius Sobrius.]

As prototypes of a classical and Christian street-shrine,
respectively, we may take the _ædicula compitalis_ of Mercurius
Sobrius, discovered in April, 1888, near S. Martino ai Monti, and the
_immagine di Ponte_, at the corner of the Via dei Coronari and the
Vicolo del Micio. The shrine of Mercury near S. Martino was dedicated
by Augustus, in the year 10 B. C. The inscription engraved on the
front of the altar says: "The emperor Augustus dedicated this shrine
to Mercury in the year of the City, 744, from money received as a
new-year's gift, during his absence from Rome."

Suetonius (Chapter 57) says that every year, on January 1, all classes
of citizens climbed the Capitol and offered _strenæ calendariæ_ to
Augustus, when he was absent; and that the emperor, with his usual
generosity, appropriated the money to the purchase of _pretiosissima
deorum simulacra_, "the most valuable statues of gods," to be set up
at the crossings of thoroughfares. Four pedestals of these statues
have already been found: one near the Arch of Titus, at the beginning
of the sixteenth century; one, in 1548, near the Senate House; one, in
the same year, by the Arch of Septimius Severus. The fourth pedestal,
that recently discovered near S. Martino ai Monti, was raised at the
crossing of two important streets, the _clivus suburanus_ (Via di S.
Lucia in Selci), and the _vicus sobrius_ (Via dei Quattro Cantoni),
from which the statue was nicknamed _Mercurius Sobrius_, "Mercury the

The _immagine di Ponte_, in the Via dei Coronari, the prototype of
modern shrines, contains an image of the Virgin in a graceful niche
built, or re-built, in 1523, by Alberto Serra of Monferrato, from
designs by Antonio da Sangallo. Its name is derived from that of the
lane leading to the Ponte S. Angelo (Canale di Ponte). The house to
which it belongs is No. 113 Via dei Coronari, and No. 5 Vicolo del

Monumental crosses were sometimes erected instead of shrines. Count
Giovanni Gozzadini has called the attention of archæologists to this
subject in a memoir "Sulle croci monumentali che erano nelle vie di
Bologna del secolo XIII." He proves from the texts of historians,
Fathers, and councils that the practice of erecting crosses at the
junction of the main streets is very ancient, and belongs to the first
century of the freedom of the Church, when the faithful withdrew the
emblem of Christ from the catacombs, and raised it in opposition to
the street shrines of the gentiles. Bologna has the privilege of
possessing the oldest of these crosses. One bears the legend "In the
name of God; this cross, erected long since by Barbatus, was renewed
under the bishopric of Vitalis (789-814)." This class of monuments
abounds in Rome, although it belongs to a comparatively recent age.
Such are the crosses before the churches of SS. Sebastiano, Cesareo,
Nereo ed Achilleo, Pancrazio, Lorenzo, Francesco a Ripa, and others.

The most curious and interesting is perhaps the column of Henry IV. of
France, which was erected under Clement VIII. in front of S. Antonio
all' Esquilino, and which the modern generation has concealed in a
recess on the east side of S. Maria Maggiore. It is in the form of a
culverin--a long slender cannon of the period--standing upright. From
the muzzle rises a marble cross supporting the figure of Christ on one
side, and that of the Virgin on the other. It was erected by Charles
d'Anisson, prior of the French Antonians, to commemorate the
absolution given by Clement VIII. to Henry IV. of France and Navarre,
on September 17 of the year 1595. The monument has a remarkable
history. Although apparently erected by private enterprise, the kings
of France regarded it as an insult of the Curia, an official boast of
their submission to the Pope; and they lost no opportunity of showing
their dissatisfaction in consequence. Louis XIV. found an occasion for
revenge. The gendarmes who had escorted his ambassador, the duc de
Crequi, to Rome, had a street brawl with the Pope's Corsican
body-guards; and although it was doubtful which side was to blame,
Louis obliged Pope Alexander VII. to raise a pyramid on the spot where
the affray had taken place, with the following humiliating

"In denunciation of the murderous attack committed by the Corsican
soldiers against his Excellency the duc de Crequi, Pope Alexander VII.
declares their nation deprived forever of the privilege of serving
under the flag of the Church. This monument was erected May 21, 1664,
according to the agreement made at Pisa."

The revenge could not have been more complete; so bitter was it that
Alexander VII. drew a violent protest against it, to be read and
published only after his death. His successor, Clement IX., a favorite
with Louis XIV., obtained leave that the pyramid should be demolished,
which was done in June, 1668, with the consent of the French
ambassador, the duc de Chaulnes. Whether by stipulation or by the good
will of the Pope, the inscription of the column of Henry IV. was made
to disappear at the same time. We have found it concealed in a remote
corner of the convent of S. Antonio.[25] The column itself, and the
canopy which sheltered it, fell to the ground on Thursday, February
15, 1744; and when Benedict XIV. restored the monument in the
following year, he severed forever its connection with these
remarkable historical events, by dedicating it DEIPARÆ VIRGINI. Having
been dismantled in 1875, during the construction of the Esquiline
quarter, it was reërected in 1880, not far from its original place, on
the east side of S. Maria Maggiore,--not without opposition, because
there are always men who think they can obliterate history by
suppressing monuments which bear testimony to it.

One of the characteristics of ancient sanctuaries, by which the weary
pilgrim was provided with bathing accommodations, is also to be found
in the old churches of Rome. We are told in the "Liber Pontificalis"
that Pope Symmachus (498-514), while building the basilica of S.
Pancrazio, on the Via Aurelia, _fecit in eadem balneum_, "provided it
with a bath." Another was erected by the same Pope near the apse of
S. Paolo fuori le Mura, the supply of water of which was originally
derived from a spring; later from wheels, or noriahs, established on
the banks of the Tiber. Notices were written on the walls of these
bathing apartments, warning laymen and priests to observe the
strictest rules of modesty. One of these inscriptions, from the baths
annexed to the churches of SS. Sylvester and Martin, is preserved in
section II. of the Christian epigraphic museum of the Lateran. It ends
with the distich:--


"There is no harm in seeking strength and purity of body in baths; it
is not water but our own bad actions that make us sin." These verses
are not so good as their moral; but inscriptions like this prove that
the abandonment of such useful institutions must be attributed not to
the undue severity of Christian morality, but to the ruin of the
aqueducts by which fountains and baths were fed. However, even in the
darkest period of the Middle Ages we find the traditional "kantharos,"
or basin, in the centre of the quadri-porticoes or courts by which the
basilicas were entered. Such is the vase in the court of S. Cæcilia,
represented on the next page, and that in front of S. Cosimato in
Trastevere; and such is the famous _calix marmoreus_, which formerly
stood near the church of SS. Apostoli, mentioned in the Bull of John
III. (A. D. 570), by which the boundary line of that parish was
determined. This historical monument, a prominent landmark in the
topography of mediæval Rome, was removed to the Baths of Diocletian at
the beginning of last year.

In many of our churches visitors may have noticed one or more round
black stones, weighing from ten to a hundred pounds, which, according
to tradition, were tied to the necks of martyrs when they were thrown
into wells, lakes, or rivers. To the student these stones tell a
different tale. They prove that the classic institution of the
_ponderaria_ (sets of weights and measures) migrated from temples to
churches, after the closing of the former, A. D. 393.

[Illustration: Kantharos in the Court of St. Cæcilia.]

As the _amphora_ was the standard measure of capacity for wine, the
_metreta_ for oil, the _modius_ for grain, so the _libra_ was the
standard measure of weight.[26] To insure honesty in trade they were
examined periodically by order of the ædiles; those found _iniquæ_
(short) were broken, and their owners sentenced to banishment in
remote islands. In A. D. 167, Junius Rusticus, prefect of the city,
ordered a general inspection to be made in Rome and in the provinces;
weights and measures found to be legal were marked or stamped with the
legend "[Verified] by the authority of Q. Junius Rusticus, prefect of
the city." These weights of Rusticus are discovered in hundreds in
Roman excavations.[27]

The original standards were kept in the Temple of Jupiter on the
Capitol, and used only on extraordinary occasions. Official duplicates
were deposited in other temples, like those of Castor and Pollux, Mars
Ultor, Ops, and others, and kept at the disposal of the public, whence
their name of _pondera publica_. Barracks and market-places were also
furnished with them. The most important discovery connected with this
branch of Roman administration was made at Tivoli in 1883, when three
_mensæ ponderariæ_, almost perfect, were found in the portico or
peribolos of the Temple of Hercules, adjoining the cathedral of S.
Lorenzo. This wing of the portico is divided into compartments by
means of projecting pilasters, and each recess is occupied by a marble
table resting on "trapezophoroi" richly ornamented with symbols of
Hercules and Bacchus, like the club and the thyrsus. Along the edge of
two of the tables runs the inscription, "Made at the expense of Marcus
Varenus Diphilus, president of the college of Hercules," while the
third was erected at the expense of his wife Varena. The tables are
perforated by holes of conical shape, varying in diameter from 200 to
380 millimetres. Brass measures of capacity were fastened into each
hole, for use by buyers and sellers. They were used in a very
ingenious way, both as dry and liquid measures. The person who had
bought, for instance, half a modius of beans, or twenty-four
_sextarii_ of wine, and wanted to ascertain whether he had been
cheated in his bargain, would fill the receptacle to the proper line,
then open the valve or spicket below, and transfer the tested contents
again to his sack or flask.

The institution was accepted by the Church, and _ponderaria_ were set
up in the principal basilicas. The best set which has come down to us
is that of S. Maria in Trastevere, but there is hardly a church
without a "stone" weighing from five or ten to a hundred pounds. The
popular superstition by which these practical objects were transformed
into relics of martyrdoms is very old. Topographers and pilgrims of
the seventh century speak of a stone exhibited in the chapel of SS.
Abundius and Irenæus, under the portico of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura,
"which, in their ignorance, pilgrims touch and lift." They mention
also another weight, exhibited in the church of S. Stephen, near S.
Paul's, which they believed to be one of the stones with which the
martyr was killed.

In 1864 a _schola_ (a memorial and banqueting hall) was discovered in
the burial grounds adjoining the prætorian camp, which had been used
by members of a corporation called the _sodalium serrensium_, that is,
of the citizens of Serræ, a city of Samothrake, I believe. Among the
objects pertaining to the hall and its customers were two measures for
wine, a _sextarium_, and a _hemina_, marked with the monogram of
Christ and the name of the donor.[28] They are now exhibited in the
_sala dei bronzi_ of the Capitoline museum.

The hall of the citizens of Serræ, discovered in 1864, belongs to a
class of monuments very common in the suburbs of Rome. They were
called _cellæ, memoriæ, exedræ_, and _scholæ_, and were used by
relatives and friends of the persons buried under or near them, in the
performance of expiatory ceremonies or for commemorative banquets, for
which purpose all the necessaries, from the table-service to the
festal garments, were kept on the spot, in cabinets entrusted to the
care of a watchman. This practice--save the expiatory offerings--was
adopted by the Christians. The _agapai_, or love-feasts, before
degenerating into those excesses and superstitions so strongly
denounced by the Fathers of the Church, were celebrated over or near
the tombs of martyrs and confessors, the treasury of the local
congregation supplying food and drink, as well as the banqueting
robes. In the inventory of the property confiscated during the
persecution of Diocletian, in a house at Cirta (Constantine, Algeria),
which was used by the faithful as a church, we find registered,
chalices of gold and silver, lamps and candelabras, eighty-two female
tunics, sixteen male tunics, thirteen pairs of men's boots,
forty-seven pairs of women's shoes, and so on.[29] A remarkable
discovery, illustrating the subject, has been lately made in the
Catacombs of Priscilla; that of a _graffito_ containing this sentence:
"February 5, 375, we, Florentinus, Fortunatus, and Felix, came here AD
CALICE[M] (for the cup)." To understand the meaning of this sentence,
we must compare it with others engraved on pagan tombs. In one, No.
25,861 of the "Corpus," the deceased says to the passer-by: "Come on,
bring with you a flask of wine, a glass, and all that is needed for a
libation!" In another, No. 19,007, the same invitation is worded: "Oh,
friends (_convivæ_), drink now to my memory, and wish that the earth
may be light on me." We are told by S. Augustine[30] that when his
mother, Monica, visited Milan in 384, the practice of eating and
drinking in honor of the martyrs had been stopped by S. Ambrose,
although it was still flourishing in other regions, where crowds of
pilgrims were still going from tomb to tomb with baskets of provisions
and flasks of wine, drinking heavily at each station. Paulinus of Nola
and Augustine himself strongly stigmatized the abuse. The faithful
were advised either to distribute their provisions to the poor, who
crowded the entrances to the crypts, or to leave them on the tombs,
that the local clergy might give them to the needy. There is no doubt
that the record _ad calicem venimus_, scratched by Florentinus,
Fortunatus, and Felix on the walls of the Cemetery of Priscilla,
refers to these deplorable libations.

[Illustration: Sample of a Drinking-cup.]

Many drinking-cups used on these occasions have been found in Rome, in
my time. They are generally works of the fourth century of our era,
cut in glass by unskillful hands, and they show the portrait-heads of
SS. Peter and Paul, in preference to other subjects of the kind. This
fact is due not only to the special veneration which the Romans
professed for the founders of their church, but also to the habit of
celebrating their anniversary, June 29, with public or domestic
_agapai_. S. Peter's day was to the Romans of the fourth century what
Christmas is to us, as regards joviality and sumptuous banquets. On
one of these occasions S. Jerome received from his friend Eustochio
fruit and sweets in the shape of doves. In acknowledging the kind
remembrance, S. Jerome recommends sobriety on that day more than on
any other: "We must celebrate the birthday of Peter rather with
exaltation of spirit, than with abundance of food. It is absurd to
glorify with the satisfaction of our appetites the memory of men who
pleased God by mortifying theirs." The poorer classes of citizens were
fed under the porticoes of the Vatican basilica. The gatherings
degenerated into the display of such excesses of drunkenness that
Augustine could not resist writing to the Romans: "First you
persecuted the martyrs with stones and other instruments of torture
and death; and now you persecute their memory with your intoxicating

The institution of public granaries (_horrea publica_) for the
maintenance of the lower classes was also accepted and favored by
Christian Rome. On page 250 of my "Ancient Rome," I have spoken of the
warehouses for the storage of wheat, built by Sulpicius Galba on the
plains of Testaccio, near the Porta S. Paolo, named for him _horrea
galbana_, even after their purchase by the state. These public
granaries originated at the time of Caius Gracchus and his grain laws.
Their scheme was developed, in course of time, by Clodius, Pompey,
Seianus, and the emperors, to such an extent that, in 312 A. D., there
were registered in Rome alone two hundred and ninety granaries. They
may be divided into three classes: In the first, and by far the most
important, a plentiful supply of breadstuffs was kept at the expense
of the state, to meet emergencies of scarcity or famine, and the wants
of a population one third of which was fed gratuitously by the
sovereign. The second was intended especially for the storage of paper
(_horrea chartaria_), candles (_horrea candelaria_), spices (_horrea
piperataria_), and other such commodities. The third class consisted
of buildings in which the citizens might deposit their goods, money,
plate, securities, and other valuables for which they had no place of
safety in their own houses. There were also private _horrea_, built on
speculation, to be let as strong-rooms like our modern vaults,
storage-warehouses, and "pantechnicons."

The building of the new quarter of the Testaccio, the region of
_horrea_ par excellence, has given us the chance of studying the
institution in its minutest details. I shall mention only one
discovery. We found, in 1885, the official advertisement for leasing a
_horrea_, under the empire of Hadrian. It is thus worded:--

"To be let from to-day, and hereafter annually (beginning on December
13): These warehouses, belonging to the Emperor Hadrian, together with
their granaries, wine-cellars, strong-boxes, and repositories.

"The care and protection of the official watchmen is included in the

"Regulations: I. Any one who rents rooms, vaults, or strong-boxes in
this establishment is expected to pay the rent and vacate the place
before December 13.

"II. Whoever disobeys regulation No. I., and omits to arrange with the
_horrearius_ (or keeper-in-chief) for the renewal of his lease, shall
be considered as liable for another year, the rent to be determined by
the average price paid by others for the same room, vault, or
strong-box. This regulation to be enforced in case the _horrearius_
has not had an opportunity to rent the said room, vault, or strong-box
to other people.

"III. Sub-letting is not allowed. The administration will withdraw the
watch and the guarantee from rooms, vaults, or strong-boxes which
have been sub-let in violation of the existing rules.

"IV. Merchandise or valuables stored in these warehouses are held by
the administration as security for payment of rental.

"V. The tenant will not be reimbursed by the administration for
improvements, additions, and other such work which he has undertaken
on his own account.

"VI. The tenant must give an assignment of his goods to the
keeper-in-chief, who shall not be held responsible for the
safe-keeping of merchandise or valuables which have not been duly
declared. The tenant must claim a receipt for the said assignment and
for the payment of his rental."[31]

The granaries of the Church were intended only for the storage of
corn. The landed estates which the Church owned in Africa and Sicily
were administered by deputies, whose special duty it was to ship the
produce of the harvest to Rome. During the first siege of Totila, in
546, Pope Vigilius, then on his way to Constantinople, despatched from
the coast of Sicily a fleet of grain-laden vessels, under the care of
Valentine, bishop of Silva Candida. The attempt to relieve the city of
the famine proved useless, and the vessels were seized by the
besiegers on their landing at Porto. In 589 an inundation of the
Tiber, described by Gregoire de Tours, carried away several thousand
bushels of grain, which had been stored in the _horrea ecclesiæ_, and
the granaries themselves were totally destroyed.

The "Liber Pontificalis," vol. i. p. 315, describes the calamities
which befell the city of Rome in the year 605; King Agilulf trying to
enter the city by violence; heavy frosts killing the vines; rats
destroying the harvest, etc. However, as soon as the barbarians were
induced to retire by an offer of twelve thousand _solidi_, Pope
Sabinianus, who was then the head of the Church, _iussit aperiri
horrea ecclesiæ_ (threw open the granaries), and offered their
contents at auction, at a valuation of one _solidus_ for thirty

[Illustration: A Granary of Ostia.]

The grain was not intended to be sold, but to be distributed among the
needy; the act of Sabinianus was, therefore, strongly censured, as
being in strong contrast to the generosity of Gregory the Great. A
legend on this subject is related by Paulus Diaconus in chapter xxix.
of the Life of Gregory. He says that Gregory appeared thrice to
Sabinianus, in a vision, entreating him to be more generous; and
having failed to move him by friendly advice, he struck him dead. The
price of one _solidus_ for thirty _modii_ is almost exorbitant; grain
cost exactly one half this at the time of Theodoric.

The institution has outlived all the vicissitudes of the Middle Ages.
Gregory XIII., in 1566, Paul V., in 1609, Clement XI., in 1705,
re-opened the _horrea ecclesiæ_ in the ruined halls of the Baths of
Diocletian; and Clement XIII. added a wing to them, for the storage of
oil. These buildings are still in existence around the Piazza di
Termini, although devoted to other purposes.

It would be impossible to follow in all its manifestations the
material and moral transformation of Rome from the third to the sixth
centuries, without going beyond the limits of a single chapter.

The customs and practices of the classical age were so deeply rooted
among the citizens that even now, after a lapse of sixteen centuries,
they are noticeable to a great extent. When we read, for instance, of
Popes elected by the people assembled at the Rostra,[32] such as
Stephen III., in 768, we must regard the circumstance as caused by a
remembrance of past ages. Under the pontificate of Innocent II.
(1130), of Eugenius III. (1145-1150), and of Lucius III. (1181-1185)
the senators, or municipal magistrates, used to sit and administer
justice in S. Martina and S. Adriano, that is, in the classic Roman
Curia. Many other details will be incidentally described in the
following chapters. I close the present one by referring to a graceful
custom, borrowed likewise from the classic world,--the use of roses in
church or funeral ceremonies and in social life.

The ancients celebrated, in the month of May, a feast called
_rosaria_, in which sepulchres were profusely decorated with the
favorite flower of the season. Roses were also used on occasions of
public rejoicing. A Greek inscription, discovered by Fränkel at
Pergamon, mentions, among the honors shown to the emperor Hadrian, the
_Rhodismos_, which is interpreted as a scattering of roses. Traces of
the custom are found in more recent times. In the Illyrian peninsula,
and on the banks of the Danube, the country people, still feeling the
influence of Roman civilization, celebrated feasts of flowers in
spring and summer, under the name of _rousalia_. In the sixth century,
when the Slavs were vacillating between the influence of the past and
the present, the celebration of the Pentecost was mixed up with that
of the half-pagan, half-barbarous _rousalia_. Southern Russians
believe in supernatural female beings, called _Rusalky_, who bring
prosperity to the fields and forests, which they have inhabited as

The early Christians decorated the sepulchres of martyrs and
confessors, on the anniversary of their interment, with roses,
violets, amaranths, and evergreens; and they celebrated the
_rosationes_ on the name-days of churches and sanctuaries. Wreaths and
crowns of roses are often engraved on tombstones, hanging from the
bills of mystic doves. The symbol refers more to the joys of the just
in the future life than to the fleeting pleasures of the earth. The
Acts of Perpetua relate a legend on this subject; that Saturus had a
vision in the dungeon in which he was awaiting his martyrdom, in which
he saw himself transported with Perpetua to a heavenly garden,
fragrant with roses, and turning to his fair companion, he exclaimed:
"Here we are in possession of that which our Lord promised!"

Roses and other flowers are painted on the walls of historical
cubiculi. In a fresco of the crypts of Lucina, in the Catacombs of
Callixtus, are painted birds, symbolizing souls who have been
separated from their bodies, and are playing in fields of roses around
the Tree of Life. As the word _Paradeisos_ signifies a garden, so its
mystic representation always takes the form of a delightful field of
flowers and fruit. Dante gives to the seat of the blessed the shape of
a fair rose, inside of which a crowd of angels with golden wings
descend and return to the Lord:--

    "Nel gran fior discendeva, che s'adorna
    Di tante foglie: e quindi risaliva,
    Là dove lo suo amor sempre soggiorna."[33]
                                  _Paradiso_, xxxi. 10-12.

Possibly it is from this allegory of paradise that the rite of the
"golden rose" which the Pope blesses on Quadragesima Sunday is
derived. The ceremony is very ancient, although the first mention of
it appears only in the life of Leo IX. (1049-1055); and I may mention,
as a curious coincidence, that the kings and queens of Navarre, their
sons, and the dukes and peers of the realm, were bound to offer roses
to the Parliament at the return of spring.

Roses played such an important part in church ceremonies that we find
a _fundus rosarius_ given as a present by Constantine to Pope Mark.
The _rosaria_ outlived the suppression of pagan superstitions, and by
and by assumed its Christian form in the feast of Pentecost, which
falls in the month of May. In that day roses were thrown from the
roofs of churches on the worshipers below. The Pentecost is still
called by the Italians _Pasqua rosa_.


[1] The relations between the Empire, the Christians, and the Jews
have been discussed by really numberless writers, beginning with the
Fathers of the Church. I have consulted, among the moderns: Mangold:
_De ecclesia primæva pro cæsaribus et magistratibus romanis preces
fundente._ Bonn, 1881.--Bittner: _De Græcorum et Romanorum deque
Judæorum et christianorum sacris jejuniis._ Posen, 1846.--Weiss: _Die
römischen Kaiser in ihrem Verhältnisse zu Juden und Christen._ Wien,
1882.--Mourant Brock: _Rome, Pagan and Papal._ London, Hodder & Co.
1883.--Backhouse and Taylor: _History of the primitive Church._
(Italian edition.) Rome, Loescher, 1890.--Greppo: _Trois mémoires
relatifs à l'histoire ecclésiastique._--Döllinger: _Christenthum und
Kirche._--Champagny (Comte de): _Les Antonins_, vol. i.--Gaston
Boissier: _La fin du paganisme_, etc., 2 vols. Paris, Hachette,
1891.--Giovanni Marangoni: _Delle cose gentilesche trasportate ad uso
delle chiese._ Roma, Pagliarini, 1744.--Mosheim: _De rebus Christianis
ante Constantinum._--Carlo Fea: _Dissertazione sulle rovine di Roma_,
in Winckelmann's _Storia delle arti._ Roma, Pagliarini, 1783, vol.
iii.--Louis Duchesne: _Le liber pontificalis._ Paris, Thorin,
1886-1892.--G. B. de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana._
Roma, Salviucci, 1863-1891.

[2] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1888-1889, p.
15; 1890, p. 97.--Edmond Le Blant: _Comptes rendus de l'Acad. des
Inscript._, 1888, p. 113.--Arthur Frothingham: _American Journal of
Archæology_, June, 1888, p. 214.--R. Lanciani: _Gli horti Aciliorum
sul Pincio_, in the _Bullettino della commissione archeologica_, 1891,
p. 132; _Underground Christian Rome_, in the _Atlantic Monthly_, July,

[3] See Ersilia Lovatelli: _Il Monte Pincio_, in the _Miscellanea
archeologica_, p. 211.--Rodolfo Lanciani: _Su gli orti degli Acili sul
Pincio_, in the _Bullettino di corrispondenza archeologica_, 1868, p.

[4] A description of the beautiful villa of Herodes, adjoining the
Catacombs of Prætextatus, will be found in chapter vi. pp. 287 sqq.

[5] A _consul suffectus_ was one elected as a substitute in case of
the death or retirement of one of the regular consuls.

[6] Lampridius, in _Sev. Alex._, c. 43.

[7] In chapter v., p. 122, of _Ancient Rome_, I have attributed these
_graffiti_ to the second half of the first century; but after a
careful examination of the structure of the wall, on the plaster of
which they are scratched, I am convinced that they must have been
written towards the end of the second century.

[8] Orelli, 4024, _Digest L._, iv. 18, 7.

[9] See Ulpian: _De officio Procons._, i. 3.

[10] Lampridius, _Heliog._, 3.

[11] See Greppo: _Mémoire sur les laraires de l'empereur Alexandre

[12] The name of the villa was _Cassiacum_; its memory has lasted to
the present age. See the memoir of Luigi Biraghi, _S. Agostino a
Cassago di Brianza._ Milano, 1854.

[13] See _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1865, p. 50.

[14] It contains the words PETRO LILLVTI PAVLO. They are surely
genuine and ancient. I examined them in company with Mommsen, Jordan,
and de Rossi, and they attributed them to the beginning of the third
century of our era. The best suggestion regarding their origin is that
they belong to a person, probably Christian, who used the name Petrus
as _gentilitium_, and Paulus as _cognomen_, and who was the son of
Lillutus, however barbaric this last name may sound.

[15] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1863, p.
49.--Rohault de Fleury: _L'arc de triomphe de Constantin_, in the
_Révue archéologique_, Sept. 1863, p. 250.--W. Henzen: _Bullettino
dell' Instituto_, 1863, p. 183.

[16] See Bibliography, p. 1. The title of the book may be translated
thus: _On the pagan and profane objects transferred to churches for
their use and adornment_.

[17] The two busts of S. Peter and S. Paul, described in Cancellieri's
book, _Memorie storiche delle sacre teste dei santi apostoli Pietro e
Paolo_, Roma, Ferretti, 1852 (second edition), were stolen by the
French revolutionists in 1799.

[18] See _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, part VI., No. 351.

[19] In the Byzantine period this church and the adjoining monastery
were called _casa Barbara patricia_. They are now comprised within the
cloisters of S. Antonio all' Esquilino, on the left side of S. Maria

[20] These incrustations, and the basilica to which they belong, have
been illustrated by Ciampini: _Vetera monumenta_, vol. i. plates
xxii.-xxiv.--D'Agincourt: _Histoire de l'art, Peinture_, pl. xiii.
3.--Minutoli: _Ueber die Anfertigung und die Nutzanwendung der
färbigen Gläser bei den Alten_, pl. iv.--De Rossi: _La basilica di
Giunio Basso_, in the _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1871, p.

[21] See Andrea Amoroso: _Le basiliche cristiane di Parenzo._ Parenzo,
Coana, 1891.--Mommsen: _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, vol. v. part
i. nos. 365-367.

[22] See Lovatelli: _I labirinti e il loro simbolismo nell' età di
mezzo_, in the _Nuova Antologia_, 16 Agosto, 1890.--Arné: _Carrelages
émaillés du moyen âge_.--Eugène Müntz: _Etudes iconographiques et
archéologiques sur le moyen âge_.

[23] See Pietro Pericoli: _Lo spedale di S. Maria della Consolazione_.
Imola Galeati, p. 64.

[24] Published in two volumes with the title: _Indicazione delle
immagini di Maria, collocate sulle mura esterne di Roma._ Ferretti,

[25] The inscription, after all, was very mild in comparison with the
violent formula imposed upon Alexander VII. It read: "In memory of the
absolution given by Clement VIII. to Henry IV. of France and Navarre,
September 17, 1595."

[26] The amphora corresponds to 26.26 litres; the metreta to 39.39
litres; the modius to 8.75 litres. The pound, divided into twelve
ounces, corresponds to 327.45 grammes, a little more than 11½
English ounces.

[27] See _Antichi pesi inscritti del museo capitolino_, in the
_Bullettino della commissione archeologica comunale di Roma_, 1884, p.
61, pls. vi., vii.

[28] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1864, p. 57.

[29] See _Acta purgationis Cæciliani_, post Optati opp. ed Dupin, p.

[30] _Confess._ vi. 2.

[31] See Gaetano Marini: _Iscrizioni doliari_, p. 114, n.
279.--Giuseppe Gatti: _La lex horreorum_, in the _Bullettino della
commissione archeologica comunale di Roma_, 1885, p. 110.

[32] The place was called _in tribus fatis_, from the three statues of
sibyls described by Pliny, _H. N._ xxxiv. See _Goth._ i. 25.


    "Sank into the great flower, that is adorned
    With leaves so many, and thence reascended
    To where its love abideth evermore."
                                     _Longfellow's Translation._



     Ancient temples as galleries of art.--The adornment of statues
     with jewelry, etc.--Offerings and sacrifices by
     individuals.--Stores of ex-votos found in the _favissæ_ or vaults
     of temples.--Instances of these brought to light within recent
     years.--Remarkable wealth of one at Veii.--The altars of ancient
     Rome.--The _ara maxima Herculis_.--The _Roma Quadrata_.--The
     altar of Aius Locutius.--That of Dis and Proserpina.--Its
     connection with the Sæcular Games.--The discovery of the
     inscription describing these, in 1890.--The _ara pacis
     Augustæ_.--The _ara incendii Neroniani_.--Temples excavated in my
     time.--That of Jupiter Capitolinus.--History of its ruins.--The
     Capitol as a place for posting official announcements.--The
     Temple of Isis and Serapis.--The number of sculptures discovered
     on its site.--The Temple of Neptune.--Its remains in the Piazza
     di Pietra.--The Temple of Augustus.--The _Sacellum Sanci_.

Ancient guide-books of Rome, published in the middle of the fourth
century,[34] mention four hundred and twenty-four temples, three
hundred and four shrines, eighty statues of gods, of precious metal,
sixty-four of ivory, and three thousand seven hundred and eighty-five
miscellaneous bronze statues. The number of marble statues is not
given. It has been said, however, that Rome had two populations of
equal size, one alive, and one of marble.

I have had the opportunity of witnessing or conducting the discovery
of several temples, altars, shrines, and bronze statues. The number of
marble statues and busts discovered in the last twenty-five years,
either in Rome or the Campagna, may be stated at one thousand.

Before beginning the description of these beautiful monuments, I must
allude to some details concerning the management and organization of
ancient places of worship, upon which recent discoveries have thrown a
considerable, and in some cases, unexpected light.

Roman temples, like the churches of the present day, were used not
only as places of worship, but as galleries of pictures, museums of
statuary, and "cabinets" of precious objects. In chapter v. of
"Ancient Rome," I have given the catalogue of the works of art
displayed in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine. The list includes:
The Apollo and Artemis driving a quadriga, by Lysias; fifty statues of
the Danaids; fifty of the sons of Egypt; the Herakles of Lysippos;
Augustus with the attributes of Apollo (a bronze statue fifty feet
high); the pediment of the temple, by Bupalos and Anthermos; statues
of Apollo, by Skopas; Leto, by Kephisodotos, son of Praxiteles;
Artemis, by Timotheos; and the nine Muses; also a chandelier, formerly
dedicated by Alexander the Great at Kyme; medallions of eminent men; a
collection of gold plate; another of gems and intaglios; ivory
carvings; specimens of palæography; and two libraries.

[Illustration: Entablature of the Temple of Concord.]

The Temple of Apollo was by no means the only sacred museum of ancient
Rome; there were scores of them, beginning with the Temple of
Concord, so emphatically praised by Pliny. This temple, built by
Camillus, at the foot of the Capitol, and restored by Tiberius and
Septimius Severus, was still standing at the time of Pope Hadrian I.
(772-795), when the inscription on its front was copied for the last
time by the _Einsiedlensis_. It was razed to the ground towards 1450.
"When I made my first visit to Rome," says Poggio Bracciolini, "I saw
the Temple of Concord almost intact (_ædem fere integram_), built of
white marble. Since then the Romans have demolished it, and turned the
structure into a lime-kiln." The platform of the temple and a few
fragments of its architectural decorations were discovered in 1817.
The reader may appreciate the grace of these decorations, from a
fragment of the entablature now in the portico of the Tabularium, and
one of the capitals of the cella, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori.
The cella contained one central and ten side niches, in which eleven
masterpieces of Greek chisels were placed, namely, the Apollo and
Hera, by Baton; Leto nursing Apollo and Artemis, by Euphranor;
Asklepios and Hygieia, by Nikeratos; Ares and Hermes, by Piston; and
Zeus, Athena, and Demeter, by Sthennis. The name of the sculptor of
the Concordia in the apse is not known. Pliny speaks also of a picture
by Theodoros, representing Cassandra; of four elephants, cut in
obsidian, a miracle of skill and labor, and of a collection of
precious stones, among which was the sardonyx set in the legendary
ring of Polykrates of Samos. Most of these treasures had been offered
to the goddess by Augustus, moved by the liberality which Julius Cæsar
had shown towards his ancestral goddess, Venus Genetrix. We know from
Pliny, xxxv. 9, that Cæsar was the first to give due honor to
paintings, by exhibiting them in his Forum Julium. He gave about
$72,000 (eighty talents), for two works of Timomachos, representing
Medea and Ajax. At the base of the Temple of Venus Genetrix he placed
his own equestrian statue, the horse of which, modelled by Lysippos,
had once supported the figure of Alexander the Great. The statue of
Venus was the work of Arkesilaos, and her breast was covered with
strings of British pearls. Pliny (xxxvii. 5), after mentioning the
collection of gems made by Scaurus, and another made by Mithradates,
which Pompey the Great had offered to Jupiter Capitolinus, adds:
"These examples were surpassed by Cæsar the dictator, who offered to
Venus Genetrix six collections of cameos and intaglios."

A descriptive catalogue of these valuables and works of art was kept
in each temple, and sometimes engraved on marble. The inventories
included also the furniture and properties of the sacristy. In 1871
the following remarkable document was discovered in the Temple of
Diana Nemorensis. The inventory, engraved on a marble pillar three
feet high, is now preserved in the Orsini Castle at Nemi. It has been
published by Henzen in "Hermes," vol. vi. p. 8, and reads as follows,
in translation:--

Objects offered to [or belonging to] both temples [the temple of Isis
and that of Bubastis]:--Seventeen statues; one head of the Sun; four
silver images; one medallion; two bronze altars; one tripod (in the
shape of one at Delphi); a cup for libations; a patera; a diadem [for
the statue of the goddess] studded with gems; a sistrum of gilded
silver; a gilt cup; a patera ornamented with ears of corn; a necklace
studded with beryls; two bracelets with gems; seven necklaces with
gems; nine ear-rings with gems; two nauplia [rare shells from the
Propontis]; a crown with twenty-one topazes and eighty carbuncles; a
railing of brass supported by eight _hermulæ_; a linen costume
comprising a tunica, a pallium, a belt, and a stola, all trimmed with
silver; a like costume without trimming.

[Objects offered] to Bubastis:--A costume of purple silk; another of
turquoise color; a marble vase with pedestal; a water jug; a linen
costume with gold trimmings and a golden girdle; another of plain
white linen.

The objects described in this catalogue did not belong to the Temple
of Diana itself, one of the wealthiest in central Italy; but to two
small shrines, of Isis and Bubastis, built by a devotee within the
sacred enclosure, on the north side of the square.

The ancients displayed remarkably bad taste in loading the statues of
their gods with precious ornaments, and in spoiling the beauty of
their temples with hangings of every hue and description. A document
published by Muratori[35] speaks of a statue of Isis which was
dedicated by a lady named Fabia Fabiana as a memorial to her deceased
granddaughter Avita. The statue, cast in silver, weighed one hundred
and twelve and a half pounds, and was muffled in ornaments and jewelry
beyond conception. The goddess wore a diadem in which were set six
pearls, two emeralds, seven beryls, one carbuncle, one _hyacinthus_,
and two flint arrow-heads; also earrings with emeralds and pearls, a
necklace composed of thirty-six pearls and eighteen emeralds, two
clasps, two rings on the little finger, one on the third, one on the
middle finger; and many other gems on the shoes, ankles, and wrists.
Another inscription discovered at Constantine, Algeria, describes a
statue of Jupiter dedicated in the Capitol of that city. The devotees
had placed on his head an oak-wreath of silver, with thirty leaves and
fifteen acorns; they had loaded his right hand with a silver disk, a
Victory waving a palm-leaf, and a crown of forty leaves; and in the
other had fastened a silver rod and other emblems.

The hangings and tinsel not only disfigured the interior of temples,
but were a source of danger from their combustibility. When we hear of
fires destroying the Pantheon in A. D. 110, the Temple of Apollo in
363, that of Venus and Rome in 307, and that of Peace in 191, we may
assume that they were started and fed by the inflammable materials
with which the interiors were filled. There is no other explanation to
be given, inasmuch as the structures were fire-proof, with the
exception of the roof. As for the disfiguration of sacred buildings
with all sorts of hangings, it is enough to quote the words of Livy
(xl. 51). "In the year of Rome, 574, the censors M. Fulvius Nobilior
and M. Æmilius Lepidus restored the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol.
On this occasion they removed from the columns all the tablets,
medallions, and military flags _omnis generis_ which had been hung
against them."

The right of performing sacrifices was sometimes granted to
civilians, on payment of a fee. An inscription discovered among the
ruins of the Temple of Malakbelos, outside the Porta Portese, on the
site of the new railway station, relates how an importer of wine,
Quintus Octavius Daphnicus, having built at his own expense a
banqueting hall within the sacred enclosure, was rewarded with the
_immunitas sacrum faciendi_, that is, the right of performing
sacrifices without the assistance of priests. The performances were
regulated by tariffs, which specified a price for every item; and one
of these has actually survived to our day.[36]

    PRO·SANGVINE (_nomen animalis_)
    SI·HOLOCAVSTVM·[Symbol: -X] X
    SI·HOLOCAVSTVM·[Symbol: -X]·II[Greek: S]
    PRO·GALLO HOLOCAVSTO [Symbol: -X] I[Greek: S]
      PRO·SANGVINE·       A·XIII
      PRO·CORONA·         A·IIII

    For the blood of ---- (perhaps a bull) ----
    And for its hide                       ----
    If the victim be entirely burnt        xxv asses.
    For the blood and skin of a lamb        iv asses.
    If the lamb be entirely burnt          vi½ asses.
    For a cock (entirely burnt)           iii½ asses.
    For blood alone                       xiii asses.
    For a wreath                            iv asses.
    For hot water (per head)                ii asses.

The meaning of this tariff will be easily understood if we recall the
details of a Græco-Roman sacrifice, in regard to the apportionment of
the victim's flesh. The parts which were the perquisite of the priests
differ in different worships; sometimes we hear of legs and skin,
sometimes of tongue and shoulder. In the case of private sacrifices
the rest of the animal was taken home by the sacrificer, to be used
for a meal or sent as a present to friends. This was, of course,
impossible in the case of "holocausts," in which the victim was burnt
whole on the altar. In the Roman ritual, hides and skins were always
the property of the temple.[37] In the above tariff two prices are
charged: a smaller one for ordinary sacrifices, when only the
intestines were burnt, and the rest of the flesh was taken home by the
sacrificer; a larger one for "holocausts," which required a much
longer use of the altar, spit, gridiron, and other sacrificial
instruments. Four asses are charged for each crown or wreath of
flowers, half that amount for hot water.

The site of a sanctuary can be determined not only from its actual
ruins, but, in many cases, from the contents of its _favissæ_, or
vaults, which are sometimes collected in a group, sometimes spread
over a considerable space of ground. The origin of these deposits of
terra-cotta or bronze votive objects is as follows:--

Each leading sanctuary or place of pilgrimage was furnished with one
or more rooms for the exhibition and safe-keeping of ex-votos. The
walls of these rooms were studded with nails on which ex-voto heads
and figures were hung in rows by means of a hole on the back. There
were also horizontal spaces, little steps like those of a _lararium_,
or shelves, on which were placed those objects that could stand
upright. When both surfaces were filled, and no room was left for the
daily influx of votive offerings, the priests removed the rubbish of
the collection, that is, the terra-cottas, and buried them either in
the vaults (_favissæ_) of the temple, or in trenches dug for the
purpose within or near the sacred enclosure.

During these last years I have been present at the discovery of five
deposits of ex-votos, each marking the site of a place of pilgrimage.
The first was found in March, 1876, on the site of a temple of
Hercules, outside the Porta S. Lorenzo; the second in the spring of
1885, on the site of the Temple of Diana Nemorensis; the third in
1886, near the Island of Æsculapius (now of S. Bartolomeo); the fourth
in 1887, near the shrine of Minerva Medica; the last in 1889, on the
site of the Temple of Juno at Veii.

The existence of a temple of Hercules, outside the Porta S. Lorenzo,
within the enclosure of the modern cemetery, was first made known in
1862, in consequence of the discovery of an altar raised to him by
Marcus Minucius, the "master of the horse" or lieutenant-general of Q.
Fabius Maximus (217 B. C.). This altar is now exhibited in the
Capitoline Museum.[38] Fourteen years later, in 1876, the _favissæ_ of
the temple were found in the section of the cemetery called the
Pincio. There were about two hundred pieces of terra-cotta, vases of
Etruscan and Italo-Greek manufacture; several statuettes of bronze,
and pieces of _æs rude_, and _æs grave librale_, one of them from the
town of Luceria. This deposit seems to have been buried at the
beginning of the sixth century of Rome.

[Illustration: Nemi and the site of the Temple of Diana. _A_ Platform
of the Temple of Diana. _B_ Village of Nemi and Castle of the

[Illustration: Portrait Bust of Person cured at Nemi.]

The excavation of the temple of Diana Nemorensis was undertaken in
1885, by Sir John Savile Lumley, now Lord Savile of Rufford, the
English ambassador at Rome, with the kind consent of the Italian
government. It seems that this _Artemisium Nemorense_ was not only a
place of worship and devotion, but also a hydro-therapeutic
establishment. The waters employed for the cure were those which
spring from the lava rocks at Nemi, and which, until a few years ago,
fell in graceful cascades into the lake, at a place called "Le Mole."
They now supply the city of Albano, which has long suffered from
water-famine. I can vouch for their therapeutic efficiency from
personal experience; in fact I could honestly put up my votive
offering to the long-forgotten goddess, having recovered health and
strength by following the old cure. Diana, however, was chiefly
worshipped in this place as Diana Lucina. I need not enter into
particulars on this subject. The ex-votos collected in large quantity
by Lord Savile, representing young mothers nursing their first-born,
and other offerings of the same nature, testify to the skill of the
priests. Perhaps they practised other branches of surgery, because,
among the curiosities brought to light in 1885, are several figures
with large openings on the front, through which the intestines are
seen. Professor Tommasi-Crudeli, who has made a study of this class of
curiosities, says that they cannot be considered as real anatomical
models, because the work is too rough and primitive to enable us to
distinguish one intestine from the other. The number of objects
collected by Lord Savile may be estimated at three thousand.

[Illustration: The stern of the ship of the Island of the Tiber.]

Characteristic objects of a like nature--breasts cut open and showing
the anatomy--have been found in large numbers in and near the island
of the Tiber, where the Temple of Æsculapius stood, at the stern of
the marble ship. It seems that the street leading from the Campus
Martius to the Pons Fabricius, and across it to the temple, was lined
with shops and booths for the sale of ex-votos, as is the case now
with the approaches to the sanctuaries of Einsiedeln, Lourdes,
Mariahilf, and S. Jago. In the foundations of the new quays of the
Tiber, above and below the bridge, the ex-votos have been found in
regular strata along the line of the banks, whereas in the island
itself they have come to light in much smaller quantities. As the
votive objects deposited in this sanctuary, from the year 292 before
Christ to the fall of the Empire, may be counted not by thousands, but
by millions of specimens, I believe that the bed of the Tiber must
have been used as a _favissa_.

The name of Minerva Medica is familiar to students and visitors of old
Rome;[39] but the monument which bears it, a nymphæum of the gardens
of the Licinii, near the Porta Maggiore, has no connection whatever
with the goddess of wisdom. Minerva Medica was the name of a street on
the Esquiline, so called from a shrine which stood at the crossing, or
near the crossing, with the Via Merulana, not far from the church of
SS. Pietro e Marcellino. Its foundations and its deposit of ex-votos
were discovered in 1887. The shape and nature of the offerings bear
witness to numberless cases of recovery performed by the merciful
goddess, the Athena Hygieia or Paionia of the Greeks. There is a
fragment of a lamp inscribed with her name, which leaves no doubt as
to the identity of the deposit. There is also a votive head, not cast
from the mould, but modelled _a stecco_, which alludes to Minerva as a
restorer of hair. The scalp is covered with thick hair in front and on
the top, while the sides are bald, or showing only an incipient
growth. It is evident, therefore, that the woman whose portrait-head
we have found had lost her curls in the course of some malady, and
having regained them through the intercession of Minerva, as she
piously believed, offered her this curious token of gratitude. This,
at least, is Visconti's opinion. Another testimonial of Minerva's
efficiency in restoring hair has been found at Piacenza, a votive
tablet put up MINERVÆ MEMORI by a lady named Tullia Superiana,
RESTITUTIONE SIBI FACTA CAPILLORUM (for having restored her hair).

[Illustration: Fragment of a Lamp inscribed with the name of

[Illustration: Votive Head.]

As regards the multitude of ex-votos, no other temple or deposit
discovered in my time can be compared with the _favissæ_ of the Temple
of Juno at Veii. In Roman traditions this temple was regarded as the
place where Camillus emerged from the _cuniculus_, or mine, on the day
of the capture of the city. The story runs that Camillus, having
carried his _cuniculus_ under the Temple of Juno within the citadel,
overheard the Etruscan _aruspex_ declare to the king of Veii that
victory would rest with him who completed the sacrifice. Upon this,
the Roman soldiers burst through the floor, seized the entrails of the
victims, and bore them to Camillus, who offered them to the goddess
with his own hand, while his followers were gaining possession of the
city. The account is certainly more or less fabricated; but, as Livy
remarks, "it is not worth while to prove or disprove these things." We
are content to know that within the citadel of Veii, the "Piazza d'
Armi" of the present day, there was a temple of great veneration and
antiquity, and that it was dedicated to Juno. Both points have been
proved and illustrated by modern discoveries.

[Illustration: The Cliffs under the Citadel of Veii (now called
Piazza d' Armi).]

The ex-votos of the Latin sanctuaries were, as I have just remarked,
buried in the _favissæ_; but at Veii, because of the danger and the
difficulty of excavating them within the citadel, and in solid rock,
the ex-votos were carted away and thrown from the edge of the cliff
into the valley below. The place selected was the north side of the
rocky ridge connecting the citadel with the city, which ridge towers
one hundred and ninety-eight feet above the cañon of the Cremera. The
mass of objects thrown over here in the course of centuries has
produced a slope which reaches nearly to the top of the cliff. The
reader will appreciate the importance of the deposit from the fact
that the mine has been exploited ever since the time of Alexander VII.
(1655-1667); and in the spring of 1889, when the most recent
excavations were made, by the late empress Theresa of Brazil, the mass
of terra-cottas brought to the surface was such that work had to be
given up after a few days, because there was no more space in the
farmhouse for the storage of the booty. Pietro Sante Bartoli left an
account of the excavations made on the same spot by cardinal Chigi,
during the pontificate of Alexander VII. Modern topographers do not
seem to be aware of this fact; it is not mentioned by Dennis, or Gell,
or Nibby, although it is the only evidence left of the discovery of
the famous sanctuary. "Not far from the Isola Farnese a hill [the
Piazza d' Armi], rises from the valley of the Cremera, on the plateau
of which cardinal Chigi has discovered a beautiful temple with fluted
columns of the Ionic order. The frieze is carved with trophies and
panoplies of various kinds; the reliefs of the pediment represent the
emperor Antoninus[?] sacrificing a ram and a sow, and although the
panels lie scattered around the temple, and the figures are broken,
apparently no important piece is missing. There is also an altar four
feet high, with figures of Etruscan type, which was removed to the
Palazzo Chigi [now Odescalchi]. The columns and marbles of the temple
were bought by cardinal Falconieri to build and ornament a chapel in
the church of S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini.... Not far from the temple a
stratum of ex-votos has been found, so rich that the whole of Rome is
now overrun with terra-cottas. Every part of the human body is
represented,--heads, hands, feet, fingers, eyes, noses, mouths,
tongues, entrails, lungs, symbols of fecundity, whole figures of men
and women, horses, oxen, sheep, pigs,--in such quantities as to make
several hundred cartloads. There were also bronze statuettes, sacred
utensils, and mirror-cases, which were all stolen or destroyed. I have
known of one workman breaking marvellous objects (_cose insigni_) into
small fragments to melt them into handles for knives."

When the farms of Isola Farnese and Vaccareccia, in which the remains
of Veii and of its extensive cemeteries are situated, were sold, a few
years ago, by the empress of Brazil to the marchese Ferraioli, the
parties concerned agreed that the right of excavating and the objects
discovered should belong to her, for a limited number of years, up to
1891, I believe. The first campaign, opened January 2, 1889, and
closed in June, must be considered as one of the most valuable
contributions to the study of Etruscan civilization which have been
supplied of late to students, either by chance or by design. Had the
empress been able to carry out her plans for two or three years more,
the whole city and necropolis would have been explored, surveyed, and
illustrated, in the most strictly scientific manner. Political events
and the death of this noble woman brought the enterprise to a close.
To come back, however, to the bed of votive objects in terra-cotta and
bronze, I was able to make a rough estimate of its dimensions, which
are two hundred and fifty feet in length, fifty feet in width, and
from three to four in depth; nearly forty-four thousand cubic feet.
The objects collected in two weeks number four thousand; the fragments
buried again as worthless, double that number. The heads of veiled
goddesses alone amount to four hundred and forty-seven, of which three
hundred and seventy are full-faced, the rest in profile. The vein
contains fifty-two varieties of types; to Bartoli's list, we must add
busts, masks, arms, breasts, wombs, spines, bowels, lungs, toes,
figures cut open across the breast and showing the anatomy, figures
approximately human, or male and female embryos ending like the trunk
of a tree with stumps corresponding to the feet, figures of
hermaphrodites, human torsos modelled purposely without heads, arms
without hands, legs without feet, hands holding apples or
jewel-caskets, figurines of mothers nursing twins, beautiful
life-sized statues of draped women, with movable hands and feet, rats,
wild boars, sucking pigs, cows, rams, apples and other fruits, and

       *       *       *       *       *

The first structures dedicated to the gods in Rome were called _aræ_,
and had the shape of a cube of masonry, in the centre of a square
platform. They were modelled, in a measure, on the pattern of the
Pelasgic _hierones_, in which the territory of Tibur and Signia is
especially abundant. The _aræ_ best known in Roman history and
topography are six in number, namely, the _ara maxima Herculis_; the
_Roma quadrata_; the _ara Aii Locutii_; the _ara Ditis et
Proserpinæ_; the _ara pacis Augustæ_; and the _ara incendii
Neroniani_. The oldest of these were built of rough stones; those of
later periods took the characteristic shape of the altar of Verminus,
represented on page 52 of my "Ancient Rome," and of the altar raised
to Vedjovis by the members of the Julian family, at Bovillæ, their
birthplace, where it was found by the Colonnas in 1823. It is now in
the villa of that family on the Quirinal.[40] In imperial times the
conventional shape was preserved, with the addition of two _pulvini_,
or volutes, on the opposite edges of the cornice, as represented in
the illustration on page 35 of "Ancient Rome" (a marble altar found at

[Illustration: A Pelasgic hieron, or platform of altar, at Segni.]

[Illustration: Round Temple of Hercules in the Forum Boarium.]

THE ARA MAXIMA HERCULIS. This altar, the oldest in Rome, was raised in
memory of the visit of Hercules to our country. Tacitus and Pliny
attribute its construction to Evander the Arcadian, forgetting that in
prehistoric times the tract of land on which the altar stood, between
the Forum Boarium and the Circus Maximus, was submerged by the waters
of the Velabrum. It was at all events a very ancient structure, held
in great veneration. Its rough shape and appearance were never
changed, as shown by a precious--yet unpublished--sketch by
Baldassarre Peruzzi which I found among his autographs in Florence. A
round temple was built near the altar, in later times, of which we
know two particulars: first, that it had a mysterious power of
repulsion for dogs and flies;[41] second, that it contained, among
other works of art, a picture by the poet Pacuvius, next in antiquity
and value to the one painted by Fabius Pictor, in the Temple of
Health, in 303 B. C.[42] The Temple of Hercules, the Ara Maxima, and
the bronze statue of the hero-god were discovered, in a good state of
preservation, during the pontificate of Sixtus IV., between the apse
of S. Maria in Cosmedin (the Temple of Ceres), and the Circus Maximus.
We have a description of the discovery by Pomponio Leto, Albertini,
and Fra Giocondo da Verona; and excellent drawings by Baldassarre

Except the bronze statue, and a few votive inscriptions, which were
removed to the Capitoline Museum, everything--temple, altar, and
platform--was levelled to the ground by the illustrious Vandals of the

THE ROMA QUADRATA. According to the ancient ritual, the founder of a
city, after tracing the _sulcus primigenius_ or furrow which marked
its limits, buried the plough, the instruments of sacrifice, and other
votive offerings, in a round hole, excavated in the centre of the
marked space. The round hole was called _mundus_, and its location was
indicated by a heap of stones, which in course of time took the shape
of a square altar. The _mundus_ of ancient Rome was located in the
very heart of the Palatine, in front of the Temple of Apollo, and the
altar upon it was named the _Roma Quadrata_. This name has been much
discussed, and it has even been applied to the Palatine city itself,
although it is an established fact that there is, strictly speaking,
no connection between the two. The controversy has been resumed lately
by Professor Luigi Pigorini in a paper still unpublished which was
read at the sitting of the German Institute, December 17, 1890; and by
Professor Otto Richter in his pamphlet _Die älteste Wohnstätte des
römischen Volks_, Berlin, 1891.

In view of the ignorance of ancient writers on this subject, and the
almost absurd definitions they give of the word, we had come to the
conclusion that the altar had been removed or concealed by Augustus,
when he built the Temple of Apollo and the Portico of the Danaids, in
28 B. C. A remarkable inscription discovered September 20, 1890 (to
which I shall refer at length later), by mentioning the Roma Quadrata
as existing A. D. 204, shows that our opinion was wrong, and that the
old altar, the most venerable monument of Roman history, had survived
the vicissitudes of time, and the transformation of the Palatine from
the cradle of the city into the palace of the Cæsars.

In December, 1869, when the nuns of the Visitation were laying the
foundations of a new wing of their convent on the area of the Temple
of Apollo,[44] I saw a line of square pilasters at the depth of
forty-one feet below the pavement of the Portico of the Danaids, and
in the centre of the line a heap of stones, either of tufa or
peperino, roughly squared. It is more than probable that, in 1869, I
did not think of the Roma Quadrata, and of its connection with those
remains, so deeply buried in the heart of the hill; but I am sure that
a careful investigation of that sacred spot would lead to very
important results.

THE ARA OF AIUS LOCUTIUS. In 1820, while excavations were proceeding
near the western corner of the Palatine (at the spot marked No. 7, on
the plan, page 106, of "Ancient Rome"), an altar was discovered, of
archaic type, inscribed with the following dedication: "Sacred to a
Divinity, whether male or female. Caius Sextius Calvinus, son of
Caius, praetor, has restored this altar by decree of the Senate."
Nibby and Mommsen believe Calvinus to be the magistrate mentioned
twice by Cicero as a candidate against Glaucias in the contest for the
praetorship of 125 B. C. They also identify the altar as (a
restoration of) the one raised behind the Temple of Vesta, in the
"lower New Street," in memory of the mysterious voice announcing the
invasion of the Gauls, in the stillness of the night, and warning the
citizens to strengthen the walls of their city. The voice was
attributed to a local Genius, whom the people named Aius Loquens or
Locutius. As a rule, the priests refrained from mentioning in public
prayers the name and sex of new and slightly known divinities,
especially of local Genii, to which they objected for two reasons:
first, because there was danger of vitiating the ceremony by a false
invocation; secondly, because it was prudent not to reveal the true
name of these tutelary gods to the enemy of the commonwealth, lest in
case of war or siege he could force them to abandon the defence of
that special place, by mysterious and violent rites. The formula _si
deus si dea_, "whether god or goddess," is a consequence of this
superstition; its use is not uncommon on ancient altars; Servius
describes a shield dedicated on the Capitol to the Genius of Rome,
with the inscription: GENIO URBIS ROMÆ SIVE MAS SIVE FEMINA, "to the
tutelary Genius of the city of Rome, whether masculine or feminine."
The Palatine altar, of which I give an illustration, cannot fail to
impress the student, on account of its connection with one of the
leading events in history, the capture and burning of Rome by the
Gauls, 390 B. C.

[Illustration: Ara of Aius Locutius on the Palatine.]

THE ARA DITIS ET PROSERPINÆ. On the 20th of September, 1890, the
workmen employed in the construction of the main sewer on the left
bank of the Tiber, between the Ponte S. Angelo and the church of S.
Giovanni dei Fiorentini, found a mediæval wall, built of materials
collected at random from the neighboring ruins. Among them were
fragments of one or more inscriptions which described the celebrations
of the _Ludi Sæculares_ under the Empire. By the end of the day,
seventeen pieces had been recovered, seven of which belonged to the
records of the games celebrated under Augustus, in the year 17 B. C.,
the others to those celebrated under Septimius Severus and Caracalla,
in the year 204 A. D. Later researches led to the discovery of
ninety-six other fragments, making a total of one hundred and
thirteen, of which eight are of the time of Augustus, two of the time
of Domitian, and the rest date from Severus.

[Illustration: Pillar commemorating the _Ludi Sæculares_.]

The fragments of the year 17 B. C., fitted together, make a block
three metres high, containing one hundred and sixty-eight minutely
inscribed lines. This monument, now exhibited in the Baths of
Diocletian, was in the form of a square pillar enclosed by a
projecting frame, with base and capital of the Tuscan order, and it
measured, when entire, four metres in height. I believe that there is
no inscription among the thirty thousand collected in volume vi. of
the "Corpus" which makes a more profound impression on the mind, or
appeals more to the imagination than this official report of a state
ceremony which took place over nineteen hundred years ago, and was
attended by the most illustrious men of the age.

The origin of the sæcular games seems to be this: In the early days of
Rome the northwest section of the Campus Martius, bordering on the
Tiber, was conspicuous for traces of volcanic activity. There was a
pool here called Tarentum or Terentum, fed by hot sulphur springs, the
efficiency of which is attested by the cure of Volesus, the Sabine,
and his family, described by Valerius Maximus. Heavy vapors hung over
the springs, and tongues of flame were seen issuing from the cracks of
the earth. The locality became known by the name of the fiery field
(_campus ignifer_), and its relationship with the infernal realms was
soon an established fact in folk-lore. An altar to the infernal gods
was erected on the borders of the pool, and games were held
periodically in honor of Dis and Proserpina, the victims being a black
bull and a black cow. Tradition attributed this arrangement of time
and ceremony to Volesus himself, who, grateful for the recovery of his
three children, offered sacrifices to Dis and Proserpina, spread
_lectisternia_, or reclining couches, for the gods, with tables and
viands before them, and celebrated games for three nights, one for
each child which had been restored to health. In the republican epoch
they were called _Ludi Tarentini_, from the name of the pool, and were
celebrated for the purpose of averting from the state the recurrence
of some great calamity by which it had been afflicted. These
calamities being contingencies which no man could foresee, it is
evident that the celebration of the _Ludi Tarentini_ was in no way
connected with definite cycles of time, such as the _sæculum_.

Not long after Augustus had assumed the supreme power, the
_Quindecemviri sacris faciundis_ (a college of priests to whom the
direction of these games had been intrusted from time immemorial)
announced that it was the will of the gods that the _Ludi Sæculares_
should be performed, and misrepresenting and distorting events and
dates, tried to prove that the festival had been held regularly at
intervals of 110 years, which was supposed to be the length of a
_sæculum_. The games of which the Quindecemviri made this assertion
were the Tarentini, instituted for quite a different purpose, but
their suggestion was too pleasing to Augustus and the people to be
despised. Setting aside all disputes about chronology and tradition,
the celebration was appointed for the summer of the year 17 B. C.

[Illustration: Plan and section of the Altar of Dis and Proserpina.]

What was the exact location of the sulphur springs, the Tarentum, and
the altar of the infernal gods? I have reason to regard the discovery
of the Altar of Dis and Proserpina as the most satisfactory I have
made, especially because I made it, if I may so express myself, when
away from Rome on a long leave of absence. It took place in the winter
of 1886-87, during my visit to America. At that time the work of
opening and draining the Corso Vittorio Emanuele had just reached a
place which was considered _terra incognita_ by the topographers, and
indicated by a blank spot in the archæological maps of the city. I
mean the district between the Vallicella (la Chiesa Nuova, the Palazzo
Cesarini, etc.) and the banks of the Tiber near S. Giovanni dei
Fiorentini. The reports spoke vaguely about the discovery of five or
six parallel walls, built of blocks of peperino, of marble steps in
the centre of this singular monument, of gates with marble posts and
architraves, leading to the spaces between the six parallel walls, and
finally, of a column with foliage carved upon its surface. On my
return to Rome, in the spring of 1887, every trace of the monument had
disappeared under the embankment of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. I
questioned foremen and workmen, I consulted the notebooks of the
contractors, every day I visited the excavations which were still in
progress, on each side of the Corso, for building the Cavalletti and
Bassi palaces, and lastly, I examined the "column with foliage carved
upon its surface," which in the mean time had been removed to the
courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitol. This marble
fragment, the only one saved from the excavations, gave me the clue to
the mystery. It was not a column, it was a _pulvinus_, or volute, of a
colossal marble altar, worthy of being compared, in size and
perfection of work, with the Altar of Peace discovered under the
Palazzo Fiano, with that of the Antonines discovered under the Monte
Citorio, and with other such monumental structures. There was then no
hesitation in determining the nature of the discoveries made in the
Corso Vittorio Emanuele; an altar had been found there, and this altar
must have been the one sacred to Dis and Proserpina, as no other is
mentioned in history in the northwest section of the Campus Martius.

The drawings which illustrate my account of the discovery[45] prove
that the altar rose from a platform twelve feet square, approached on
all sides by three or four marble steps, that platform and altar were
enclosed by three lines of wall at an interval of thirty-six feet from
one another, and that on the east side of the square ran a _euripus_,
or channel, eleven feet wide, and four feet deep, lined with stone
blocks, the incline of which towards the Tiber is about 1:100. This
last detail proves that when the rough altar of Volesus Sabinus was
succeeded by the later noble structure, the pool was drained, and its
feeding springs were led into the _euripus_, so that the patients
seeking a cure for their ailments could bathe in or drink the
miracle-working waters with greater ease. No attention whatever was
paid to the discovery at the time it took place. Instead of reaching
the ancient level, the excavation for the main sewer of the Corso
Vittorio Emanuele was stopped at the wrong place, within three feet of
the pavement; consequently whatever fragments of the altar, of
inscriptions, or of works of art, were lying on the marble floor will
lie there forever, as the building of the palaces on either side of
the Corso, and the construction of the Corso itself, with its costly
sewers, sidewalks, etc., have made further research impossible, at
least with our present means.

Concerning the celebration which took place around this altar in the
year 17 B. C., we already possessed ample information from such
materials as the oracle of the Sibyl, referred to by Zosimus, the
_Carmen Sæculare_ of Horace, and the legends and designs on the medals
struck for the occasion; but the official report, discovered September
20, 1890, produces an altogether different impression; it enables us
actually to take part in the pageant, to follow with rapture Horace as
he leads a chorus of fifty-four young men and girls of patrician
birth, singing the hymn which he composed for the occasion.[46]

There is such a tone of simplicity and common-sense, such a display of
method and mutual respect between Augustus, the Senate, and the
Quindecemviri, in the official transactions which preceded, attended
and followed the celebration, in the resolutions passed by the several
bodies, in the proclamations addressed to the people, and in the
arrangements for the festivities, which a mass of a million or more
spectators was expected to attend, that a lesson in civic dignity
could be learned from this report by modern governments and

The official report begins, or rather began (the first lines are
missing), with the request presented by the Quindecemviri to the
Senate to take their proposal into consideration, and grant the
necessary funds, followed by a decree of the Senate accepting the
proposal and inviting Augustus to take the direction of the
festivities. The request was addressed to the Senate on February 17,
by Marcus Agrippa, president of the Quindecemviri, standing before the
seat of the consuls. What a scene to witness! We can picture to
ourselves the two consuls, Gaius Furnius and Junius Silanus, clad in
their official robes, listening to the speech of the great statesman,
who is supported by twenty colleagues, all ex-consuls, and chosen
among the noblest, richest, and most gallant patricians of the age.
The Senate agrees that the preparations for the festival, the building
of the temporary stages, hippodromes, tribunes, and scaffoldings shall
be executed by the contractors (_redemptores_), and that the treasury
officials shall provide the funds.

Lines 1-23 contain a letter from Augustus to the Quindecemviri
detailing the programme of the ceremonies, the number and quality of
persons who shall take part in it, the dates and hours, and the number
and character of the victims. Two clauses of the imperial manifesto
are especially noteworthy. First, that during the three days, June
1-3, the courthouses shall be closed, and justice shall not be
administered. Second, that ladies who are wearing mourning shall lay
aside that sign of grief for this occasion. The date of the manifesto
is March 24.

Upon the receipt of this document the Quindecemviri meet and pass
several resolutions: that the rules regarding the ceremonies shall be
made known to the public by advertisement (_albo propositæ_); that the
mornings of May 26, 27, and 28, shall be set apart for the
_distributio suffimentorum_, in which the Quindecemviri were wont to
distribute among the citizens torches, sulphur and bitumen, for
purification; and the mornings of May 29, 30, and 31, for the _frugum
acceptio_, or distribution of wheat, barley, and beans. To avoid
overcrowding, four centres of distribution are named, and each of them
is placed under the supervision of four members of the college, making
a total of sixteen delegates. The places indicated in the programme
are the platform of the Capitolium, the area in front of the Temple of
Jupiter Tonans, the Portico of the Danaids on the Palatine, and the
Temple of Diana on the Aventine.

On May 23 the Senate meets in the Septa Julia--the ruins of which
still exist, under the Palazzo Doria and the church of S. Maria in Via
Lata--and passes two resolutions. Horace's hymn, vv. 17-20, alludes to
the first: "O Goddess, whether you choose the title of Lucina or of
Genitalis, multiply our offspring, and prosper the decree of the
Senate in relation to the giving of women in wedlock, and the
matrimonial laws." Among the penalties imposed on men and women who
remained single between the ages of twenty and fifty years, was the
prohibition against attending public festivities and ceremonies of
state. The Senate, considering the extraordinary case of the _Ludi
Sæculares_, which none among the living had seen or would ever see
again, removes this prohibition. The second resolution provides for
the erection of two commemorative pillars, one of bronze, the other of
marble, upon which the official report of the celebration shall be
engraved. The bronze pillar is probably lost forever, but the marble
one is that recovered on the banks of the Tiber, September 20, 1890,
the inscription on which I am endeavoring to explain.

The celebration in the strict sense of the word began at the second
hour of the night of May 31. Sacrifices were offered to the Fates, on
altars erected between the Tarentum and the banks of the Tiber, where
S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini now stands; and the other ceremonies were
performed on a wooden stage which was illuminated by lights and fires.
This temporary theatre was not provided with seats, and the report
calls it "a stage without a theatre." In the performances of the next
day and in those of June 2 and 3, which took place on the Capitol and
the Palatine, the following order was observed in the ceremonial
pageant; first came Augustus as Emperor and Pontifex Maximus, next the
Consuls, the Senate, the Quindecemviri and other colleges of priests,
then followed the Vestal Virgins, and a group of one hundred and ten
matrons (as many as there were years in the _sæculum_) selected from
among the most exemplary _matres familiæ_ above twenty-five years of

Twenty-seven boys and twenty-seven girls of patrician descent whose
parents were both living (_patrimi et matrimi_) were enlisted on June
3, to sing the hymn composed expressly by Horace. "Carmen composuit Q.
Horatius Flaccus," so the report says (line 149). The first stanzas of
the beautiful canticle were sung when the procession was marching from
the Temple of Apollo to that of Jupiter Capitolinus, the middle
portion on the Capitol, and the last on the way back to the Palatine.
The accompaniments were played by the orchestra and the trumpeters of
the official choir (_tibicines et fidicines qui sacris publicis præsto
sunt_). The wealth of magnificence and beauty which the Romans beheld
on the morning of June 3, 17 B. C., we can see as in a dream, but it
baffles description. Imagine the group of fifty-four young patricians
clad in snow-white tunics, crowned with flowers, and waving branches
of laurel, led by Horace down the Vicus Apollinis (the street which
led from the Summa Sacra Via to the house of Augustus on the
Palatine), and the Sacra Via, singing the praises of the immortal

    "Quibus septem placuere colles!"

During those days and nights Augustus gave evidence of a truly
remarkable strength of mind and body, never missing a ceremony, and
himself performing the sacrifices. Agrippa showed less power of
endurance than his friend and master. He appeared only in the daytime,
helping the emperor in addressing supplications to the gods, and in
immolating the victims.

ARA PACIS AUGUSTAE. Among the honors voted to Augustus by the Senate
in the year 13 B. C., on the occasion of his triumphal return from the
campaigns of Germany and Gaul, was the erection of a votive altar in
the Curia itself. Augustus refused it, but consented that an altar
should be raised in the Campus Martius and dedicated to Peace. Judging
from the fragments which have come down to us, this _ara_ was one of
the most exquisite artistic productions of the golden age of Augustus.
It stood in the centre of a triple square enclosure, on the west side
of the Via Flaminia, the site of the present Palazzo Fiano. Twice its
remains have been brought to light; once in 1554, when they were drawn
by Giovanni Colonna,[47] and again in 1859, when the present duke of
Fiano was rebuilding the southern wing of the palace on the Via in
Lucina. Of the panels and basreliefs found in 1554, some were removed
to the Villa Medici and inserted in the front of the casino, on the
garden side; others were transferred to Florence; those of 1859 have
been placed in the vestibule of the Palazzo Fiano. They are well worth
a visit.

[Illustration: The family of Augustus. Relief from the Ara Pacis, in
the Gallery of the Uffizi, Florence.]

ARA INCENDII NERONIANI. In the month of July, A. D. 65, half Rome was
destroyed by the fire of Nero. The citizens, overwhelmed by the
greatness of the calamity, and ignorant of its true cause, made a vow
for the annual celebration of expiatory sacrifices, on altars
expressly constructed for the purpose in each of the fourteen regions
of the metropolis. The vow was, however, forgotten until Domitian
claimed its fulfilment some twenty or twenty-five years later. One of
these altars, which adjoined Domitian's paternal house on the
Quirinal, has just been found near the church of S. Andrea del
Noviziato, in the foundations of the new "Ministero della Casa

The altar, six metres long by three wide, built of travertine with a
coating of marble, stands in the middle of a paved area of
considerable size. The area is lined with stone cippi, placed at an
interval of two and a half metres from one another. The following
inscription has been found engraved on two of them: "This sacred area,
marked with stone cippi, and enclosed with a hedge, as well as the
altar which stands in the middle of it, was dedicated by the emperor
Domitian in consequence of an unfulfilled vow made by the citizens at
the time of the fire of Nero. The dedication is made subject to the
following rules: that no one shall be allowed to loiter, trade, build,
or plant trees or shrubs within the line of terminal stones; that on
August 23 of each year, the day of the Volkanalia, the magistrate
presiding over this sixth region shall sacrifice on this altar a red
calf and a pig; that he shall address to the gods the following prayer
(text missing)." The inscription has been read twice: once towards the
end of the fifteenth century, when the cippus containing it was
removed to S. Peter's and made use of in the new building, and again
in 1644, when Pope Barberini was laying the foundations of S. Andrea
al Quirinale, one of the most graceful and pleasing churches of modern

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us now turn our attention to more imposing structures. The first
temple in the excavation of which I took part was that of Jupiter
Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill.[48] Its discovery was due more
to an intuition of the truth, than to actual recognition of existing
remains. On November 7, 1875, while digging for the foundation of the
new Rotunda in the garden which divides the Conservatori palace from
that of the Caffarellis,--the residence of the German ambassador,--our
workmen came upon a piece of a colossal fluted column of Pentelic
marble, lying on a platform of squared stones, which were laid without
mortar, in a decidedly archaic style. Were we in the presence of the
remains of the famous Capitolium, or of one of the smaller temples
within the Arx? To give this query a satisfactory answer, we must
remember that the Capitoline Hill had two summits, one containing the
citadel, or Arx, the other the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the
Capitolium. Ancient writers never use the two names promiscuously, or
apply them indifferently to either summit or to the whole hill. The
name of the hill is the _Capitoline_; not the _Capitol_, which means
exclusively the portion occupied by the great temple. Suffice it to
quote Livy's evidence (vi. 20), _ne quis in Arce aut Capitolio
habitaret_, and also the passage of Aulus Gellius (v. 12) in which the
shrine of Vedjovis is placed between the Arx and the Capitolium.

For many generations topographers tried to discover which summit was
occupied by the citadel, and which by the temple. The Italian school,
save a few exceptions, had always identified the site of the
Aracœli with that of the temple, the Caffarelli palace with that of
the citadel. The Germans upheld the opposite theory. In these
circumstances it is not surprising that the discovery made November
7, 1875, should have excited us; because we saw at once our chance of
settling the dispute, not theoretically, but with the evidence of

The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, designed by Tarquinius Priscus,
built by Tarquinius Superbus, and dedicated in 509 B. C. by the consul
M. Horatius Pulvillus, stood on a high platform 207½ feet long, by
192½ feet broad. The front of the edifice, ornamented with three
rows of columns, faced the south. The style of the architecture was
purely Etruscan, and the intercolumniations were so wide as to require
architraves of timber. The cella was divided into three sections, the
middle one of which was sacred to Jupiter, that on the right to
Minerva, that on the left to Juno Regina; the top of the pediment was
ornamented with a terra-cotta quadriga. Of the same material was the
statue of the god, with the face painted red, and the body dressed in
a _tunica palmata_ and a _toga picta_, the work of an Etruscan artist,
Turianus of Fregenæ.

In 386 B. C. it was found necessary to enlarge the platform in the
centre of which the temple stood; and as the hill was sloping, even
precipitous, on three sides, it was necessary to raise huge foundation
walls from the plain below to the level of the platform, a work
described by Pliny (xxxvi. 15, 24) as prodigious, and by Livy (vi. 4)
as one of the wonders of Rome.

On July 6, 83 B. C., four hundred and twenty-six years after its
dedication by Horatius Pulvillus, an unknown malefactor, taking
advantage of the abundance of timber used in the structure, set fire
to it, and utterly destroyed the sanctuary which for four centuries
had presided over the fates of the Roman Commonwealth. The incendiary,
less fortunate than Erostratos, remained unknown, the suspicions cast
at the time against Papirius Carbo, Scipio, Norbanus and Sulla
having proved groundless. He probably belonged to the faction of
Marius, because we know that Marius himself laid hands on the
half-charred ruins of the temple, and pillaged several thousand pounds
of gold.

[Illustration: _R. Lanciani del._

Sulla the dictator undertook the reconstruction of the Capitolium, for
which purpose he caused some columns of the temple of the Olympian
Jupiter to be removed from Athens to Rome. Sulla's work was continued
by Lutatius Catulus, and finished by Julius Cæsar in 46 B. C. A second
restoration took place in the year 9 B. C. under Augustus, a third A.
D. 74 under Vespasian, and the last in the year 82, under Domitian. It
was therefore evident that, if the temple had not been literally
obliterated since that time, its remains would show the
characteristics of the age of Domitian, who is known to have made use
of Pentelic marble in his reconstruction. We should also find these
remains in the middle of a platform of the time of the kings,
surrounded by foundation walls of the time of the republic. The
accompanying plan shows how perfectly the remains discovered on the
southwestern summit of the Capitoline Hill corresponded to this

The platform, in the shape of a parallelogram, 183 feet broad and a
few feet longer, is built of roughly squared blocks of _capellaccio_,
exactly like certain portions of the Servian walls. Its area and
height were reduced by one third, when the Caffarellis built their
palace, in 1680. A sketch taken at that time by Fabretti and published
in his volume "De Columna Trajana" shows that fourteen tiers of stone
have disappeared. A portion of the same platform, discovered in 1865,
by Herr Schloezer, Prussian minister to Pius IX., is represented on
the next page.

The foundation walls, which Pliny and Livy enumerate among the wonders
of Rome, have been, and are still being, discovered on the three
sides of the hill which face the Piazza della Consolazione, the Piazza
Montanara, and the Via di Torre de' Specchi. They are built of blocks
of red tufa, with facing of travertine. The travertine facing is
covered with inscriptions set up in honor of the great divinity of
Rome by the kings and nations of the whole world. One cannot read
these historical documents[49] without acquiring a new sense of the
magnitude and power of the city.

[Illustration: View of the Platform of the Temple of Jupiter.]

These inscriptions are found mostly at the foot of the substructure,
on the side towards the Piazza della Consolazione. The latest, found
in the foundations of the Palazzo Moroni, contain messages of
friendship and gratitude from kings Mithradates Philopator and
Mithradates Philadelphos, of Pontus, from Ariobarzanes Philoromæus of
Cappadocia and Athenais his queen, from the province of Lycia, from
some townships of the province of Caria, etc.

As for the remains of the temple itself, the colossal column
discovered November 7, 1875, in the Conservatori garden, is not the
only one saved from the wreck. Flaminio Vacca, the sculptor and
amateur-archæologist of the sixteenth century, says: "Upon the
Tarpeian Rock, behind the Palazzo de' Conservatori, several pillars of
Pentelic marble (_marmo statuale_) were lately found. Their capitals
are so enormous that out of one of them I have carved the lion now in
the Villa Medici. The others were used by Vincenzo de Rossi to carve
the prophets and other statues which adorn the chapel of cardinal Cesi
in the church of S. Maria della Pace. I believe the columns belonged
to the Temple of Jupiter. No fragments of the entablature were found:
but as the building was so close to the edge of the Tarpeian Rock, I
suspect they must have fallen into the plain."

The correctness of this surmise is shown not only by the discovery of
the dedicatory inscriptions, in the Piazza della Consolazione, just
alluded to, but also from what took place in 1780, when the duca Lante
della Rovere was excavating the foundations of a house, No. 13, Via
Montanera. The discoveries are described by Montagnani as "marble
entablatures of enormous size and beautiful workmanship, with festoons
and _bucranii_ in the frieze. No one took the trouble to sketch them;
they were destroyed on the spot. I have no doubt that they belonged to
the temple seen by Vacca on the Monte Tarpeo, one hundred and
eighty-six years ago."

All these indications, compared with the discovery of the platform,
the substructure, and the column of Pentelic marble in the
Conservatori garden, leave no doubt as to the real position of the
Temple of Jupiter. To that piece of marble we owe the opportunity and
the privilege of settling a dispute on Roman topography which had
lasted at least three centuries.

The temple, rebuilt by Domitian, stood uninjured till the middle of
the fifth century. In June, 455, the Vandals, under Genseric,
plundered the sanctuary, its statues were carried off to adorn the
African residence of the king, and half the roof was stripped of its
gilt bronze tiles. From that time the place was used as a stone-quarry
and lime-kiln to such an extent that only the solitary fragment of a
column remains on the spot to tell the long tale of destruction.
Another piece of Pentelic marble was found January 24, 1889, near the
Tullianum (S. Pietro in Carcere). It belongs to the top of a column,
and has the same number of flutings,--twenty-four. This fragment seems
to have been sawn on the spot to the desired length, seven feet, and
then dragged down the hill towards some stone-cutter's shop. Why it
was thus abandoned, half way, in a hollow or pit dug expressly for it,
there is nothing to show.

The Temple of Jupiter is represented in ancient monuments of the class
called pictorial reliefs. I have selected for my illustration one of
the panels from the triumphal arch of Marcus Aurelius, near S.
Martina, because it contains a good sketch of the reliefs of the
pediment, with Jupiter seated between Juno and Minerva. The temple
itself is most carelessly drawn, the number of columns being reduced
by one half, that is, from eight to four.[50]


There is one interesting feature of the Capitolium, which is not well
known among those who do not make a profession of archæology. It was
used as a place for advertising State acts, deeds, and documents, in
order that the public might take notice of them and be informed of
what was going on in the administrative, military, and political
departments. This fact is known from a clause appended to imperial
letters-patent by which veterans were honorably discharged from the
army or navy, and privileges bestowed on them in recognition of their
services. These deeds, known as _diplomata honestæ missionis_, were
engraved on bronze tablets shaped like the cover of a book, the
original of which was hung somewhere in the Capitolium, and a copy
taken by the veteran to his home. The originals are all gone, having
fallen the prey of the plunderers of bronze in Rome, but copies are
found in great numbers in every province of the Roman empire from
which men were drafted.[51] These copies end with the clause:--

"Transcribed (and compared or verified) from the original bronze
tablet which is hung in Rome, in the Capitolium"--and here follows the
designation of a special place of the Capitolium, such as,--

"On the right side of the shrine of the _Fides populi romani_"
(December 11, A. D. 52).

"On the left side of the _ædes Thensarum_" (July 2, A. D. 60).

"On the pedestal of the statue of Quintus Marcius Rex, behind the
temple of Jupiter" (June 15, 64).

"On the pedestal of the _ara gentis Iuliæ_, on the right side,
opposite the statue of Bacchus" (March 7, 71).

"On the vestibule, on the left wall, between the two archways" (May
21, 74).

"On the pedestal of the statue of Jupiter Africus" (December 2, 76).

"On the base of the column, on the inner side, near the statue of
Jupiter Africus" (September 5, 85).

"On the tribunal by the trophies of Germanicus, which are near the
shrine of the _Fides_" (May 15, 86).

Comparing these indications of localities with the dates of the
diplomas,--there are sixty-three in all,--it appears that they were
not hung at random, but in regular order from monument to monument,
until every available space was covered. In the year 93 there was not
an inch left, and the Capitol is mentioned no more as a place for
exhibiting or advertising the acts of Government. From that year they
were hung "_in muro post templum divi ad Minervam_," that is, behind
the modern church of S. Maria Liberatrice.

THE TEMPLE OF ISIS AND SERAPIS. In the spring of 1883, in surveying
the tract of ground between the Collegio Romano and the Baths of
Agrippa, formerly occupied by the Temple of Isis and Serapis, and in
collecting archæological information concerning it, I was struck by
the fact that, every time excavations were made on either side of the
Via di S. Ignazio for building or restoring the houses which line it,
remarkable specimens of Egyptian art had been brought to light. The
annals of discoveries begin with 1374, when the obelisk now in the
Piazza della Rotonda was found, under the apse of the church of S.
Maria sopra Minerva, together with the one now in the Villa Mattei von
Hoffman. In 1435, Eugenius IV. discovered the two lions of Nektaneb I.
which are now in the Vatican, and the two of black basalt now in the
Capitoline Museum. In 1440 the reclining figure of a river-god was
found and buried again. The Tiber of the Louvre and the Nile of the
Braccio Nuovo seem to have come to light during the pontificate of Leo
X.; at all events it was he who caused them to be removed to the
Vatican. In 1556 Giovanni Battista de Fabi found, and sold to cardinal
Farnese, the reclining statue of Oceanus now in Naples. In 1719 the
Isiac altar now in the Capitol was found under the Biblioteca
Casanatense. In 1858 Pietro Tranquilli, in restoring his house,--the
nearest to the apse of la Minerva,--came across the following-named
objects: a sphinx of green granite, the head of which is a portrait of
Queen Haths'epu, the oldest sister of Thothmes III., who was famous
for her expedition to the Red Sea, recently described by
Dümmichen;[52] a sphinx of red granite, believed to be a Roman
replica; a group of the cow Hathor, the living symbol of Isis, nursing
the young Pharaoh Horemheb; the portrait statue of the grand dignitary
Uahábra, a good specimen of Saïtic art; a column of the temple,
covered with high reliefs, which represented a procession of
bald-headed priests holding canopi in their hands; a capital, carved
with papyrus leaves and lotus flowers; and a fragment of an Egyptian
basrelief in red granite, with traces of polychromy.

In 1859 Augusto Silvestrelli, the owner of the next house, on the same
side of the Via di S. Ignazio, found five capitals of the same style
and size, which, I believe, are now in the Museo Etrusco Gregoriano.
Inasmuch as no excavation had ever been made under the pavement of the
street itself, which is public property, and as there was no reason
why that strip of public property should not contain as many works of
art as the houses about it, I asked the municipal authorities to try
the experiment, and my proposal was accepted at once.

The work began on Monday, June 11, 1883. It was difficult, because we
had to dig to a depth of twenty feet between houses of very doubtful
solidity. First to appear, at the end of the third day, was a
magnificent sphinx of black basalt, the portrait of King Amasis. It is
a masterpiece of the Saïtic school, perfected even in the smallest
details, and still more impressive for its historical connection with
the conquest of Egypt by Cambyses.

[Illustration: The Sphinx of Amasis.]

The cartouches bearing the king's name appear to have been purposely
erased, though not so completely as to render the name illegible. The
nose, likewise, and the _uræus_, the symbol of royalty, were hammered
away at the same time. The explanation of these facts is given by
Herodotos. When Cambyses conquered Saïs, Amasis had just been buried.
The conqueror caused the body to be dragged out of the royal tomb,
then flogged and otherwise insulted, and finally burnt, the maximum of
profanation, from an Egyptian point of view. His name was erased from
the monuments which bore it, as a natural consequence of the _memoriæ
damnatio_. This sphinx is the surviving testimonial of the eventful
catastrophe. When, six or seven centuries later, a Roman governor of
Egypt, or a Roman merchant from the same province, singled out this
work of art, to be shipped to Rome as a votive offering for the Temple
of Isis, ignorant of the historical value of its mutilations, he had
the nose and the _uræus_ carefully restored. Now both are gone again,
and there is no danger of a second restoration. I may remark, as a
curious coincidence, that, as the name of Amasis is erased from the
sphinx, so that of Hophries, his predecessor, is erased from the
obelisk discovered in the same temple, and now in the Piazza della
Minerva. In these two monuments of the Roman Iseum we possess a
synopsis of Egyptian history between 595 and 526 B. C.

[Illustration: Obelisk of Rameses the Great.]

The second work, discovered June 17, was an obelisk which was
wonderfully well preserved to the very top of the pinnacle, and
covered with hieroglyphics. It was quarried at Assuan, from a richly
colored vein of red granite, and was brought to Rome, probably under
Domitian, together with the obelisk now in the Piazza del Pantheon.
The two monoliths are almost identical in size and workmanship, and
are inscribed with the same cartouches of Rameses the Great. The one
which I discovered was set up, in 1887, to the memory of our brave
soldiers who fell at the battle of Dogali. The site selected for the
monument, the square between the railway station and the Baths of
Diocletian, is too large for such a comparatively small shaft.

Two days later, on the 19th, we discovered two _kynokephaloi_ or
_kerkopithekoi_, five feet high, carved in black porphyry. The
monsters are sitting on their hind legs, with the paws of the forearms
resting on the knees. Their bases contain finely-cut hieroglyphics,
with the cartouche of King Necthor-heb, of the thirtieth Sebennitic
dynasty. One of these _kynokephaloi_, and also the obelisk, were
certainly seen in 1719 by the masons who built the foundations of the
Biblioteca Casanatense. For some reason unknown to us, they kept their
discovery a secret. Many other works of art were discovered before the
close of the excavations, in the last days of June. Among them were a
crocodile in red granite, the pedestal of a candelabrum, triangular in
shape, with sphinxes at the corners; a column of the temple, with
reliefs representing an Isiac procession; and a portion of a capital.
From an architectural point of view, the most curious discovery was
that the temple itself, with its colonnades and double cella, had been
brought over, piece by piece, from the banks of the Nile to those of
the Tiber. It is not an imitation; it is a purely original Egyptian
structure, shaded first by the palm-trees of Saïs, and later by the
pines of the Campus Martius.

The earliest trustworthy account we have of its existence is given by
Flavius Josephus. He relates how Tiberius, after the assault of Mundus
against Paulina,[53] condemned the priests to crucifixion, burned the
shrine, and threw the statue of the goddess into the Tiber. Nero
restored the sanctuary; it was, however, destroyed again in the great
conflagration, A. D. 80. Domitian was the second restorer; Hadrian,
Commodus, Caracalla, and Alexander Severus improved and beautified the
group, from time to time. At the beginning of the fourth century of
our era it contained the _propylaia_, or pyramidal towers with a
gateway, at each end of the _dromos_; one near the present church of
S. Stefano del Cacco, one near the church of S. Macuto. They were
flanked by one or more pairs of obelisks, of which six have been
recovered up to the present time, namely, one now in the Piazza della
Rotonda, a second in the Piazza della Minerva, a third in the Villa
Mattei, a fourth in the Piazza della Stazione, a fifth in the
Sphæristerion at Urbino, and fragments of a sixth in the Albani

From the propylaia, a _dromos_, or sacred avenue, led to the double
temple. To the dromos belong the two lions in the Museo Etrusco
Gregoriano, the two lions in the Capitoline Museum, the sphinx of
Queen Hathsèpu in the Barracco collection, the sphinx of Amasis and
the Tranquilli sphinx in the Capitol, the cow Hathor and the statue of
Uahábra in the Museo Archeologico in Florence, the _kynokephaloi_ of
Necthor-heb, the _kynokephalos_ which gave the popular name of _Cacco_
(ape) to the church of S. Stefano, the statue formerly in the Ludovisi
Gallery, the Nile of the Braccio Nuovo, the Tiber of the Louvre, the
Oceanus at Naples, the River-God buried in 1440, the Isiac altars of
the Capitol and of the Louvre, the tripod, the crocodile and sundry
other fragments which were found in 1883. Of the temple itself we
possess two columns covered with mystic bas-reliefs, seven
capitals,--one in the Capitol, the others in the Vatican,--and two
blocks of granite from the walls of the cella, one in the Barberini
gardens, one in the Palazzo Galitzin.

The last historical mention we possess of this admirable Egyptian
museum of ancient Rome was found by Delille in the "Cod. Parisin."
8064, in which the attempt by Nicomachus Flavianus to revive the pagan
religion in 394 A. D. is minutely described.[54] The reaction caused
by this final outburst of fanaticism must have been fatal to the
temple. The masterpieces of the dromos were upset, and otherwise
damaged, the faces of the _kynokephaloi_ and the noses and paws of the
sphinxes were knocked off, and statues of Pharaohs, gods, priests,
dignitaries, and Pastophoroi were hurled from their pedestals, and
broken to pieces. When this wholesale destruction took place, the
pavement of the temple was still clear of the rubbish and loose soil.
The sphinx of Amasis, found June 14, was lying on its left side on the
bare pavement; the two apes had fallen on their backs. No attempt,
however, was made to overthrow the obelisks, at least the one which I
discovered. When the monolith fell, in the eighth or ninth century,
the floor of the Iseum was already covered with a bed of rubbish five
feet thick. To this fact we owe the wonderful preservation of the
obelisk, the soft, muddy condition of the soil having eased the weight
of the fall.

Students have wondered at the existence, in our time, of such a mine
of antiquities in this quarter of the Campus Martius, where it appears
as if, in spite of the feverish search for ancient marbles, this spot
had escaped the attention of the excavators of the past four or five
centuries. It did not escape their attention. The whole area of the
Iseum, save a few recesses, has been explored since the Middle Ages,
but the search was made to secure marble, which could be burnt into
lime, or turned into new shapes. Of what use would porphyry, or
granite, or basalt be for such purposes? These materials are useless
for the lime-kiln, and too hard to be worked anew, and accordingly
they were left alone. In the excavations of 1883 I found the best
evidence that such was the case. The obelisk is of granite; its
pedestal of white marble. The obelisk escaped destruction, but the
pedestal was split, and made ready for the lime-kiln.

THE TEMPLE OF NEPTUNE. The discoveries made in 1878 in the Piazza di
Pietra, on the site of the Temple of Neptune, rank next in importance
to those just described. In repairing a drain which runs through the
Via de' Bergamaschi to the Piazza di Pietra, the foundations of an
early mediæval church, dedicated to S. Stephen (Santo Stefano del
Trullo) were unearthed, together with historical inscriptions, pieces
of columns of _giallo antico_, and other architectural fragments. On a
closer examination of the discoveries, I was able to ascertain that
the whole church had been built with spoils from the triumphal arch of
Claudius in the Piazza di Sciarra, and from the Temple of Neptune in
the Piazza di Pietra. To enable the reader to appreciate the value of
the discovery, I must begin with a short description of the temple

Dio Cassius (liii. 27) states that, in 26 B. C., Marcus Agrippa built
the Portico of the Argonauts, with a temple in the middle of it,
called the Poseidonion (ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝΙΟΝ), in token of his
gratitude to the god of the seas for the naval victories he had gained
over the foes of the commonwealth; but the beautiful ruins still
existing in the Piazza di Pietra do not belong to Agrippa's work, nor
to the golden age of Roman art. They belong to the restoration of the
temple which was made by Hadrian after the great fire of A. D. 80, by
which the Neptunium, or Poseidonion, was nearly destroyed. The
characteristic feature of the temple was a set of thirty-six
bas-reliefs representing the thirty-six provinces of the Roman Empire
at the beginning of the Christian era. These reliefs were set into the
basement of the temple, so as to form the pedestals of the thirty-six
columns of the peristyle, while the intercolumniations, or spaces
between the pedestals, were occupied by another set of bas-reliefs
representing the military uniforms, flags and weapons which were
peculiar to each of the provinces. The fifteen provinces and fourteen
trophies belonging to the colonnade of the Piazza di Pietra, that is,
to the north side of the temple, have all been accounted for. Four
provinces were found during the pontificate of Paul III. (1534-50),
two during that of Innocent X. (1644-55), two during that of Alexander
VII. (1655-1667), three in our excavations of 1878, and four either
are still in the ground or have perished in a lime-kiln. Here again we
have an instance of the shameful dispersion of the spoils of ancient
Rome. We have this wing of the temple still standing in all its glory,
in the Piazza di Pietra; we have eleven pedestals out of fifteen, and
as many panels for the intercolumniations; the others are _probably_
within our reach, and we have beautiful pieces of the entablature with
its rich carvings. The temple, entablature, and nearly all the
trophies and provinces are public property; nothing would be easier
than to restore each piece to its proper place, and make this wing of
the Neptunium one of the most perfect relics of ancient Rome. Alas!
three provinces and two trophies have emigrated to Naples with the
rest of the Farnese marbles, one has been left behind in the portico
of the Farnese palace in Rome, five provinces and four trophies are in
the Palazzo dei Conservatori, two are in the Palazzo Odescalchi, one
is in the Palazzo Altieri, two pieces of the entablature are used as
a rustic seat in the Giardino delle Tre Pile on the Capitol, and
another has been used in the restoration of the Arch of Constantine.

[Illustration: One of the Provinces from the Temple of Neptune.]

THE TEMPLE OF AUGUSTUS. It is a remarkable fact that, at the beginning
of archæological research in the Renaissance, there was great
enthusiasm over a few strange monuments of little or no interest, the
existence of which would have been altogether unknown but for an
occasional mention in classical texts. As a rule, the cinquecento
topographers give a prominent place in their books to the _columna
Mænia_, the _columna Lactaria_, the _senaculum mulierum_, the _pila
Tiburtina_, the _pila Horatia_ and other equally unimportant works
which, for reasons unknown to us, had forcibly struck their fancy. The
fashion died out in course of time, but never entirely. Some of these
more or less fanciful structures still live in our books, and in the
imagination of the people. The place of honor, in this line, belongs
to Caligula's bridge, which is supposed to have crossed the valley of
the Forum at a prodigious height, so as to enable the young monarch to
walk on a level from his Palatine house to the Temple of Jupiter on
the Capitol. This bridge is not only mentioned in guide-books, and
pointed out to strangers on their first visit to the Forum, but is
also drawn and described in works of a higher standard,[55] in which
the bridge is represented from "remains concealed under a house, which
have been carefully examined and measured, as well as drawn by
architectural draughtsmen of much experience."

The bridge never existed. Caligula made use of the roofs of edifices
which were already there, spanning only the gaps of the streets with
temporary wooden passages. This is clearly stated by Suetonius in
chapters xxii. and xxxvii. and by Flavius Josephus, "Antiq. Jud." xix.
1, 11. From the palace at the northeast corner of the Palatine, he
crossed the roof of the _templum divi Augusti_, then the _fastigium
basilicæ Juliæ_, and lastly the Temple of Saturn close to the
Capitolium. The Street of Victory which divided the emperor's palace
from the Temple of Augustus, the Street of the Tuscans which divided
the temple from the basilica, and the Vicus Iugarius between the
basilica and the Temple of Saturn, were but a few feet wide and could
easily be crossed by means of a _passerelle_. We are told by Suetonius
and Josephus how Caligula used sometimes to interrupt his aerial
promenade midway, and throw handfuls of gold from the roof of the
basilica to the crowd assembled below. I have mentioned this bridge
because the words of Suetonius, _supra templum divi Augusti ponte
transmisso_, gave me the first clew towards the identification of the
splendid ruins which tower just behind the church of S. Maria
Liberatrice, between it and the rotunda of S. Teodoro.

The position of Caligula's palace at the northeast corner of the
Palatine being well known, as also the site of the Basilica Julia, it
is evident that the building which stands between the two must be the
Temple of Augustus. This conclusion is so simple that I wonder that no
one had mentioned it before my first announcement in 1881. The last
nameless remains adjoining the Forum have thus regained their place
and their identity in the topography of this classic quarter.

[Illustration: Plan of the Temple of Augustus.]

[Illustration: Remains of the Temple of Augustus, from a sketch by

The construction of a temple in honor of the deified founder of the
empire was begun by his widow Livia, and Tiberius, his adopted son,
and completed by Caligula. An inscription discovered in 1726, in the
Columbaria of Livia on the Appian Way, mentions a C. Julius Bathyllus,
sacristan or keeper of the temple. Pliny (xii. 19, 42) describes,
among the curiosities of the place, a root of a cinnamon-tree, of
extraordinary size, placed by Livia on a golden tray. The relic was
destroyed by fire in the reign of Titus. Domitian must have restored
the building, because the rear wall of the temple, the _murus post
templum divi Augusti ad Minervam_, is mentioned in contemporary
documents as the place on which state notices were posted. It has been
excavated but once, in June, 1549, when the Forum, the Sacra Via and
the Street of the Tuscans were ransacked to supply marbles and lime
for the building of S. Peter's. Two documents show the wonderful state
of preservation in which the temple was found. One is a sketch, taken
in 1549, by Pirro Ligorio, which, through the kindness of Professor T.
H. Middleton,[56] I reproduce from the original, in the Bodleian
Library; the other is a description of the discovery by Panvinius.[57]
The place was in such good condition that even the statue and altar
of Vortumnus, described by Livy, Asconius, Varro and others, were
found lying at the foot of the steps of the temple.

THE SACELLUM SANCI, or Shrine of Sancus on the Quirinal.[58] The
worship of _Semo Sancus Sanctus Dius Fidius_ was imported into Rome at
a very early period, by the Sabines who first colonized the Quirinal
Hill. He was considered the Genius of heavenly light, the son of
Jupiter _Diespiter_ or _Lucetius_, the avenger of dishonesty, the
upholder of truth and good faith, whose mission upon earth was to
secure the sanctity of agreements, of matrimony, and hospitality.
Hence his various names and his identification with the Roman
Hercules, who was likewise invoked as a guardian of the sanctity of
oaths (_me-Hercle_, _me-Dius Fidius_). There were two shrines of Semo
Sancus in ancient Rome, one built by the Sabines on the Quirinal, near
the modern church of S. Silvestro, from which the _Porta Sanqualis_ of
the Servian walls was named, the other built by the Romans on the
Island of the Tiber (S. Bartolomeo) near the Temple of Jupiter
Jurarius. Justin, the apologist and martyr, laboring under the
delusion that Semo Sancus and Simon the Magician were the same,
describes the altar on the island of S. Bartolomeo as sacred to the
latter.[59] He must have glanced hurriedly at the first three names of
the Sabine god,--SEMONI SANCO DEO,--and translated them ΣΙΜΩΝΙ ΔΕΩ ΣΑΓΚΤΩ.
The altar on which these names were written, the very one
seen and described by S. Justin, was discovered on the same island, in
July, 1574, during the pontificate of Gregory XIII. The altar is
preserved in the Galleria Lapidaria of the Vatican Museum, in the
first compartment (_Dii_).

The shrine on the Quirinal is minutely described by classical writers.
It was hypæthral, that is, without a roof, so that the sky could be
seen by the worshippers of the "Genius of heavenly light." The oath
_me-Dius Fidius_ could not be taken except in the open air. The chapel
contained relics of the kingly period, the wool, distaff, spindle, and
slippers of Tanaquil, and brass _clypea_ or medallions, made of money
confiscated from Vitruvius Vaccus.

[Illustration: Statue of Semo Sancus.]

Its foundations were discovered in March, 1881, under what was
formerly the convent of S. Silvestro al Quirinale, now the
headquarters of the Royal Engineers. The monument is a parallelogram
in shape, thirty-five feet long by nineteen feet wide, with walls of
travertine, and decorations of white marble; and it is surrounded by
votive altars and pedestals of statues. I am not sure whether the
remarkable work of art which I shall describe presently was found in
this very place, but it is a strange coincidence that, during the
progress of the excavations at S. Silvestro, a statue of Semo Sancus
and a pedestal inscribed with his name should have appeared in the
antiquarian market of the city.

The statue, reproduced here from a heliogravure, is life-sized, and
represents a nude youth, of archaic type. His attitude may be compared
to that of some early representations of Apollo, but the expression of
the face and the modelling of some parts of the body are realistic
rather than conventional. Both hands are missing, so that it is
impossible to state what were the attributes of the god. Visconti
thinks they may have been the _avis Sanqualis_ or _ossifraga_, and the
club of Hercules. The inscription on the pedestal is very much like
that seen by S. Justin:--


According to Festus, _bidentalia_ were small shrines of second-rate
divinities, to whom _bidentes_, lambs two years old, were sacrificed.
For this reason the priests of Semo were called _sacerdotes
bidentales_. They were organized, like a lay corporation, in a
_decuria_ under the presidency of a _magister quinquennalis_. Their
residence, adjoining the chapel, was ample and commodious, with an
abundant supply of water. The lead pipe by which this was distributed
through the establishment was discovered at the same time and in the
same place with the bronze statues of athletes described in chapter
xi. of my "Ancient Rome."

The pipe has been removed to the Capitoline Museum, the statue and its
pedestal have been purchased by Pope Leo XIII. and placed in the
Galleria dei Candelabri, and the foundations of the shrine have been


[34] On the almanacs (_Notitia, Curiosum_), containing catalogues and
statistics of Roman buildings in the fourth century, see Mommsen:
_Chronograph von 354_, etc., in the _Abhandlungen der Sächsischen
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften_, vols. ii. 549; iii. 269; viii.
694.--Preller: _Die Regionen der Stadt Rom_. Jena: Hochhausen,
1846.--Jordan: _Topographie der Stadt Rom_. Berlin: Weidmann, ii., pp.
1 & 178.--Richter: _Topographie der Stadt Rom_, 1889, p. 5; id.:
_Hermes_, xx., p. 91.--De Rossi: _Piante iconografiche e prospettiche
di Roma anteriori al sec. XVI_. Roma: Salviucci, 1879.--Guido: _Il
testo siriaco della descrizione di Roma_, etc., in the _Bullettino
Comunale_, 1884, p. 218; and 1891, p. 61.--Lanciani: _Ricerche sulle
XIV regioni urbane_; in the _Bullettino comunale_, 1890, p. 115.

[35] _Inscript_. 139, i.

[36] The fac-simile here presented is from the _Corpus Inscriptionum
Latinarum_, vi. 820.

[37] The sale of skins of victims sacrificed at Athens in the year 334
B. C., in state sacrifices only, brought a revenue of 5,500 drachmas.

[38] See Henzen, _Bullettino dell' Instituto_, 1863, p. 58.--Mommsen:
_Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, vol. i. no. 1503.

[39] See Cicero: _De Divinatione_, ii. 59, 123.--Preller: _Die
Regionen_, p. 133.--Nibby: _Roma Ant._, ii. p. 334.--Beckner:
_Topogr._, p. 539.--Cavedoni: _Bull. dell' Inst._ 1856, p.
102.--Visconti: _Bullettino Comunale_, 1887, p. 154, 156.--Middleton:
_The Remains of Ancient Rome_, ed. 1892, vol. ii. p. 233.

[40] Concerning this celebrated monument, see Tambroni and Poletti:
_Giornale arcadico_, vol. xviii., 1823, p. 371-400.--Gell: _Rome and
its Vicinity_, i. p. 219.--Klausen: _Æneas_, ii. p. 1083.--Canina:
_Via Appia_, i. p. 209-232.--Mommsen: _Corpus Inscriptionum
Latinarum_, vol. i. p. 207, no. 807.

[41] Pliny, _N. H._, x. 29, 41.

[42] A copy of this celebrated picture, dating from the second century
B. C., has been found in a tomb on the Esquiline. It was published in
facsimile and illustrated by Visconti in the _Bullettino Comunale_,
1889, p. 340, tav. xi.-xii.

[43] See the _Annali dell' Instituto_, 1854, p. 28.

[44] The convent and its garden occupy the sites of the house of
Augustus, the temples of Vesta and Apollo, the Greek and Latin
libraries, and the Portico of the Danaids, described in _Ancient
Rome_, ch. v., p. 109. The estate has been owned successively by the
Mattei, Spada, and Ronconi families, and by Charles Mills. Its finest
ornament is a portico built by the Matteis in the sixteenth century
from the designs of Raffaellino del Colle. This pupil of Raphael was
also the painter of the exquisite frescoes representing Venus and
Cupid, Jupiter and Antiope, Hermaphrodite and Salmace, and other
subjects engraved by Marcantonio and Agostino Veneziano. These
frescoes, greatly injured by age and neglect, were restored in 1824,
by Camuccini, at the expense of Mr. Charles Mills.

[45] See Lanciani: _L' itinerario di Einsiedlen_, in the _Monumenti
antichi pubblicati dalla Accademia dei Lincei._ 1891.

[46] This inscription is of such exceptional interest that it is
given, as edited by Mommsen, at the close of this volume.

[47] _Codex Vatic._ 7,721, f. 67.

[48] See Rycquius: _De Capitolio romano_. Leyden, 1669.--Bunsen:
_Beschreibung der Stadt Rom_, iii. A, p. 14.--Hirt: _Der
capitolinische Jupitertempel_, in the _Abhandlungen der Berliner
Akademie_, 1813.--Dureau de la Malle: _Mémoire sur la position de la
roche tarpeienne_, in the _Mémoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions_,
1819.--Niebuhr: _Römische Geschichte_, i. 5,588.--Mommsen: _Bullettino
dell' Instituto_, 1845, p. 119.--Lanciani: _Il tempio di Giove Ottimo
Massimo_, in the _Bullettino comunale_, 1875, p. 165, tav.
xvi.--Jordan: _Osservazioni sul_ _tempio di Giove Capitolino_. Lettera
al sig. cav. R. Lanciani, Roma, 1876.--Hülsen: _Osservazioni sull'
architettura del tempio di Giove Capitolino_, in the _Mittheilungen
des deutschen archäologischen Instituts, römische Abtheilung_, 1888,
p. 150.--Audollent: _Dessin inédit d'un fronton du temple de Jupiter
Capitolin_, in the _Mélanges de l'Ecole française_, 1889, Juin.

[49] See _Bullettino Comunale_, 1886, p. 403; 1887, p. 14, 124, 251;
1888, p. 138.--Mommsen: _Zeitschrift für Numismatik_, xv. p. 207-219.

[50] The same illustration has been selected by Middleton: _The
Remains of Ancient Rome_, vol. i. p. 363.--The reliefs of the pediment
are also well shown in a sketch by Pierre Jacques, dated 1576, and
published by Audollent in the _Mélanges_, 1889, planche ii.

[51] See Clemente Cardinati: _Diplomi imperiali di privilegi_.
Velletri, 1835.--Joseph Arneth: _Zwölf römische Militärdiplome_, Wien,
1843.--Mommsen: _Bullettino dell' Instituto_, 1845, p. 119; _Annali
dell' Instituto_, 1858, p. 198; _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, vol.
iii. part ii. p. 843.--Léon Rénier: _Récueil des diplomes militaires_,
première livraison, Paris, 1876.

[52] _Die Flotte einer ägyptischen Königin aus dem siebzehnten

[53] See Flavius Josephus, _Ant. Ind._, xviii. 4.

[54] See Morel: _Révue Archéologique_, 1868.--De Rossi: _Bullettino di
archeologia cristiana_, 1868.

[55] See Parker's _Forum Romanum_, London, 1876, plates xxiii. and

[56] It has since been published by Middleton himself in his _Remains
of Ancient Rome_, vol. i. p. 275, fig. 35, from a heliogravure of the

[57] In the _Cod. Vat._, 3,439, f. 46.

[58] See Dressel: _Bullettino dell' Instituto_, 1881, p.
38.--Lanciani: _Bullettino Comunale_, 1881, p. 4.--Visconti: _Un
simulacro di Semo Sancus_, Roma, 1881.--Preller: _Römische
Mythologie_, p. 637.

[59] _Apolog._ 26.



     The large number of churches in Rome.--The six classes of the
     earliest of these.--I. Private oratories.--The houses of Pudens
     and Prisca.--The evolution of the church from the private
     house.--II. Scholæ.--The memorial services and banquets of the
     pagans.--Two extant specimens of early Christian scholæ.--That in
     the Cemetery of Callixtus.--III. Oratories and churches built
     over the tombs of martyrs and confessors.--How they came to be
     built.--These the originals of the greatest sanctuaries of modern
     Rome.--S. Peter's.--The origin of the church.--The question of S.
     Peter's residence and execution in Rome.--The place of his
     execution and burial.--The remarkable discovery of graves under
     the _baldacchino_ of Urban VIII.--The basilica erected by
     Constantine.--Some of its monuments.--The chair and statue of S.
     Peter.--The destruction of the old basilica and the building of
     the new.--The vast dimensions of the latter.--Is S. Peter's body
     really still under the church?--The basilica of S. Paul's outside
     the walls.--The obstacles to its construction.--The fortified
     settlement of Johannipolis which grew up around it.--The grave of
     S. Paul.--IV. Houses of confessors and martyrs.--The discoveries
     of padre Germano on the Cælian.--The house of the martyrs John
     and Paul.--V. Pagan monuments converted into churches.--Every
     pagan building capable of holding a congregation was thus
     transformed at one time or another.--Examples of these in and
     near the Coliseum.--VI. Memorials of historical events.--The
     chapel erected to commemorate the victory of Constantine over
     Maxentius.--That of Santa Croce a Monte Mario.

Rome, according to an old saying, contains as many churches as there
are days in the year. This statement is too modest; the "great
catalogue" published by cardinal Mai[60] mentions over a thousand
places of worship, while nine hundred and eighteen are registered in
Professor Armellini's "Chiese di Roma." A great many have disappeared
since the first institution, and are known only from ruins, or
inscriptions and chronicles. Others have been disfigured by
"restorations." Without denying the fact that our sacred buildings
excel in quantity rather than quality, there is no doubt that as a
whole they form the best artistic and historic collection in the
world. Every age, from the apostolic to the present, every school,
every style has its representatives in the churches of Rome.

The assertion that the works of mediæval architects have been
destroyed or modernized to such an extent as to leave a wide gap
between the classic and Renaissance periods, must have been made by
persons unacquainted with Rome; the churches and the cloisters of S.
Saba on the Aventine, of SS. Quattro Coronati on the Cælian, of S.
Giovanni a Porta Latina, of SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio alle Tre Fontane,
of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, are excellent specimens of mediæval
architecture. Let students, archæologists, and architects provide
themselves with a chronological table of our sacred buildings, and
select the best specimens for every quarter of a century, beginning
with the oratory of Aquila and Prisca, mentioned in the Epistles, and
ending with the latest contemporary creations; they cannot find a
better subject for their education in art and history.

From the point of view of their origin and structure, the churches of
Rome of the first six centuries may be divided into six classes:--

I. Rooms of private houses where the first prayer-meetings were held.

II. Scholæ (memorial or banqueting halls in public cemeteries),
transformed into places of worship.

III. Oratories and churches built over the tombs of martyrs and

IV. Houses of confessors and martyrs.

V. Pagan monuments, especially temples, converted into churches.

VI. Memorials of historical events.

In treating this subject we must bear in mind that early Christian
edifices in Rome were never named from a titular saint, but from their
founder, or from the owner of the property on which they were
established. The same rule applies to the suburban cemeteries, which
were always named from the owner of the ground above them, not from
the martyrs buried within. The statement is simple; but we are so
accustomed to calling the Lateran basilica "S. Giovanni," or the
oratory of Pudens "S. Pudentiana," that their original names (Basilica
Salvatoris, and Ecclesia Pudentiana) have almost fallen into oblivion.

I shall select from each of the six classes such specimens as I
believe will convey an impression of its type to the mind of the

I. PRIVATE ORATORIES. "In the familiar record of the first days of the
Christian church we read how the men of Galilee, who returned to
Jerusalem after the ascension, 'went up into the upper chamber,' which
was at once their dwelling-place and their house of prayer and of
assembly. There, at the first common meal, the bread was broken and
the cup passed around in remembrance of the last occasion on which
they had sat at table with Christ. There too they assembled for their
first act of church government, the election of a successor to the
apostate Judas. All is simple and domestic, yet we have here the
beginnings of what became in time the most wide-reaching and highly
organized of human systems. An elaborate hierarchy, a complicated
theology were to arise out of the informal conclave, the memorial
meal; and in like manner, out of the homely meeting-place of the
disciples would be developed the costly and beautiful forms of the
Christian temple."[61]

Rome possesses authentic remains of the "houses of prayer" in which
the gospel was first announced in apostolic times. Five names are
mentioned in connection with the visit of Peter and Paul to the
capital of the empire, and two houses are mentioned as those in which
they found hospitality, and were able to preach the new doctrine. One
of these, belonging to Pudens and his daughters Pudentiana and
Praxedes, stands halfway up the Vicus Patricius (Via del Bambin Gesù)
on the southern slope of the Viminal; the other, belonging to Aquila
and Prisca (or Priscilla), on the spur of the Aventine which overlooks
the Circus Maximus. Both have been represented through the course of
centuries, and are represented now, by a church, named from the owner
the _Titulus Pudentis_, and the _Titulus Priscæ_. Archæologists have
tried to trace the genealogy of Pudens, the friend of the apostles;
but, although it seems probable that he belonged to the noble race of
the Cornelii Æmilii, the fact has not yet been clearly proved. Equally
doubtful are the origin and social condition of Aquila and his wife
Prisca, whose names appear both in the Acts and in the Epistles. We
know from these documents that, in consequence of the decree of
banishment which was issued against the Jews by the emperor Claudius,
Aquila and Prisca were compelled to leave Rome for a while, and that
on their return they were able to open a small oratory--_ecclesiam
domesticam_--in their house. This oratory, one of the first opened to
divine worship in Rome, these walls which, in all probability, have
echoed with the sound of S. Peter's voice, were discovered in 1776
close to the modern church of S. Prisca; but no attention was paid to
the discovery, in spite of its unrivalled importance. The only
memorandum of it is a scrap of paper in Codex 9697 of the Bibliothèque
Nationale in Paris, in which a man named Carrara speaks of having
found a subterranean chapel near S. Prisca, decorated with paintings
of the fourth century, representing the apostles. A copy of the
frescoes seems to have been made at the time, but no trace of it has
been found. I cannot understand how, in an age like ours, so
enthusiastically devoted to archæological, historical, and religious
research, no attempt has since been made to bring this venerable
oratory to light.

In the same excavations of 1776 was found a bronze tablet, which had
been offered to Gaius Marius Pudens Cornelianus, by the people of
Clunia (near Palencia, Spain) as a token of gratitude for the services
which he had rendered them during his governorship of the province of
Tarragona. The tablet, dated April 9, A. D. 222, proves that the house
owned by Aquila and Prisca in apostolic times had subsequently passed
into the hands of a Cornelius Pudens; in other words, that the
relations formed between the two families during the sojourn of the
apostles in Rome had been faithfully maintained by their descendants.
Their intimate connection is also proved by the fact that Pudens,
Pudentiana, Praxedes, and Prisca were all buried in the Cemetery of
Priscilla on the Via Salaria.[62]

A very old tradition, confirmed by the "Liber Pontificalis," describes
the modern church of S. Pudentiana as having been once the private
house of the same Pudens who was baptized by the apostles, and who is
mentioned in the epistles of S. Paul.[63] Here the first converts met
for prayers; here Pudentiana, Praxedes and Timotheus, daughters and
son of Pudens, obtained from Pius I. the institution of a regular
parish-assembly (_titulus_), provided with a baptismal font; and here,
for a long time, were preserved some pieces of household furniture
which had been used by S. Peter. The tradition deserves attention
because it was openly accepted at the beginning of the fourth century.
The name of the church at that time was simply Ecclesia Pudentiana,
which means "the church of Pudens," its owner and founder. An
inscription discovered by Lelio Pasqualini speaks of a Leopardus,
_lector de Pudentiana_, in the year 384; and in the mosaic of the apse
the Redeemer holds a book, on the open page of which is written: "The
Lord, defender of the church of Pudens." In course of time the
ignorant people changed the word Pudentiana, a possessive adjective,
into the name of a saint; and the name Sancta Pudentiana usurped the
place of the genuine one. It appears for the first time in a document
of the year 745.

The connection of the house with the apostolate of SS. Peter and Paul
made it very popular from the beginning. Laymen and clergymen alike
contributed to transform it into a handsome church. Pope Siricius
(384-397), his acolytes Leopardus, Maximus and Ilicius, and Valerius
Messalla, prefect of the city (396-403), ornamented it with mosaics,
colonnades, and marble screens, and built on the west side of the
Vicus Patricius a portico more than a thousand feet long, which led
from the Subura to the vestibule of the church.

In 1588 Cardinal Enrico Caetani disfigured the building with
unfortunate restorations. He laid his hands even on the mosaics of the
apse, considered by Poussin the best in Rome, as they are the oldest
(A. D. 398), and mutilated the figures of two apostles, a portion of
the foreground and the historical inscription. His architect,
Francesco Ricciarelli da Volterra, while excavating the foundations
for one of the pilasters of the new dome, made a discovery, which is
described by Gaspare Celio[64] in the following words:--

"While Francesco Volterra was restoring the church of S. Pudentiana,
and building the foundations of the dome, the masons discovered a
marble group of the Laocoön, broken into many pieces. Whether from ill
will or from laziness, they left the beautiful work of art at the
bottom of the trench, and brought to the surface only a leg, without
the foot, and a wrist. It was given to me, and I used to show it with
pride to my artist friends, until some one stole it. It was a replica
of the Belvedere group, considerably larger, and so beautiful that
many believe it to be the original described by Pliny (xxvi. 5). The
ancients, like the moderns, were fond of reproducing masterpieces. If
the replica of the Pietà of Michelangelo, which we admire in the
church of S. Maria dell' Anima, had been found under the ground, would
we not consider it a better work than the original in S. Peter's?
Francesco Volterra complained to me many times about the slovenliness
of the masons; he says that, working by contract (_a cottimo_), they
were afraid they should get no reward for the trouble of bringing the
group to the surface."

[Illustration: Remains of the House of Pudens, discovered in 1870.]

Remains of the house of Pudens were found in 1870. They occupy a
considerable area under the neighboring houses.[65]

[Illustration: Plan of Pompeian House.]

[Illustration: Remains of the House of Pudens. Front Wall, pierced by
modern windows.]

The theory accepted by some modern writers as regards the
transformation of these halls of prayer into regular churches is this.
The prayer-meetings were held in the _tablinum_ (A) or reception room
of the house, which, as shown in the accompanying plan, opened on the
_atrium_ or court (B), and this was surrounded by a portico or
peristyle (C). In the early days of the gospel the _tablinum_ could
easily accommodate the small congregation of converts; but, as this
increased in numbers and the space became inadequate, the faithful
were compelled to occupy that section of the portico which was in
front of the meeting hall. When the congregation became still larger,
there was no other way of accommodating it, and sheltering it from
rain or sun, than by covering the court either with an awning or a
roof. There is very little difference between this arrangement and the
plan of a Christian basilica. The _tablinum_ becomes an apse; the
court, roofed over, becomes the nave; the side wings of the peristyle
become the aisles.

Among the Roman churches whose origin can be traced to the hall of
meeting, besides those of Pudens and Prisca already mentioned, the
best preserved seems to be that built by Demetrias at the third
milestone of the Via Latina, near the "painted tombs." Demetrias,
daughter of Anicius Hermogenianus, prefect of the city, 368-370, and
of Tyrrania Juliana, a friend of Augustine and Jerome, enlarged the
oratory already existing in the _tablinum_ of the Anician villa, and
transformed it into a beautiful church, afterwards dedicated to S.
Lorenzo. Church and villa were discovered in 1857, and, together with
the painted tombs of the Via Latina, are now the property of the
nation. The stranger could not find a pleasanter afternoon drive. The
church is well preserved, and still contains the metric inscription in
praise of Demetrias which was composed by Leo III. (795-816).[66]

II. SCHOLÆ. The laws of Rome were very strict in regard to
associations, which, formed on the pretence of amusement, charity, or
athletic sports, were apt to degenerate into political sects.
Exception was made in favor of the _collegia funeraticia_, which were
societies formed to provide a decent funeral and place of burial for
their members. An inscription discovered at Civita Lavinia quotes the
very words of a decree of the Senate on this subject: "It is permitted
to those who desire to make a monthly contribution for funeral
expenses to form an association." "These clubs or colleges collected
their subscriptions in a treasure-chest, and out of it provided for
the obsequies of deceased members. Funeral ceremonies did not cease
when the body or the ashes was laid in the sepulchre. It was the
custom to celebrate on the occasion a feast, and to repeat that feast
year by year on the birthday of the dead, and on other stated days.
For the holding of these feasts, as well as for other meetings,
special buildings were erected, named _scholæ_; and when the societies
received gifts from rich members or patrons, the benefaction
frequently took the shape of a new lodge-room, or of a ground for a
new cemetery, with a building for meetings."[67] The Christians took
advantage of the freedom accorded to funeral colleges, and associated
themselves for the same purpose, following as closely as possible
their rules concerning contributions, the erection of lodges, the
meetings, and the ἀγἁπαι or love feasts; and it was largely
through the adoption of these well-understood and respected customs
that they were enabled to hold their meetings and keep together as a
corporate body through the stormy times of the second and third

Two excellent specimens of _scholæ_ connected with Christian
cemeteries and with meetings of the faithful have come down to us, one
above the Catacombs of Callixtus, the other above those of Soter.

The first edifice has the shape of a square hall with three
apses,--_cella trichora_. It is built over the part of the catacombs
which was excavated at the time of Pope Fabianus (A. D. 236-250), who
is known to have raised _multas fabricas per cæmeteria_; it is
probably his work, as the style of masonry is exactly that of the
first half of the third century. The original _schola_ was covered by
a wooden roof, and had no façade or door. In the year 258, while
Sixtus II., attended by his deacons Felicissimus and Agapetus, was
presiding over a meeting at this place in spite of the prohibition of
Valerian, a body of men invaded the _schola_, murdered the bishop and
his acolytes, and razed the building nearly to the level of the
ground. Half a century later, in the time of Constantine, it was
restored to its original shape, with the addition of a vaulted roof
and a façade. The line which separates the old foundations of Fabianus
from the restorations of the age of peace is clearly visible. Later
the _schola_ was changed into a church and dedicated to the memory of
Syxtus, who had lost his wife there, and of Cæcilia, who was buried in
the crypt below. It became a great place of pilgrimage, and the
itineraries mention it as one of the leading stations on the Appian

When de Rossi first visited the place, fifty years ago, this famous
_schola_ or church of Syxtus and Cæcilia was used as a wine-cellar,
while the crypts of Cæcilia and Cornelius were used as vaults. Thanks
to his initiative the monument has again become the property of the
Church of Rome; and after a lapse of ten or twelve centuries divine
service was resumed in it on the twentieth day of April of the present
year. Its walls have been covered with inscriptions found in the
adjoining cemetery.

The theory suggested by modern writers with regard to the _scholæ_ is
very much the same as that concerning the _tablinum_ of private
houses. At first the small building was sufficient to meet the wants
of a small congregation; with the increase of the members it became a
_presbiterium_, or place reserved for the bishop or the clergy, while
the audience stood outside, under the shelter of a tent, or a roof
supported by upright beams. Here also we have all the architectural
elements of the Christian basilica.

The name _schola_, in its original meaning, has never died out in
Rome; and as in the Middle Ages we had the _scholæ_ of the Saxons, the
Greeks, the Frisians, and the Lombards, so we have in the present
day those of the Jews (_gli scoli degli ebrei_).

(From Nortet's _Les Catacombes Romaines_)]

CONFESSORS. The sacred buildings of this class are, or were formerly,
outside the walls, as burial was not allowed within city limits. To
explain their origin and to understand their significance we must bear
in mind the following rules. The action of the Roman law towards the
Christians, that is, towards persons accused of atheism and rebellion
against the Empire, resulted in the execution of those who were
convicted. Except in extraordinary cases, the body of the victim could
be claimed by relatives and friends and buried with due honors. In
chapters vi. and vii. instances will be quoted of the erection of
imposing tombs to the memory of Roman patricians, generals and
magistrates, who were put to death under the imperial régime. The same
privileges of burial were granted to the Christians, who preferred,
however, the modesty and safety of a grave in the heart of the
catacombs to the pompous luxury of a mausoleum above ground. The grave
of a martyr was an object of consideration, and was often visited by
pilgrims, who adorned it with wreaths and lights on the anniversary of
his execution. After the end of the persecutions the first thought of
the victorious church was to honor the memory of those who had fought
so gallantly for the common cause, and who at the sacrifice of their
lives had hastened the advent of the days of freedom and peace. No
better altar than those graves could be chosen for the celebration of
divine service; but they were sunk deep in the ground, and the
cubicula of the catacombs were hardly capable of containing the
officiating clergy, much less the multitudes of the faithful. Touching
the graves, removing them to a more suitable place, was out of the
question; in the eyes of the early Christians no more impious
sacrilege could be perpetrated. There was but one way left to deal
with the difficulty; that of cutting away the rock over and around the
grave, and thereby gaining such space as was deemed sufficient for the
erection of a basilica. The excavation was done in conformity with two
rules,--that the tomb of the martyr should occupy the place of honor
in the middle of the apse, and that the body of the church should be
to the _east_ of the tomb, except in cases of "force majeure," as when
a river, a public road, or some other such obstacle made it necessary
to vary this principle.

Such is the origin of the greatest sanctuaries of Christian Rome. The
churches of S. Peter on the Via Cornelia, S. Paul on the Via
Ostiensis, S. Sebastian on the Via Appia, S. Petronilla on the Via
Ardeatina, S. Valentine on the Via Flaminia, S. Hermes on the Via
Salaria, S. Agnes on the Via Nomentana, S. Lorenzo on the Via
Tiburtina, and fifty other historical structures, owe their existence
to the humble grave which no human hand was allowed to transfer to a
more suitable and healthy place.

When these graves were not very deep, the floor of the basilica was
almost level with the ground, as in the case of S. Peter's, S. Paul's,
and S. Valentine's; in other cases it was sunk so deep in the heart of
the hill that only the roof and the upper tier of windows were seen
above the ground, as in the basilicas of S. Lorenzo, S. Petronilla,
etc. There are two or three basilicas built, or rather excavated,
entirely under ground. The best specimen is that of S. Hermes on the
old Via Salaria.

It soon became evident that edifices sunk in such awkward places could
hardly answer their purpose, on account of dampness and the want of
air and light. Several steps were taken to remedy the evil. Large
portions of the hills were cut away so as to make the edifice free on
one or two sides at least, and outlets for rain or spring water
provided. We have a description of the system of drainage of S.
Peter's, written by its originator, Pope Damasus, in a poem the
original of which, discovered by Pope Paul V., in 1607, is preserved
in the Grotte Vaticane:--

"The hill was abundant in springs; and the water found its way to the
very graves of the saints. Pope Damasus determined to check the evil.
He caused a large portion of the Vatican Hill to be cut away; and by
excavating channels and boring _cuniculi_ he drained the springs so as
to make the basilica dry and also to provide it with a steady fountain
of excellent water."[68]

The Acqua Damasiana is still in use, and has the honor of supplying
the apartments of the Pope. Its feeding-springs are located at S.
Antonino, twelve hundred yards west of S. Peter's. The aqueduct of
Damasus, restored in 1649 by Innocent X., is neatly built in the old
Roman style; the channel is four feet nine inches high, three feet
three inches wide, and runs through the clay of the hill at a depth of
ninety-eight feet. The principal fountain, in the Cortile di S.
Damaso, was designed by Algardi in 1649.

Apparently the works accomplished for the same purpose at S. Lorenzo
fuori le Mura, by Pope Pelagius II. (579-590), were no less important.
They are described in another poem, a modern copy of which (1860) is
to be seen on the side of the mosaic in the apsidal arch. The poem
relates how the hill of Cyriaca was cut away, and how, in consequence
of the excavation, the church became light, accessible, and free from
the danger of landslips and inundations. The importance of the work of
Pelagius is rather exaggerated by the composer of the poem. The church
was never free from dampness and want of air and light until the
pontificate of Pius IX., who cut away another section of the hill.

The damage done to the catacombs by the builders of these sunken
basilicas is incalculable. Thousands of graves must have been
sacrificed for the embellishment of one.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader cannot expect to find in these pages a description of this
class of basilicas; that of S. Peter's alone would require several
volumes. I have in my modest library not less than twenty-two volumes
on the subject, an insignificant fraction of the Petrine literature.
And what do we know about S. Peter's? Very little in comparison with
the amount of knowledge that lies yet unpublished in the volumes of
Grimaldi,[69] in the archives of the Vatican, in epigraphic,
historical and diplomatic documents scattered among various European

The history of the building has yet to be written. Duchesne's "Liber
Pontificalis" and de Rossi's second volume of the "Inscriptiones
Christianæ" provide the necessary foundations for such a work. Let us
hope that the Vatican will soon find its own Rohault de Fleury.[70]

The following sketch of the origin of the two leading sacred edifices
of Rome may answer the scope of the present chapter. But let me repeat
once again the declaration that I write about the monuments of ancient
Rome from a strictly archæological point of view, avoiding questions
which pertain, or are supposed to pertain, to religious controversy.
For the archæologist the presence and execution of SS. Peter and Paul
in Rome are facts established beyond a shadow of doubt by purely
monumental evidence. There was a time when persons belonging to
different creeds made it almost a case of conscience to affirm or deny
_a priori_ those facts, according to their acceptance or rejection of
the tradition of any particular church. This state of feeling is a
matter of the past, at least for those who have followed the progress
of recent discoveries and of critical literature. However, if my
readers think that I am assuming as proved what they still consider
subject for discussion, I beg to refer them to some of the standard
works published on this subject by writers who are above the suspicion
of partiality. Such are Döllinger's "First Age of Christianity"
(translated by Henry Nutcombe Oxenham, second edition, London, Allen,
1867); Bishop Lightfoot's "Apostolic Fathers," part ii., London,
Macmillan, 1885, one of the most beautiful and conclusive works on
early Christian history and literature; and de Rossi's "Bullettino di
archeologia cristiana," for 1877. Bishop Lightfoot justly remarks that
when Ignatius--the second apostolic father, a contemporary of
Trajan--writes to the Romans "I do not command you, like Peter and
Paul," the words are full of meaning, if we suppose him to be alluding
to the personal relations of the two apostles with the Roman Church.
In fact, the reason for his use of this language is the recognition of
the visit to Rome of S. Peter as well as S. Paul, which is
persistently maintained in early tradition; and thus it is a parallel
to the joint mention of the two apostles in "Clement of Rome" (p.
357). Döllinger adds: "That S. Peter worked in Rome is a fact so
abundantly proved and so deeply imbedded in the earliest Christian
history, that whoever treats it as a legend ought in consistency to
treat the whole of the earliest church history as legendary, or at
least, quite uncertain. His presence in Corinth is obviously connected
with his journey to Rome, and no one will accept the one and deny the
other (see Cor. i. 12; iii. 22; xi. 22, 23; Clement's Ep. 47, etc.)
Clement again reminds the Corinthians of the 'martyrdom of Peter and
Paul ... among us,' meaning Rome. The very mention implies that S.
Peter's martyrdom was a well-known fact, and it is inconceivable that
his execution should have been known and not the place where it
occurred, or that the place could have been forgotten, and a wrong one
substituted some years later. And when Ignatius writes to the
Romans--'I do not command you like Peter and Paul; they were
apostles'--it is clear, without any explanation, that he desires to
remind them of the two men who, as founders and teachers, had been the
glory of the Church."

The Ebionite document, called "The Preaching of Peter," produced about
the time of Ignatius, or very soon after, and used by Heracleon in
Hadrian's time, is manifestly founded on the undisputed fact of S.
Peter having labored at Rome. It is inconceivable that the author of
the Ebionite document should have put forward a groundless fable,
about the theatre of S. Peter's operations, at a time when many who
had seen him must have been still alive. Eusebius, who had the
writings of Papias (and Hegesippos) before him, maintains with
Clement, that S. Peter wrote his Epistle at Rome (Euseb. ii. 15).
Papias, a disciple of S. John, speaking of this epistle declares that
"Babylon" means expressly the capital of the empire. Hegesippos, a
Christian Jew of Palestine, who came to Rome in the first half of the
second century, makes Linus the first bishop after the apostles, in
accordance with Irenæus, who says: "After Peter and Paul had founded
the Roman church and set it in order, they gave over the episcopate to
Linus." If we consider that Hegesippos came to Rome to investigate,
among other things, the succession of local bishops for the short
period of eighty-three years, that he certainly spoke with persons
whose fathers could remember the presence of the apostles, we cannot
help accepting his evidence as conclusive.

The main objection brought forward by the opponents is that, after the
incident at Antioch, we have no positive knowledge of the actions and
travels of S. Peter. Still, there is nothing to contradict the
assumption of his journey to Rome, and his confession and execution
there. The fact was so generally known that nobody took the trouble to
write a precise statement of it, because nobody dreamed that it could
be denied. How is it possible to imagine that the primitive Church did
not know the place of the death of its two leading apostles? In
default of written testimony let us consult monumental evidence.

There is no event of the imperial age and of imperial Rome which is
attested by so many noble structures, all of which point to the same
conclusion,--the presence and execution of the apostles in the capital
of the empire. When Constantine raised the monumental basilicas over
their tombs on the Via Cornelia and the Via Ostiensis; when Eudoxia
built the church ad Vincula; when Damasus put a memorial tablet in the
Platonia ad Catacumbas; when the houses of Pudens and Aquila and
Prisca were turned into oratories; when the name of Nymphæ Sancti
Petri was given to the springs in the catacombs of the Via Nomentana;
when the twenty-ninth day of June was accepted as the anniversary of
S. Peter's execution; when Christians and pagans alike named their
children Peter and Paul; when sculptors, painters, medallists,
goldsmiths, workers in glass and enamel, and engravers of precious
stones, all began to reproduce in Rome the likenesses of the apostles,
at the beginning of the second century, and continued to do so till
the fall of the empire; must we consider them all as laboring under a
delusion, or as conspiring in the commission of a gigantic fraud? Why
were such proceedings accepted without protest from whatever city,
from whatever community, if there were any other which claimed to own
the genuine tombs of SS. Peter and Paul? These arguments gain more
value from the fact that the evidence on the opposite side is purely
negative. It is one thing to write of these controversies at a
distance from the scene of the events, in the seclusion of one's own
library; but quite another to study them on the spot, and to follow
the events where they took place. If my readers had the opportunity of
witnessing the discoveries made lately in the Cemeterium Ostrianum,
and the Platonia ad Catacumbas; or of examining Grimaldi's manuscripts
and drawings relating to the old basilica of Constantine; or Carrara's
account of the discoveries made in 1776 in the house of Aquila and
Prisca, they would surely banish from their minds the last shade of

Besides the works of Döllinger, Lightfoot, and de Rossi referred to
above, there are thirty or forty which deal with the same question, as
to whether S. Peter was ever at Rome. The list of them is given in
volume xviii. of the "Encyclopædia Britannica," p. 696, no. 1.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two roads issued from the bridge called _Vaticanus_, _Neronianus_, or
_Triumphalis_, the remains of which are still seen at low water
between S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini and the hospital of S.
Spirito,--the Via Triumphalis, described in chapter vi., which
corresponds to the modern Strada di Monte Mario, and joins the Clodia
at la Giustiniana; and the Via Cornelia, which led to the woodlands
west of the city, between the Via Aurelia Nova and the Triumphalis.
When the apostles came to Rome, in the reign of Nero, the topography
of the Vatican district, which was crossed by the Via Cornelia, was as

On the left of the road was a circus begun by Caligula, and finished
by Nero; on the right a line of tombs built against the clay cliffs of
the Vatican. The circus was the scene of the first sufferings of the
Christians, described by Tacitus in the well-known passage of the
"Annals," xv. 45. Some of the Christians were covered with the skins
of wild beasts so that savage dogs might tear them to pieces; others
were besmeared with tar and tallow, and burnt at the stake; others
were crucified (_crucibus adfixi_), while Nero in the attire of a
vulgar _auriga_ ran his races around the goals. This took place A. D.
65. Two years later the leader of the Christians shared the same fate
in the same place. He was affixed to a cross like the others, and we
know exactly where. A tradition current in Rome from time immemorial
says that S. Peter was executed _inter duas metas_ (between the two
metæ), that is, in the _spina_ or middle line of Nero's circus, at an
equal distance from the two end goals; in other words, he was executed
at the foot of the obelisk which now towers in front of his great
church. For many centuries after the peace of Constantine, the exact
spot of S. Peter's execution was marked by a chapel called the chapel
of the "Crucifixion." The meaning of the name, and its origin, as well
as the topographical details connected with the event, were lost in
the darkness of the Middle Ages. The memorial chapel lost its
identity and was believed to belong to "Him who was crucified," that
is, to Christ himself. It disappeared seven or eight centuries ago. At
the same time the words _inter duas metas_, by which the spot was so
exactly located, were deprived of their genuine significance. The name
_meta_ was generally applied to tombs of pyramidal shape; of which two
were still conspicuous among the ruins of Rome: the pyramid of Caius
Cestius near the Porta S. Paolo, which was called _Meta Remi_, and
that by the church of S. Maria Traspontina, in the quarter of the
Vatican which was called _Meta Romuli_. The consequences of this
mistake were remarkable; to it we owe the erection of two noble
monuments, the church of S. Pietro in Montorio, and the "Tempietto del
Bramante," in the court of the adjoining convent. It seems that in the
thirteenth century, when some one[71] determined to raise a memorial
of S. Peter's execution _inter duas metas_, he chose this spot on the
spur of the Janiculum, because it was located at an equal distance
from the meta of Romulus at la Traspontina, and that of Remus at the
Porta S. Paolo!

The line of the Via Cornelia, which ran parallel with the north side
of the circus, can be traced with precision by the help of the
classical, or pagan, tombs discovered at various times along its
borders. Let us start from the site of the modern Piazza di S. Pietro.
Sante Bartoli, _mem._ 56-57, says that while Pope Alexander VII. was
building the left wing of Bernini's portico, and the fountain of the
southern semicircle, a tomb was discovered with a bas-relief above the
door representing a marriage-scene ("vi era un bellissimo
bassorilievo di un matrimonio antico"). On July 19, 1614, three others
were found in the _atrium_, in one of which was the sarcophagus of
Claudia Hermione, the renowned pantomimist. The best discovery, that
of pagan tombs exactly on the line with that of S. Peter's, was made
in the presence of Grimaldi, November 9, 1616. "On that day," he says,
"I entered a square sepulchral room (10 ft. × 11 ft.), the ceiling of
which was ornamented with designs in painted stucco. There was a
medallion in the centre, with a figure in high relief. The door opened
on the Via Cornelia, which was on the same level. This tomb is located
under the seventh step in front of the middle door of the church. I am
told that the sarcophagus now used as a fountain, in the court of the
Swiss Guards, was discovered at the time of Gregory XIII. in the same
place, and that it contained the body of a pagan."


We come now to the decisive point, the discoveries made in the time of
Urban VIII., when the foundations of his bronze baldacchino were sunk
to a great depth, in close proximity to the tomb of S. Peter. The
genuineness of the account is proved by the fact that in spite of its
great bearing on the question, so little importance was attached to it
that, had not Professor Palmieri and Cavaliere Armellini unearthed it
from the sacred dust of the Vatican archives, in which it had been
buried for three and a half centuries, we should still have been
wholly ignorant of its existence.

The account published by Armellini[72] proves that S. Peter must have
been buried in a small plot surrounded by other tombs, and probably
protected by an enclosing wall. There were graves which in later ages
had been dug in confusion, one above the other, by persons wishing to
lie as near as possible to the remains of the apostle; but those of
the time of the persecution were arranged in parallel lines,[73] and
consisted of plain marble coffins bearing no name, and containing one
or two bodies, which were dressed like mummies, with bands of darkish
linen wound about the body and head. This statement is corroborated by
other evidence. In 1615, when Paul V. built the stairs leading to the
Confession and the crypts, "several bodies were found lying in
coffins, tied with linen bands, as we read of Lazarus in the Gospel:
_ligatus pedibus et manibus institis._ One body only was attired in a
sort of pontifical robe. Notwithstanding the absence of written
indications we thought they were the graves of the ten bishops of Rome
buried _in Vaticano_." So speaks Giovanni Severano on page 20 of his
book "Memorie sacre delle sette chiese di Roma," which was printed in
1629. Francesco Maria Torrigio, who witnessed the exhumations with
cardinal Evangelista Pallotta, adds that the linen bands were from two
to three inches wide, and that they must have been soaked in
aromatics. One of the coffins bore, however, the name LINVS.[74] Let
us now refer to the "Liber Pontificalis," the authority of which as an
historical text-book cannot be doubted, since the critical publication
of Louis Duchesne.[75] After describing the "deposition of S. Peter in
the Vatican, near the circus of Nero, between the Via Aurelia and the
Via Triumphalis, _iuxta locum ubi crucifixus est_ (near the place of
his crucifixion)," it proceeds to say that Linus "was buried side by
side with the remains of the blessed Peter, in the Vatican, October
24." Even if we were disposed to doubt Torrigio's correctness in
copying the name of the second bishop of Rome,[76] the fact of his
burial in this place seems to be certain, because Hrabanus Maurus, a
poet of the ninth century, speaks of Linus's tomb as visible and
accessible, in the year 822. Another man was present at the
discoveries enumerated by Torrigio and Severano; the master-mason
Benedetto Drei, whose drawing, printed in 1635, has become very rare.

The reader will remark how perfectly Drei's sketch fits the written
accounts of the other eye-witnesses, even in the detail of the child's
grave--"_sepoltura di un bambino_,"--which is distinctly mentioned by

       *       *       *       *       *

The privileges which the Roman law allowed to sepulchres, even of
criminals, made it possible for the Christians to keep these graves in
good order, with impunity. However, they ran a great risk under
Elagabalus. Among the many extravagances in which this youth indulged
in connection with the circus, such as driving a chariot drawn by four
camels, or letting loose thousands of poisonous snakes among the
spectators, Lampridius mentions a race of four quadrigæ drawn by
elephants, which was to be run in the Vatican; and as the track inside
the circus was obviously too narrow for such an attempt, another was
prepared outside by removing or destroying those tombs of the Via
Cornelia which stood in the way.[77] It is more than probable that the
body of S. Peter was at that time transferred to a temporary place of
shelter at the third milestone of the Via Appia, which I shall have
opportunity to describe in the seventh chapter.[78]

After the defeat of Maxentius in the plains of Torre di Quinto,
Constantine "raised a basilica over the tomb of the blessed Peter,
which he enclosed in a bronze case. The altar above was decorated with
spiral columns carved with vines which he had brought over from

The basilica was erected hurriedly at the expense of the adjoining
circus. Constantine took advantage of its three northern walls, which
supported the seats of the spectators on the side of the Via Cornelia,
to rest upon them the left wing of the church, and built new
foundations for the right wing only. His architect seems to have been
rather negligent in his measurements, because the tomb of S. Peter did
not correspond exactly with the axis of the nave, and was not in the
centre of the apse, being some inches to the left.

The columns were collected from everywhere. I have discovered in one
of the note-books of Antonio da Sangallo the younger a memorandum of
the quality, quantity, size, color, etc., of one hundred and
thirty-six shafts. Nearly all the ancient quarries are represented in
the collection, not to speak of styles and ages. An exception must be
made in favor of the twelve columns of the Confession, mentioned
above, which, according to the "Liber Pontificalis," were brought over
from Greece (_columnæ vitineæ quas de Græcia perduxit_: i. 176). I
doubt the correctness of the statement; they appear to me a fantastic
Roman work of the third century.

At all events the surmise of the "Liber Pontificalis" shows how little
credit is to be attached to the tradition that they once belonged to
the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem.[80] There are eleven left: of which
eight ornament the balconies under the dome; two, the altar of S.
Mauritius, and one (reproduced in our illustration) the Cappella della
Pietà, the first on the right. It is called the _colonna santa_ (the
holy column), because it was formerly used for the exorcism of evil
spirits. It was enclosed in a marble _pluteus_ by Cardinal Orsini,
in 1438.


(From a rare engraving by Benedetto Drei, head master mason to the
Pope. The site of the tomb of S. Peter and the Fenestella are
indicated by the author)]

There are eleven left: of which eight ornament the balconies under the
dome; two, the altar of S. Mauritius, and one (reproduced in our
illustration) the Cappella della Pietà, the first on the right. It is
called the _colonna santa_ (the holy column), because it was formerly
used for the exorcism of evil spirits. It was enclosed in a marble
_pluteus_ by Cardinal Orsini, in 1438.

[Illustration: The Colonna Santa]

The walls of the church were patched with fragments of tiles
(_tegolozza_) and stone, except the apse and the arches, which were
built of good bricks bearing the name of the emperor:--

_Dominus Noster_ CONSTANTINVS AVG_ustus_.

Grimaldi says that he could not find two capitals or two bases alike.
He says also that the architraves and friezes differed from one
intercolumniation to another, and that some of them were inscribed
with the names and praises of Titus, Trajan, Gallienus, and others. On
each side of the first gateway, at the foot of the steps, were two
granite columns, with composite capitals, representing the bust of the
emperor Hadrian framed in acanthus leaves.

The accompanying illustration, which was copied from an engraving of
Ciampini, shows the aspect of the interior in the year 1588.

[Illustration: View of a section of the Nave of old S. Peter's (South

It gives a fairly good idea of the decorations of the nave, in their
general outline; but fails to show the details of Constantine's
patchwork. His system of structure may be better understood by
referring to another of his creations, the basilica of S. Lorenzo
fuori le Mura, of which a section of the interior is illustrated on p.

The atrium or quadri-portico was entered by three gateways, the middle
one of which had doors of bronze inlaid with silver. The _nielli_
represented castles, cities, and territories which were subject to the
apostolic see. The doors were stolen in 1167, and carried to Viterbo
as trophies of war.

The fountain in the centre of the atrium was a masterpiece of the
time of Symmachus (498-514), who had a great predilection for
buildings connected with hygiene and cleanliness, such as baths,
fountains, and _necessaria_.[81] The fountain is described in my
"Ancient Rome," p. 286; let me add here the particulars concerning its

[Illustration: Nave of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura.]

The structure was composed of a square tabernacle supported by eight
columns of red porphyry, with a dome of gilt bronze. Peacocks,
dolphins, and flowers, also of gilt bronze, were placed on the four
architraves, from which jets of water flowed into the basin below. The
border of the basin was made of ancient marble bas-reliefs,
representing panoplies, griffins, etc. On the top of the structure
were semicircular bronze ornaments worked "à jour," that is, in open
relief, without background, and crowned by the monogram of Christ.
This gem of the art of the sixth century was ruthlessly destroyed by
Paul V. The eight columns of porphyry, one of which was ornamented
with an imperial bust in high relief, have disappeared, and so have
the bas-reliefs of the border of the fountain, although Grimaldi
claims to have saved one. The bronzes were removed to the garden of
the Vatican, but, with the exception of the pine-cone and two
peacocks, they were doomed to share the fate of the marbles. In 1613
the semicircular pediments, the four dolphins, two of the peacocks,
and the dome were melted to provide the ten thousand pounds of metal
required for the casting of the statue of the Madonna which was placed
by Paul V. on the column of S. Maria Maggiore.

[Illustration: The Fountain of Symmachus.]

The most important monument of the atrium, after the fountain, was the
tomb of the emperor Otho II. ([Symbol: Died] 983), or what was
believed to be his tomb, as some contemporary writers attribute it to
Cencio, prefect of Rome, who died 1077. The body lay in a marble
sarcophagus, which was screened by slabs of serpentine, the whole
being surmounted by a porphyry cover supposed to have come from
Hadrian's mausoleum. The mosaic picture above represented the Saviour
between SS. Peter and Paul. This historical monument was demolished by
Carlo Maderno in the night of October 20, 1610. The coffin was removed
to the Quirinal and turned into a water-trough. Grimaldi saw it last,
near the entrance gate from the side of the Via dei Maroniti. The
panels of serpentine were used in the new building, the picture of the
Saviour was removed to the Grotte; the cover of porphyry was turned
upside down, and made into a baptismal font.

The church was entered by five doors, named respectively (from left to
right) the Porta _Iudicii_, _Ravenniana_, _argentea_ or _regia maior_,
_Romana_, and _Guidonea_. The first was called the "Judgment Door,"
because funerals entered or passed out through it. The name
"Ravenniana" seems to have originated in the barracks of marine
infantry of the fleet of Ravenna, detailed for duty in Rome, or else
from the name "Civitas Ravenniana" given to the Trastevere in the
epoch of the decadence. It was reserved for the use of men, as the
fourth or Romana was for women, and the fifth, Guidonea, for tourists
and pilgrims. The main entrance, called the "Royal," or "Silver Door,"
was opened only on grand occasions. Its name was derived from the
silver ornaments affixed to the bronze by Honorius I. (A. D. 626-636)
in commemoration of the reunion of the church of Histria with the See
of Rome. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" nine hundred and
seventy-five pounds of silver were used in the work. There were the
figures of S. Peter on the left and S. Paul on the right, surrounded
by halos of precious stones. They were the prey of the Saracens in
845. Leo IV. restored them to a certain extent, changing the subject
of the silver _nielli_. In the year 1437, Antonio di Michele da
Viterbo, a Dominican lay brother, was commissioned by Pope Eugenius
IV. to carve new side doors in wood, while Antonio Filarete and Simone
Bardi were asked to model and cast, in bronze, those of the middle

On entering the nave the visitor was struck by the simplicity of
Constantine's design, and by the multitude and variety of later
additions, by which the number of altars alone had been increased from
one to sixty-eight. Ninety-two columns supported an open roof, the
trusses of which were of the kingpost pattern. In spite of frequent
repairs, resulting from fires, decay, and age, some of these trusses
still bore the mark of Constantine's name. They were splendid
specimens of timber. Filippo Bonanni, whose description of S. Peter's
deserves more credit than all the rest together, except Grimaldi's
manuscripts,[82] says that on February 21, 1606, he examined and
measured the horizontal beam of the first truss from the façade, which
Carlo Maderno had just lowered to the floor; it was seventy-seven feet
long and three feet thick. The same writer copies from a manuscript
diary of Rutilio Alberini, dated 1339, the following story relating to
the same roof: "Pope Benedict XII. (1334-1342) has spent eighty
thousand gold florins in repairing the roof of S. Peter's, his head
carpenter being maestro Ballo da Colonna. A brave man he was, capable
of lowering and lifting those tremendous beams as if they were motes,
and standing on them while in motion. I have seen one marked with the
name of the builder of the church (CON_stantine_); it was so huge that
all kinds of animals had bored their holes and nests in it. The holes
looked like small caverns, many yards long, and gave shelter to
thousands of rats." Grimaldi climbed the roof at the beginning of
1606, and describes it as made of three kinds of tiles,--bronze,
brick, and lead. The tiles of gilt bronze were cast in the time of the
emperor Hadrian for the roof of the Temple of Venus and Rome. Pope
Honorius I. (625-640) was allowed by Heraclius to make use of them for
S. Peter's. The brick tiles were all stamped with the seal of King
Theodoric, or with the motto BONO ROMÆ (for the good of Rome). The
lead sheets bore the names of various Popes, from Innocent III.
(1130-1138) to Benedict XII. All these precious materials for the
chronology and history of the basilica have disappeared, save a few
planks from the roof, with which the doors of the modern church were

Another sight must have struck the pilgrim as he first crossed the
threshold, that of the "triumphal arch" between the nave and the
transept, glistening with golden mosaics. We owe to Prof. A. L.
Frothingham, Jr., of Baltimore, the knowledge of this work of art, he
having found the description of it by cardinal Jacobacci in his book
"De Concilio" (1538). The mosaics represented the emperor Constantine
being presented by S. Peter to the Saviour, to whom he was offering a
model of the basilica. It was destroyed, with the dedicatory
inscription, in 1525.[83]

The baptistery erected by Pope Damasus after the discovery of the
springs of the Aqua Damasiana, and restored by Leo III. (795-816),
stood at the end of the north transept.[84] One of its inscriptions
contained the verse--

    "Una Petri sedes unum verumque lavacrum,"--

an allusion both to the baptismal font and to the "chair of S.
Peter's," upon which the Popes sat after baptizing the neophytes. The
cathedra is mentioned by Optatus Milevitanus, Ennodius of Pavia, and
by more recent authors, as having changed place many times, until
Alexander VII., with the help of Bernini and Paul Schor, placed it in
a case of gilt bronze at the end of the apse. It has been minutely
examined and described several times by Torrigio, Febeo, and de Rossi.
I saw it in 1867. The framework and a few panels of the relic may
possibly date from apostolic times; but it was evidently largely
restored after the peace of the Church. The upright supports at the
four corners were whittled away by early pilgrims.

[Illustration: The Chair of S. Peter; after photograph from
original--_A_ Oak wood, much decayed, and whittled by pilgrims. _B_
Acacia wood, inlaid with ivory carvings.]

Another work of art deserves attention, because its origin, age, and
style are still matters of controversy. I mean the bronze statue of S.
Peter (see p. 142) placed against the right wall of the nave, near the
S. Andrew of Francis de Quesnoy. Without attempting a discussion which
would be inconsistent with the spirit of this book, I can safely state
that the theories suggested by modern Petrographists, from Torrigio to
Bartolini, deserve no credit. The statue is not the Capitoline Jupiter
transformed into an apostle; nor was it cast with the bronze of that
figure; it never held the thunderbolt in the place of the keys of
heaven. The statue was cast as a portrait of S. Peter; the head
belongs to the body; the keys and the uplifted fingers of the right
hand are essential and genuine details of the original composition.
The difficulty, and it is a great one, consists in stating its age.
There is no doubt that Christian sculptors modelled excellent
portrait-statues in the second and third centuries: as is proved by
that of Hippolytus (see p. 143), discovered in 1551 in the Via
Tiburtina, and now in the Lateran Museum, a work of the time of
Alexander Severus.

There is no doubt also that there is a great similarity between the
two, in the attitude and inclination of the body, the position of the
feet, the style of dress, and even the lines of the folds. But
portrait-statues of bronze may belong to any age; because, while the
sculptor in marble is obliged to produce a work of his own hands and
conception, and the date of a marble statue can therefore be
determined by comparison with other well-known works, the caster in
bronze can easily reproduce specimens of earlier and better times by
taking a mould from a good original, altering the features slightly,
and then casting it in excellent bronze. This seems to be the case
with this celebrated image. I know that the current opinion makes it
contemporary with the erection of Constantine's basilica; but to this
I cannot subscribe on account of the comparatively modern shape of the
keys. One of two things must be true,--either that these keys are a
comparatively recent addition, in which case the statue may be a work
of the fourth century, or they were cast together with the figure. If
the latter be the fact the statue is of a comparatively recent age.
Doubts on the subject might be dispelled by a careful examination of
these crucial details, which I have not been able to undertake to my

[Illustration: Bronze Statue of S. Peter.]

The destruction of old S. Peter's is one of the saddest events in the
history of the ruin of Rome. It was done at two periods and in two
sections, a cross wall being raised in the mean time in the middle of
the church to allow divine service to proceed without interruption,
while the destruction and the rebuilding of each half was accomplished
in successive stages.

[Illustration: Statue of S. Hippolytus.]

The work began April 18, 1506, under Julius II. It took exactly one
century to finish the western section, from the partition wall to the
apse. The demolition of the eastern section began February 21, 1606.
Nine years later, on Palm Sunday, April 12, 1615, the jubilant
multitudes witnessed the disappearance of the partition wall, and
beheld for the first time the new temple in all its glory.

It seems that Paul V., Borghese, to whom the completion of the great
work is due, could not help feeling a pang of remorse in wiping out
forever the remains of the Constantinian basilica. He wanted the
sacred college to share the responsibility for the deed, and summoned
a consistory for September 26, 1605, to lay the case before the
cardinals. The report revealed a remarkable state of things. It seems
that while the foundations of the right side of the church built by
Constantine had firmly withstood the weight and strain imposed upon
them, the foundation of the left side, that is, the three walls of the
circus of Caligula, which had been built for a different purpose, had
yielded to the pressure so that the whole church, with its four rows
of columns, was bending sideways from right to left, to the extent of
three feet seven inches. The report stated that this inclination could
be noticed from the fact that the frescoes of the left wall were
covered with a thick layer of dust; it also stated that the ends of
the great beams supporting the roof were all rotten and no longer
capable of bearing their burden. Then cardinal Cosentino, the dean of
the chapter, rose to say that, only a few days before, while mass was
being said at the altar of S. Maria della Colonna, a heavy stone had
fallen from the window above, and scattered the congregation. The vote
of the sacred college was a foregone conclusion. The sentence of death
was passed upon the last remains of old S. Peter's; a committee of
eight cardinals was appointed to preside over the new building, and
nine architects were invited to compete for the design. These were
Giovanni and Domenico Fontana, Flaminio Ponzio, Carlo Maderno,
Geronimo Rainaldi, Nicola Braconi da Como, Ottavio Turiano, Giovanni
Antonio Dosio, and Ludovico Cigoli. The competition was won by Carlo
Maderno, much to the regret of the Pope, who was manifestly in favor
of his own architect, Flaminio Ponzio. The execution of the work was
marked by an extraordinary accident. On Friday, August 27, 1610, a
cloud-burst swept the city with such violence that the volume of water
which accumulated on the terrace above the basilica, finding no outlet
but the winding staircases which pierced the thickness of the walls,
rushed down into the nave in roaring torrents and inundated it to a
depth of several inches. The Confession and tomb of the apostle were
saved only by the strength of the bronze door.

It is very interesting to follow the progress of the work in
Grimaldi's diary, to witness with him the opening and destruction of
every tomb worthy of note, and to make the inventory of its contents.
The monuments were mostly pagan sarcophagi, or bath basins, cut in
precious marbles; the bodies of Popes were wrapped in rich robes, and
wore the "ring of the fisherman" on the forefinger. Innocent VIII.,
Giovanni Battista Cibo (1484-1492), was folded in an embroidered
Persian cloth; Marcellus II., Cervini (1555), wore a golden mitre;
Hadrian IV., Breakspeare (1154-1159), is described as an undersized
man, wearing slippers of Turkish make, and a ring with a large
emerald. Callixtus III. and Alexander VI., both of the Borgia family,
have been twice disturbed in their common grave: the first time by
Sixtus V., when he removed the obelisk from the spina of the circus to
the piazza; the second by Paul V. on Saturday, January 30, 1610, when
their bodies were removed to the Spanish church of Montserrat, with
the help of the marquis of Billena, ambassador of Philip III., and of
cardinal Çapata.

Grimaldi asserts that Michelangelo's plan of a Greek cross had not
only been designed on paper, but actually begun. When Pope Borghese
and Carlo Maderno determined upon the Latin cross, not only the
foundations of the front had been finished according to Michelangelo's
design, but the front itself, with its coating of travertine, had been
built to the height of several feet. The construction of the dome was
begun on Friday, July 15, 1588, at 4 P. M. The first block of
travertine was placed _in situ_ at 8 P. M. of the thirtieth. The
cylindrical portion or drum (_tamburo_) which supports the dome proper
was finished at midnight of December 17, of the same year, a
marvellous feat to have accomplished. The dome itself was begun five
days later, and finished in seventeen months. If we remember that the
experts of the age had estimated ten years as the time required to
accomplish the work, and one million gold scudi as the cost, we wonder
at the power of will of Sixtus V., who did it in two years and spent
only one fifth of the stated sum.[85] He foresaw that the political
persecution from the crown of Spain and the daily assaults, almost
brutal in their nature, which he had to endure from count d'Olivare,
the Spanish ambassador, would shorten his days, and consequently
manifested but one desire: that the dome and the other great works
undertaken for the embellishment and sanitation of the city should be
finished before his death. Six hundred skilled craftsmen were enlisted
to push the work of the dome night and day; they were excused from
attending divine service on feast days, Sundays excepted. We may form
an idea of the haste felt by all concerned in the enterprise, and of
their determination to sacrifice all other interests to speed, by the
following anecdote. The masons, being once in need of another
receptacle for water, laid their hands on the tomb of Pope Urban VI.,
dragged the marble sarcophagus under the dome on the edge of a
lime-pit, and emptied it of its contents. The golden ring was given to
Giacomo della Porta, the architect, the bones were put aside in a
corner of the building, and the coffin was used as a tank from 1588 to

[Illustration: S. PETER'S IN 1588. (From an engraving by Ciampini)]

When we consider that the building-materials--stones, bricks, timber,
cement, and water--had to be lifted to a height of four hundred feet,
it is no wonder that five hundred thousand pounds of rope should have
been consumed, and fifteen tons of iron. The dome was built on a
framework of most ingenious design, resting on the cornice of the drum
so lightly that it seemed suspended in mid air. One thousand two
hundred large beams were employed in it.

Fea and Winckelmann assert that the lead sheets which cover the dome
must be renewed eight or ten times in a century. Winckelmann attributes
their rapid decay to the corrosive action of the sirocco wind; Fea to
the variations in temperature, which cause the lead to melt in summer,
and crack in winter.

The size and height, the number of columns, altars, statues, and
pictures,--in short, the _mirabilia_ of S. Peter's,--have been greatly
exaggerated. There is no necessity of exaggeration when the truth is
in itself so astonishing. Readers fond of statistics may consult the
works of Briccolani and Visconti.[86] The basilica is approached by a
square 1256 feet in diameter. The nave is six hundred and thirteen
feet long, eighty-eight wide, one hundred and thirty-three high; the
transept is four hundred and forty-nine feet long. The cornice and the
mosaic inscription of the frieze are 1943 feet long. The dome towers
to the height of four hundred and forty-eight feet above the pavement,
with a diameter on the interior of 139.9 feet, a trifle less than
that of the Pantheon. The letters on the frieze are four feet eight
inches high. The old church contained sixty-eight altars and two
hundred and sixty-eight columns; while the modern one contains
forty-six altars,--before which one hundred and twenty-one lamps are
burning day and night,--and seven hundred and forty-eight columns, of
marble, stone and bronze. The statues number three hundred and
eighty-six, the windows two hundred and ninety.

It is easy to imagine to what surprising effects of light and shade
such vastness of proportion lends itself on the occasion of
illuminations. These were made both inside (Holy Thursday and Good
Friday) and outside (Easter, and June 29). The outside illumination
required the use of forty-four hundred lanterns, and of seven hundred
and ninety-one torches, and the help of three hundred and sixty-five
men. It has not been seen since 1870. I have heard from old friends
who remember the illumination of the interior, which was given up more
than half a century ago, that no sight could be more impressive. In
the darkness of the night, a cross studded with thirteen hundred and
eighty lights shone like a meteor at a prodigious height, while the
multitude crowding the church knelt and prayed in silent rapture.

Before leaving the Vatican let me answer a doubt which may naturally
have occurred to the mind of the reader, as it has long perplexed the
author. After the many vicissitudes to which the place has been
subject, from the time of Elagabalus to the pillage of the constable
de Bourbon, can we be sure that the body of the founder of the Roman
Church is still lying in its grave under the great dome of
Michelangelo, under the canopy of Urban VIII., under the high altar of
Clement VIII.? After considering the case from its various aspects,
and weighing all the circumstances which have attended each of the
barbaric invasions, I cannot see any reason why we should disbelieve
the popular opinion. The tombs of S. Peter and S. Paul have been
exposed but once to imminent danger, and that happened in 846, when
the Saracens took possession of their respective churches and
plundered them at leisure. Suppose the crusaders had taken possession
of Mecca: their first impulse would have been to wipe the tomb of the
Prophet from the face of the earth, unless the keepers of the Kaabah,
warned of their approach, had time to conceal or protect the grave by
one means or another. Unfortunately, we know very little about the
Saracenic invasion of 846; still it seems certain that Pope Sergius
II. and the Romans were warned days or weeks beforehand of the landing
of the infidels, by a despatch from the island of Corsica. Inasmuch as
the churches of S. Peter and S. Paul were absolutely defenceless, in
their outlying positions, I am sure that steps were taken to conceal
or wall in the entrance to the crypts and the crypts themselves,
unless the tombs were removed bodily to shelter within the city walls.
An argument, very little known but of great value, seems to prove that
the relics were saved.

The "Liber Pontificalis" describes, among the gifts of Constantine, a
cross of pure gold, weighing one hundred and fifty pounds, which he
placed over the gold lid of the coffin. The golden cross bore the
following inscription in _niello_ work, "Constantine the emperor and
Helena the empress have richly decorated this royal crypt, and the
basilica which shelters it." If this precious object is there, the
remains must _a fortiori_ be there also. Here comes the decisive test.
In the spring of 1594, while Giacomo della Porta was levelling the
floor of the church above the Confession, removing at the same time
the foundations of the Ciborium of Julius II., the ground gave way,
and he saw through the opening what nobody had beheld since the time
of Sergius II.,--the grave of S. Peter,--and upon it the golden cross
of Constantine. On hearing of the discovery, Pope Clement VIII.,
accompanied by cardinals Bellarmino, Antoniano, and Sfrondato,
descended to the Confession, and with the help of a torch, which
Giacomo della Porta had lowered into the hollow space below, could see
with his own eyes and could show to his followers the cross, inscribed
with the names of Constantine and Helena. The impression produced upon
the Pope by this wonderful sight was so great that he caused the
opening to be closed at once. The event is attested not only by a
manuscript deposition of Torrigio, but also by the present aspect of
the place. The materials with which Clement VIII. sealed the opening,
and rendered the tomb once more invisible and inaccessible, can still
be seen through the "cataract" below the altar.

[Illustration: THE TWO BASILICAS OF S. PAUL The original structure of
Constantine in black, that of Theodosius and Honorius shaded]

       *       *       *       *       *

Wonder has been manifested at the behavior of Constantine towards S.
Paul, whose basilica at the second milestone of the Via Ostiensis
appears like a pigmy structure in comparison to that of S. Peter.
Constantine had no intention of placing S. Paul in an inferior rank,
or of showing less honor to his memory. He was compelled by local
circumstances to raise a much smaller building to this apostle. As
before stated, there were three rules which builders of sacred
memorial edifices had to observe: first, that the tomb-altar of the
saint in whose honor the building was to be erected should not be
molested or moved from its original place either vertically or
horizontally; second, that the edifice should be adapted to the tomb
so as to give it a place of honor in the centre of the apse; third,
that the apse and the front of the edifice should look towards the
east. The position of S. Peter's tomb in relation to the circus of
Nero and the cliffs of the Vatican was such as to give the builders of
the basilica perfect freedom to extend it in all directions,
especially lengthwise. This was not the case with that of S. Paul,
which was only a hundred feet distant from an obstacle which could not
be overcome,--the high-road to Ostia, the channel by which the city of
Rome was fed. The road to Ostia ran _east_ of the grave; hence the
necessity of limiting the size of the church within these two points.
Discoveries made in 1834, when the foundations of the present apse
were strengthened, and again in 1850, when the foundations of the
baldacchino of Pius IX. were laid,[87] have enabled Signor Paolo
Belloni, the architect, to reconstruct the plan of the original
building of Constantine. His memoir[88] is full of useful information
well illustrated. One of his illustrations, representing the
comparative plans of the original and modern churches, is here

The plan needs no comment, but one particular cannot be omitted. In
the course of the excavations for the baldacchino, the remains of
classical columbaria were found a few feet from the grave of the
apostle, with their inscriptions still in place. He must, therefore,
have been buried, like S. Peter, in a private area, surrounded by
pagan tombs.

In 386 Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius asked Flavius Sallustius,
prefect of the city, to submit to the Senate and the people a scheme
for the reconstruction _a fundamentis_ of the basilica, so as to make
it equal in size and beauty to that of the Vatican. To fulfil this
project, without disturbing either the grave of the apostle or the
road to Ostia, there was but one thing to do; this was to change the
orientation of the church from east to west, and extend it at pleasure
towards the bank of the Tiber. The consent of the S. P. Q. R. was
easily obtained, and the magnificent temple, which lasted until the
fire of July 15, 1823, was thus raised so as to face in a direction
opposite to the usual one.

[Illustration: The Burning of S. Paul's, July 15, 1823. (From an old

The name of Pope Siricius, who was then governing the church, can
still be seen engraved on one of the columns, formerly in the left
aisle, now in the north vestibule:--


Another rare monument of historical value, in spite of its humble
origin, came to light at the beginning of the last century, and was
published by Bianchini and Muratori, who failed, however, to explain
its meaning. It is a brass label once tied to a dog's collar, with the
inscription "[I belong] to the basilica of Paul the apostle, rebuilt
by our three sovereigns [Valentinianus, Theodosius, and Arcadius]. I
am in charge of Felicissimus the shepherd." Such inscriptions were
engraved on the collars of dogs, and slaves, so that in case they ran
away from their masters, their legal ownership would be known at once
by the police, or whoever chanced to catch them.

In course of time the basilica became the centre of a considerable
group of buildings, especially of monasteries and convents. There were
also chapels, baths, fountains, hostelries, porticoes, cemeteries,
orchards, farmhouses, stables, and mills. This small suburban city was
exposed to a constant danger of pillage, on account of its location on
the high-road from the coast. In 846 it was ransacked by the Saracens,
before the Romans could come to the rescue. For these considerations,
Pope John VIII. (872-882) determined to put the church of S. Paul and
its surroundings under shelter, and to raise a fort that could also
command the approach to Rome from this most dangerous side.

The construction of Johannipolis, by which the history of the
classical and early mediæval fortifications of Rome is brought to a
close, is described by one document only: an inscription above the
gate of the castle, which was copied first by Cola di Rienzo, and
later by Pietro Sabino, professor of rhetoric in the Roman
archigymnasium (Sapienza), towards the end of the fifteenth century. A
few fragments of this remarkable document are still preserved in the
cloister of the monastery. It states that Pope John VIII. raised a
wall for the defence of the basilica of S. Paul's and the surrounding
churches, convents, and hospices, in imitation of that built by Leo
IV. for the protection of the Vatican suburb. The determination to
fortify the sacred buildings at the second milestone of the Via
Ostiensis was taken, as I have just said, in consequence of the
inroads of the Saracens, which, under the pontificate of John, had
become so frequent. The atrocities which marked their second landing
on the Roman coast were so appalling that the whole of Europe was
shaken with terror. Having failed in his attempt to secure help from
Charles the Bald, John placed himself at the head of such scanty
forces as he could gather from land and sea, under the pressure of
events. Ships from several harbors in the Mediterranean met in the
roads of Ostia; and on hearing that the hostile fleet had sailed from
the bay of Naples, the Pope set sail at once. The gallant little
squadron confronted the infidels under the cliffs of Cape Circeo, and
inflicted upon them such a bloody defeat that the danger was averted,
at least for a time. The church galleys came back to the mouth of the
Tiber, laden with a considerable booty.

It seems that the advance fort of Johannipolis was finished and
consecrated by Pope John soon after the naval battle of Cape Circeo
(A. D. 877), because the inscription above referred to speaks of him
as a _triumphant_ leader,--SEDIS APOSTOLICÆ PAPA JOHANNES OVANS.

The location of this fortified outpost could not have been more
judiciously selected. It commanded the roads from Ostia, Laurentum,
and Ardea, those, namely, from which the pirates could most easily
approach the city. It commanded also the water-way by the Tiber, and
the towpaths on each of its banks. It is a great pity that no stone
of this historical wall should be left standing. It saved the city
from further invasions of the African pirates, as the _agger_ of
Servius Tullius had saved it, centuries before, from the attacks of
the Carthaginians. I have examined the ground between S. Paul's, the
Fosso di Grotta Perfetta, the Vigna de Merode, at the back of the
apse, and the banks of the river, without finding a trace of the
fortification. I believe, however, that the wall which encloses the
garden of the monastery on the south side runs on the same line with
John's defences, and rests on their foundations. We must not wonder at
the disappearance of Johannipolis, when we have proofs that even the
quadri-portico, by which the basilica was entered from the riverside,
has been allowed to disappear through the negligence and slovenliness
of the monks. Pope Leo I. erected in the centre of the quadri-portico
a fountain crowned by a Bacchic Kantharos, and wrote on its epistyle a
brilliant epigram, inviting the faithful to purify themselves bodily
and spiritually, before presenting themselves to the apostle within.
When Cola di Rienzo visited the spot, towards the middle of the
fourteenth century, the monument was still in good condition. He calls
it "the vase of waters (_cantharus aquarum_), before the main entrance
(of the church) of the blessed Paul." One century later the whole
structure had become a heap of ruins. Fra Giocondo da Verona looked in
vain for the inscription of Leo I.; he could only find a fragment
"lying among the nettles and thorns" (_inter orticas et spineta_). The
same indifference was shown towards the edifices by which the basilica
was surrounded. They fell, or were overthrown, one by one.

In 1633, when Giovanni Severano wrote his book on the Seven Churches,
only one bit of ruins could be identified, the door and apse of the
church of S. Stephen, to which a powerful convent had once been
attached. Stranger still is the total destruction of the portico, two
thousand yards long, which connected the city gate--the Porta
Ostiensis--with the basilica. This portico was supported by marble
columns, one thousand at least, and its roof was covered with sheets
of lead. Halfway between the gate and S. Paul's, it was intersected by
a church, dedicated to an Egyptian martyr, S. Menna. The church of S.
Menna, the portico, its thousand columns, even its foundation walls,
have been totally destroyed. A document discovered by Armellini in the
archives of the Vatican says that some faint traces of the building
(_vestigia et parietes_) could be still recognized in the time of
Urban VI. This is the last mention made by an eye-witness.

Here, also, we find the evidence of the gigantic work of destruction
pursued for centuries by the Romans themselves, which we have been in
the habit of attributing to the barbarians alone. The barbarians have
their share of responsibility in causing the abandonment and the
desolation of the Campagna; they may have looted and damaged some
edifices, from which there was hope of a booty; they may have profaned
churches and oratories erected over the tombs of martyrs; but the
wholesale destruction, the obliteration of classical and mediæval
monuments, is the work of the Romans and of their successive rulers.
To them, more than to the barbarians, we owe the present condition of
the Campagna, in the midst of which Rome remains like an oasis in a
barren solitude.

S. Paul was executed on the Via Laurentina, near some springs called
_Aquæ Salviæ_, where a memorial chapel was raised in the fifth
century. Its foundations were discovered in 1867, under the present
church of S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane (erected in the seventeenth
century by Cardinal Aldobrandini) together with historical
inscriptions written in Latin and Armenian. I have also to mention
another curious discovery. The apocryphal Greek Acts of S. Paul,
edited by Tischendorff,[89] assert that the apostle was beheaded near
these springs under a stone pine. In 1875, while the Trappists, who
are now intrusted with the care of the Abbey of the Tre Fontane, were
excavating for the foundations of a water-tank behind the chapel, they
found a mass of coins of Nero, together with several pine-cones
fossilized by age, and by the pressure of the earth.

[Illustration: Tombstone of S. Paul.]

The "Liber Pontificalis," i. 178, asserts that Constantine placed the
body of S. Paul in a coffin of solid bronze; but no visible trace of
it is left. I had the privilege of examining the actual grave December
1, 1891, lowering myself from the _fenestella_ under the altar. I
found myself on a flat surface, paved with slabs of marble, on one of
which (placed negligently in a slanting direction) are engraved the

The inscription belongs to the fourth century. It has been illustrated
since by my kind and learned friend, Prof. H. Grisar, to whom I am
indebted for much valuable information on subjects which do not come
exactly within my line of studies.[90]

IV. HOUSES OF CONFESSORS AND MARTYRS. This class of sacred buildings
has been splendidly illustrated by the discoveries made by Padre
Germano dei Passionisti under the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo on
the Cælian. The good work of Padre Germano is not unknown in America,
thanks to Prof. A. L. Frothingham, who has described it in the
"American Journal of Archæology." The discoverer himself will shortly
publish a voluminous account with the title: _La casa dei SS. Giovanni
e Paolo sul monte celio_.

The church has the place of honor in early itineraries of pilgrims,
because of its peculiarity in containing a martyr's tomb _within_ the
walls of the city. William of Malmesbury says: "Inside the city, on
the Cælian hill, John and Paul, martyrs, lay in their own house, which
was made into a church after their death." The Salzburg Itinerary
describes the church as "very large and beautiful." The account of the
lives of the two brothers, and of their execution under Julian the
apostate, is apocryphal; but no one who has seen Padre Germano's
excavations will deny the essential fact, that in this noble Roman
house of the Cælian some one was put to death for his faith, and that
over the room in which the event took place a church was built at a
later age.

Tradition attributes its construction to Pammachius, son of Bizantes,
the charitable senator, and friend of S. Jerome, who built an hospice
at Porto for the use of pilgrims landing from countries beyond the
sea. The church, according to the rule, was not named from the martyrs
to whose memory it was sacred, but from the founders; and it became
known first as the _Titulus Bizantis_, later as the _Titulus

Strictly speaking, there was no transformation, but a mere
superstructure. The Roman house was left intact, with its spacious
halls, and classical decorations, to be used as a crypt, while the
basilica was raised to a much higher level. The murder of the saints
seems to have taken place in a narrow passage (_fauces_) not far from
the _tablinum_ or reception room. Here we see the _fenestella
confessionis_, by means of which pilgrims were allowed to behold and
touch the venerable grave. Two things strike the modern visitor: the
variety of the fresco decorations of the house, which begin with pagan
genii holding festoons, a tolerably good work of the third century,
and end with stiff, uncanny representations of the Passion, of the
ninth and tenth centuries; second, the fact that such an important
monument should have been buried and forgotten, so that its discovery
by Padre Germano took us by surprise. The upper church, the "beautiful
and great" Titulus Pammachii, was treated with almost equal contempt
by Cardinal Camillo Paolucci and his architect, Antonio Canevari, who
"modernized" it at the end of the seventeenth century. The "spirit of
the age" which lured these _seicento_ men into committing such
archæological and artistic blunders, placed no boundary upon its evil
work. It attacked equally the great mediæval structures and their
contents. To quote one instance: in the vestibule of this church was
the tomb of Luke, cardinal of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the friend of S.
Bernard, the legate at the council of Clermont. It was composed of an
ancient sarcophagus, resting on two marble lions. During the
"modernization" of the seventeenth century, the coffin was turned into
a water-trough, and cut half-way across so as to make it fit the place
for which it was intended. Had it not happened that the inscription
was copied by Bruzio before the mutilation of the coffin, we should
have remained entirely ignorant of its connection with the illustrious
friend of S. Bernard. But let us forget these sad experiences, and
step into the beautiful garden of the convent, which, large as it is,
with its dreamy avenues of ilexes, its groves of cypress and laurel,
and its luxuriant vineyards, is all included within the limits of one
ancient temple, that of the Emperor Claudius (_Claudium_).

The view from the edge of the lofty platform over the Coliseum, the
Temple of Venus and Rome, and the slopes of the Palatine, is
fascinating beyond conception, and as beautiful as a dream. No better
place could be chosen for the study of the next class of Roman places
of worship, which comprises:--

twenty-five years of active exploration in ancient Rome, both above
and below ground, enables me to state that every pagan building which
was capable of giving shelter to a congregation was transformed, at
one time or another, into a church or a chapel. Smaller edifices, like
temples and mausoleums, were adapted bodily to their new office, while
the larger ones, such as thermæ, theatres, circuses, and barracks were
occupied in parts only. Let not the student be deceived by the
appearance of ruins which seem to escape this rule; if he submits them
to a patient investigation, he will always discover traces of the
work of the Christians. How many times have I studied the so-called
Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli without detecting the faint traces of
the figures of the Saviour and the four saints, which now appear to me
distinctly visible in the niche of the cella. And again, how many
times have I looked at the Temple of Neptune in the Piazza di
Pietra,[91] without noticing a tiny figure of Christ on the cross in
one of the flutings of the fourth column on the left. It seems to me
that, at one period, there must have been more churches than
habitations in Rome.

I shall ask the reader to walk over the Sacra Via from the foot of the
Temple of Claudius, on the ruins of which we are still sitting, to the
summit of the Capitol, and see what changes time has wrought on the
surroundings of this pathway of the gods.

The Coliseum, which we meet first, on our right, was bristling with
churches. There was one at the foot of the Colossus of the Sun, where
the bodies of the two Persian martyrs, Abdon and Sennen, were exposed
at the time of the persecution of Decius. There were four dedicated to
the Saviour (_S. Salvator in Tellure_, _de Trasi_, _de Insula_, _de
rota Colisei_), a sixth to S. James, a seventh to S. Agatha (_ad caput
Africæ_), besides other chapels and oratories within the amphitheatre

Proceeding towards the Summa Sacra Via and the Arch of Titus we find a
church of S. Peter nestled in the ruins of the vestibule of the Temple
of Venus (the S. Maria Nova of later times).

Popular tradition connected this church with the alleged fall of Simon
the magician,--so vividly represented in Francesco Vanni's picture, in
the Vatican,--and two cavities were pointed out in one of the
paving-stones of the road, which were said to have been made by the
knees of the apostle when he was imploring God to chastise the
impostor. The paving-stone is now kept in the church of S. Maria Nova.
Before its removal from the original place it gave rise to a curious
custom. People believed that rainwater collected in the two holes was
a miracle-working remedy; and crowds of ailing wretches gathered
around the place at the approach of a shower.

On the opposite side of the road, remains of a large church can still
be seen at the foot of the Palatine, among the ruins of the baths
attributed to Elagabalus. Higher up, on the platform once occupied by
the "Gardens of Adonis" and now by the Vigna Barberini, we can visit
the church of S. Sebastiano, formerly called that of S. Maria in
Palatio or in Palladio.

I am unable to locate exactly another famous church, that of S.
Cesareus de Palatio, the private chapel which Christian emperors
substituted for the classic Lararium (described in "Ancient Rome," p.
127). Here were placed the images of the Byzantine princes, sent from
Constantinople to Rome, to represent in a certain way their rights.
The custody of these was intrusted to a body of Greek monks. Their
monastery became at one time very important, and was chosen by
ambassadors and envoys from the east and from southern Italy as their
residence during their stay in Rome.

The basilica of Constantine is another example of this transformation.
Nibby, who conducted the excavations of 1828, saw traces of religious
paintings in the apse of the eastern aisle. They are scarcely
discernible now.

The temple of the Sacra Urbs, and the heroön of Romulus, son of
Maxentius, became a joint church of SS. Cosma and Damiano, during the
pontificate of Felix IV. (526-530); the Temple of Antoninus and
Faustina was dedicated to S. Lorenzo; the Janus Quadrifrons to S.
Dionysius, the hall of the Senate to S. Adriano, the offices of the
Senate to S. Martino, the Mamertine prison to S. Peter, the Temple of
Concord to SS. Sergio e Bacco.

The same practice was followed with regard to the edifices on the
opposite side of the road. The Virgin Mary was worshipped in the
Templum divi Augusti, in the place of the deified founder of the
empire; and also in the Basilica Julia, the northern vestibule of
which was transformed into the church of S. Maria de Foro. Finally,
the Ærarium Saturni transmitted its classic denomination to the church
of S. Salvatore in Ærario.

In drawing sheet no. xxix. of my archæological map of Rome, which
represents the region of the Sacra Via, I have had as much to do with
Christian edifices as with pagan ruins.[92]

VI. MEMORIALS OF HISTORICAL EVENTS. The first commemorative chapel
erected in Rome is perhaps contemporary with the Arch of Constantine,
and refers to the same event, the victory gained by the first
Christian emperor over Maxentius in the plain of the Tiber, near Torre
di Quinto.

[Illustration: Statue of Constantine the Great.]

The existence of this chapel, called the _Oratorium Sanctæ Crucis_
("the oratory of the holy cross"), is frequently alluded to in early
church documents. The name must have originated from a monumental
cross erected on the battlefield, in memory of Constantine's vision
of the "sign of Christ" (the monogram [Symbol: Christ]). In the
procession which took place on S. Mark's day, from the church of S.
Lorenzo in Lucina to S. Peter's, through the Via Flaminia and across
the Ponte Milvio, the first halt was made at S. Valentine's,[93] the
second at the chapel of the Holy Cross. The "Liber Pontificalis," in
the Life of Leo III. (795-816), speaks of this strange ceremony. It
was called the "great litany," and occurred on the twenty-third of
April, the day on which the Romans used to celebrate the Robigalia.
The Christian litany and the pagan ceremony had the same purpose, that
of securing the blessing of Heaven upon the fields, and averting from
them the pernicious effects of late spring frosts. The rites were
nearly the same, the principal one being a procession which left Rome
by the Porta Flaminia, and passed across the Ponte Milvio to a
suburban sanctuary. The end of the pagan pilgrimage was a temple of
the god Robigus or the goddess Robigo, situated at the fifth milestone
of the Via Claudia; that of the Christian the monumental cross near
the same road, and ultimately the basilica of S. Peter's. In course of
time the oratory and cross lost their genuine meaning; they were
thought to mark the spot on which the miraculous vision had appeared
to Constantine on the eve of battle. This was not the case, however,
because Eusebius, to whom the emperor himself described the event,
says that the luminous sign appeared to him before the commencement of
military operations, which means before he crossed the Alps and took
possession of Susa, Turin, and Vercelli. But, if the heavenly
apparition of the "sign of Christ" on Monte Mario is historically
without foundation, the existence of the oratory is not. Towards the
end of the twelfth century it was in a ruinous state, and converted
probably into a stable or a hay-loft. The last archæologist who
mentions it is Seroux d'Agincourt. He describes the ruins "on the
slopes of the hill of the Villa Madama," and gives a sketch of the
paintings which appeared here and there on the broken walls. Armellini
and myself have explored the beautiful woods of the Villa Madama in
all directions without finding a trace of the building. It was
probably destroyed in the disturbances of 1849.

The noble house of the Millini, to whom the Mons Vaticanus owes its
present name of Monte Mario (from Mario Millini, son of Pietro and
grandson of Saba), while building their villa on the highest ridge, in
1470, raised a chapel in place of the one which had been profaned, and
called it Santa Croce a Monte Mario. It was held in great veneration
by the Romans, who made pilgrimages to it in times of public
calamities, such as the famous plague (_contagio-moria)_ of Alexander
VII. I well remember this interesting little church, before its
disappearance in 1880. Its pavement, according to the practice of the
time, was inlaid with inscriptions from the catacombs, whole or in
fragments, twenty-four of which are now preserved in the Lipsanotheca
(Palazzo del Vicario, Piazza di S. Agostino). They contain a curious
list of names, like _Putiolanus_ (so called from his birth-place,
Pozzuoli) or _Stercoria_, a name which seems to have been taken up by
devout people, as a sign of humility. Another inscription over the
door of the sacristy spoke of a restoration of the building in 1696; a
third, composed by Pietro and Mario Mellini in 1470, sang the praises
of the cross. The most important record, however, was engraved on a
slab of marble at the left of the entrance:--

"This oratory was first built in the year of the jubilee, MCCCL, by
Pontius, bishop of Orvieto and vicar of the city of Rome."

The inscription, besides proving that the removal of the oratory from
its original site to the summit of the mountain had been accomplished
before the age of the Millini, is the only historical record of the
jubilee of 1350, which attracted to Rome enormous multitudes, so that
pilgrims' camps had to be provided both inside and outside the walls.
Petrarca and king Louis of Hungary (then on his way back from Apulia)
were among the visitors. Bishop Pontius of Orvieto, Ponzio Perotti, is
also an historical man. He was intrusted with the government of the
city in consequence of the attempted assassination of his predecessor,
cardinal Annibaldo, by a partisan of Cola di Rienzo.

This chapel, to which so many interesting souvenirs were attached,
which owed its origin to one of the greatest battles in history, which
commanded one of the finest panoramas in the world, is no more. It was
sacrificed in 1880 to the necessity of raising a fortress on the hill.
No sign is left to mark its place.


[60] In volume ix. of the _Spicilegium romanum_, pp. 384-468.

[61] Baldwin Brown: _From Schola to Cathedral_, p. 1. Edinburgh,
Douglas, 1886.

[62] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1867, p. 46;
_Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, vi. no. 1454.--Spalletti: _Tavola
ospitale trovata in Roma sull' Aventino._ Roma, Salomoni, 1777 (p.
34).--Lanciani: _The Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1891.--Armellini:
_Chiese_, first edition, p. 500.

[63] 2 Timothy, iv. 21.

[64] Gaspare Celio: _Memoria dei nomi degli artefici_, p. 81. Napoli,
Bonino, 1638.

[65] See Duchesne: _Liber pontificalis_, vol. i. pp. 132, 133.--De
Era: _Storia di S. Pudenziana_, two MSS. volumes in the library of S.
Bernardo alle Terme.--Bartolini: _Sopra l'antichissimo altare di legno
della basilica lateranense._ Roma, 1852.--De Rossi: _Bullettino di
archeologia cristiana_, 1867, p. 49; _Musaici delle chiese di
Roma._--Pellegrini: _Scavi nelle terme di Novato_, in the _Bullettino
dell' Instituto_, 1870, p. 161.

[66] See Lorenzo Fortunati: _Relazione degli scavi e scoperte fatte
lungo la via Latina._ Roma, 1859.

[67] Baldwin Brown: _ubi supra_, p. 17.

[68] Dionysii: _Vaticanæ basilicæ cryptarum monumenta_, pl. xxvii.--De
Rossi: _Inscriptiones Christianæ urbis Romæ_, ii. p. 56, 350,
411.--Duchesne: _Liber pontificalis_, i. cxxii.

[69] See Eugene Müntz: _Ricerche intorno ai lavori archeologici di
Giacomo Grimaldi_. Firenze, 1881.--The best autograph work of
Grimaldi, dedicated to Paul V. in 1618, belongs to the Barberini
library, and is marked xxxiv. 50.

[70] The author of _Le Latran, dans le moyen âge_.

[71] S. Pietro Montorio, rebuilt towards 1472, by Ferdinand IV. and
Isabella of Spain, from the designs of Baccio Pontelli, stands on the
site of an older church.

[72] _Chiese di Roma_, 1st edition, p. 520.

[73] "Collocate e poste una appresso all' altra con diligenza e cura

[74] Francesco Maria Torrigio: _Le sacre grotte vaticane_, p. 64.
Roma, 1639.

[75] _Le liber pontificalis: Texte, introduction et commentaire par
l'abbé L. Duchesne._ Paris, Thorin, 1886-1892.

[76] The letters LINVS might be the termination of a longer name, like

[77] See Lampridius: _Heliog_, 23.

[78] See p. 345 sq.

[79] _Liber Pontificalis_, Silvester, xvi. p. 176.

[80] Pietro Mallio says that they came from the Temple of Apollo in
Troy. This statement, however absurd, confirms the opinion that the
tradition about Solomon's Temple is of modern origin. It seems that
Constantine's canopy was borne by only six columns, and that the other
six were added at the time of Gregory III.

[81] Venuti: _Ragionamento sopra la pina di bronzo_, etc., in the
_Codex Vaticanus_ 9024.--Gayet Lacour: _La pigna du Vatican_, in the
_Mélanges de l'Ecole française_, 1881, p. 312.--Lanciani: _Il Pantheon
e le terme di Agrippa_, in the _Notizie degli scavi_, 1882.--De Rossi:
_Inscriptiones christianæ urbis Romæ_, vol. ii., 428-430.--Gori:
_Archivio storico artistico_, 1881, p. 230.

[82] _Numismata summorum pontificum templi vaticani fabricam
indicantia_, by Philippus Bonanni. Rome, 1696.

[83] See _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1867, p. 33,
sq.--_Idem_, 1883, p. 90.

[84] De Rossi: _Inscriptiones christianæ_, ii. p. 428-430.--Febeo: _De
identitate cathedræ S. Petri_, Rome, 1666.--Cancellieri: _De
secretariis_, p. 1245.

[85] But Sixtus V. (+ 1590) did not complete the lantern surmounting
the dome, upon which the gilded cross was placed November 18, 1593.

[86] Vincenzo Briccolani: _Descrizione della basilica vaticana_, third
ed. Roma, 1816.--Pietro Ercole Visconti: _Metrologia vaticana_. Roma,

[87] The baldacchino raised with questionable taste above the ciborium
of Arnolfo di Cambio, a pupil of Nicolò Pisano (A. D. 1285), rests on
four columns of Oriental alabaster, from the quarries of Sannhur, in
the district of the Beni Souef, offered to Gregory XVI. by Mohammed
Ali, viceroy of Egypt. The pedestals are inlaid with malachite, a
present from the emperor Nicholas of Russia.

[88] _Sulla grandezza e disposizione della primitiva basilica
ostiense_. Roma, 1835.

[89] _Acta apost. apocrif._ p. 1-39. Lipsiæ, 1851.

[90] See: _Die Grabplatte des h. Paulus: neue Studien über die
römischen Apostelgräber_, von H. Grisar, S. I. In the _Römische
Quartalschrift_, 1892. Heft. I., II.

[91] See chapter ii., p. 99.

[92] My map of ancient Rome (scale 1:1000), which has cost me
twenty-five years of labor, will be published in forty-six sheets
measuring 0.90 m. × 0.60 m. each. The first, comprising sheets nos.
iii., x., xvii., xxiii., xxx., and xxxvi. (from the gardens of Sallust
to the Macellum Magnum on the Cælian), will be ready in May, 1893. The
plan is drawn in five colors, referring respectively to the royal,
republican, imperial, mediæval and modern epochs.

[93] The basilica of S. Valentine, discovered in 1886, by our
archæological commission, is mentioned on p. 120 of the present



     The death and burial of Augustus.--His will.--The Monumentum
     Ancyranum.--Description and history of his mausoleum.--Its
     connection with the Colonnas and Cola di Rienzo.--Other members
     of the imperial family who were buried in it.--The story of the
     flight and death of Nero.--His place of burial.--Ecloge, his
     nurse.--The tomb of the Flavian emperors, Templum Flaviæ
     Gentis.--Its situation and surroundings.--The death of
     Domitian.--The mausolea of the Christian emperors.--The tomb and
     sarcophagus of Helena, mother of Constantine.--Those of
     Constantia.--The two rotundas built near St. Peter's as imperial
     tombs.--Discoveries made in them in the fifteenth and sixteenth
     centuries.--The priceless relics of Maria, wife of
     Honorius.--Similar instances of treasure-trove in ancient and
     modern times.

THE MAUSOLEUM OF AUGUSTUS. Ancient writers have left detailed accounts
of the last hours of the founder of the Roman Empire. On the morning
of the nineteenth of August, anno Domini 14, feeling the approach of
death, Augustus inquired of the attendants whether the outside world
was concerned at his precarious condition; then he asked for a mirror,
and composed his body for the supreme event, as he had long before
prepared his mind and soul. Of his friends and the officers of the
household he took leave in a cheerful spirit; and as soon as he was
left alone with Livia he passed away in her arms, saying, "Livia, may
you live happily, as we have lived together from the day of our
marriage." His death was of the kind he had desired, peaceful and
painless. _Εὐθανασίαν_ (an easy end) was the word he used
longingly, whenever he heard of any one dying without agony. Once only
in the course of the malady he seemed to lose consciousness, when he
complained of forty young men crowding around the bed to steal away
his body. More than a wandering mind, Suetonius thinks this was a
vision or premonition of an approaching event, because forty prætorian
soldiers were really to carry the bier in the funeral march. The great
man died at Nola, in the same villa and room in which his father,
Octavius, had passed away years before. His body was transported from
village to village, from city to city, along the Appian Way, by the
members of each municipal council in turn; and, to avoid the intense
heat of the Campanian and Pontine lowlands, the procession marched
only at night, the bier being kept in the local sanctuaries or town
halls during the day. Thus Bovillae (le Frattocchie, at the foot of
the Alban hills) was reached. The whole Roman knighthood was here in
attendance; the body was carried in triumph, as it were, over the last
ten miles of the road, and deposited in the vestibule of the palace on
the Palatine Hill.

[Illustration: Military funeral evolutions; from the base of the
Column of Antoninus.]

Meanwhile proposals were made and resolutions passed in the Senate,
which went far beyond anything that had ever been suggested in such
contingencies of state. One of the members recommended that the statue
of Victory which stood in the Curia should be carried before the
hearse, that lamentations should be sung by the sons and daughters of
the senators, and that the pageant, on its way to the Campus Martius,
should march through the Porta Triumphalis, which was never opened
except to victorious generals. Another member suggested that all
classes of citizens should put aside their golden ornaments and all
articles of jewelry, and wear only iron finger-rings; a third, that
the name of "August" should be transferred to the month of September,
because the lamented hero was born in the latter and had died in the
former. These exaggerated expressions of grief were suppressed,
however, and the funeral was organized with the grandest simplicity.
The body was placed in the Forum, in front of the Temple of Julius
Cæsar, from the _rostra_ of which Tiberius read a panegyric. Another
oration was delivered at the opposite end of the Forum by Drusus, the
adopted son of Tiberius. Then the senators themselves placed the bier
on their shoulders, leaving the city by the Porta Triumphalis. The
procession formed by the Senate, the high priesthood, the knights, the
army, and the whole population skirted the Circus Flaminius and the
Septa Julia, and by the Via Flaminia reached the _ustrinum_, or sacred
enclosure for cremation. As soon as the body had been placed on the
pyre the "march past" began in the same order, the officers and men of
the various army corps making their evolutions or _decursiones_. This
word, taken in a general sense, means a long march by soldiers made in
a given time and without quitting the ranks; when referring to a
funeral ceremony it signifies special evolutions performed three
times, in honor of distinguished generals. A _decursio_ is represented
on the base of the column of Antoninus Pius, now in the Giardino della
Pigna. In that which I am describing, officers and men threw on the
pyre the decorations which Augustus had awarded them for their bravery
in battle. The privilege of setting fire to the _rogus_ was granted to
the captains of the legions whom he had led so often to victory. They
approached with averted faces, and, uttering a last farewell,
performed their act of duty and respect. The cremation accomplished,
and while the glowing embers were being extinguished with wine and
perfumed waters, an eagle rose from the ashes as if carrying the soul
of the hero to Heaven. Livia and a few officers watched the place for
five days and nights, and finally collected the ashes in a precious
urn, which they placed in the innermost crypt of the mausoleum which
Augustus had built in the Campus Martius forty-two years before.

[Illustration: The Apotheosis of an Emperor; from the base of the
Column of Antoninus.]

Of this monument we have a description by Strabo, and ruins which
substantiate the description in its main lines. It was composed of a
circular basement of white marble, two hundred and twenty-five feet in
diameter, which supported a cone of earth, planted with cypresses and
evergreens. On the top of the mound the bronze statue of the emperor
towered above the trees.

This type of sepulchral structure dates almost from prehistoric times,
and was in great favor with the Etruscans. The territories of Vulci,
near the Ponte dell' Abbadia, and of Veii, near the Vaccareccia, are
dotted with these mounds, which the peasantry call _cocumelle_.
Augustus made the type popular among the Romans, as is proved by the
large number of tumuli which date from his age, on the Via Salaria,
the Via Labicana, and the Via Appia.

His tomb was entered from the south, the entrance being flanked by
monuments of great interest, such as the obelisks now in the Piazza
del Quirinale and the Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore; the copies of the
decrees of the Senate in honor of the personages buried within; and,
above all, the _Res gestæ divi Augusti_, a sort of political will,
autobiography, and apology, the importance of which surpasses that of
any other document relating to the history of the Roman Empire.

This was written by Augustus towards the end of his life. He ordered
his executors to have it engraved on bronze pillars on each side of
the entrance to his mausoleum. That his will was duly executed by
Livia, Tiberius, Drusus, and Germanicus, his heirs and trustees, is
proved by the frequent allusions to the document made by Suetonius and
Velleius, and also by the copies which have come down to us, not from
Rome or Italy, but from the remote provinces of Galatia and Pisidia.

It was customary in ancient times to raise temples in honor of the
rulers of the empire, and to ornament them with their images and
eulogies. These were called _Augustea_ or _ædes Augusti et Romæ_ in
the western provinces, σεβαστεῐα in eastern or Greek-speaking
countries,[95] Ancyra (Angora), the capital of Galatia, and Apollonia,
the capital of Pisidia, were the foremost among the Asiatic cities to
pay this honor to the founder of the empire.

The Ancyran temple owes its preservation to the Christians, who made
use of it as a church from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries, and
also to the Turks, who have turned it into a mosque associated with
the Hadji Beiram. The temple and its invaluable epigraphic treasures
became known towards the middle of the sixteenth century. In 1555 an
embassy was sent by the emperor Ferdinand II. to Suleiman, the khalif,
who was then residing at Amasia.[96] It so happened that the head of
the mission, Ogier Ghislain Busbecq, and his assistant, Antony Wrantz,
bishop of Agram, were fond of archæological investigation. They were
struck by the importance of the Augusteum at Ancyra; and with the
help of their secretaries, they made a tolerably good copy of its
inscriptions. Since 1555 the place has been visited many times,
notably by Edmond Guillaume, in 1861, and by Humann, in 1882.[97]
There are two copies of the will of Augustus engraved on the marble
wall of the temple: one in Latin, which is in the pronaos, on either
side of the door; the other in Greek, on the outer wall of the cella.
Both were transcribed (or translated) "from the original, engraved on
the bronze pillars at the mausoleum in Rome." The document is divided
into three parts, and thirty-five paragraphs. The first part describes
the honors conferred on Augustus,--military, civil, and sacerdotal;
the second gives the details of the expenses which he sustained for
the benefit and welfare of the public; the third relates his
achievements in peace and war; and some of the facts narrated are
truly remarkable. He says, for instance, that the Roman citizens who
fought under his orders and swore allegiance to him numbered five
hundred thousand, and that more than three hundred thousand completed
the term of their engagement, and were honorably dismissed from the
army. To each of these he gave either a piece of land, which he bought
with his own money, or the means of purchasing it in other lands than
those assigned to military colonies. Since, at the time of his death,
one hundred and sixty thousand Roman citizens were still serving under
the flag, the number of those killed in battle, disabled by disease,
or dismissed for misconduct, in the course of fifty-five years[98] is
reduced to forty thousand. The percentage is surprisingly low,
considering the defective organization of the military medical staff,
and the length and hardships of the campaigns which were conducted in
Italy (Mutina), Macedonia (Philippi), Acarnania (Actium), Sicily,
Egypt, Spain, Germany, Armenia and other countries. The number of
men-of-war of large tonnage, which were captured, burnt, or sunk in
battle, is stated at six hundred. In the naval engagement against
Sextus Pompeius, off Naulochos, he sank twenty-eight vessels, and
captured or burnt two hundred and fifty-five; so that only seventeen
out of a powerful fleet of three hundred could make their escape.

Thrice he took the census of the citizens of Rome; the first time in
the year 29-28 B. C., when 4,063,000 souls were counted; the second in
the year 8 B. C., showing 4,233,000; the third in 14 A. D., with
4,937,000. Under his peaceful rule, therefore, there was an increase
of 874,000 in the number of Roman citizens. He remarks with pride
that, while from the beginning of the history of Rome to his own age
the gate of the Temple of Janus had been shut but twice, as a sign
that peace was prevailing over land and sea, he had been able to close
it three times in the course of fifty years. His liberalities are
equally surprising. Sometimes they took the form of free distributions
of corn, oil, or wine; sometimes of an allowance of money. He asserts
that he spent in gifts the sum of six hundred and twenty millions of
sestertii, nearly twenty-six millions of dollars. Adding to this sum
the cost of purchasing lands for his veterans in Italy (six hundred
millions) and in the provinces (two hundred and sixty millions), of
giving pecuniary rewards to his veterans (four hundred millions), of
helping the public treasury (one hundred and fifty millions), and the
army funds (one hundred and seventy millions), besides other grants
and bounties, the amount of which is not known, we reach a total
expenditure for the benefit of his people of ninety-one million

I need not speak of the material renovation of the city, which he
found of brick and left of marble. Roads, streets, aqueducts, bridges,
quays, places of amusement, places of worship, parks, gardens, public
offices, were built, opened, repaired, and decorated with incredible
profusion. Suetonius says that, on one occasion alone, he offered to
Jupiter Capitolinus sixteen thousand pounds of gold and fifty
millions' worth of jewels. In the year 28 B. C. not less than
eighty-two temples were rebuilt in Rome itself.

Were we not in the presence of official statistics and of state
documents, we should hardly feel inclined to believe these enormous
statements. We must remember, too, that the work of Augustus was
seconded and imitated with equal magnitude by his wealthy friends and
advisers, Marcius Philippus, Lucius Cornificius, Asinius Pollio,
Munatius Plaucus, Cornelius Balbus, Statilius Taurus, and above all by
Marcus Agrippa, to whom we owe the aqueducts of the Virgo and Julia,
the Pantheon, the Thermæ, the artificial lake (_stagnum_), the Portico
of the Argonauts, the Temple of Neptune, the Portico of Vipsania
Palta, the Diribitorium, the Septa, the Campus Agrippæ, a bridge on
the Tiber, and hundreds of other costly structures. During the twelve
months of his ædileship, in 19 B. C., he rebuilt the network of the
city sewers, adding many miles of new channels, erected eight hundred
and five fountains, and one hundred and thirty water reservoirs. These
edifices were ornamented with three hundred bronze and marble statues,
and four hundred columns.

We have seen works of perhaps greater importance accomplished in our
age; but, as Baron de Hübner remarks, in speaking of another great
man, Sixtus V., they are the joint product of government, national
credit, speculation, and public and private capital; and they are
facilitated by wonderful mechanical contrivances. The transformation
of Rome at the time of Augustus was the work of a few wealthy
citizens, whose names will forever be connected with their splendid

The gates of the Mausoleum of Augustus were opened for the last time
in A. D. 98, for the reception of the ashes of Nerva. We hear no more
of it until the year 410, when the Goths ransacked the imperial
vaults. No harm, however, seems to have been done to the building
itself at that time. Like the mausolea of Metella, on the Appian Way,
and Hadrian, on the right bank of the Tiber, it was subsequently
converted into a stronghold, and occupied by the Colonnas. Its
ultimate destruction, in 1167, marks one of the great occurences in
the history of mediæval Rome.

Between the counts of Tusculum, partisans of the German Empire, and
the Romans, devoted to their independent municipal government, there
was a feud of long standing, which had resulted occasionally in open
violence. In 1167, Alexander III. being Pope, the Romans decided to
strike the decisive blow on the Tusculans, as well as on their allies,
the Albans. The cardinal of Aragona, the biographer of Alexander III.,
states that towards the end of May, when the cornfields begin to
ripen, the Romans sallied forth on their expedition against Count
Raynone, much against the Pope's will; and having crossed the frontier
of his estate, set fire to the crops, uprooted trees and vineyards,
ruined farmhouses, killed cattle, and laid siege to the city itself.
Raynone, knowing how precarious his position was, implored the help of
the emperor Frederic, who was at that time encamped near Ancona. The
request was granted, and a body of German warriors returned with the
ambassadors to the rescue of Tusculum. They soon perceived that,
although the Romans had the advantage of numbers, they were so
imperfectly drilled and so insubordinate that the chances were equal
for both sides. The battle was opened at nine o'clock on the morning
of Whit-Monday, May 30, 1167. The twelve hundred Germans, led by
Christian, archbishop of Mayence, and three hundred Tusculans, led by
Raynone, gallantly attacked the advance guard of the Roman army, which
numbered thirty thousand men. Overcome by panic, the Romans fled and
disbanded at the first encounter. They were closely followed from
valley to valley, and slain in such numbers that scarcely one third of
them reached the walls of Aurelian in safety. The local memories of
the battle still survive, after a lapse of eight centuries; the valley
which leads from the villa of Q. Voconius Pollio (Sassone) to Marino
being still called by the peasantry "la valle dei morti."

On the following day an embassy was sent to Archbishop Christian and
Count Raynone begging leave to bury the dead. The permission was
granted, with the humiliating clause that the number of dead and
missing should be reported at Tusculum. The legend says that the
number ascertained was fifteen thousand, which is an exaggeration.
Contemporary historians speak of only two thousand dead and three
thousand prisoners, who were sent to Viterbo. The chronicle of
Sikkardt adds that the Romans were encamped near Monte Porzio; that
the battle lasted only two hours, and that the dead were buried in the
church of S. Stefano, at the second milestone of the Via Latina, with
the following inscription:--


which, if genuine, proves that the number of killed in battle was only
eleven hundred and sixty-six, that is, 1,000+100+60+6.

The connection of the Mausoleum of Augustus with this mediæval battle
of Cannæ is easily explained. The mausoleum had been selected by the
Colonnas for their stronghold in the Campus Martius, and it was for
their interest to keep it in good repair. As happens in cases of
crushing defeats, when the succumbing party must find an excuse and an
opportunity for revenge, the powerful Colonnas were accused of high
treason, namely, of having led the advance-guard of the Romans into an
ambush. Consequently they were banished from the city, and their
castle on the Campus Martius was destroyed. Thus perished the
Mausoleum of Augustus.

The history of its ruins, however, does not end with the events just
described. Most important of all, they are associated with the fate of
Cola di Rienzo. His biographer, in Book III. ch. xxiv., says that the
body of the Tribune was allowed to remain unburied, for two days and
one night, on some steps near S. Marcello. Giugurta and Sciarretta
Colonna, leaders of the aristocratic faction, ordered the body to be
dragged along the Via Flaminia, from S. Marcello to the mausoleum
which had been occupied and fortified by that powerful family once
more in 1241. In the mean time, the Jews had gathered in great numbers
around the "Campo dell' Augusta," as the ruins were then called.
Thistles and dry brushwood were collected and set afire, and the body
thrown into the flames; this extemporized pyre being fed with fresh
fuel until every particle of the corpse was consumed. A strange
coincidence, that the same monument which the founder of the empire,
the oppressor of Roman liberty, had chosen for his own burial-place,
should serve, thirteen centuries later, for the cremation of him who
tried to restore popular freedom! Here is the description of the
event by a contemporary: "Along this street (the Corso of modern days)
the corpse was dragged as far as the church of S. Marcello. There it
was hung by the feet to a balcony, because the head had been crushed
and lost, piece by piece, along the road; so many wounds had been
inflicted on the body that it might be compared to a sieve
(_crivello_); the entrails were protruding like a bull's in the
butchery; he was horribly fat, and his skin white, like milk tinted
with blood. Enormous was his fatness,--so great as to give him the
appearance of an ox (_bufalo_). The body hung from the balcony at S.
Marcello for two days and one night, while boys pelted it with stones.
On the third day it was removed to the Campo dell' Augusta, where the
Jewish colony, to a man, had congregated; and although the pyre had
been made only with thistles, in which those ruins abounded, the fat
from the corpse kept the flames alive until their work was
accomplished. Not an atom of the great champion of the Romans was

I need not remind the reader that the house near the Ponte Rotto, and
opposite the Temple of Fortuna Virilis, which guides attribute to Cola
di Rienzo, has no connection with him.[99] He was born and lived many
years near the church of S. Tommaso in Capite Molarum, between the
Palazzo Cenci and the synagogue of the Jews, on the left bank of the
Tiber. The church is still in existence, although it has changed its
mediæval name into that of S. Tommaso a' Cenci.

The house by the Ponte Rotto, just referred to, has still another name
in folk-lore; it is called the _House of Pilate_. The denomination is
not so absurd as it at first seems; it brings us back to bygone times,
when passion-plays were performed in Rome in a more effective way
than they are now exhibited at Oberammergau. They took place, not on a
wooden stage, so suggestive of conventionality, but in a quarter of
the city most wonderfully adapted to represent the Via Dolorosa of
Jerusalem, from the houses of Pilate and Caiaphas to the summit of

The passion-play began at a house, Via della Bocca della Verità, No.
37, which is still called the "Locanda della Gaiffa," a corruption of
_Gaifa_, or _Caiaphas_. From this place the procession moved across
the street to the "Casa di Pilato," as the house of Crescenzio was
called, where the scenes of the Ecce Homo, the flagellation, and the
crowning with thorns, were probably enacted. The Via Dolorosa
corresponds to our streets of the Bocca della Verità, Salara,
Marmorata, and Porta S. Paolo; there must have been stations at
intervals for the representation of the various episodes, such as the
meeting with the Virgin Mary, the fainting under the cross, the
meeting with Veronica and with the man from Cyrene. The performance
culminated on the summit of the Monte Testaccio, where three crosses
were erected. One is still there.

Readers who have had an opportunity of studying the Via Dolorosa at
Jerusalem will be struck by the resemblance between the original and
its Roman imitation. The latter must have been planned by crusaders
and pilgrims on their return from the Holy Land towards the end of the
thirteenth century. Every particular, even those which rest on
doubtful tradition, was repeated here, such as that referring to the
house of the rich man, and to the stone in front of it on which
Lazarus sat. A ruin half-way between the house of Pilate, by the Ponte
Rotto, and the Monte Testaccio, or Calvary, is still called the Arco
di S. Lazaro.

The Mausoleum of Augustus was explored archæologically for the
first time in 1527, when the obelisk now in the Piazza di S. Maria
Maggiore was found on the south side, near the church of S. Rocco. On
July 14, 1519, Baldassarre Peruzzi discovered and copied some
fragments of the original inscriptions _in situ_; but the discovery
made in 1777 casts all that preceded it into the shade. In the spring
of that year, while the corner house between the Corso and the Via
degli Otto Cantoni (opposite the Via della Croce) was being built, the
_ustrinum_, or sacred enclosure for the cremation of the members of
the imperial family, came to light, lined with a profusion of
historical monuments. Strabo describes the place as paved with marble,
enclosed with brass railings, and shaded by poplars. The marble
pavement was found at a depth of nineteen feet below the sidewalk of
the Corso. The first object to appear was the beautiful vase of
_alabastro cotognino_, now in the Vatican Museum (Galleria delle
Statue), three feet in height, one and one half in diameter, with a
cover ending in a lotus flower, the thickness of the marble being only
one inch. The vase had once contained the ashes of one of the imperial
personages in the mausoleum; either Alaric's barbarians or Roman
plunderers must have left it in the _ustrinum_, after looting its

The marble pedestals lining the borders of the square were of two
kinds: some were intended to indicate the spot on which each prince
had been cremated, others the place where the ashes had been
deposited. The former end with the formula HIC CREMATVS (or CREMATA)
EST, the latter with the words HIC SITVS (or SITA) EST.

Augustus was not the first member of the family to occupy the
mausoleum. He was preceded by Marcellus (28 B. C.) whose premature
fate is so admirably described by Virgil (Æneid, vi. 872); by Marcus
Agrippa, in 14 B. C.; by Octavia, the sister of Augustus, in the year
13; by Drusus the elder, in the year 9; and by Caius and Lucius,
nephews of Augustus. After Augustus, the interments of Livia,
Germanicus, Drusus, son of Tiberius, Agrippina the elder, Tiberius,
Antonia wife of Drusus, Claudius, Brittannicus, and Nerva are
registered in succession. Of these great and, in many cases, admirable
men and women, ten funeral cippi have been found in the _ustrinum_,
some by the Colonnas before they were superseded by the Orsinis in the
possession of the place, some in the excavations of 1777.

The fate of two of them cannot fail to impress the student of the
history of the ruins of Rome. The pedestal of Agrippina the elder,
daughter of Agrippa, wife of Germanicus, and mother of Caligula, and
that of her eldest son Nero, were hollowed out during the Middle Ages,
turned into standard measures for solids, and as such placed at the
disposal of the public in the portico of the city hall. The pedestal
of Nero perished during the renovation of the Conservatori Palace at
the time of Michelangelo; that of Agrippina is still there.

The fate of this noble woman is described by Tacitus in the sixth book
of the Annals; she was banished by Tiberius to the island of
Pandataria, now called Ventotiene, where she spent the last three
years of her life in solitude and grief. In 33 A. D.--the most
memorable date in Christian chronology--she either starved herself to
death voluntarily, or was starved by order of her persecutor. On
hearing of her death the emperor eulogized his own clemency, because,
instead of strangling the princess and exposing her body on the
Gemonian steps, he had allowed her to die a peaceful death in that
island. No honors were paid to her memory, but as soon as Caligula
succeeded Tiberius in the government of the empire, he sailed to
Pandataria, collected the ashes of his mother and relatives, and
ultimately placed them in the mausoleum. The cippus represented in the
illustration below is manifestly the work of Caligula, because mention
is made on it of his accession to the throne. The hole excavated in it
in the Middle Ages is capable of holding three _hundred_ pounds of
grain, as shown by the legend RVGIATELLA DE GRANO, engraved in Gothic
letters above the municipal coat of arms. The three armorial shields
below belong to the three syndics, or conservatori, by whose authority
the standard measure was made. Another inscription, engraved in 1635
on the opposite side, says: "The S. P. Q. R. pay honor to the memory of
the noble and courageous woman who voluntarily put an end to her life"
(and here follows a witticism of doubtful taste on the _bread_ which
she denied herself, and on the _breadstuffs_, for the measurement of
which her tomb had been used).

[Illustration: The Cippus of Agrippina the Elder, made into a measure
for grain.]

The other cippi found in the _ustrinum_ mention four other children of
Germanicus, among them Caius Cæsar, the lovely child who was so much
beloved by Augustus, and so deeply regretted by him. A statue
representing the youth with the attributes of a Cupid was dedicated by
Livia in the temple of the Capitoline Venus, and another one was
placed by Augustus in his own bedroom, on entering and leaving which
he never missed kissing the cherished image.

The Mausoleum of Augustus and its precious contents have not escaped
the spoliation and desecration which seem to be the rule both in past
and modern times. The building is used now as a circus. Its basement
is concealed by ignoble houses; the urn of Agrippina is kept in the
courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori; three others have been
destroyed, and six belong to the Vatican Museum.

THE TOMB OF NERO. The defection of the last Roman legion was announced
to Nero while at dinner in the Golden House. On hearing the news, he
tore up the letters, upset the table, dashed upon the floor two
marvellous cups, called _Homeric_, because their chiselling
represented scenes from the Iliad; and having borrowed from Locusta a
phial of poison, went out to the Servilian gardens. He then despatched
a few faithful servants to Ostia with orders to keep a squadron of
swift vessels in readiness for his escape. After this he inquired of
the officers of the prætorian guards if they were willing to accompany
him in his flight; some found an excuse, others openly refused; one
had the courage to ask him: "Is death so hard?" Then various projects
began to agitate his mind; now he was ready to beg for mercy from
Galba, his successful opponent; now to ask help from the Parthian
refugees, and again to dress himself in mourning, and appear
barefooted and unshaven before the public by the rostra, and implore
pardon for his crimes; in case that should be refused, to ask
permission to exchange the imperial power for the governorship of
Egypt. He was ready to carry this project into execution, but his
courage failed at the last moment, as he knew that the exasperated
people would tear him to pieces before he could reach the Forum.
Towards evening he calmed his mind in the hope that there would be
time enough to make a decision if he waited until the next day. As
midnight approached he awoke, to find that the Prætorians detailed at
the gates of the Servilian gardens had retired to their barracks.
Servants were sent to rouse the friends sleeping in the villa, but
none of them returned. He went around the apartments, finding them
closed and deserted. On re-entering his own room he saw that his
private attendants had run away, carrying the bed-covers, and the
phial of poison. Then he seemed determined to put an end to his life
by throwing himself from one of the bridges; but again his courage
failed, and he begged to be shown a hiding-place. It was at this
supreme moment that Phaon the freedman offered him his suburban villa,
situated between the Via Salaria and the Via Nomentana, four miles
outside the Porta Collina. The proposal was accepted at once; and
barefooted, and dressed in a tunic, with a mantle of the commonest
material about his shoulders, he jumped on a horse and started for the
gate, accompanied by only four men,--Phaon, Epaphroditus, Sporus, and
another whose name is not given.

[Illustration: Head of Nero, in the Capitoline Museum.]

[Illustration: The Ponte Nomentano.]

The incidents of the flight were terrible enough to deprive the
imperial fugitive of the last spark of hope. The sky was overcast, and
heavy black clouds hung close to the earth, the stillness of nature
being occasionally broken by claps of thunder. The earth shook just as
he was riding past the prætorian camp. He could hear the shouts of the
mutinous soldiers cursing his name, while Galba was proclaimed his
successor. Farther on, the fugitives met several men hurrying towards
the town in search of news. Nero heard some of them telling one
another to be sure to run in search of him. Another passer inquired
the news from the palace. Before reaching the Ponte Nomentano, Nero's
horse, frightened by a corpse which was lying on the roadside, gave a
start. The slouched hat and handkerchief, with which the emperor was
trying to conceal his face, slipped aside, and just at that moment a
messenger from the prætorian camp recognized him, and by force of
habit gave the military salute.


Beyond the bridge the Via Nomentana divides: the main road, on the
right, leads to Nomentum (Mentana); the left to the territory of
Ficulea (la Cesarina). It is now called the Strada delle Vigne Nuove.
Nero and his followers took this country road. The particulars given
by Suetonius suit the present aspect and the nature of the district so
exactly that we can follow the four men step by step to the walls of
Phaon's villa. The slopes of the hills were then, as they are now,
uncultivated, and covered with bushes. There is still a path on the
banks of the Fosso della Cecchina, leading to the rear wall of the
villa, _aversum villæ parietem_; and the hillsides are still
honeycombed with pozzolana quarries, the _angustiæ cavernarum_ of
Suetonius. The villa extends on the tableland, or ridge, between the
valleys of la Cecchina and Melaina. Its main gate corresponds exactly
with the gate of the Vigna Chiari, the first of the "vigne nuove" on
the right as one goes from Rome, at a distance of six kilometres from
the threshold of the Porta Collina. For a radius of a thousand feet
around the gate, we meet with the typical remains of a Roman villa of
the first century,--porticoes, water tanks, and substructions, from
the platform of which there is a lovely view over the wooded plains of
the Tiber and the Anio, the city, and the hills of the Vatican, and of
the Janiculum, which frame the panorama. The site is pleasant,
secluded, and quiet, so that it well fulfilled the wish for a
_secretior latetra_ expressed by Nero in his hopeless condition. The
fugitives dismounted at the turn of the Strada delle Vigne Nuove,
and let the horses loose among the brambles. Not wishing to be seen in
the open road, they followed the lower path on the banks of the
Cecchina, which was concealed by a thick growth of canes. It was
necessary to bore a hole in the rear wall of the villa, and while this
was being done, Nero quenched his thirst from a pond of stagnant
water, near the opening of the pozzolana quarries. Once inside the
villa, he was asked to lie down on a couch covered with a peasant's
mantle, and was offered a piece of stale bread, and a glass of tepid
water. Food he refused, but touched the rim of the cup with his
parched lips. It is curious to read in Suetonius of the many grimaces
the wretch made before he could determine to kill himself; he made up
his mind to do so only when he heard the tramping of the horsemen whom
the Senate had sent to arrest him. He then put the dagger into his
throat, aided in giving the last thrust by his freedman Epaphroditus.
The centurion sent to take him alive arrived before he expired. To him
Nero addressed these last words: "Too late! Is this your fidelity?" He
gradually sank, his countenance assuming such a frightful expression
that all who were present fled in horror. Icelus, freedman of Galba,
the newly elected emperor, gave his consent to a decent funeral.
Ecloge and Alexandra, his nurses, Acte his mistress, and the three
faithful men who had accompanied him in his flight, provided the
necessary funds, about five thousand dollars. The body was cremated,
wrapped in a sheet of white woven with gold, the same that he had used
on his bed New Year's night. The three women collected the ashes and
placed them in the tomb of the Domitian family, which stood on the
spur of the Pincian Hill which is behind the present church of S.
Maria del Popolo. The urn was of porphyry, the altar upon which it
stood of Carrara marble, and the tomb itself of Thesian marble. A
pathetic discovery has just been made in the Vigna Chiari, on the
exact spot of Nero's suicide, by my friend, Cav. Rodolfo Buti, that of
the tomb of Claudia Ecloge, the old woman who was so devoted to her
nursling. The epitaph is a plain marble slab containing only a name.
But this simple inscription, read amid the ruins of Phaon's villa,
with every detail of the scene of the suicide before one's eyes, makes
more impression on the feelings than would a great monument to her
memory. As she could not be buried within or near the family vault of
the Domitii on the Pincian, she selected the spot where Nero's remains
had been cremated.

    "When Nero perished by the justest doom
      Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd,
    Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,
      Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,
    Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb,--
      Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
    Of feeling for some kindness done, when power
    Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour."[100]

The original epitaph of Claudia Ecloge has been removed to the
Capitoline Museum, where it seems lost among so many other objects of
interest; but the student who will select the Vigne Nuove for an
afternoon excursion will find there a facsimile, placed by our
archæological commission on the front wall of the Casino di Vigna

Settembre, which leads from the Quirinal Palace to the Porta Pia,
corresponds exactly to the old Alta Semita, which was a street of such
importance, on account of its length, straightness, and surroundings,
that the whole region (the sixth) was named from it. For our present
purpose we shall take into consideration only the first part, between
the Quirinal Palace and the Quattro Fontane. It was bordered on the
north side by the Temple of Quirinus, discovered and demolished in
1626, and by the Capitolium Vetus, the old Capitol, also destroyed in
1625, by Pope Barberini.

[Illustration: Plan of the Alta Semita.]

The opposite side of the street was lined with private mansions of
families who were eminent in the history of the republic and the
empire. The first belonged to Pomponius Atticus, the friend of Cicero,
and to his descendants the Pomponii Bassi. Cicero locates it between
the Temple of Quirinus and the Temple of Health, that is, near the
present church of S. Andrea al Quirinale; and precisely here, in
November, 1558, the house was discovered by Messer Uberto Ubaldini, in
such perfect condition that the family documents and deeds, inscribed
on bronze, were still hanging on the walls of the _tablinum_,--a fact
that is recorded only twice in the annals of Roman excavations.[101]
The house, seen and described by Manuzio and Ligorio, stood at the
corner of the Alta Semita and a side street called "The Pomegranate"
(_ad malum punicum_), and was profusely adorned with statues,
colonnades, spacious halls, etc. One of the bronze tablets, which was
saved from the ruins, and is now exhibited in the Gallery of the
Uffizi, at Florence, states that the municipal council of Ferentinum,
assembled in the Temple of Mercury, had placed the city under the
guardianship of Pomponius Bassus, A. D. 101. The patronage was accepted
by the gallant patrician, and _tabulæ hospitales_ were exchanged
between the parties.

When his majesty king Humbert laid out a new garden, in 1887, on the
site of this house, I hoped to come across some of the ruins described
by Manuzio and Ligorio. But nothing was found, except a marble statue,
of no especial value, which is now preserved in the royal palace.

Another illustrious man lived near the Temple of Health,--Valerius
Martial the epigrammatist. He distinctly says so in his "Epigrams" (x.
58; xi. 1). Was the house his own, or did he dwell in it as a tenant
or guest? I believe he was the guest of his wealthy relative and
countryman G. Valerius Vegetus, consul A. D. 91, whose city residence
occupied half the site of the present building of the Ministry of War,
on the Via Venti Settembre.

The residence has been explored three times, at least; the first in
1641, the second in 1776, the last in the autumn of 1884. Judging from
this last exploration, which was conducted in my presence, and
described by my late friend Capannari in the "Bullettino Comunale" of
1885, the palace of Valerius Vegetus must have been built and
decorated on a grand scale. Martial, like all poets, if not actually
in financial difficulties, was never a rich man, much less the owner
of a private residence in a street and quarter in which the land
alone represented a fortune.

Between the two palaces just described, the Pomponian and the
Valerian, in the space now occupied by the Palazzo Albani and the
church and convent of S. Carlino alle Quattro Fontane, there was an
humbler house, which belonged to Flavius Sabinus, brother of
Vespasian. Here the emperor Domitian was born, October 24, A. D. 50.
The house which stood at the corner of the Alta Semita and the
"Pomegranate" street was converted by him into a family memorial, or
mausoleum, after the death of his father and brother. Here were
buried, besides Vespasian and Titus, Flavius Sabinus, Julia, daughter
of Titus, and ultimately Domitian himself.

The story of his death is as follows: After murdering his cousin
Flavius Clemens, the Christian prince whose fate I have described in
chapter i., his life became an intolerable burden to him. The fear
that some one would suddenly rise to revenge the innocent blood into
which he had dipped his hands made him tremble every moment for his
life; so much so that he caused the porticos of the imperial palace to
be encrusted with Phengite marble, in the brilliant surface of which
he could see the reflection of his followers and attendants, and could
watch their proceedings even if they were at quite a distance behind
him. For several weeks he was frightened by thunderbolts. Once the
Capitol was struck, next the family tomb on the Quirinal, which he had
officially styled Templum Flaviæ Gentis; and another time the imperial
palace and even his own bedroom. He was heard to mutter to himself in
despair, "Let them strike: who cares?" On another occasion a furious
cyclone wrenched the dedicatory tablet from the pedestal of his
equestrian statue in the Forum. He also dreamed that Minerva, the
protecting divinity of his happier days, had suddenly disappeared from
his private chapel. What frightened him most, however, was the fate of
Askletarion the fortune-teller. Having asked what sort of death
Askletarion expected, the answer was: "I shall very soon be torn to
pieces by dogs." To persuade himself and his friends that these
predictions deserved no credit, Domitian, who had just received a very
sad warning from the oracle of the Fortuna Prænestina, caused the
necromancer to be killed at once, and his remains to be enclosed in a
well-guarded tomb. But while the cremation was in progress, a
hurricane swept the _ustrinum_, and frightened away the attendants, so
that the half-charred remains did fall a prey to the dogs. The story
was related to the emperor that very evening while he was at supper.

The details of the assassination, which took place a few days later,
on September 18, A. D. 96, in the forty-fifth year of his age, and the
fifteenth of his reign, are not well known, because, with the
exception of the four murderers, the deed was witnessed only by a
little boy, to whom Domitian had given the care of the images of the
gods in the bedroom. The names of the conspirators are Saturius, the
head valet de chambre, Maximus, a freedman of a lower class,
Clodianus, an orderly, and Stephanus, who was the head of the party.
He was led to commit the crime in the hope that the embezzlements of
which he was guilty in his management of the property of Flavia
Domitilla, niece of the emperor, would never be discovered, or
punished. To avoid suspicion, he appeared for several days before the
attempt with his arm bandaged, and in a sling, so that he could carry
a concealed weapon with impunity even in the presence of his intended
victim. The boy stated at the inquest that Domitian died like a brave
man, fighting unarmed against his assailants. The moment he saw
Stephanus drawing his dagger he told the boy to hand him quickly the
poniard under the pillow of his bed, and to run for help; but he found
only the empty scabbard, and all the doors were locked. The emperor
fell at the seventh stroke.

The corpse was removed to a garden which his nurse Phyllis owned, on
the borders of the Via Latina; and the ashes were secretly mingled
with those of his niece Julia, another nursling of Phyllis, and
deposited in the family mausoleum on the Quirinal. The mausoleum,
which rose in the middle of the atrium of the old Flavian house, was
discovered and destroyed towards the middle of the sixteenth century.
Ligorio describes the structure as a round temple, with a pronaos of
six columns of the composite order. The excavations were made at the
expense of cardinal Sadoleto. He found among other things a beautiful
marble statue of Minerva, with a shield in the left hand and a lance
in the right. The villa of cardinal Sadoleto was afterwards bought by
messer Uberto Ubaldini, who levelled everything to the ground, and
uprooted the very foundations of the building. In so doing he
discovered several headless marble statues. Flaminio Vacca adds, that
the columns were of _bigio africano_, fourteen feet high.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader will easily understand, that were I to pass in review the
tombs of all the rulers of the Roman Empire, from Trajan to
Constantine, the present chapter would exceed the allotted length of
the entire book. The Mausoleum of Hadrian, on which the history of the
city is written century by century, down to our days; the Column of
Trajan, in the foundations of which the ashes of the best of Roman
princes are buried; the tomb of Geta, built in the shape of a
septizonium, on the Appian Way; the artificial hill of the Monte del
Grano, believed to be the tomb of Alexander Severus, and his wife and
mother, in the very depths of which the Capitoline sarcophagus and the
Portland vase were found: all these monuments would furnish abundant
material for archæological, artistic, and historical discussion. My
purpose is, however, to mention only subjects illustrated by recent
and little-known discoveries, or else to select such representative
specimens as may help the reader to compare pagan with Christian art
and civilization. For this reason, and to save unavoidable
repetitions, I pass over the fate of the emperors of the second and
third centuries, and resume my description with those who came to
power after the peace of the church.

[Illustration: Remains of Geta's Mausoleum.]

MAUSOLEA OF CHRISTIAN EMPERORS. The first Christian members of the
imperial family, Helena, mother of Constantine, and Constantia, his
daughter, were buried in separate tombs, one on the Via Labicana, at
the place formerly called _ad duas Lauros_ and now Torre Pignattara,
the other near the church of S. Agnese, on the Via Nomentana.

[Illustration: The Torre Pignattara.]

Helena's mausoleum at Torre Pignattara (so called from the _pignatte_,
or earthen vases built into the vault to lighten its weight) is round
in shape, and contains seven niches or recesses for sarcophagi. One of
these sarcophagi, famous in the history of art, was removed from its
position as early as the middle of the twelfth century by Pope
Anastasius IV., who selected it for his own resting-place. It was
taken to the Lateran basilica, where it appears to have been much
injured by the hands of indiscreet pilgrims. In 1600 it was carried
from the vestibule to the tribune, and thence to the cloister-court.
When Pius VI. added it to the wonders of the Vatican Museum, it was
subjected to a thorough process of restoration which employed
twenty-five stone-cutters for a period of nine years.

The reliefs upon it are tolerably well executed, but lack invention
and novelty. They are partly borrowed from an older work, partly
combined from various sources in an extraordinary manner; horsemen
hovering in the air, and below them, prisoners and corpses scattered
around. They are intended to represent a triumphal procession, or
possibly a military _decursio_, to which allusion has been made above.

It may appear indiscreet and even insulting on the part of Anastasius
IV. to have removed the remains of a canonized empress from this noble
sarcophagus in order to have his own placed in it; but we must bear in
mind that although the Torre Pignattara has all the appearance of a
royal mausoleum, and although the ground on which it stands is known
to have belonged to the crown, Eusebius and Socrates deny that Helena
was buried in Rome. Their assertion is contradicted by the "Liber
Pontificalis" and by Bede, and above all by the similarity between
this porphyry coffin and the one discovered in the second mausoleum of
which I have spoken,--that of S. Constantia, on the Via Nomentana.


When the love of splendor which was characteristic of the Romans of
the decadence induced them to take possession of the enormous block of
primeval stone of which this second sarcophagus was made, the art of
sculpture had already degenerated; all that it could accomplish was to
impart to this mass of rock more of an architectural than a plastic
shape. The representations with which the sarcophagus is adorned or
disfigured, as the case may be, if met with elsewhere would
scarcely attract our attention. On the sides are festoons enclosing
groups of winged boys gathering grapes; on the ends are similar
figures treading out the grapes. This sarcophagus was removed to the
Hall of the Greek Cross by the same enlightened Pope Pius VI.

[Illustration: The Mausoleum of S. Constantia.]

The same vintage scenes are represented in the beautiful mosaics with
which the vault of the mausoleum is encrusted, and from this
circumstance the monument received the erroneous name of the Temple of
Bacchus, at the time of the Renaissance. There is no doubt that this
is the tomb of the princess whose name it bears. Amianus Marcellinus,
Book XXI., chapter i., says that the three daughters of
Constantine--Helena, wife of Julian, Constantina, wife of Gallus
Cæsar, and Constantia, who had vowed herself to chastity, and to the
management of a congregation of virgins which she had established at
S. Agnese--were all buried in the same place.

[Illustration: Plan of the Imperial Mausoleum.]

The study of these two structures may help us greatly to explain the
origin and purpose of the two rotundas which are known to have existed
on the south side of S. Peter's, in the arena of Nero's circus. One of
them, dedicated to S. Petronilla, was destroyed in the sixteenth
century; the other, called the Church of S. Maria della Febbre, met
with the same fate during the pontificate of Pius VI. Their exact
situation in relation to the modern basilica is shown by the
accompanying diagram.

Mention of the structure, with its classical denomination of
"Mausileos," appears in the life of Stephen II. (A. D. 752). To fulfil
a promise which he had made to Pepin, king of France, that the remains
of Petronilla, who was believed to be the daughter of Peter, should
be no longer exposed to barbaric profanations in their original
resting-place on the Via Ardeatina, but put under the shelter of the
Leonine walls near the remains of her supposed father, he selected one
of these two rotundas, which became known as the "chapel of the kings
of France." The early topographers of the Renaissance, ignorant of its
history, gave a wrong name to the building, calling it the Temple of
Apollo. That it was, however, of Christian origin, is proved not only
by the fact that a temple could never have been built across the
_spina_ of the circus, and by the technical details of its
construction, which show it to be a work of the end of the fourth or
the beginning of the fifth century, but also by historical evidence.
In 423 Honorius was buried in the mausoleum close by S. Peter's
(_juxta beati Petri apostoli atrium in mausoleo_). In 451 the remains
of the Emperor Theodosius II. were removed from Constantinople to the
_mausoleum ad apostolum Petrum_. In 483 Basilius, prefect of the
Prætorium, summoned the leaders of the clergy and of the laity to the
mausoleum _quod est apud beatissimum Petrum_. A precious engraving by
Bonanni, No. lxxiv. of his volume on the Vatican, represents the
outside of one of the rotundas, the nearest to the obelisk of the
circus. The architecture of the building, so similar to the tomb of S.
Helena at Torre Pignattara, gives some conception of the enormous
downfall of Roman art and civilization, when we compare it with the
tombs of Augustus and Hadrian.

The discovery of the imperial graves which filled the two rotundas did
not take place at one and the same time. Their profanation and robbery
was accomplished in various stages, by various persons; and so little
has been said or written about them, that only in these last years has
de Rossi been able to reconstruct in its entirety this chapter in the
history of the destruction of Rome.


In the chronicle of Nicolò della Tuccia of Viterbo is the following
entry, dated 1458: "On the 27th day of June, news was circulated in
Viterbo that two days before a great discovery had been made in S.
Peter's of Rome. A priest of that church, having manifested the wish
to be buried in the chapel of S. Petronilla, in the tribune on the
right, where the story of the emperor Constantine was painted in
ancient times, they found, while digging there, a tomb of exquisite
marble, containing a sarcophagus, and inside of it, a smaller coffin
of cypress wood overlaid with silver. This silver, of eleven carats
standard, weighed eight hundred and thirty-two pounds. The bodies were
wrapped in a golden cloth which yielded sixteen pounds of that
precious metal. It was said that the bodies were those of Constantine
and his little son. No written record or sign was found except a cross
made in this shape: [Symbol: Maltese Cross] The Pope, Callixtus III.,
took possession of everything and sent the gold and silver to the
mint." We hear no more of the imperial mausoleum during the sixty
following years. In the diary of Marcantonio Michiel, of Venice, the
next discovery is registered under the date of December 4, 1519: "A
few days ago, while excavations were going on in the chapel of the
kings of France, for the rebuilding of one of the altars, several
antique coffins were found, and in one of them the bones of an old
Christian prince, wrapped in a pall of gold cloth and surrounded with
articles of jewelry. There was a necklace with a cross-shaped pendant,
believed to be worth three thousand ducats. I know that a certain
jeweller offered that amount of money for the dress alone to Giuliano
Lena, who was in charge of the excavations. The Pope attached great
importance to the jewels, although it was found out afterwards that
they were not worth two thousand ducats, on account of some flaws
in the stones, and of injury wrought by time on their mounting. The
prospect of finding more made them overturn the whole pavement of the
chapel." Another entry of the same diary, under the date of December
23, says: "The treasure-trove in the chapel of the kings of France
consists of eight pounds of gold from the melting of dresses, of a
cross of gold, dotted with emeralds, and of a second plain one, the
value of all being a little over one thousand ducats. The Pope made a
present of some to the chapter of S. Peter's that they might make a
new reliquary for the skull of S. Petronilla."

The search was doubtless irregular, imperfect and careless, as is
proved by other and far richer discoveries which were made in 1544.
Unfortunately, if the accounts we have of these are complete, no
drawings were made before the dispersion of the objects. The only
sketches which have reached us represent a few perfume bottles found
inside the grave. Of these _flacons_ there are two sets of drawings,
one in a codex of marchese Raffaelli di Cingoli, f. 43, with the
legend, "Five goblets of agate discovered in the foundations of S.
Peter's during the pontificate of Paul III. in the tomb of Maria,
daughter of Stilicho and wife of Honorius;" the other in the codex of
Fulvio Orsino, No. 3439 of the Vatican Library.

The discovery took place in 1544. A greater treasure of gems, gold,
and precious objects has never been found in a single tomb. The
beautiful empress was lying in a coffin of red granite, clothed in a
state robe woven of gold. Of the same material were the veil, and the
shroud which covered the head and breast. The melting of these
materials produced a considerable amount of pure gold, its weight
being variously stated at thirty-five or forty pounds. Bullinger puts
it at eighty, with manifest exaggeration. At the right of the body was
placed a casket of solid silver, full of goblets and smelling-bottles,
cut in rock crystal, agate, and other precious stones. There were
thirty in all, among which were two cups, one round, one oval,
decorated with figures in high relief, of exquisite taste, and a lamp,
made of gold and crystal, in the shape of a corrugated sea-shell, the
hole for the oil being protected and concealed by a golden fly, which
moved around a socket. There were also four golden vases, one of which
was studded with gems.

In a second casket of gilded silver, placed at the left side, were
found one hundred and fifty objects,--gold rings with engraved stones,
earrings, brooches, necklaces, buttons, hair-pins, etc. covered with
emeralds, pearls and sapphires; a golden nut, which opened in halves;
a _bulla_ which has been published in a special work by
Mazzucchelli;[102] and an emerald engraved with the bust of Honorius,
valued at five hundred ducats. Silver objects were scarce; of these we
find mentioned only a hairpin and a buckle of répoussé work.

The letters and names engraved on some pieces prove that they formed
the _mundus muliebris_ (wedding gifts) and toilet articles of Maria,
daughter of Stilicho and Serena, sister of Thermantia and Eucherius,
and wife of the emperor Honorius. Besides the names of the four
arch-angels--Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel--engraved on a band
of gold, those of Domina Nostra Maria, and of Dominus Noster Honorius,
were seen on other objects. The _bulla_ was inscribed with the names
of Honorius, Maria, Stilicho, Serena, Thermantia, and Eucherius,
radiating in the form of a double cross [Symbol: radiating star]
with the exclamation "Vivatis!" between them. With the exception of
this _bulla_, which was bought by Marchese Trivulzio of Milan, at the
beginning of the present century, every article has disappeared. That
the gold was melted, and that the precious stones were disposed of in
various ways, so as to deprive them of their identity, is easy to
understand, but where have the vases gone? Were it not for the rough
sketches made at the time of discovery we should not be able to form
an idea of their beauty and elegance of shape. They were not the work
of goldsmiths of the fifth century, but were of classical origin; in
fact they represent a portion of the imperial state jewels, which
Honorius had inherited from his predecessors, and which he had offered
to Maria on her wedding day. Claudianus, the court poet, described
them expressly as having sparkled on the breast and forehead of
empresses in bygone days.

We know from Paul Diaconus that Honorius was laid to rest by the side
of his empress; his coffin, however, has never been found. It must
still be concealed under the pavement of the modern church at the
southern end of the transept, near the altar of the crucifixion of S.

An incident narrated by Flavius Josephus ("Antiqq." xvi., ii.) proves
that even in this line of discoveries there is nothing new under the
sun. Speaking of the financial troubles of King Herod, and of his
urgent need of new resources for the royal treasury, he describes how
Hircanus had rifled the sum of three thousand silver talents
($3,940,000) from the tomb of David. Herod, on being reminded of this
experiment, decided to try it again, in the hope that other treasures
might be concealed in the recesses of the royal vault. Precautions
were taken to conceal the attempt from the people: the tomb was
entered in the darkness of the night, and only a few intimate friends
were admitted to the secret. Herod found no more silver in coin or
bars, but a considerable quantity of vases and other objects
beautifully chiselled in gold. With the help of his associates the
booty was removed to the palace. But the more the king had, the more
he wanted: and setting aside dignity, self-respect and reverence for
the memory of his great predecessors, he ordered his guard to search
the vaults, even to the very coffins of David and Solomon. The legend
says that the profanation was prevented by an outburst of flames which
killed two of the men. This event filled Herod with fear, and to
expiate his sacrilege he raised a beautiful monument of white marble
at the entrance of the tombs.

The reader must not believe that such discoveries are either of
doubtful credibility or a matter of the past only. They have taken
place in all centuries, the present included; they take place now.

In July, 1793, behind the choir of the nuns of S. Francesco di Paola,
in the Via di S. Lucia in Selci, a room of a private Roman house was
discovered, and in a corner of it a magnificent silver service, which
had once belonged to Projecta, wife of Turcius Asterius Secundus, who
was prefect of the city in 362 A. D. The discovery was witnessed and
described by Ennio Quirino Visconti and Filippo Aurelio Visconti. The
objects were of pure silver, heavily gilded, and weighed one thousand
and twenty-nine ounces. Besides plates and saucers, forks and spoons,
candelabras of various sizes and shapes, there was a wedding-casket
with bas-reliefs representing the bride and groom crowned with wreaths
of myrtle; she, with braids of hair encircling her head many times, in
the fashion of the age of the empress Helena; he, with the beard cut
square, in the style worn by Julian the apostate, and Eugenius. The
reliefs of the body of the casket represented love-scenes, Venus and
the Nereids, the Muses and other pagan subjects; and just under them
was engraved the salutation:--

    "Secundus and Proiecta, may you live in Christ."

The casket was filled with toilet articles and jewels. Later
discoveries brought the total weight of the silver to fifteen hundred

In 1810 a peasant ploughing his field in the territory of Faleria,
three miles from Civita Castellana, met with an obstacle which, on
closer examination, proved to be a box filled with silver. He loaded
himself with the precious spoils, as did many other peasants, whom the
news of the discovery had attracted to the spot. There were plates,
cups and saucers; a tureen weighing four pounds, wrought in enamelled
répoussé, with birds, lizards, branches of ivy, berries, and other
fruits and animals, and signed by the maker; a statue of a centaur;
and a wine jug, which, after passing through many hands, became the
property of the queen of Naples, Caroline Murat, at a cost of five
thousand ducats.

Alessandro Visconti reported the treasure-trove at once to count
Tournon, the French prefect; but he took no official notice of it, and
the silver was melted in the mint of Rome, and by the silversmiths of
Viterbo and Perugia. Visconti estimates the weight of the silver at
_thirty thousand ounces_.[103]

In 1821, under the foundations of a house at Parma, precious objects
were found to the value of several thousand scudi. The few bought for
the Museo Parmense by its director, Pietro de Lama, comprise eight
bracelets, four rings, a necklace, a chain to which is attached a
medallion of Gallienus, a brooch, and thirty-four medals; all of pure
gold, and weighing three pounds and four ounces.

On May 9, 1877, two earthen jars were discovered at Belinzago, near
Milan, in a farm belonging to a man named Erba. They contained
twenty-seven thousand bronze coins, with a total weight of three
hundred and sixty pounds. Except a few pieces belonging to Romulus,
Maximian, Chlorus, Galerius, Galeria Valeria, and Licinius, the great
mass bear the effigy and name of Maxentius, with an astonishing
variety of letters and symbols on the reverse.

My personal experience in the discovery of treasure, in the special
significance of the word, is limited to the fragments of a bedstead
(?) of gilt brass, studded with gems. This discovery took place in
1879, near the southwest corner of the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, on
the Esquiline, in a room belonging to the Horti Lamiani, the favorite
residence of Caligula and of Alexander Severus. The frame of the couch
rested on four supports, most gracefully cut in rock-crystal; the
frame itself was ornamented with bulls' heads and inlaid with cameos
and gems, to the number of four hundred and thirty. There was also a
"glass paste" representing the heads of Septimius Severus and his
empress Julia Domna. It seems that parts of this rich piece of
furniture must have been inlaid with agate incrustations, of which one
hundred and sixty-eight pieces were discovered in the same room.


[94] See Otto Hirschfeld: _Die kaiserlichen Grabstätten in Rom_, in
the _Sitzungsberichte der kgl. Akademie der Wissenschaften_. Berlin,

[95] Visitors to Rome may form an idea of a σεβαστεῐον from
that found at Ostia, in 1889, in the barracks of the firemen. I have
given an illustrated description of this remarkable discovery in the
_Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome_, tome ix., 1889, and in the
_Notizie degli scavi_, January-April, 1889.

[96] The birthplace of Mithridates the Great, and of the geographer
Strabo; it still retains its ancient name.

[97] See Mommsen: _Res gestæ divi Augusti_, 2d edition. Berlin,
Weidmann, 1883.

[98] Augustus enrolled his first army in October of the year 41 B. C.
He died in August, A. D. 14.

[99] This house is described in _Ancient Rome_, chapter i., p. 17.

[100] _Don Juan_, canto III. eix.

[101] The other instance was in the excavations of the palace of the
Valerii Aradii, near S. Erasmo, on the Cælian, the most successful
ever made in Rome.

[102] _La bolla di Maria, moglie di Onorio._ Milan, 1819.

[103] _Dissertazione su d' una antica argenteria, letta nell'
accademia archeologica il dì 7 gennaio_, 1811.



     Portraits of the early Popes.--Those of SS. Peter and Paul.--The
     tombs of the Popes.--Their interest for the student.--The tomb of
     Cornelius Martyr.--Inscriptions and other monuments found in his
     crypt.--The two Cornelii, pagan and Christian.--The pontifical
     crypt in the Cemetery of Callixtus.--The tomb of Gregory the
     Great.--S. Peter's as a burial-place for the Popes.--Gregory's
     several resting-places.--The stress of Rome in his time.--The
     legend of the angel.--Gregory's good works.--His house.--The tomb
     of the Saxon Ceadwalla.--That of Benedict VII.--The turbulent
     times in which he lived.--The Crescenzi.--The church of Santa
     Croce in Gerusalemme.--Pope Sylvester II.--The tradition about
     his death and tomb.--The vicissitudes of the Lateran
     basilica.--The Vassalletti.--Study of the antique by mediæval
     artists.--The stone-cutter's shop on the site of the Banca
     Nazionale.--The tomb of Innocent VIII.--The story of the holy
     lance.--The tomb of Paul III.--His services to art.--The tomb of
     Clement XIII.--Bracci and Canova.--The Jesuits in Clement's time.

Among the curiosities of the three principal basilicas of Rome,--the
Lateran, the Vatican, and the Ostiensis (S. Paul's),--were collections
of portrait heads of the Popes, which were painted above the colonnade
on the three sides of the nave. In S. Peter's there were two sets, one
on the frieze, above the capitals of the columns, the other on the
walls of the nave, above the cornice; the first is marked with the
letters "G H." in the drawing of Ciampini which is reproduced in
chapter iii., p. 134; the second, with the letters "I L." The set of
the Lateran was painted by order of Nicholas III. (1277-1280). Since
his time the basilica has been burned to the ground twice--in 1308 and
1360--and restored three times. Its last disfigurement, by Innocent X.
and Borromini in 1644, concealed whatever was left standing of the old
building, and made it impossible for us to study its iconic pictures,
if there were any still existing. We possess better information in
regard to S. Peter's, thanks to Grimaldi, who described and copied
both series of medallions before their destruction by Paul V. in 1607.
The lower series, which was painted by order of Nicholas III., began
with Pope Pius I. (142-157) and ended with Anastasius (397-401).
Grimaldi remarks that the Popes of the times of the persecutions, from
Pius to Sylvester, were bareheaded; those of a later age wore the
tiara; all had the round halo, or nimbus, except Tiberius (352-366),
who had a square one. This last particular would prove that the
portraits were originally painted in the time of Tiberius, because the
square nimbus is the symbol of living persons. The upper series above
the cornice was the more important of the two, on account of the
chronological inscriptions which accompanied and explained each
medallion. These inscriptions, which were too small and faint to be
read with the naked eye from below, were not copied before their
destruction. Grimaldi could decipher but a few: SIRICIUS. SEDIT
ANN(_is_) XV. M(_ensibus_) V. D(_iebus_) XX.--FELIX. SEDIT ANN(_o_) I.
M(_ensibus_) ... etc. The heads were bare, and framed by a round halo.
They seem to have been painted at the time of Pope Formosus (891-896),
as were also the fresco-panels which appear in the above-mentioned
drawing of Ciampini.

The guide-books of modern Rome describe the series of S. Paul's,
restored in mosaic after the fire of 1823, as made up of imaginary
likenesses except in the case of later Popes. This statement is not
correct. The original medallions were painted on each side of the
nave, and on the cross or end wall above the entrances. Those of the
end wall disappeared long since, on the occasion of some repairs to
this part of the basilica. Those of the left side perished in the fire
of 1823; but those of the right side, beginning with S. Peter and
ending with Innocent (401-417), were saved. They have since been
detached from the wall, transferred first to canvas, then to stone,
and are now exhibited in one of the corridors of the monastery.[104]
As regards those which perished in the fire, they had already been
copied, first in the seventeenth century by order of Cardinal
Francesco Barberini, and again in 1751 by Marangoni. The new series in
mosaic is therefore not all fanciful and imaginary, but follows the
tradition of the likenesses as they were first produced in the fifth
century. At that time the study of the pontifical succession was
receiving considerable attention in Rome. There were written
catalogues inserted in liturgical books, which were read to the
congregation on certain days of the year, so that everybody could
argue on the subject, and remember the order of succession of the
bishops. To impress this more forcibly on the minds of the people, it
was written on the walls of the newly erected basilica of S. Paul, and
illustrated with portraits. The series must have struck the
imagination of visitors and pilgrims. The idea of apostolic
inheritance, of uninterrupted hierarchy, of the supremacy of the See
of Rome, took a definite shape in the array of these busts of bishops,
led by S. Peter, and congregated, as it were, around the grave of S.

[Illustration: _A_ Portrait head of S. Peter; from a medallion in
répoussé discovered by Boldetti in the Catacombs of Domitilla.--_B_
Portrait head of S. Paul; from a medallion preserved in the Museo
Sacro Vaticano.--Both are works of the second century.]

The custom found imitators in other churches and in other cities.
Speaking of the gallery of Popes in the duomo at Siena, Symonds
remarks how the accumulated majesty of their busts, larger than life,
with solemn faces, each leaning from his separate niche, brings the
whole past history of the Church into the presence of its living
members. A bishop walking up the nave of Siena must feel as a Roman
felt among the waxen images of ancestors renowned in council or war.
"Of course," Symonds concludes, "the portraits are imaginary for the
most part, but the artists have contrived to vary their features and
expressions with great skill." This statement may be correct in a
general way, especially in regard to the Middle Ages, but is subject
to important exceptions. There is no doubt, for instance, that the
likenesses of SS. Peter and Paul have been carefully preserved in Rome
ever since their lifetime, and that they were familiar to every one,
even to school-children. These portraits have come down to us by
scores. They are painted in the cubiculi of the catacombs, engraved in
gold leaf in the so-called _vetri cemeteriali_, cast in bronze,
hammered in silver or copper, and designed in mosaic.[105] The type
never varies: S. Peter's face is full and strong, with short curly
hair and beard, while S. Paul appears more wiry and thin, slightly
bald, with a long pointed beard. The antiquity and the genuineness of
both types cannot be doubted. After the peace of Constantine, when
Sylvester, Mark, Damasus, Siricius, and Symmachus began to fill the
city with their churches and memorial buildings, and as the habit of
exhibiting in each of them portraits of the founders became general,
it is evident that the author of the collection of portraits in S.
Paul's, which dates from the fifth century, must have had plenty of
authentic originals at his disposal.

Next to these portraits, in the power of exciting the imagination and
appealing to the sentiments of visitors and pilgrims, come the tombs
of the Popes. I place them next to the images, because the tombs were
of the most simple and modest character, and marked only by a name, or
by an inscription which a few could read and decipher. But to us,
passionate students of history and art, those graves are invaluable;
they mark the various stages of the decline and fall of the great city
from year to year, as well as of her glorious resurrection; they
chronicle the leading events which have agitated Rome, Italy, and the
world for the last sixteen centuries. To be sure, there are
considerable breaks in the chain, due to the destruction of old S.
Peter's, which contained eighty-seven graves; but the descriptions of
Pietro Mallio, of Maffeo Vegio, and of Pietro Sabino, and the drawings
of Grimaldi and Ciampini, help us to fill the gaps.

Ferdinand Gregorovius was inspired to write his book on the subject
while in contemplation of the monument of Paul III., Farnese. He
glanced around in the dim light of the evening and saw effigy after
effigy of venerable men, seated on their marble thrones, with
outstretched hands, like an assembly of patriarchs intrusted with the
guardianship of their church. He devoted many hours to the study of
this class of monuments, so strikingly Roman, "for in Rome, more than
in any other city of the world, does investigation lead one in the
footsteps of Death." His volume,[106] however, seems to me more like
an essay written in hours of depression than an exhaustive and
satisfying treatise. The _materia prima_ has greatly increased since
he wrote, owing to the discoveries made in the catacombs, in libraries
and archives, and to the reproduction by photography of the fragments
collected in the sacred grottos of the Vatican. If any of our younger
colleagues are willing and prepared to go over the work in a critical
spirit, let them divide the subject into three periods. During the
first, which begins with the entombment of S. Peter, June 29, A. D.
67, and ends with that of Melchiades, A. D. 314, the bishops of Rome
were interred in the depths of the suburban cemeteries, and their
loculi marked with a simple name. During the second period, which
begins with the peace of Constantine and ends with the destruction of
the Vatican basilica in 1506-1606, the pontifical graves were mostly
ancient sarcophagi or bathing basins from the thermæ, accompanied by
an inscription in verse, and, as the Renaissance was approached, by
canopies of Gothic or Romanesque style. In the third period, which
ends with our time, the new church of S. Peter is transformed into a
papal mausoleum which is worthy of being compared in refinement of
art, in splendor of decoration, in richness of material, in historical
interest, with the Pantheons of ancient Rome. I shall select from each
of the three periods a few representative specimens.

THE TOMB OF CORNELIUS, ON THE APPIAN WAY. In 1849, while de Rossi was
exploring the Vigna Molinari between the Via Appia and the Ardeatina,
in his attempt to define the site and extent of the various cemeteries
which undermine that region, he found a fragment of a marble slab with
the letters ···· ELIVS MARTYR.

[Illustration: Tombstone of Cornelius.]

Excited by a discovery the capital importance of which he was able to
foresee at once, he asked an audience of the Pope, Pius IX., and
begged him to purchase the Vigna Molinari, and grant the funds
necessary to discover the crypt to which this fragment of a tombstone
belonged. After listening quietly to the arguments by which the young
man was advocating his cause, the Pope answered only four
disheartening words: "Sogni di un archeologo!" (dreams of an
archæologist). At the same time he gave orders for the immediate
purchase of the vigna (now called dei Palazzi Apostolici) and for the
appropriation of an "exploration fund." In March, 1852, a crypt was
discovered on the very border of the Appian Way; in the crypt was a
tomb, and with it were the missing fragments of the epitaph of

Some weeks later the young discoverer escorted the Pope to the
historical grave, and pointing to the epitaph exclaimed: "Sogni di un
archeologo!" To judge of the importance of the discovery we must
remember that the identification of the crypts of Lucina, and that of
all the surrounding catacombs, depended mostly upon the identification
of this one. The "Liber Pontificalis" says: "The emperor Decius gave
judgment in the case of Cornelius: that he should be taken to the
temple of Mars _extra muros_, and asked to perform an act of
adoration: in case of a refusal that he should be beheaded. This was
accordingly done, and Cornelius gave his life for his faith. Lucina, a
noble matron, assisted by members of the clergy, collected his remains
and buried them in a crypt on her own estate near the Cemetery of
Callixtus, on the Appian Way; and this happened on September 14 (A. D.
253)." As the Cemetery of Callixtus was the recognized burial-place of
the bishops of Rome, why was this exception made to the rule? The
reason is evident: the estate of Lucina contained the family vault of
the Cornelii, or at least of a branch of the Cornelian race. The
victim of the persecution of Decius was the first Pope of noble and
ancient lineage. Apparently his relatives wished to emphasize this
fact in the place selected for his burial, and by proclaiming his
illustrious descent on his gravestone through the use of the old and
simple language of the republic,--"Cornelius Martyr." The use of Latin
at this age constitutes another conspicuous exception to the rule,
because the Greek language was not only fashionable in the third
century, but had been adopted almost officially by the Church. The
majority of liturgical words, such as hymn, psalm, liturgy, homily,
catechism, baptism, eucharist, deacon, presbyter, pope, cemetery,
diocese, are of Greek origin, and the names of the Popes in the
pontifical crypt of this same cemetery are, likewise, written in
Greek letters even when they are strictly Roman, as in the case of

The crypt of Cornelius contains other historical records. A metric
inscription composed by Damasus and placed above the loculus says to
the pilgrim: "Behold: a descent to the crypt has been built: darkness
has been expelled: you can behold the memorial of Cornelius and his
resting-place. The zeal of Damasus has enabled him, though careworn
and ailing, to accomplish the work and make your pilgrimage easier and
more efficacious. If you are prepared to pray to the Lord in purity of
heart, entreat Him to restore Damasus to health; not that he is fond
of life, but because the duties of his mission bind him still to this
earth." These verses are, probably, the very last composed by the
dying pontiff ([Symbol: died] 384). His work was finished by Siricius
(A. D. 384-397), as proved by a second inscription below the loculus:
"Siricius has completed the work and dressed the tomb of Cornelius in

The paintings of the crypt, although they date from the Byzantine
period, are of historical interest. On the right we see the images of
Cornelius and Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. Their intimate connection
in life, their martyrdom on the same day of the same month, made their
memory inseparable. The church commemorates them on the same _natale_
or anniversary, and their images stand side by side in this crypt. The
artist who painted them prophesied the future; he saw that the time
would come when, in their graves, the bodies of the two friends would
be united as their souls had been while they lived. Their remains were
removed to Compiègne in the reign of Charles the Bald, those of
Cornelius from Rome, those of Cyprian from Carthage, never to part

A circular pedestal, like a section of a column, stands against the
wall under the images. Such pedestals are not uncommon in the
catacombs; and they were intended to support a large flat bowl not
unlike the holy-water basins of modern churches. Several specimens
have been found _in situ_, in the cemeteries of Saturninus, Alexander,
Agnes, and Callixtus. They are of the same make, cut in marble so
delicately as to be translucent, flat-bottomed, and very low. For what
were they used? We cannot think of "holy water" in the modern sense,
because in those days the faithful were wont to purify their hands,
not in receptacles of stagnant water, but in springs or living
fountains. It seems more in accordance with ancient rites to consider
them as lamps, filled with scented oil or nard, on the surface of
which wicks, secured to a piece of papyrus, floated like a
_veilleuse_, to guide the footsteps of pilgrims in the darkness.

A papyrus in the archives or treasury of the cathedral at Monza
contains a list of oils collected by John, abbot of Monza, in the
cemeteries of Rome, and offered by him to Theodolinda, Queen of the
Lombards. Special mention is made in the document of the oil from the
tomb of S. Cornelius; and de Rossi asserts that the fragments of a
diaphanous oil-basin found in the exploration of this crypt were
soaked with an oleaginous substance.[107]


One cannot help being impressed by the coexistence on this same road,
and within a mile of each other, of two family vaults of the Cornelii:
one in the aristocratic burial-grounds between the viæ Appia and
Latina, the other in the subterranean haunts of a despised and
persecuted race. One need not be a deep thinker or a religious
enthusiast to appreciate that each is worthy of the other; and that
the Cornelius of the third century who chose to die the death of a
criminal rather than betray his conscience, is a worthy descendant of
the Scipios, the heroes of republican Rome. Whenever I happen to pay a
visit to the hypogæum of the Cornelii Scipiones,[108] I try to finish
my walk by way of that of their noble representative, the victim of
the persecution of Decius.

[Illustration: Portrait of Pope Cornelius; from a fresco near his

THE PONTIFICAL CRYPT. I have just mentioned the vault of the Popes as
belonging to the same Cemetery of Callixtus. It was discovered in
1854. Its approaches were inscribed with a great number of _graffiti_,
which marked the place as the most celebrated in the cemetery, if not
in the whole of underground Rome. A pious hand had written near the
[_Domini_]: "This is the Jerusalem of the martyrs of the Lord." The
débris which obstructed the chamber was removed as quickly as the
narrowness of the space would permit, and as it passed under the eyes
of de Rossi, he was able to detect the names of Anteros, Fabianus,
Lucius, and Eutychianus on the broken marbles. There were, besides,
one hundred and twenty-five fragments of a metric inscription by
Damasus, which gave the desired information, in the following words:--

"Here lie together in great numbers the holy bodies you are seeking.
These tombs contain their remains, but their souls are in the
heavenly kingdom. Here you see the companions of Sixtus waving the
trophies of victory; there the bishops [of Rome] who shielded the
altar of Christ; the pontiff who saw the first years of peace
[Melchiades, A. D. 311-314]; the noble confessors who came to us from
Greece [Hippolytus, Hadrias, Maria, Neon, Paulina], and others. I
confess I wished most ardently to find my last resting place among
these saints, but I did not dare to disturb their remains."

Callixtus (218-223), the founder of the cemetery, does not lie in it.
He perished in a popular outbreak, having been thrown from the windows
of his house into the square, the site of which corresponds with the
modern Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, the _area Callisti_ of the
fourth century. The Christians recovered his body, and buried it in
the nearest cemetery at hand,--that of Calepodius by the Via Aurelia
(between the Villa Pamfili and the Casaletto di Pio V.).

Urban, his successor (A. D. 223-230), opens the series in the
episcopal crypt of the Appian Way. His name, OYPBANOC E (πίσχοπος),
has been read on a fragment of a marble sarcophagus. Then
follow Anteros (A. D. 235-236), Fabianus (A. D. 236-251), Lucius (A.
D. 252-253), and Eutychianos (A. D. 275-283),--in all, five bishops
out of the eleven who are known to have been buried in the crypt.

In looking at these humble graves we cannot help comparing them with
the great mausolea of contemporary emperors. A war was then raging
between the builders of the catacombs and the occupants of the
imperial palace. It was a duel between principles and power, between
moral and material strength. In 296, bishop Gaius, one of the last
victims of Diocletian's persecution, was interred by the side of his
predecessors in the crypt; in 313, only seventeen years later,
Sylvester took possession of the Lateran Palace, which had been
offered to him by Constantine. Such is the history of Rome; such are
the events which the study of her ruins recalls to our memory.

THE TOMB OF GREGORY THE GREAT. In the account of his life given in the
"Liber Pontificalis," i. 312, two things especially attract our
attention: the mission sent by him to the British Isles, and his
entombment in the "Paradise" of S. Peter's. Beginning with the latter,
we are told that he died on March 12 of the year 604, and that his
remains were buried "in the basilica of the blessed Peter, in front of
the secretarium, in one of the intercolumniations of the portico."
This statement requires a few words of comment.

We have seen how the bishops of the age of persecutions were buried in
the underground cemeteries, with a marked preference for those of the
Via Appia and the Via Salaria. From the time of Sylvester (314-335) to
that of Leo the Great (440-461) they still sought the proximity of
martyrs, and obeyed the rule which forbade burial within the walls of
the city. Sylvester raised a modest mausoleum for himself and his
successors over the Cemetery of Priscilla, on the Via Salaria, the
remains of which have just been discovered.[109] Anastasius and
Innocent I. found their resting-place over the Cemetery of Pontianus,
on the road to Porto; Zosimus and Sixtus in the church of S. Lorenzo;
Boniface I. in that of S. Felicitas, on the Via Salaria.

The Vatican began to be the official mausoleum of the Popes with Leo
I. in 461. The place selected is not the interior of the church, but
the vestibule, and more exactly the space between the middle doorway
(the _Porta argentea_) and the southwest corner, occupied by the
_secretarium_, or sacristy, a hall of basilican shape in which the
Popes donned their official robes before entering the church. The
place can be easily identified by comparing the accompanying
reproduction of Ciampini's drawing of the front of the old basilica of
S. Peter's with the plan published in chapter iii., p. 127. For nearly
two and a half centuries they were laid side by side, until every inch
of space was occupied, the graves being under the floor, and marked by
a plain slab inscribed with a few Latin distichs of semi-barbaric
style. These short biographical poems have been transmitted to us,
with a few exceptions, by the pilgrims of the seventh and ninth
centuries, whose copies were afterwards collected in volumes, the most
important of which is known as the Codex of Lauresheim. At the time of
Gregory the Great there was but a small space left near the
secretarium. This was occupied by Pelasgius I., Johannes III.,
Benedict I., and a few others.

[Illustration: The Atrium of Old S. Peter's.]

Sergius I. (687-701) was the first who dared to cross the threshold of
the church, which he did, however, not for his own benefit, but to do
honor to the memory of Leo I. The inscription in which he describes
the event is too prolix to be given here. It tells us that the grave
of Leo the Great was in the vestibule below the sacristy. There he lay
"like the keeper of the temple, like a shepherd watching his flock."
But other graves had crowded the place so that it was almost
impossible to single them out, and read their epitaphs. Sergius
therefore ordered the body of his predecessor to be removed to an
oratory, or chapel, in the south transept of the church, and to be
enclosed in a beautiful monument which he adorned with costly marbles,
and with mosaics representing prophets and saints. The monument was
destroyed by Paul V. on Saturday, May 26, 1607.

The remains of Gregory the Great have also been moved several times.
His tombstone must have been worn by the feet of pilgrims, as only
eighteen letters out of many hundred have been preserved to our time.
These were discovered not many years ago, in a dark corner of the
Grotte Vaticane. Two centuries after his death, his successor, Gregory
IV. (827-844), carried his remains inside the church, to an oratory
near the new sacristy, covered the tomb with panels of silver, and the
back wall with golden mosaics. The body remained in this second place
until the pontificate of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, Pius II.
(1458-1464), who, having built a chapel to S. Andrew the apostle,
removed Gregory's coffin to the new altar. The coffin is described as
a _conca ægyptiaca_, an ancient bathing-basin, of porphyry, which was
protected by an iron grating. The chapel, the altar, and the tomb
were again sacrificed to the renovation of the church in the time of
Paul V. On December 28, 1605, the porphyry urn was opened, and the
body of the great man transferred to a cypress case; on the eighth day
of the following January a procession, headed by the college of
cardinals and the aristocracy, accompanied the remains to their fourth
and last resting-place, the Cappella Clementina, built by Clement
VIII., near the entrance to the modern sacristy. There are now two
inscriptions: one on the marble lid, "Here lies Saint Gregory the
Great, first of his name, doctor of the church;" the other on the
cypress case, "Evangelista Pallotta, cardinal of S. Lorenzo in Lucina,
dean of this church, collected in this case the remains of Gregory the
Great, and removed them from the altar of S. Andrew to this new
chapel. Done by order of Paul V., in the first year of his
pontificate, on Sunday, January 8, A. D. 1606." The altarpiece was not
painted by Muziano, as stated in old guidebooks, but by Andrea Sacchi.
The picture was removed to Paris, with many other masterpieces, at the
time of Napoleon I.; but Canova obtained its restitution in 1815. It
is now preserved in the Vatican Gallery; the copy in mosaic is the
joint work of Alessandro Cocchi and Francesco Castellini.

The history of the pontificate of Gregory has been written and will
shortly be published by my learned friend Professor H. Grisar. No
better or greater subject could be found than this period when the
city, abandoned by the Byzantine emperors, harassed, besieged, starved
by the Lombards, found in her bishops her only chance of salvation.
They never appear to greater advantage than in those eventful times,
when Rome was sinking so low within, when her surroundings were
changed into a lifeless desert. The queen who had ruled the world was
trampled under the feet of her former slaves, and found assistance
and sympathy nowhere. When Alboin overran the peninsula in 568, at the
head of his Lombards, with whom warriors of several other races,
especially Saxons, were intermixed, the emperor Justin could offer no
other help to the Romans than the advice of bribing the Lombard
chiefs, or of calling in the Franks. Barbarians for barbarians!

[Illustration: Statue of S. Gregory the Great.]

"On the death of Pope John III. in 573, Rome was so closely pressed
that it was impossible to send to Constantinople for the confirmation
of Benedict I., who had been elected his successor, and the papal
throne remained vacant for one year. The same appears to have been the
case on the death of Benedict, in 578, when Rome was held in siege by
Zoto, duke of Beneventum, for the Lombard power had been distributed
among thirty-six duchies. The particulars of this siege are unknown,
but it probably lasted two or three years. On withdrawing from Rome
Zoto took and plundered the Benedictine convent on Montecassino. The
monks retired to Rome and established themselves in a convent near the
Lateran, which they named after S. John Baptist, whence the basilica
of Constantine or the Saviour subsequently took its name.... The
misery of the Romans was aggravated by some natural calamities.
Towards the end of 589, several temples and other monuments were
destroyed by the flooding of the Tiber, and the city was afterwards
afflicted by a devastating pestilence.

"To the year 590, which is that of the election of Gregory, is
referred the legend of the angel that was seen to hover over the
Mausoleum of Hadrian, while Gregory was passing it in solemn
procession, and to sheathe his flaming sword as a sign that the
pestilence was about to cease. At the same time three angels were
heard to sing the antiphony _Regina Cœli_, to which Gregory replied
with the hymn _Ora pro nobis Deum alleluja!_"[110]

This graceful story is the invention of a later century, but it is
worth while to trace its origin. It was customary in the Middle Ages
to consecrate the summits of hills and mountains to Michael, the
archangel, from an association of ideas which needs no explanation.
Similarly, in classical times, the Alpine passes had been placed
under the protection of Jupiter the Thunderer, and lofty peaks crowned
with his temples. Without citing the examples of Mont Saint Michel on
the coast of Normandy, or of Monte Gargano on the coast of Apulia, we
need only look around the neighborhood of Rome to find the figure of
the angel wherever a solitary hill or a commanding ruin suggested the
idea or the sensation of height. _Deus in altis habitat._ Here is the
isolated cone of Castel Giubileo on the Via Salaria (a fortified
outpost of Fidenæ); there the mountain of S. Angelo above Nomentum,
and the convent of S. Michele on the peak of Corniculum. The highest
point within the walls of Rome, now occupied by the Villa Aurelia
(Heyland) was covered likewise by a church named S. Angelo in
Janiculo. The two principal ruins in the valley of the Tiber--the
Mausoleum of Augustus and that of Hadrian--were also shaded by the
angel's wings. The shrine over the vault of the Julian emperors was
called S. Angelo de Augusto, while that built by Boniface IV.
(608-615) above Hadrian's tomb was called _inter nubes_ (among the
clouds), or _inter cœlos_ (in the heavens). This shrine was
replaced later by the figure of an angel. During the pestilence of
1348 the statue was reported by thirty witnesses to have bowed to the
image of the Virgin which the panic-stricken people were carrying from
the church of Ara Cœli to S. Peter's. In 1378 the ungrateful crowd
destroyed it in their attempt to storm the castle. Nicholas V.
(1447-1455) placed a new image on the top of the monument, which
perished in the explosion of the powder-magazine in 1497. The shock
was so violent that pieces of the statue were found beyond S. Maria
Maggiore, a distance of a mile and a half. Alexander VI., Borgia, set
up a statue for the third time, which was stolen by the hordes of
Charles V. for the sake of its heavy gilding. The marble effigy by
Raffaele di Montelupo was placed on the vacant base, and remained
until Benedict XIV. (1740-1758) set up a fifth and last figure, which
was cast in bronze by Wenschefeld.

[Illustration: The Angel on the Mausoleum of Hadrian.]

It is remarkable that Gregory could think of the spiritual mission of
the church in times so troubled, when the last hour of Rome and the
civilized world seemed to have come. He saw that neither the condition
of the world nor that of the Church was hopeless, and his ability,
assisted by political circumstances, gave promise of more prosperous
times. A great part of Europe accepted the Christian faith during his
pontificate. Theolinda, queen of the Lombards, after the death of her
husband Autharic, in 590, contributed greatly to the spreading of the
gospel among her own people. The west Goths of Spain were converted
through Reccared, their king. We need not repeat here the well-known
story of the manner in which Gregory's sympathy for the Anglo-Saxon
race was excited by seeing one of them in the slave-market of Rome.
The mission to which he intrusted the conversion of the British Isles
was composed of three holy men, Mellitus, Augustin, and John, who were
accompanied by other devout followers. They left Rome in the spring of
596, but could not land on the shores of England until the middle of
the following year. Mention of this fact is made in two documents
only,--in the "Liber Pontificalis," vol. i. p. 312, and in a writing
by Prosper of Aquitania in which the English nation is called _gens
extremo oceano posita_ (a people living at the end of the ocean).

Not less surprising in the career of this man is the institution of a
school for religious music. It was established in one of the halls of
the Lateran, and even the Carlovingian kings obtained from it skilful
maestri and organists. It is still prosperous. To Gregory we owe the
_canto fermo_, or Gregorian chant, which, if properly executed,
imparts such a grave and solemn character to the ceremonies of our

[Illustration: Modern façade of the Monastery of S. Gregory on the

Gregory's paternal house stood on the slope of the Cælian, facing the
palace of the Cæsars, on a street named the Clivus Scauri, which
corresponds very nearly to the modern Via dei SS. Giovanni e Paolo.
Fond as he was of monastic life, he extended hospitality to men of his
own sentiments and habit of thought; and transformed the old
_lararium_ into a chapel of S. Andrew. The place, which was governed
by the rule of S. Benedict, became known as the "Monastery of S.
Andrew in the street of Scaurus." The typical plan of a Roman palace
was not altered; the atrium, accessible to the clients and guests of
the monks, is described as having in the centre a "wonderful and most
salubrious" spring, no doubt the "spring of Mercury" of classical
times. It still exists, in a remote and hardly accessible corner of
the garden, but its waters are no longer believed to be
miracle-working, nor are they sought by crowds of ailing pilgrims as
formerly. Time has brought other changes upon this cluster of
buildings. In 1633 cardinal Scipione Borghese completed its
modernization by raising the façade, which does so little honor to him
and his architect, Giovanni Soria. But let us pause on the top of the
staircase which leads to it, with our faces towards the Palatine;
there is no more impressive sight in the whole of Rome. Placed as we
are between the Baths of Caracalla, the Circus Maximus, the dwelling
of the emperors, and the Coliseum, with the Via Triumphalis at our
feet, we can hardly realize the wonderful transformation of men and
things. From the hill beyond us the generals who led the Roman armies
to the conquest of the world took their departure; from this modest
monastery went a handful of humble missionaries who were to preach the
gospel and to bring civilization into countries far beyond the
boundary line of the Roman empire. Of their success in the British
Islands we have monumental evidence everywhere in Rome. Here in the
vestibule of this very church is engraved the name of Sir Edward
Carne, one of the Commissioners sent by Henry VIII. to obtain the
opinion of foreign universities respecting his divorce from Catherine
of Aragon; and, not far from it, that of Robert Pecham, who died in
1567, an exile for his faith, and left his substance to the poor.

These, however, are comparatively recent memories. In the vestibule of
S. Peter's, not far from the original grave of Gregory the Great, we
should have found that of a British king, reckoned among the saints in
the old martyrologies, who had come in grateful acknowledgment of the
double civilization which his native island had received from pagan
and Christian Rome.[111] Under the date of 688 the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle records: "This year king Ceadwalla went to Rome and received
baptism from Pope Sergius, and he gave him the name of Peter, and in
about seven days afterwards, on the twelfth before the Kalends of May
(April 20), while he was yet in his baptismal garments, he died, and
he was buried in S. Peter's." The fair-haired convert, who had met
with a solemn and enthusiastic reception from Pope Sergius, the
clergy, and the people, received after his death the greatest honor
that the Church and the Romans could offer him: he was buried in the
"Popes' Corner," or _porticus pontificum_, almost side by side with
Gregory the Great. The verses engraved on the tomb of the latter--

    "Ad Christum Anglos convertit pietate magistra
    Sic fidei acquirens agmina gente nova,"

(by pious cares he converted the English to Christ, acquiring thereby
for the true faith multitudes of a new race)--could not have found a
more convincing witness to their truth than this grave of Ceadwalla,
because with his conversion, which was due to the preaching of S.
Wilfrid, the Christian religion spread rapidly among the Saxons of the
West, and that part of the country which had most resisted the new
faith was forever secured to Christian civilization. In fact Wessex
became the most powerful member of the Heptarchy, till it attained
absolute dominion over the whole island.

Ceadwalla's tomb, forgotten, and perhaps concealed by superstructures,
was brought to light again towards the end of the sixteenth century.
Giovanni de Deis, in a work published in 1588, says: "The epitaph[112]
and the tomb on which it was engraved lay for a long time concealed
from the eyes of visitors, and only in later years it was discovered
by the masons engaged in rebuilding S. Peter's." Not a fragment of the
monument has come down to us, and such was the contempt with which the
learned men of the age looked upon these historical monuments, that
none of them condescended to give us the details of the discovery.
"It is deeply to be regretted," says cardinal Mai, "that such a
notable trophy as the tomb of Ceadwalla, the royal catechumen, which
was erected and inscribed by Sergius I., disappeared from the Vatican,
and was irretrievably lost, together with innumerable monuments of
ancient art and piety, owing to the calamities of the times, the
avidity of the workmen, and the negligence of the superintendents."

"Ceadwalla's tomb," I quote from Tesoroni, "was not the only monument
of Anglo-Saxon interest to be seen in old S. Pietro. William of
Malmesbury and other chroniclers mention two other kings, Offa of
Essex, and Coenred of Mercia, as having renounced their crowns and
embraced the monastic life in one of the Vatican cloisters. They were
also buried in the Paradise near the Popes' Corner. It is doubtful
whether king Ina, who succeeded Ceadwalla, and his queen, Aethelburga,
were buried in the same place, or in the Anglo-Saxon quarter by the
church of S. Maria in Saxia, founded, probably, by Ina himself. It is
certain, however, that at a later time king Burrhed of Mercia was
entombed in the same quarter, and in the same church. The place is
still named from the Anglo-Saxons, S. Spirito in Sassia."

The threshold of S. Peter's once crossed, we hear no more of Popes
being buried outside, in the old atrium. The second aisle on the
left--that entered by the Gate of Judgment--was intended to receive
their mortal remains. Hence its name of _porticus pontificum_ (the
aisle of the pontiffs). On the day of his coronation the newly elected
head of the church was asked to cross this aisle on his way from the
chapel of S. Gregory to the high altar, that the sight of so many
graves should impress on his mind the maxim, "The glory of the world
vanisheth like the flame of a handful of straw;" and a handful of
straw was actually burned before his eyes, while the dean of the
church addressed to him the words, "My father, _sic transit gloria

THE TOMB OF BENEDICT VII. (974-983). The basilica of S. Croce in
Gerusalemme contains but one tomb, that of Benedict VII., whose career
is described in a metric inscription of seventeen verses, inserted in
the wall of the nave on the right of the entrance. I mention it
because Gregorovius seems to have been unaware of its existence, in
spite of its historical value.[113] It recalls to our mind one of the
most turbulent and riotous periods in the annals of Rome and the
papacy, the fight between the "independents" led by the Crescenzi, and
the party of the Saxon emperors, represented by Popes Benedict VI. and
VII. The Crescenzio mentioned in the epitaph of Benedict VII. was the
son of John and Theodora, and one of the most active members of a
family which has thrice attempted to reëstablish the republic of
ancient Rome and shake off the yoke of German oppression. This one is
known as Crescentius de Theodora, from the name of his mother; and
also as Crescentius de Caballo, from his residence on the Quirinal,
near the colossal statues of Castor and Pollux, which have given to
the hill its modern name of Monte Cavallo. The Castel S. Angelo was
the stronghold of the family. Under the shelter of its massive
ramparts they were able to dictate the law to the Popes, and commit
bloodshed and sacrilege with impunity. In 928 Marozia and her second
husband Guido, marquis of Tuscany, with their partisans, fell on Pope
John X., who was staying in the Lateran Palace, murdered his brother
Pietro before his eyes, and dragged him through the streets of Rome to
the castle. The unfortunate Pope lingered awhile in a dark dungeon,
and was ultimately killed by suffocation. Marozia, perhaps to dispel
the suspicions of a violent death, allowed him to be buried with due
honors near the middle door of the Lateran, at the foot of the nave.
His gravestone was seen and described by Johannes Diaconus, but has
long since disappeared. In 974 Crescenzio, son of Theodora, committed
another sacrilegious murder, that of Benedict VI. Helped by a deacon
named Franco he confined him in the same dungeon of Castel S. Angelo,
while Franco placed himself on the chair of S. Peter, under the name
of Boniface VII. The legal Pope was soon after strangled. Such crimes
startled for a moment the apathy of the Romans, who besieged and
stormed the castle, deposed the usurper, and named in his place
Benedict VII., whose grave we are now visiting in S. Croce in
Gerusalemme. Yet Crescenzio and Franco did not pay dearly for their
crimes. Franco, after plundering the Vatican basilica of its
valuables, migrated to Constantinople, a rich and free man. Crescenzio
died peacefully in the monastery of S. Alessio on the Aventine in the
year 984. His tomb, the tomb of a murderer, whose hands had been
stained with the blood of a Pope, was allowed the honor of a laudatory
inscription. It can still be seen in the cloisters of the monastery:
"Here lies the body of Crescentius, the illustrious, the honorable
citizen of Rome, the great leader, the great descendant of a great
family," etc. "Christ the Saviour of our souls made him infirm and an
invalid, so that, abandoning any further hope of worldly success, he
entered this monastery, and spent his last years in prayer and

All these events are alluded to in the epitaph of Benedict VII., in S.
Croce. This church has been so thoroughly deprived of its charm and
interest by another Benedict (XIV., in the year 1744) that one cannot
help paying attention to the few objects which have survived the
"transformation," and especially to this humble stone hardly known to

Should any of my readers care to arrange their researches in Rome
systematically, and study its monuments group by group, according to
chronological and historical connections, they will find abundance of
material in the period in which the murders of John X. and Benedict
VI. took place. There is the tomb of Landolfo, brother of Crescenzio,
at S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura; that of Crescenzio at S. Alessio; the
house of Nicola di Crescenzio, near the Bocca della Verità, a
fascinating subject for a day's work.

The church of S. Croce has seen another strange death of a Pope,--that
of Sylvester II. (999-1003), a Frenchman, Gerbert by name. A legend,
related first by cardinal Benno in 1099, describes him as deep in
necromantic knowledge, which he had gathered during a journey through
the Hispano-Arabic provinces. He is said to have carried in his
travels a sort of a diabolical oracle, a brazen head which uttered
prophetic answers. After his election, in 999, he inquired how long he
should remain in power; the response was "as long as he avoided saying
mass in Jerusalem." The prophecy was soon fulfilled. He expired in
great agony on Quadragesima Sunday, 1003, while celebrating mass in
this church, the classic name of which he seems not to have known. The
legend asserts that his sins were pardoned by God, and that he was
given an honorable burial in the church of S. John Lateran. A
mysterious influence, however, hung over his grave. Whenever one of
his successors was approaching the end of life, the bones of
Sylvester would stir in their vault, and the marble lid would be
moistened with drops of water, as stated in the epitaph, which is
still visible in S. John Lateran, against one of the pillars of the
first right aisle. It begins with the distich:--


We are ready to forgive the originators of the legend about the
rattling of the bones; the verses are so bad and distorted that it is
no wonder they were wrongly understood. Their author wanted to express
the readiness of the deceased to appear before the Lord at His coming;
but, not being particularly successful in the choice of his language,
his simple-minded contemporaries, so inclined towards the
supernatural, saw in the words _venturo domino_ an allusion to the
coming, not of the Sovereign Judge, but of the future Pope; and they
thought the expression _ad sonitum_ referred not to the trumpet of the
last judgment, but to the rattling of the bones whenever a _dominus
venturus_ might appear on the scene.

This popular interpretation soon became official. John the Deacon has
accepted it blindly in his description of the Lateran. "In the same
aisle (the last on the left, near the Cappella Corsini) lies Gerbert,
archbishop of Reims, who took the name of Sylvester after his election
to the pontificate. His tomb, although in a dry place, sends forth
drops of water even in clear and dry weather," etc. The tomb was
opened and destroyed in 1648. Rasponi, an eye-witness, describes the
event in his book "De Basilica et Patriarchio Lateranensi" (Rome,
1656, p. 76): "In the year 1648, while new foundations were being laid
for the left wing of the church, the corpse of Sylvester II. was
found in a marble sarcophagus, twelve feet below the ground. The body
was well composed and dressed in state robes; the arms were crossed on
the breast; the head crowned with the tiara. It fell into dust at the
touch of our hands, while a pleasant odor filled the air, owing to the
rare substances in which it had been embalmed. Nothing was saved but a
silver cross and the signet ring."

The church of S. John Lateran has passed through the same vicissitudes
as that of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, but with less detriment. Clement
VIII., who reconstructed the transept; Sixtus V., who rebuilt the
north portico; Innocent X., Pius IX., and Leo XIII. have all been more
merciful than Benedict XIV. At all events, if the sight of the church
itself in its present state is distasteful to the true lover of
ancient and mediæval Rome, nothing could delight him more than the
cloisters of Vassalectus which open at the south end of the transept.
I speak of the building as well as of its contents. The cloisters have
just been restored to their original appearance by Leo XIII. and by
his architect, conte Francesco Vespignani, and a museum of works of
art from the old basilica has been formed under its arcades.

[Illustration: Inscription of Vassalectus.]


There are three or four details regarding it which deserve notice. The
design of this exquisite structure has been attributed, as usual, to
one of the Cosmatis; but it belongs to Pietro Vassalletto and his son.
In demolishing one of the clumsy buttresses, which were built two
centuries ago against the colonnade of the south side, count
Vespignani discovered (1887) the authentic signatures of both
artists, in the inscription which is here reproduced. It is thus
translated: "I, Vassalectus, a noble and skilful master in my
profession, have finished alone this work which I began in company
with my father."[114] Their school lasted for four generations, from
1153 to the middle of the following century, and ranks next in
importance to that of the Cosmatis. Many of their productions are
signed, as for example the episcopal chair in the church of S. Andrea
at Anagni, dated 1263; a screen in the cathedral of Segni, dated 1185;
the candelabra in S. Paolo fuori le Mura; the lion in the porch of SS.
Apostoli; the canopy in SS. Cosma e Damiano, dated 1153; fragments of
an inlaid screen in the studio of the illustrious artist, Señor
Villegas, etc. We are in the habit of asserting that only the
Renaissance masters studied and were inspired by the antique; but the
fascination of ancient art was equally felt by their early precursors
of the twelfth century. The archway in the middle of the south side of
these cloisters (opposite the one represented in our illustration)
rests on sphinxes, one of which is bearded. The human-headed
monsters, wearing the _claft_ or _nemes_, images of Egyptian Pharaohs,
were obviously modelled in imitation of ancient originals. Nor is this
the only case. The gate of S. Antonio on the Esquiline is also
supported by crouching sphinxes (A. D. 1269). It has been suggested
that such works were inspired by crusaders who had seen the wonders of
Egypt. But if the reader remembers what I said about the Temple of
Isis in the Campus Martius, in chapter ii., p. 92, he will at once
perceive how the Vassalletti were able to draw their Egyptian models
from a much nearer source. A fact mentioned by Winckelmann[115] proves
that one of them owned and studied a statue of Æsculapius, in the
plinth of which he actually engraved his own name, [V]ASSALECTVS. The
statue was seen by Winckelmann in the Verospi palace, but I have not
been able to ascertain its present location. In these same cloisters
are some delightful figures of saints, in high relief, from an old
ciborium. One of them, representing S. John the Baptist, is obviously
modelled on the type of an Antinous, with the same abundance of curly
hair, the same profile and characteristic eyebrows. In October, 1886,
I actually saw a mediæval stonecutter's shop, dating perhaps from the
eleventh or twelfth century, in which the place of honor was given to
a statue of Antinous. The fact is so remarkable for an age in which
statues were sought, not as models, but as material for the limekiln,
that I beg leave to describe it.

[Illustration: Candelabrum in the Church of S. Paolo fuori le Mura.]

The site of the Palazzo della Banca Nazionale, in the street of the
same name, was occupied in old times by the house of Tiberius Julius
Frugi, a member of the college of the Arvales. This house shared the
fate of all ancient buildings: it was allowed to fall to ruin, and
later became the property of whoever chose to occupy it. Among these
mediæval occupants was a stonecutter who collected in the half-ruined
halls fragments, blocks of columns, and marbles of various kinds, some
of which had already been re-cut for new uses. There was also a
deposit of the fine sand which is even now employed for sawing stones.
We can judge of the approximate age in which the stonecutter lived, by
the fact that in his time the pavements of the Roman house were
already covered with a stratum of rubbish six feet thick.

[Illustration: The Antinous of the Banca Nazionale.]

A statue of Antinous, the favorite of Hadrian, deified after his death
and worshipped in the form of a Bacchus, was found standing against
the rear wall of the workshop. It is cut in Greek marble, and the
style of sculpture is excellent. None of the prominent portions of the
body have been separated from the trunk, so that the only injuries
wrought by time are slight, and confined to the nose and hands. A
patient study of this figure has enabled me to reconstruct its story.
First of all, we are sure that, from the knees down, the statue had
been immersed in a stream of water for a very long period, because the
surface of the marble is corroded and full of small holes, caused by
the action of running water. It also bears visible traces of having
been scraped with a piece of iron and scoured to get rid of the mud
and calcareous carbonates with which it must have been incrusted when
taken out of the stream. These facts concur to prove that the
Antinous, having been thrown into the water, or having fallen in by
accident, was found or bought after the lapse of centuries, by our
stonecutter. An attempt was then made to clean the statue, and, with
the intention of preserving it as a work of art and a model, it was
placed in the best room of the workshop. Both were buried for a second
time, to be brought to light again in 1886. The statue can now be seen
in the vestibule of the Banca Nazionale.

       *       *       *       *       *

As representative specimens of later art and later glories I venture
to suggest the tombs of Innocent VIII. (1484-1492) by Antonio
Pollaiuolo, of Paul III. (1524-1549) by Guglielmo della Porta, and of
Clement XIII. (1758-1769) by Antonio Canova.


THE TOMB OF INNOCENT VIII. This noble work, by Antonio Pollaiuolo, is
set against the second pilaster of the nave of S. Peter's on the left
side, opposite the "Porta dei Musici." If we reflect that, besides its
importance in the history of art, this monument brings back to our
memory the fall of Constantinople and Granada, the discovery of the
new world, the figures of Bayazid, Ferdinand, and Christopher
Columbus, we have a subject for meditation, as well as æsthetic
enjoyment. Innocent VIII., Giovanni Battista Cibo, of Genoa, is
represented on his sarcophagus sleeping the sleep of the just, while
above it he appears again in the full power of life, seated on the
pontifical throne, with the right hand raised in the act of blessing
the multitude, and the left holding the lance with which Longinus had
pierced the side of the Saviour on the cross. This holy relic was a
gift from the infidels, who had just taken possession of the capital
of the Greek empire, and had raised the crescent on the pinnacles of
S. Sophia. It seems that while Bayazid II. was besieging Broussa, his
rebellious brother Zem or Zizim, who had already been defeated in the
battle of June 20, 1481, succeeded in making his escape to Egypt, and
ultimately to the island of Rhodes. The grand master of the Knights of
S. John, d'Aubusson, received him cordially and sent him first to
France, and later to Rome. Here he was received with royal honors; he
rode through the streets on a charger, escorted by Francesco Cibo, a
relative of the Pope, and count d'Aubusson, brother of the grand
master. He is described as a man fond of sight-seeing, about forty
years old, of a fierce and cruel countenance, tall, erect, well
proportioned, with shaggy eyebrows, and aquiline nose. His brother
Bayazid, fearing that he might be induced to try another rebellion
with the help of the knights, the Pope, and the Venetians, treated him
generously with a yearly allowance of forty thousand scudi; and
secured the good grace of Innocent VIII. with the present of the holy

To this extraordinary gift of Bayazid we owe one of the masterpieces
of the Renaissance, the _ciborio della santa lancia_, begun by
Innocent VIII. and finished by the executors of his will, Lorenzo Cibo
and Antoniotto Pallavicino, in 1495. Unfortunately we have now only a
drawing of it by the unskilful hand of Giacomo Grimaldi;[117] it was
taken to pieces in 1606, and a few of its panels, medallions, and
statues, which were of the school of Mino da Fiesole, were removed to
the Sacred Grottos, where no one is allowed to see them. Grimaldi, who
wrote the procès-verbal of the demolition of the ciborium, says that
the desecration and the removal of the relics took place on
Septuagesima Sunday, January 22, about seven in the evening; at nine
o'clock lightning struck the unfinished roof of the basilica; heavy
pieces of masonry fell with a crash; mosaics were wrenched from their
sockets, and fissures and rents produced in various parts of the
building. In the same night the Tiber overflowed its banks, and the
turbulent waters rushed as far as the palace of Cardinal Rusticucci in
the direction of the Vatican.

The inscription on the tomb of Innocent VIII. mentions, among the
glories of his pontificate, the discovery of a new world. Thirty years
before his election Constantinople had been taken by the infidels; but
the conquests made in the West brought a compensation for the losses
sustained on the shores of the Bosphorus. Innocent lived to hear of
the capture of Granada and of the conquest of Ferdinand of Aragon, in
the Moorish provinces of southern Spain; and just at that time the
Hispano-Portuguese branch of the great Latin family seems to have
burst forth with renewed vitality and religious enthusiasm, destined
to give Rome new victories and new worlds. Bartolomeo Diaz had already
doubled the Cape of Good Hope; the sea route to India was opened. The
Pope could once again consider himself the master of the world, and
was able to present John II. of Portugal with "the lands of Africa,
whether known or unknown." Death overtook the gentle and peaceful
pontiff on July 26, 1492. Eight days after his demise another
Genoese,[118] another worthy representative of the strong Ligurian
race, set sail from the harbor of Palos to discover another continent,
and begin a third era in the history of mankind.

THE TOMB OF PAUL III. Historians and artists alike agree in placing
the monument of Paul III. at the head of this class of artistic
creations. In a niche on the left of the high altar of S. Peter's the
figure of the noble old pontiff is seated on a bronze throne. With his
head bent upon his breast, he seems absorbed in thought. Great events,
to be sure, had taken place during his administration, which were more
or less connected with the affairs of his own family: such as the
foundation of the duchy of Parma in favor of his son, Pierluigi, the
marriage of his grandson Ottavio to Marguerite, daughter of Charles
V., and the creation of the order of the Jesuits; and as some of these
events had resulted differently from what he had expected, no wonder
his countenance betrays a feeling of disappointment. Two female
figures of marble are seen reclining against the sarcophagus: one old,
representing Prudence, the other young, representing Justice; the one
holds a mirror, the other a bundle of rods. It seems that Guglielmo
della Porta modelled them according to a sketch proposed by
Michelangelo; in fact, they bear a strong resemblance to the figures
of Night and Day on the tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici, at Florence. The
Prudence is said to be a portrait of Giovannella Caetani da Sermoneta,
the mother of the Pope, while Justice represents his sister-in-law,
Giulia Farnese, according to Martinelli, or his daughter Constance,
the wife of Bosio Sforza, according to Rotti. The elder woman's
profile is exactly that of Dante,--so much so that Maes speaks of her
as the "Dantessa di S. Pietro." Her younger companion is, or rather
was, of marvellous beauty, before Bernini draped her form with a
leaden tunic. During my lifetime, this has been removed once, for the
benefit of a Frenchman who was collecting materials for the life of
della Porta; but I have not been able to obtain a copy of the
photograph taken at the time. Formerly the statue was miscalled Truth,
which gave rise to the saying that, although Truth as a rule is not
pleasing, this pleased too much. The strange infatuation of a Spanish
gentleman for her is described by Sprenger, Caylus, and

The original design of the monument required four statues, because it
was intended to stand alone in the middle of the church, and not half
concealed in a niche. The other two statues were actually modelled,
one as Abundance, the other Tenderness; they are now preserved in one
of the halls of the Farnese palace.

[Illustration: TOMB OF PAUL III]

Paul III., Alessandro Farnese, was the first Roman elevated to the
supreme pontificate after Martin V., Colonna (1417-1424). Pomponio
Leto, his preceptor, had imbued him with the spirit of the humanists.
His conversation was gay and spirituelle; he seemed to bring back with
him the fine old times of Leo III. He died beloved and worshipped
by his subjects. We may well share a little of these sentiments, if we
remember how much art is indebted to him.

The Palazzo Madama, now used as the Senate-house, and the Villa
Madama, on the eastern slope of Monte Mario, still belonging to the
descendants of the Farnese family, were given by him to Marguerite of
Spain, after her marriage with his grandson Ottavio. The Farnesina,
which he bought at auction in 1586, associates his memory with that of
the Chigis, of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Baldassarre Peruzzi. Then
comes his share in the construction of S. Peter's; in the painting of
the "Last Judgment," and in the finishing of the "Sala Regia," the
richest hall in the Vatican. But no other work, in my estimation,
gives us as true an idea of his taste and delicate sentiment as the
apartments which he caused to be built and decorated, on the summit of
Hadrian's Mole. I am writing these lines in the loggia or vestibule
which opens from the great hall. Paul himself placed on the lintel a
record of his work, of which Raffaello da Montelupo and Antonio da
Sangallo were the architects; Marco da Siena, Pierin del Vaga, and
Giulio Romano, the decorators. The ceilings of the bedroom and
dining-hall, carved in wood, and those of the reception-room, in gilt
and painted stucco, are things of beauty which no visitor to Rome
should fail to see. The bath-room, a work of his predecessor, Clement
VII., is copied from the antique. In 1538, while the building of this
artistic gem was in progress, Benvenuto Cellini was thrown into one of
the dungeons below, as a prisoner of state. He was accused of having
stolen jewels belonging to the apostolic treasury; but the true reason
seems to have been an offence against the Pope, which he had committed
in 1527, while the hosts of the constable de Bourbon were besieging
the castle. The offence is described by Benvenuto himself in the
following words:--

"While I was performing this duty [of keeping guard on the ramparts]
some of the cardinals who were in the castle used to come up to see
me, and most of all cardinal Ravenna and cardinal de' Gaddi, to whom I
often said that I wished they would not come any more, because their
red caps could be seen a long way off, and made it mighty dangerous
for both them and me from those palaces which were near by, like the
Torre de' Bini; so that, finally, I shut them out altogether, and
gained thereby their ill-will quite decidedly. Signor Orazio Baglioni,
who was my very good friend, also used to come and chat with me. While
he was talking with me one day, he noticed a kind of a demonstration
in a certain tavern, which was outside the Porta di Castello, at a
place called Baccanello. This tavern had for a sign a red sun, painted
between two windows. The windows being closed, Signor Orazio guessed
that just behind the sun between them, there was a company of soldiers
having a good time. So he said to me, 'Benvenuto, if you had a mind to
fire your cannon near that sun, I believe you would do a good piece of
work, because there is a good deal of noise there, and they must be
men of importance.' I replied to the gentleman, 'It is enough for me
to see that sun to be able to fire into the middle of it; but if I do,
the noise of the gun and the shock it will make will knock over that
barrel of stones which is standing near its mouth.' To which the
gentleman answered, 'Don't wait to talk about it, Benvenuto, for, in
the first place, in the way in which the barrel is standing, the shock
of the cannon could not knock it over; but even if it did, and the
Pope himself were under it, it would not be as bad as you think; so
shoot, shoot!' So I, thinking no more about it, fired right into the
middle of the sun, exactly as I had promised I would. The barrel fell,
just as I said, and struck the ground between cardinal Farnese and
messer Jacopo Salviati. It would have crushed both of them had it not
happened that they were quarrelling, because the cardinal had just
accused messer Jacopo of being the cause of the sacking of Rome, and
had separated to give more room to the insults they were flinging at
each other."[120] The cardinal never forgot his narrow escape.

From the point of view of archæological interests Paul III. will
always be remembered as long as the Museo Nazionale of Naples and the
Baths of Caracalla of Rome continue to hold the admiration of
students. In reading the account of his excavation of the Baths, we
seem to be transported to dreamland. No one before him had laid hands
on the immeasurable treasures which the building contained. Statues
were found in their niches or lying in front of them; the columns were
standing on their pedestals; the walls were still incrusted with rare
marbles and richly carved panels; the swimming-basins were still ready
for use. Pietro Sante Bartoli says: "The excavation of the Baths of
Caracalla, which took place in the time of Paul III. (1546) is the
most successful ever accomplished. It yielded such a mass of statues,
columns, bas-reliefs, marbles, cameos, intaglios, bronze figures,
medals, and lamps, that no more room could be found for them in the
Farnese palace." The collection comprises the Farnese Bull, the two
statues of Herakles, the Flora, the Athletes, the Venus Callipyge, the
Diana, the "Atreus and Thyestes," the so-called "Tuccia," and a
hundred more masterpieces, which were, unfortunately, removed to
Naples towards the end of the last century.

THE TOMB OF CLEMENT XIII. From the golden age of Guglielmo della Porta
to the barocco art of the eighteenth century; from the tomb of
Alessandro Farnese to that of Prospero Lambertini (Benedict XIV.,
1740-1758), we can follow, stage by stage, the pernicious influence
exercised on Roman art by the school of Bernini. The richness and
magnificence of papal mausolea increased in proportion to the decline
in taste. The sculptors seem to have had but one ambition, to produce
a theatrical effect; their abuse of polychromy is incredible; the
grouping of their figures conventional; the contortions to which they
submit their Hopes and Charities, their Liberalities and Benevolences,
their Justices and Prudences are simply absurd.

Pietro Bracci, the artist of the monument of Benedict XIV., by pushing
mannerism to the extreme point, caused a wholesome reaction in art.
The tomb of Clement XIII., Carlo Rezzonico of Venice (1758-1769), was
intrusted to Canova. There is the difference of a few years only
between the two, but it seems as if there were centuries. This
monument, which marks a prodigious reaction towards the pure ideals of
classical art, was uncovered on April 4, 1795, before an immense
assembly of people. The whole of Rome was there, and the defeat of the
partisans of Bernini's style could not have been more complete.


Disguised in ecclesiastical robes, Canova mixed with the crowd, and
was able to hear for himself that the reign of a false taste in art
was once more over, so unanimous was the admiration and approval of
the multitudes for his bold attempt. The tomb of Clement XIII. rests
on a high basement of grayish marble, in the middle of which opens a
door of the Doric style, giving access to the vault. The two
world-renowned marble lions crouch upon the steps, watching the
sarcophagus; Religion stands on the left, holding a cross in the right
hand; while the Genius of Death, with an inverted torch, is seen
reclining on the opposite side. It is a graceful, but slightly
conventional figure. One can easily perceive the influence of the
study of the antique in the head of this Genius, which Canova
considered one of his best productions. It is the Apollo Belvedere of
modern times, the "Catholic Apollo," as Forsyth calls the archangel of
Guido in the church of the Capuchins. The Pope is represented kneeling
and praying, with hands clasped, and a face full of sentiment and
thought. When, seated before this monument, we turn our eyes towards
the tombs of Clement X. and Benedict XIV., and other similar
productions of the eighteenth century, we can hardly realize that
Canova was a contemporary of Pietro Bracci and Carlo Monaldi.

The tomb is also historically interesting. It was under Clement XIII.
that the order of the Jesuits was tried before the tribunal of Europe.
The kingdom of Portugal, where they had made their first advance
towards greatness and fame, was the first to attack them. The marquess
of Pombal, prime minister of Joseph I., taking advantage of the
uneasiness caused by the earthquake of 1755 and by a murderous attempt
against the king, expelled the order from the country and the colonies
(January 9-September 3, 1759). One hundred and twenty-four were put in
irons; one, named Malagrida, executed; thirty-seven allowed to die in
prison; and the rest were embarked on seven ships and transported to
foreign lands. Charles III. of Spain, and his minister, count
d'Aranda, followed the example of Portugal. The Jesuits were banished
from Spain, February 28, 1767; and in the night between April 2 and 3,
they were put, five thousand in number, on transport vessels, and sent
to Rome. King Louis XV. and the duc de Choiseul used the same process
in France. The attempt of Damiens, January 5, 1757, and an alleged
scandal in the administration of the property of the order at la
Martinique were taken up as pretexts for punishment, and the order was
banished in 1764. King Ferdinand IV. of Naples, the grand master of
Malta, the duke of Parma, and other potentates took their share also
in the crusade. Whatever may be the sentiment which we personally feel
towards this brotherhood, the figures of Lorenzo Ricci, the general
who so bravely contested every inch of the battlefield, and of Clement
XIII., who died before signing the decree of suppression so loudly
demanded by Portugal, Spain, France, Parma, Naples and Malta, will
always be remembered with respect. The pressure brought on the old
Pope by half the kingdoms of Europe, which were governed directly or
indirectly by the Bourbons, was not merely that of diplomacy. He was
deprived of Avignon and the comté Venoisin in France, of Benevento in
southern Italy; but to no purpose. The decree suppressing the order
was only signed by his successor Clement XIV., Ganganelli, on July 21,
1773. Lorenzo Ricci died the following year, a state prisoner in the
castle of S. Angelo.


[104] Garrucci has reproduced them in the _Storia dell' arte
cristiana_, vol. ii. pl. 108-111.

[105] Garrucci: _Vetri adornati di figure in oro._--Swoboda, quoted by
De Waal in the _Römische Quartalschrift_, 1888, p. 135.--Armellini:
_ibidem_, 1888, p. 130.--De Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia
cristiana_, 1864, p. ----; 1887, p. 130.

[106] _Les tombeaux des papes romains._ Traduction Sabatier. Paris,

[107] _Roma sotterranea_, i., p. 283.

[108] The hypogæum, discovered in 1617, excavated and pillaged in
1780-81, has, through my exertions, become national property, together
with the Columbaria of Hylas.

[109] It contained the graves of Marcellus [Symbol: died] 308,
Sylvester [Symbol: died] 385, Siricius [Symbol: died] 396, and
Celestinus [Symbol: died] 422.

[110] Dyer: _History of Rome_, p. 344.

[111] See the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_, edited by J. A. Giles, in Bohn's
Antiquarian Library; and the excellent memoir of Domenico Tesoroni,
_King Ceadwalla's Tomb in the Ancient Basilica of S. Peter_ (Rome,
Bertero, 1891), from which I quote almost verbatim.

[112] De Rossi: _Inscriptiones christianæ_, ii. p. 288.

[113] Duchesne: _Lib. pontif_. ii. 258.--Marucchi: _Iscrizioni
relative alla storia di Roma dal secolo V al XV_. (p. 74). Roma, 1881.

[114] Barbier de Montault: _Revue archéologique_, xiv.
244.--Frothingham: _American Journal of Archæology_, 1891, p. 44.--De
Rossi; _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1875, p. 29; 1891, p.
91.--Stevenson: _Mostra di Roma, all' esposizione di Torino_, 1884, p.
174.--Rohault de Fleury: _Le latran au moyen âge_ (planches 45, 46).
Paris, 1877.

[115] _Storia delle arti_, edizione Fea, vol. ii. p. 144.

[116] Zizim died by poisoning, February 24, 1495, during the
pontificate of Alexander VI., Borgia.

[117] Published by Müntz, in the _Archivio storico dell' arte_, vol.
iv., 1891, p. 366.

[118] The question as to the birthplace of Christopher Columbus seems
to have been finally settled in favor of Savona. Unquestionable
evidence has been discovered on June 17 of the present year, by the
Historical Society at Madrid.

[119] Theodor Sprenger: _Roma Nova_, p. 232. Frankfort, 1660.--Caylus:
in vol. xxv. of the _Mémoires de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles
lettres_.--Cancellieri: _Il mercato_, p. 42.

[120] _Vita di Benvenuto Cellini_ lib. 1, xxxvi.



     Various modes of burial in Rome.--Inhumation and
     cremation.--Gradual predominance of the
     latter.--Columbaria.--Inscription describing the organization of
     one of these, on the Via Latina.--The extent of the pagan
     cemeteries outside of Rome, and the number of graves they
     contained.--Curiosities of the epitaphs.--The excavations in the
     garden of La Farnesina.--The Roman house discovered there.--The
     tomb of Sulpicius Platorinus.--Its interesting contents.--The
     "divine crows."--The cemetery in the Villa Pamfili.--Tombs on the
     Via Triumphalis.--That of Helius, the shoemaker.--The tombs of
     the Via Salaria.--That of the Licinii Calpurnii.--The unhappy
     history of this family.--The tomb of the precocious
     boy.--Improvvisatori of later times.--The tomb of Lucilia Polla
     and her brother.--Its history.--The Valle della Caffarella.--Its
     associations with Herodes Atticus.--His fortune and its
     origin.--His monuments to his wife.--The remarkable discovery of
     the corpse of a young woman, in 1485.--Various contemporary
     accounts of it.--Its ultimate fate.--Discovery of a similar
     nature in 1889.

Inhumation seems to have been more common than cremation in
prehistoric Rome; hence, certain families, to give material evidence
of their ancient lineage, would never submit to cremation. Such were
the Cornelii Scipiones, whose sarcophagi were discovered during the
last century in the Vigna Sassi. Sulla is the first Cornelius whose
body was burned; but this he ordered done to avoid retaliation, that
is to say, for fear of its being treated as he had treated the corpse
of Marius. Both systems are mentioned in the law of the twelve tables:
_hominem mortuum in urbe ne sepelito neve urito_, a statement which
shows that each had an equal number of partisans, at the time of the
promulgation of the law.

This theory is confirmed by discoveries in the prehistoric cemeteries
of the Viminal and Esquiline hills, which contain coffins as well as
cineraria, or ash-urns. The discoveries have been published only in a
fragmentary way, so that we cannot yet follow their development stage
by stage, and determine at what periods and within what limits the
influence of more civilized neighbors was felt by the primitive
dwellers upon the Seven Hills. One thing is certain; the race that
first colonized the Campagna was buried in trunks of trees, hollowed
inside and cut to measure, as is the custom among some Indian tribes
of the present day. In March, 1889, the engineers who were attending
to the drainage of the Lago di Castiglione--the ancient
Regillus--discovered a trunk of _quercus robur_, sawn lengthways into
two halves, with a human skeleton inside, and fragments of objects in
amber and ivory lying by it. The coffin, roughly cut and shaped, was
buried at a depth of fourteen feet, in a trench a trifle longer and
larger than itself, and the space between the coffin and the sides of
the trench was filled with archaic pottery, of the type found in our
own Roman necropolis of the Via dello Statuto. There were also
specimens of imported pottery, and a bronze cup. The tomb and its
contents are now exhibited in the Villa di Papa Giulio, outside the
Porta del Popolo.

When Rome was founded, this semi-barbaric fashion of burial was by no
means forgotten or abandoned by its inhabitants. We have not yet
discovered coffins actually dug out of a tree, but we have found rude
imitations of them in clay. These belong to the interval of time
between the foundation of the city and the fortifications of Servius
Tullius, having been found at the considerable depth of forty-two feet
below the embankment of the Servian wall, in the Vigna Spithoever.
They are now exhibited in the Capitoline Museum (Palazzo dei
Conservatori), together with the skeletons, pottery, and bronze
_suppellex_ they contained.

Nearly every type of tomb known in Etruria, Magna Græcia, and the
prehistoric Italic stations has a representative in the old cemeteries
of the Viminal and the Esquiline. There are caves hewn out of the
natural rock, with the entrance sealed by a block of the same
material; in these are skeletons lying on the funeral beds on either
side of the cave, or even on the floor between them, with the feet
turned towards the door, and Italo-Greek pottery, together with
objects in bronze, amber, and gold. There are also artificial caves,
formed by horizontal courses of stones which project one beyond
another, from both sides, till they meet at the top. Then there are
bodies protected by a circle of uncut stones; others lying at the
bottom of wells, and finally regular sarcophagi in the shape of square
huts, and cineraria like those described on page 29 of my "Ancient

Comparing these data we reach the conclusion that inhumation was
abandoned, with a few exceptions, towards the end of the fifth century
of Rome, to be resumed only towards the middle of the second century
after Christ, under the influence of Eastern doctrines and customs.
For the student of Roman archæology these facts have not merely a
speculative interest; a knowledge of them is necessary for the
chronological classification of the material found in cemeteries and
represented so abundantly in public and private collections.

The acceptance of cremation as a national, exclusive system brought as
a consequence the institution of the _ustrina_, the sacred enclosures
in which pyres were built to convert the corpses into ashes. Several
specimens of _ustrina_ have been found near the city, and one of them
is still to be seen in good preservation. It is built in the shape of
a military camp, on the right of the Appian Way, five and a half miles
from the gate. When Fabretti first saw it in 1699, it was intact, save
a breach or gap on the north side. He describes it as a rectangle
three hundred and forty feet long, and two hundred feet wide, enclosed
by a wall thirteen feet high. Its masonry is irregular both in the
shape and size of the blocks of stone, and may well be assigned to the
fifth century of Rome, when the necessity for popular _ustrina_ was
first felt. When Nibby and Gell visited the spot in 1822 they found
that the noble owner of the farm had just destroyed the western side
and a portion of the eastern, to build with their materials a
_maceria_, or dry wall.

The _ustrina_ which were connected with the Mausoleum of Augustus and
the ara of the Antonines have already been described in chapter iv.
Another institution, that of _columbaria_, or _ossaria_, as they would
more properly be called, owes its origin to the same cause. Columbaria
are a specialty of Rome and the Campagna, and are found nowhere else,
not even in the colonies or settlements originating directly from the
city. They begin to appear some twenty years before Christ, under the
rule of Augustus and the premiership of Mæcenas. Inasmuch as the
Campus Esquilinus, which, up to their time, had been used for the
burial of artisans, laborers, servants, slaves, and freedmen, was
suppressed in consequence of the sanitary reforms described by
Horace,[121] and was buried under an embankment of pure earth, and
converted into a public park; as, moreover, the disappearance of the
said cemetery was followed closely by the appearance of columbaria, I
believe one fact to be a consequence of the other, and both to be part
of the same hygienic reform. No cleaner, healthier, or more
respectable substitute for the old _puticoli_ could have been
contrived by those enlightened statesmen. Any one, no matter how low
in social position, could secure a decent place of rest for a paltry
sum of money. The following inscription, still to be seen in the
columbarium discovered in 1838, in the Villa Pamfili,--


has been interpreted by Hülsen to mean that Paciæcus Isargyros had
sold to Pinaria Murtinis a place for one _as_. Tombstones often
mention transactions of this kind, and state the cost of purchase for
one or more loculi, or for the whole tomb. Friedländer, in a
Königsberg Programm for October, 1881,[122] has collected thirty-eight
documents concerning the cost of tombs; they vary from a minimum of
two hundred sestertii ($8.25) to a maximum of one hundred and
ninety-two thousand ($8,000).

There were three kinds of columbaria: first, those built by one man or
one family either for their own private use, or for their servants and
freedmen; second, those built by one or more individuals for
speculation, in which any one could secure a place by purchase; third,
those built by a company for the personal use of shareholders and

As a good specimen of the columbaria of the second kind we can cite
one built on the Via Latina, by a company of thirty-six shareholders.
It was discovered in 1599, not far from the gate, and its records were
scattered all over the city. As a proof of the negligence with which
excavations were conducted in former times, we may state that, the
same place having been searched again in 1854 by a man named Luigi
Arduini, other inscriptions of great value were discovered, from which
we learn how these burial companies were organized and operated. The
first document, a marble inscription above the door of the crypt,
states that in the year 6 B. C. thirty-six citizens formed a company
for the building of a columbarium, each subscribing for an equal
number of shares, and that they selected two of the stockholders to
act as administrators. Their names are Marcus Æmilius, and Marcus
Fabius Felix, and their official title is _curatores ædificii xxxvi.
sociorum_. They collected the contributions, bought the land, built
the columbarium, approved and paid the contractors' bills, and having
thus fulfilled their duty convened a general meeting for September 30.
Their report was approved, and a deed was drawn up and duly signed by
all present, declaring that the administrators had discharged their
duty according to the statute. They then proceeded to the distribution
of the loculi in equal lots, the loculi representing, as it were, the
dividend of the company. The tomb contained one hundred and eighty
loculi for cinerary urns, and each of the shareholders was
consequently entitled to five. The distribution, however, was not so
easy a matter as the number would make it appear. We know that it was
made by drawing lots, _per sortitionem ollarum_, and we know also that
in some cases the shareholders, as a remuneration to their chairmen,
administrators, and auditors of accounts, voted them exemption from
the rule, by giving them the right of selecting their loculi without
drawing (_sine sorte_). Evidently some places were more desirable
than others, and if we remember how columbaria are built, it is not
difficult to see which loculi must have been most in demand.

The pious devotion of the Romans towards the dead caused them to pay
frequent visits to their tombs, especially on anniversaries, when the
urns were decorated with flowers, libations were offered, and other
ceremonies performed. These _inferiæ_, or rites, could be celebrated
easily if the loculus and the cinerary urn were near the ground, while
ladders were required to reach the upper tiers. The same difficulty
was experienced when cinerary urns had to be placed in their niches;
and the funeral tablets and memorials containing the name, age,
condition, etc., of the deceased, which were either written in ink or
charcoal, or else engraved on marble, could not be read if too high
above the pavement. For these reasons, and to avoid any suspicion of
partiality in the distribution of lots, the shareholders trusted to
chance. The crypt discovered in the Via Latina contained five rows of
niches of thirty-six each. The rows were called _sortes_, the niches
_loci_. Now, as each shareholder was entitled to five _loci_, one on
each row, lots were drawn only in regard to the _locus_, not to the
row. The inscriptions discovered in 1599 and 1854 are therefore all
worded with the formula:--"Of Caius Rabirius Faustus, second tier,
twenty-eighth locus;" "Of Caius Julius Æschinus, fourth tier,
thirty-fourth locus;" "Of Lucius Scribonius Sosus, first tier,
twenty-third locus;"--in all, nine names out of thirty-six. The
allotment of Rabirius Faustus is the only one known entirely. He had
drawn No. 30 in the first row, No. 28 in the second, No. 6 in the
third, No. 8 in the fourth, No. 31 in the fifth.

It took at least thirty-one years for the members of the company to
gain the full benefit of their investment; the last interment
mentioned in the tablets having taken place A. D. 25. This late comer
is not an obscure man; he is the famous charioteer, or _auriga
circensis_, Scirtus, who began his career A. D. 13, enlisting in the
white squadron. In the lapse of thirteen years he won the first prize
seven times, the second thirty-nine times, the third forty times,
besides other honors minutely specified on his tombstone.[123]

The theory that Roman tombs were built along the high roads in two or
three rows only, so that they could all be seen by those passing, has
been shown by modern excavations to be unfounded. The space allotted
for burial purposes was more extensive than that. Sometimes it
extended over the whole stretch of land from one high-road to the
next. Such is the case with the spaces between the Via Appia and the
Via Latina, the Labicana and Prænestina, and the Salaria and
Nomentana, each of which contains hundreds of acres densely packed
with tombs. In the triangle formed by the Via Appia, the Via Latina,
and the walls of Aurelian, one thousand five hundred and fifty-nine
tombs have been discovered in modern times, not including the family
vault of the Scipios.[124] Nine hundred and ninety-four have been
found on the Via Labicana, near the Porta Maggiore, in a space sixty
yards long by fifty wide. The number of pagan tombstones registered in
volume vi. of the "Corpus" is 28,180, exclusive of the _additamenta_,
which will bring the grand total to thirty thousand. As hardly one
tombstone out of ten has escaped destruction, we may assume as a
certainty that Rome was surrounded by a belt of at least three hundred
thousand tombs.


The reader may easily imagine what a mass of information is to be
gathered from this source. In this respect, the perusal of parts II.,
III., and IV. of the sixth volume of the "Corpus" is more useful to
the student than all the handbooks and "Sittengeschichten" in the
world; and besides, the reading is not dry and tiresome, as one might
suppose. Many epitaphs give an account of the life of the deceased; of
his rank in the army, and the campaigns in which he fought; of the
name of the man-of-war to which he belonged, if he had served in the
navy; of the branch of trade he was engaged in; the address of his
place of business; his success in the equestrian or senatorial career,
or in the circus or the theatre; his "état civil," his age, place of
birth, and so on. Sometimes tombstones display a remarkable eloquence,
and even a sense of humor.

Here is an expression of overpowering grief, written on a sarcophagus
between the images of a boy and a girl: "O cruel, impious mother that
I am: to the memory of my sweetest children. Publilius who lived 13
years 55 days, and Æria Theodora who lived 27 years 12 days. Oh,
miserable mother, who hast seen the most cruel end of thy children! If
God had been merciful, thou hadst been buried by them." Another woman
writes on the urn of her son Marius Exoriens: "The preposterous laws
of death have torn him from my arms! As I have the advantage of years,
so ought death to have reaped me first."

The following words were dictated by a young widow for the grave of
her departed companion: "To the adorable, blessed soul of L.
Sempronius Firmus. We knew, we loved each other from childhood:
married, an impious hand separated us at once. Oh, infernal Gods, do
be kind and merciful to him, and let him appear to me in the silent
hours of the night. And also let me share his fate, that we may be
reunited _dulcius et celerius_." I have left the two adverbs in their
original form; their exquisite feeling defies translation.

The following sentence is copied from the grave of a freedman:
"Erected to the memory of Memmius Clarus by his co-servant Memmius
Urbanus. I know that there never was the shade of a disagreement
between thee and me: never a cloud passed over our common happiness. I
swear to the gods of Heaven and Hell, that we worked faithfully and
lovingly together, that we were set free from servitude on the same
day and in the same house: nothing would ever have separated us,
except this fatal hour."

A remarkable feature of ancient funeral eloquence is found in the
imprecations addressed to the passer, to insure the safety of the tomb
and its contents:[125]--

"Any one who injures my tomb or steals its ornaments, may he see the
death of all his relatives."

"Whoever steals the nails from this structure, may he thrust them into
his eyes."

A grumbler wrote on a gravestone found in the Vigna Codini:--

"Lawyers and the evil-eyed keep away from my tomb."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is manifestly impossible to make the reader acquainted with all the
discoveries in this department of Roman archæology since 1870. The
following specimens from the viæ Aurelia, Triumphalis, Salaria, and
Appia seem to me to represent fairly well what is of average interest
in this class of monuments.

VIA AURELIA. Under this head I record the tomb of Platorinus, which
was found in 1880 on the banks of the Tiber, near La Farnesina,
although, strictly speaking, it belongs to a side road running from
the Via Aurelia to the Vatican quarters, parallel with the stream. The
discovery was made in the following circumstances:--

A strip of land four hundred metres long by eighty broad was bought by
the state in 1876 and cut away from the gardens of la Farnesina, to
widen the bed of the Tiber. It was found to contain several ancient
edifices, which have since become famous in topographical books. I
refer more particularly to the patrician house discovered near the
church of S. Giacomo in Settimiana, the paintings of which are now
exhibited in Michelangelo's cloisters, adjoining the Baths of

[Illustration: Ancient house in the Farnesina Gardens.]

These paintings have been admirably reproduced in color and outline by
the German Archæological Institute,[126] but they have not yet been
illustrated from the point of view of the subjects they represent.
They are divided into panels by pilasters and colored columns, each
half being distinguished by a different color: white (Nos. 1, 5, 6, of
the plan), red (Nos. 2, 4), or black (No. 3). The frieze of the
"black" series represents the trying of a criminal case by a
magistrate, very likely the owner of the palace, with curious details
concerning the evidence asked and freely given to him.

Near the frieze, the artist has drawn pictures as though hung to the
wall, with folding shutters, some wide open, some half-closed. They
are genre subjects, such as a school of declamation, a wedding, a
banquet; and though the figures are not five inches long, they are so
wonderfully executed that even the eyebrows are discernible.

The pictures in the centre of the panels are of larger size. Those of
the "white" room are painted in the style of the Attic lekythoi, or
oil-jugs. The figures are drawn in outline with a dark, subtle color,
each space within the outline being filled in with the proper tint;
though a few only are drawn without the colors. One of these
remarkable pictures represents two women,--one sitting, the other
standing, and both looking at a winged Cupid. Another represents a
lady playing on the seven-stringed lyre, each of the strings being
marked by a sign which, perhaps, corresponds to the notes of the
scale. In one of the panels from room No. 4 is still visible what we
suppose to be the signature of the artist: CΕΛΕΥΚΟC ΕΠΟΕΙ (_sic_).
It seems as if Baldassarre Peruzzi, Raphael, Giulio Romano,
il Sodoma, il Fattore, and Gaudenzio Ferrari, to whom we owe the
wonders of the Farnesina dei Chigi, must have unconsciously felt the
influence of the wonders of this Roman house which was buried under
their feet. It is a great pity that the two could not have been left
standing together. What a subject for study and comparison these two
sets of masterpieces of the golden ages of Augustus and Leo X. would
have offered to the lover of art!


The ceiling of the room No. 2, carved in stucco, is worthy of the
paintings. The reliefs are so flat that the prominent points do not
stand out more than three millimetres. The artist might have modelled
them by breathing over the stucco, they are so light and delicate. One
of the scenes represents the borders of a river, with villas,
temples, shrines, and pastoral huts scattered under the shade of
palm or sycamore trees, the foliage of which is waving gently in the
breeze. The people are variously occupied,--some are fishing with the
rod, some bathing, some carrying water-jars on their heads. The gem of
the reliefs is a group of oxen, grazing in the meadow, of such
exquisite beauty as to cast into shade the best engravings of
Italo-Greek or Sicilian coins.

[Illustration: Specimen of outline designs in the ancient house in the
Farnesina Gardens.]

Next in importance to the Roman house comes the tomb of Sulpicius
Platorinus, discovered in May, 1880, at the opposite end of the
Farnesina Gardens, near the walls of Aurelian. A corner of this tomb
had been exposed to view for a couple of years, nobody paying
attention to it, because, as a rule, tombs within the walls, having
been exposed for centuries to the thieving instincts of the populace
in general, and of treasure-hunters in particular, are always found
plundered and barren of contents. In this instance, however, it was
our fortune to meet with a welcome exception to the rule.

From an inscription engraved on marble above the entrance door, we
learn that the mausoleum was raised in memory of Caius Sulpicius
Platorinus, a magistrate of the time of Augustus, and of his sister
Sulpicia Platorina, the wife of Cornelius Priscus. The room contained
nine niches, and each niche a cinerary urn, of which six were still
untouched. These urns are of the most elaborate kind, carved in white
marble, with festoons hanging from bulls' heads, and birds of various
kinds eating fruit. Some of the urns are round, some square, the
motive of the decoration being the same for all of them. The cover of
the round ones is in the shape of a _tholus_, a building shaped
something like a beehive, the tiles being represented by acanthus
leaves, and the pinnacle by a bunch of flowers.

The covers of these urns were fastened with molten lead. The unsealing
of them was an event of great excitement; it was performed in the
coffee-house of the Farnesina, in the presence of a large and
distinguished assembly. I remember the date, May 3, 1880. They were
found to be half full of water from the last flood of the Tiber, with
a layer of ashes and bones at the bottom. The contents were emptied on
a sheet of white linen. Those of the first had no value; the second
contained a gold ring without its stone,--which was found, however,
in the third cinerarium; a most extraordinary circumstance. It can be
explained by supposing that both bodies were cremated at the same
time, and that their ashes were somehow mixed together. The stone,
probably an onyx, was injured by the action of the fire, and its
engraving nearly effaced. It seems to represent a lion in repose.
Nothing was found in the fourth; the fifth furnished two heavy gold
rings with cameos representing respectively a mask and a bear-hunt.
The last urn, inscribed with the name of Minasia Polla,--a girl of
about sixteen, as shown by the teeth and the size of some fragments of
bone,--contained a plain hair-pin of brass.

Having thus finished with the cineraria and their contents, the
exploration of the tomb itself was resumed. Inscriptions engraved on
other parts of the frieze gave us a full list of the personages who
had found their last resting-place within, besides the two Platorini,
and the girl Minasia Polla, just mentioned. They are: Aulus Crispinius
Cæpio, who played an important part in court intrigues at the time of
Tiberius; Antonia Furnilla; and her daughter, Marcia Furnilla, the
second wife of Titus. She was repudiated by him A. D. 64, as described
by Suetonius.[127] Historians have inquired why, and found no clew,
considering what a model man Titus is known to have been. If the
marble statue found in this tomb, and reproduced in our illustration,
is really that of Marcia Furnilla, and a good likeness, the reason for
the divorce is easily found,--she looks hopelessly disagreeable.

The bust represented in the same plate, one of the most refined and
carefully executed portraits found in Rome, is probably that of
Minasia Polla, and gives a good idea of the appearance of a young
noble Roman lady of the first half of the first century. Another
statue, that of the emperor Tiberius, in the so-called "heroic" style,
was found lying on the mosaic floor. Although crushed by the falling
of the vaulted ceiling, no important piece was missing.

Both statues, the bust, the cinerary urns, and the inscriptions, are
now exhibited in Michelangelo's cloisters in the Museo delle Terme.

It is difficult to explain how this rich tomb escaped plunder and
destruction, plainly visible as it was for many centuries, in one of
the most populous and unscrupulous quarters of the city. Perhaps when
Aurelian built his wall, which ran close to it, and raised the level
of Trastevere, the tomb itself was buried, and its treasures left


Beginning now the ascent of the Janiculum, on our way towards the
Porta S. Pancrazio and the Villa Pamfili, I must mention a curious
discovery made three centuries ago near the church of S. Pietro in
Montorio; that of a platform, lined with terminal stones inscribed
with the legend: DEVAS CORNISCAS SACRVM ("this area is sacred to the
divine crows"). The place is described by Festus (Ep. 64). It is a
remarkable fact that in Rome not only men but animals should remain
faithful to old habits and traditions. Some of my readers may have
noticed how regularly every day, towards sunset, flights of crows are
seen crossing the skies on their way to their night lodgings in the
pine-trees of the Villa Borghese. They have two or three favorite
halting-places, for instance the campanile of S. Andrea delle Fratte,
the towers of the Trinità de' Monti, where they hold noisy meetings
which last until the first stroke of the Ave-Maria. This sound is
interpreted by them as a call to rest. Whether the area of the sacred
crows described by Festus was planted with pines, and used as a rest
at night, or simply as a halting-place, the fact of their daily
migration to and from the swamps of the Maremma, and of their evening
meetings, dates from classical times.

And now, leaving on our right the Villa Heyland, the Villa Aurelia,
formerly Savorelli, which is built on the remains of the mediæval
monastery of SS. John and Paul, and the Villa del Vascello, which
marks the western end of the gardens of Geta, let us enter the Villa
Pamfili-Doria, interesting equally for the beauty of its scenery and
its archæological recollections. We are told by Pietro Sante Bartoli
that when he first came to Rome, towards 1660, Olimpia Maidalchini and
Camillo Pamfili, who were then laying the foundations of the casino,
discovered "several tombs decorated with paintings, stucco-carvings,
and _nobilissimi_ mosaics." There were also glass urns, with remains
of golden cloths, and the figures of a lion and a tigress, which were
bought by the Viceroy of Naples, the marchese di Leve. Some years
later, when Monsignor Lorenzo Corsini began the construction of the
Casino dei Quattro Venti (since added to the Villa Pamfili and
transformed into a sort of monumental archway), thirty-four exquisite
tombs were found and destroyed for the sake of their
building-materials. One cannot read Bartoli's account[128] and examine
the twenty-two plates with which he illustrates his text, without
feeling a sense of horror at the deeds which those enlightened
personages were capable of perpetrating in cold blood.

He says that the thirty-four tombs formed, as it were, a small
village, with streets, sidewalks, and squares; that they were built
of red and yellow brick, exquisitely carved, like those of the Via
Latina. Each retained its funeral _suppellex_ and decorations almost
intact: paintings, bas-reliefs, mosaics, inscriptions, lamps, jewelry,
statues, busts, cinerary urns, and sarcophagi. Some were still closed,
the doors being made not of wood or bronze, but of marble; and
inscriptions were carved on the lintels or pediments, giving an
account of each tomb. These records tell us that in Roman times this
portion of the Villa Pamfili was called _Ager Fonteianus_, and that
the inclined tract of the Via Aurelia, which runs close by, was called
_Clivus Rutarius_. Bartoli attributes the extraordinary preservation
of this cemetery to its having been buried purposely under an
embankment of earth, before the fall of the empire. Since the
seventeenth century many hundreds of tombs have been found and
destroyed in the villa, especially in April, 1859. The only one still
visible was discovered in 1838, and is remarkable for its _painted_
inscriptions, and for its frescoes.[129] There were originally one
hundred and seventy-five panels, but scarcely half that number are now
to be seen. They represent animals, landscapes, caricatures, scenes
from daily life, and mythological and dramatic subjects. One only is
historical, and, according to Petersen, represents the Judgment of
Solomon (see p. 271). This subject, although exceedingly rare, is by
no means unique in classical art, having already been found painted on
the walls of a Pompeian house.

VIA TRIUMPHALIS. The necropolis which lined the Via Triumphalis, from
Nero's bridge near S. Spirito, to the top of the Monte Mario, has
absolutely disappeared, although some of its monuments equalled in
size and magnificence those of the viæ Ostiensis, Appia, and Labicana.
Such were the two pyramids, on the site of S. Maria Traspontina,
called, in the Middle Ages, the "Meta di Borgo" and the "Terebinth of
Nero." Both are shown in the bas-reliefs of Filarete's bronze door in
S. Peter's (see p. 272), in the ciborium of Sixtus IV. (now in the
Grotte Vaticane), and in other mediæval and Renaissance
representations of the crucifixion of the apostle. The pyramid is
described by Ruccellai and Pietro Mallio as standing in the middle of
a square which is paved with slabs of travertine, and towering to the
height of forty metres above the road. It was coated with marble, like
the one of Caius Cestius by the Porta S. Paolo. Pope Donnus I.
dismantled it A. D. 675, and made use of its materials to build the
steps of S. Peter's. The pyramid itself, built of solid concrete, was
levelled to the ground by Pope Alexander VI., when he opened the Borgo
Nuovo in 1495.

[Illustration: The Judgment of Solomon.]

The "Terebinth of Nero" is described as a round marble structure, as
high as Hadrian's tomb. It was also dismantled by Pope Donnus, and
its materials were used in the restoration and embellishment of the
"Paradisus" or quadriportico of S. Peter's.

[Illustration: Panel from the bronze door of S. Peter's, by Filarete.]

Next to the "terebinth" was the tomb of the favorite horse of Lucius
Verus. This wonderful racer, belonging to the squadron of the Greens,
was named Volucris, the Flyer, and the emperor's admiration for his
exploits was such that, after honoring him with statues of gilt-bronze
in his lifetime, he raised a mausoleum to his memory in the Vatican
grounds, after his career had been brought to a close. The selection
of the site was not made at random, as we know that the Greens
themselves had their burial-ground on this Via Triumphalis.

       *       *       *       *       *

Proceeding on our pilgrimage towards the Clivus Cinnæ, the ascent to
the Monte Mario, we have to record a line of tombs discovered by
Sangallo in building the fortifications or "Bastione di Belvedere."
One of them is thus described by Pirro Ligorio on p. 139 of the
Bodleian MSS. "This tomb [of which he gives the design] was discovered
with many others in the foundations of the Bastione di Belvedere, on
the side facing the Castle of S. Angelo. It is square in shape, with
two recesses for cinerary urns on each side, and three in the front
wall. It was gracefully decorated with stucco-work and frescoes. Next
to it was an _ustrinum_ where corpses were cremated, and on the other
side a second tomb, also decorated with painted stucco-work. Here was
found a piece of agate in the shape of a nut, so beautifully carved
that it was mistaken for a real nutshell. There was also a skeleton,
the skull of which was found between the legs, and in its place there
was a mask or plaster cast of the head, reproducing most vividly the
features of the dead man. The cast is now preserved in the Pope's

Finally, I shall mention the tomb of a boot and shoe maker, which was
discovered February 5, 1887, in the foundations of one of the new
houses at the foot of the Belvedere. This excellent work of art, cut
in Carrara marble, shows the bust of the owner in a square niche,
above which is a round pediment. The portrait is extremely
characteristic: the forehead is bald, with a few locks of short curled
hair behind the ears; and the face shaven, except that on the left of
the mouth there is a mole covered with hair. The man appears to be of
mature age, but healthy, robust, and of rather stern expression.

Above the niche, two "forms" or lasts are represented, one of them
inside a _caliga_. They are evidently the signs of the trade carried
on by the owner of the tomb, which is announced in his epitaph: "Caius
Julius Helius, shoemaker at the Porta Pontinalis, built this tomb
during his lifetime for himself, his daughter Julia Flaccilla, his
freedman Caius Julius Onesimus and his other servants."

[Illustration: Tomb of Helius, the shoemaker.]

Julius Helius was therefore a shoe-merchant with a retail shop near
the modern Piazza di Magnanapoli on the Quirinal. Although the
qualification of _sutor_ is rather indefinite and can be applied
indifferently to the _solearii_, _sandaliarii_, _crepidarii_,
_baxearii_ (makers of slippers, sandals, Greek shoes), etc., as well
as to the _sutores veteramentarii_ or menders of old boots, yet Julius
Helius, as shown by the specimen represented on his tomb, was a
_caligarius_, or maker of _caligæ_, which were used chiefly by
military men. Boot and shoe makers and purveyors of leather and
lacings (_comparatores mercis sutoriæ_) seem to have been rather
proud men in their day, and liked to be represented on their tombs
with the tools of their trade. A bas-relief in the Museo di Brera
represents Caius Atilius Justus, one of the fraternity, seated at his
bench, in the act of adjusting a _caliga_ to the wooden last. A
sarcophagus inscribed with the name of Atilius Artemas, a local
shoemaker, was discovered at Ostia in 1877, with a representation of a
number of tools. The reader is probably familiar with the fresco from
Herculaneum representing two Genii seated at a bench; one of them is
forcing a last into a shoe, while his companion is busy mending
another. Class XVI. of the Museo Cristiano at the Lateran contains
several tombstones of Christian _sutores_ with various emblems of
their calling.

The shoemakers formed a powerful corporation from the time of the
kings; their club called the _Atrium sutorium_ was the scene of a
religious ceremony called _Tubilustrium_, which took place every year
on March 23. They seem to have been also an irritable and violent set.
Ulpianus[131] speaks of an action for damages brought before the
magistrate by a boy whose parents had placed him in a boot-shop to
learn the trade, and who, having misunderstood the directions of his
master, was struck by him so heavily on the head with a wooden form
that he lost the sight of one eye.

VIA SALARIA. Visitors who remember the Rome of past days will be
unpleasantly impressed by the change which the suburban quarters
crossed by the viæ Salaria, Pinciana and Nomentana have undergone in
the last ten years. In driving outside the gates the stranger was
formerly surprised by the sudden appearance of a region of villas and
gardens. The villas Albani, Patrizi, Alberoni, and Torlonia, not to
speak of minor pleasure-grounds, merged as they were into one great
forest of venerable trees, with the blue Sabine range in the
background, gave him a true impression of the aspect of the Roman
Campagna in the imperial times.

The scene is now changed, and not for the better. Still, if any one
has no right to grumble, it is the archæologist, because the building
of these suburban quarters has placed more knowledge at his disposal
than could have been gathered before in the lapse of a century. I
quote only one instance. Famous in the annals of Roman excavations are
those made between 1695 and 1741 in the vineyard of the Naro family,
between the Salaria and the Pinciana, back of the Casino di Villa
Borghese. It took forty-six years to dig out the contents of that
small property, which included twenty-six graves of prætorians and one
hundred and forty-one of civilians.

In 1887, in cutting open the Corso d' Italia, which connects the Porta
Pinciana with the Salaria, eight hundred and fifty-five tombs were
discovered in nine months. The cemetery extends from the Villa
Borghese to the prætorian camp, from the walls of Servius Tullius to
the first milestone. The gardens of Sallust were surrounded by it on
two sides; a striking contrast between the silent city of death on the
one hand, and the merriest and noisiest meeting-place of the living on
the other.

Although the cemetery was mostly occupied by military men, the
high-roads which cross it were lined with mausolea belonging to
historical families. Such is the tomb of the Licinii Calpurnii,
discovered in 1884, in the foundations of the house No. 29, Via di
Porta Salaria, the richest and most important of those found in Rome
in my lifetime.[132] Its history is connected with one of the worst
crimes of Messalina.

There lived in Rome in her time a nobleman, Marcus Licinius Crassus
Frugi, ex-prætor, ex-consul (A. D. 27) ex-governor of Mauritania, the
husband of Scribonia, by whom he had three sons. There was never a
more unlucky family than this. The origin of their misfortunes is
curious enough. Licinius Crassus, whom Seneca calls "stupid enough to
be made emperor," committed, among other fatuities, that of naming his
eldest son Pompeius Magnus, after his great-grandfather on the
maternal side: a useless display of pride, as the boy had titles
enough of his own to place him at the head of the Roman aristocracy.
Caligula, jealous of the high-sounding name, was the first to threaten
his life; but spared it at the expense of the name. Claudius restored
the title to him, as a wedding-present, on the day of his marriage
with Antonia, daughter of the emperor himself by Ælia Pætina. His
splendid career, his nobility and grace of manners, and his alliance
with the imperial family, excited the hatred of Messalina, a foe far
more dangerous than Caligula. She extorted from her weak husband the
sentence of death against Pompeius and his father and mother. The
execution took place in the spring of 47.

The second son, Licinius Crassus, was murdered by Nero in 67.

The third son, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, who was only
eleven at the time of the executions of 47, spent many years in
banishment, while the extermination of his family was slowly
progressing. Being left alone in the world, at last Galba took mercy
upon him, adopted him as a son, and heir to the Sulpician estates, and
lastly, in January, 69, named him successor to the throne. If he had
but spared him this honor! Only four days later he was murdered,
together with Galba, by the prætorian rebels; and his head, severed
from his body, was given to his young widow, Verania Gemina.

History speaks of a fifth unfortunate member of the family, who died a
violent death even under the mild and just rule of Hadrian. His name
was Calpurnius Licinianus, ex-consul A. D. 87. Having conspired
against Nerva, he, and his wife, Agedia Quintina, were banished to
Tarentum. A second conspiracy against Trajan brought upon him
banishment to a solitary island, and an attempt to escape from it was
the cause of his death.

Such was the fate of the seven occupants of this sepulchral chamber.
When I first descended into it, in November, 1884, and found myself
surrounded by those great historical names of murdered men and women,
I felt more than ever the vast difference between reading Roman
history in books, and studying it from its monuments, in the presence
of its leading actors; and I realized once more what a privilege it is
to live in a city where discoveries of such importance occur

I wish I could tell my readers that my hands did actually touch the
bones of those murdered patricians, and the contents of their cinerary
urns. They did not, however, because the spell of adversity seems to
have pursued the Calpurnii even into their tombs, and there is reason
to believe that their last repose was troubled by persecutors, who
followed them to their graves. Their cippi were found broken into
fragments, their names half erased, and their ashes scattered to the
four winds.

The inscriptions, silent on the main point at issue, that of their
violent death, are worded with marvellous dignity, coupled with a sad
touch of irony. That engraved on the urn of Pompeius Magnus says:--

      CN · POMP_eius_
      CRASSI F · MEN
      SOCERI · SVI

"[Here lies] Cnæus Pompeius Magnus, son of Crassus, etc., quæstor of
the Emperor Claudius, _his father-in-law_." When we remember that it
was precisely the alliance with the imperial family that caused the
death of the youth; that his death sentence was signed by Claudius,
who was his father-in-law, we cannot help thinking that the names of
the murdered man and his murderer were coupled purposely in this short

In a second and much larger chamber ten marble sarcophagi were
discovered, precious as works of art, but devoid of historical
interest, because no name is engraved upon them. Perhaps the
experience of their ancestors warned the Calpurnii of later
generations not to tempt obnoxious fate again, but to adhere to
obscurity and retirement, even in the secrecy of the family vault. As
a work of art, each of the coffins is a choice specimen of Roman
funeral sculpture of the second century of our era. Some are simply
decorated with festoons, winged genii, scenic masks, or chimeras;
others with scenes relating to the Bacchic cycle, such as the infancy
of the god, his triumphal return from India, and his desertion of
Ariadne in the island of Naxos. The finest sarcophagus, of which we
give an illustration, represents the rape of the daughters of
Leukippos by Castor and Pollux.

[Illustration: Sarcophagus of the Leukippides.]

The collection of sarcophagi, inscriptions, urns, portrait-heads,
coins, and other objects belonging to the tombs, and the tombs
themselves, ought to have become public property, and to have been
kept together as a monument of national interest. Until recently the
marbles were to be seen on the ground floor of the Palazzo Maraini in
the Via Agostino Depretis, but some of them have now been removed to
No. 9 Via della Mercede.

Proceeding two hundred yards farther, on the same side of the Via
Salaria, we find the base of the tomb of the precocious boy Quintus
Sulpicius Maximus, the tomb itself having been discovered in 1871, in
the interior of the right tower of the Porta Salaria, while this was
being rebuilt after the bombardment of September 20, 1870.[133] The
tomb had formed the core of the tower, just as that of Eurysaces, the
baker, found in 1833, had been imbedded in the left tower of the Porta

The tomb is composed of a pedestal, built of blocks of travertine,
with a marble cippus upon it, ornamented with a statue of the youth,
and the story of his life told in Greek and Latin verse. The story is
simple and sad.

On September 14, A. D. 95, the anniversary of his accession to the
throne, Domitian opened for the third time the _certamen
quinquennale_, a competition for the world's championship in
gymnastics, equestrian sports, music, and poetry, which he had
instituted at the beginning of his reign.[134] Fifty-two competitors
in Greek poetry were present. The subject, drawn by lot, was: "The
words which Jupiter made use of in reproving Apollo for having trusted
his chariot to Phaeton." Quintus Sulpicius Maximus improvised, on this
rather poor theme, forty-three _versus extemporales_. The meaning of
the adjective is doubtful. We are not certain whether the boy spoke
his verses extemporaneously, his words being taken down by shorthand;
or whether he and his fifty-one colleagues were allowed some time to
consider the subject and write the composition, as is now the practice
in literary examinations. Ancient writers speak of "improvvisatori"
who manifested their wonderful gift at a premature age;[135] still, it
seems almost impossible that fifty-two such prodigies could have been
brought together at one competition. Sulpicius Maximus was crowned by
the emperor with the Capitoline laurels and awarded the championship
of the world. The verses by which he won the competition are really
very good, and show a thorough knowledge of Greek prosody. The
victory, however, cost him dearly; in fact, he paid for it with his
life. The following inscription was engraved on his tomb:--

"To Q. Sulpicius Maximus, son of Quintus, born in Rome, and lived
eleven years, five months, twelve days. He won the competition, among
fifty-two Greek poets, at the third celebration of the Capitoline
games. His most unhappy parents, Quintus Sulpicius Eugramus and
Licinia Januaria, have caused his extemporized poem to be engraved on
this tomb, to prove that in praising his talents they have not been
inspired solely by their deep love for him (_ne adfectibus suis
indulsisse videantur_)."

Let the fate of this boy be a warning to those parents who,
discovering in their children a precocious inclination for some branch
of human learning, encourage and force this fatal cleverness for the
gratification of their own pride, instead of moderating it in
accordance with the physical power and development of youth.


The world's competition, instituted by Domitian, had a long and
successful career, and we can follow its celebration for many
centuries, to the age of Petrarca and Tasso. An inscription discovered
at Vasto, the ancient Histonium, describes the one which took place A.
D. 107 in these words: "To Lucius Valerius Pudens, son of Lucius.
Being only thirteen years old, he took part in the sixth _certamen
sacrum_, near the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus; and won the
championship among the Latin poets by the unanimous vote of the
judges." These last words show that special jurors were appointed by
the emperor for each section of the competitions. In the year 319
Constantine the Great and Licinius Cæsar celebrated with great
solemnity the fifty-eighth _certamen_. Ausonius of Burdigala, the
great poet of the fourth century, speaks of an Attius Delfidius, an
infant prodigy (_pæne ab incunabulis poeta_), who gained the prize
under Valentinian I. The mediæval and Renaissance custom of
"laureating" poets on the Capitol was certainly derived from
Domitian's institution.

The race of the "improvvisatori" has never died out in central and
southern Italy. One of the most celebrated in the sixteenth century,
named Silvio Antoniano, at the age of eleven could sing to the
accompaniment of his lute on any argument proposed to him, the poetry
being as graceful and pleasing as the music. One day, while sitting at
a state banquet in the Palazzo di Venezia, Giovanni Angelo de' Medici,
one of the cardinals present, asked him if he could improvise "on the
praises of the clock," the sound of which, from the belfry of the
palace, had just struck his ears. The melodious song of Silvio, on
such an extraordinary theme, was received with loud applause; and when
Giovanni Angelo de' Medici was elected Pope in 1559, under the name of
Pius IV., he raised the young poet to the rank of a cardinal in
recognition of his extraordinary talent.

The mausoleum of Lucilia Polla and her brother Lucilius Pætus was
discovered in May, 1885, in the Villa Bertone, opposite the Villa
Albani, at a distance of seven hundred metres from the gate. It is the
largest sepulchral structure discovered in my time, and worthy of
being compared in size to the mausoleum of Metella on the Appian Way,
and the so-called Torrione on the Labicana. It was originally composed
of two parts: a basement, one hundred and ten feet in diameter, built
of travertine and marble, which is the only part that remains; and a
cone of earth fifty-two feet high, covered with trees, in imitation of
the Mausoleum of Augustus, with which it was contemporary. The cone
has disappeared. The inscription, sixteen feet long, is engraved on
the side facing the Via Salaria, in letters of the most exquisite form
to be found in Rome. It states that Marcus Lucilius Pætus, an officer
who had the command of the cavalry and the military engineers in one
or more campaigns, in the time of Augustus, had built the tomb for his
sister Lucilia Polla, already deceased, and for himself.

The fate of the monument has been truly remarkable. I believe there is
no other in the necropolis of the Via Salaria which has undergone so
many changes in the course of centuries. The first took place in the
reign of Trajan, when the monument was buried under a prodigious mass
of earth, together with a large section of an adjoining cemetery. In
fact, columbaria dating from the time of Hadrian have been found built
against the beautiful inscription of Lucilia Polla; and the
inscription itself was disfigured by a coating of red paint, to make
it harmonize with the color of the three other walls of the crypt. The
whole tract between the Salaria and the Pinciana was raised in the
same manner twenty-five feet; and contains, therefore, two layers of
tombs,--the lower belonging to the republican or early imperial epoch,
the upper to the time of Hadrian and later.

Where did this enormous mass of earth come from?

A clew to the answer is given on page 87 of my "Ancient Rome," where,
in describing the construction of Trajan's forum, and the column which
stands in the middle of it, "to show to posterity how high rose the
mountain levelled by the emperor" (_ad declarandum quantæ
altitudinis mons et locus sit egestus_), I stated that I had been able
to estimate the amount of earth and rock removed to make room for the
forum at 24,000,000 cubic feet, and concluded, "I have made
investigations over the Campagna to discover the place where the
twenty-four million cubic feet were carted and dumped, but my efforts
have not, as yet, been crowned with success." The place is now
discovered. None but an emperor would have dared to bury a cemetery so
important as that which I am now describing; and if we remember that
it was the open space which was nearest of all to Trajan's
excavations, easy of access, that the burying of a cemetery for a
necessity of state could be justified by the proceedings of Mæcenas
and Augustus, described on page 67 of the same book, and that the
change must have taken place at the beginning of the second century,
as proved by the dates, and by the construction and type of tombs
belonging respectively to the lower and upper strata, I think that my
surmise may be accepted as an established fact.

Thus vanished the mausoleum of the Lucilii from the eyes and from the
memory of the Romans of the second century. Towards the end of the
fourth century the Christians, while tunnelling the ground near it,
for one of their smaller catacombs, discovered the crypt by accident,
and occupied it. The shape of this crypt may be compared to that of
Hadrian's mausoleum; that is, it was a hall in the form of a Greek
cross, in the centre of the circular structure, and was reached by
means of a corridor. The Christians scattered the relics of the first
occupants, knocked down their busts, built arcosolia in the three
recesses of the Greek cross, and honeycombed with loculi the side
walls of the corridor. The transformation was so complete that, when
we first entered the corridor, in July, 1886, we thought we had found
a wing of the catacombs of S. Saturninus. Some of the loculi were
closed with tiles, others with pagan inscriptions which the _fossores_
had found by chance in tunnelling their way into the crypt. Two
loculi, excavated near the entrance outside the corridor, contained
bodies of infants with magic circlets around their necks. They are
most extraordinary objects in both material and variety of shape. The
pendants are cut in bone, ivory, rock crystal, onyx, jasper, amethyst,
amber, touch-stone, metal, glass, and enamel; and they represent
elephants, bells, doves, pastoral flutes, hares, knives, rabbits,
poniards, rats, Fortuna, jelly-fish, human arms, hammers, symbols of
fecundity, helms, marbles, boar's tusks, loaves of bread, and so on.

The vicissitudes of the mausoleum did not end with this change of
religion and ownership. Two or three centuries ago, when the fever of
discovering and ransacking the catacombs of the Via Salaria was at its
height, some one found his way to the crypt, and committed purely
wanton destruction. The arcosolia were dismantled, and the loculi
violated one by one. We found the bones of the Christians of the
fourth century scattered over the floor, and, among them, the marble
busts of Lucilius Pætus and Lucilia Polla, which the Christians of the
fourth century had knocked from their pedestals. Such is the history
of Rome.


VIA APPIA. A delightful afternoon excursion in the vicinity of the
city can be made to the Valle della Caffarella from the so-called
"Tempio del Dio Redicolo" to the "Sacred Grove" by S. Urbano. Leaving
Rome by the Porta S. Sebastiano, and turning to the left directly
after passing the chapel of Domine quo vadis, we descend to the valley
of the river Almo, now called the Valle della Caffarella, from the
ducal family who owned it before the Torlonias. The path is full of
charm, running, as it does, along the banks of the historical stream,
and between hillsides which are covered with evergreens, and scented
with the perfume of wild flowers. The place is secluded and quiet,
and the solitary rambler is unconsciously reminded of Horace's stanza
(Epod. II.):--

    "Beatus ille, qui procul negotiis,
    Ut prisca gens mortalium,
    Paterna rura bobus exercet suis,
    Solutus omni fœnore,

         *       *       *       *       *

    Forumque vitat, et superba civium
    Potentiorum limina."

In no other capital of the present day can the sentiment expressed by
Horace be felt and enjoyed more than in Rome, where it is so easy to
forget the worries and frivolities of city life by walking a few steps
outside the gates. The Val d'Inferno and the Via del Casaletto,
outside the Porta Angelica, the Vigne Nuove outside the Porta Pia, and
the Valle della Caffarella, to which I am now leading my readers, all
are dreamy wildernesses, made purposely to give to our thoughts
fresher and healthier inspirations. Sometimes indistinct sounds from
the city yonder are borne to our ears by the wind, to increase, by
contrast, the happiness of the moment. And it is not only the natural
beauty of these secluded spots that fascinates the stranger: there are
associations special to each which increase its interest tenfold. At
the Vigne Nuove one can locate within a hundred feet the spot in which
Nero's suicide took place. The Val d'Inferno brings back to our memory
the two Domitiæ Lucillæ, their clay-quarries and brick-kilns, of which
the products were shipped even to Africa; the Valle della Caffarella
is full of souvenirs of Herodes Atticus and Annia Regilla, who are
brought to mind by their tombs, by the sacred grove, by the so-called
Grotto of Egeria, and by the remains of their beautiful villa.

Herodes Atticus, born at Marathon A. D. 104, of noble Athenian
parents, became one of the most distinguished men of his time.
Philostratos, the biographer of the Sophists, gives a detailed account
of his life and fortunes at the beginning of Book II. Inscriptions
relating to his career have been found in Rome, on the borders of the
Appian Way, the best-known being the _Iscrizioni greche triopee ora
Borghesiane_, edited by Ennio Quirino Visconti in 1794.[136] His
father, Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes, lost his fortune by
confiscation for reasons of state, and was therefore obliged, at the
beginning of his career, to depend upon the fortune of his wife,
Vibullia Alcia, for his support. Suddenly he became the richest man in
Greece, and probably in the world. Many writers have given accounts of
his extraordinary discovery of treasure, which was made in the
foundations of a small house which he owned at the foot of the
Akropolis, near the Dionysiac Theatre. He seems to have been more
frightened than pleased at the amount found, knowing how complicated
was the jurisprudence on this subject, and how greedy provincial
magistrates were. He addressed himself in general terms to the emperor
Nerva, asking what he should do with his discovery. The answer was
that he could make use of it as he pleased. Even then he was not
reassured, and wrote again to the emperor declaring that the fortune
was far beyond his condition in life. Nerva's answer confirmed him
emphatically in the full possession of this wealth. Herodes did much
good with it, as a noble revenge for the persecutions which he had
undergone in his younger days; and at his death his son inherited,
with the fortune, his generous instincts and kindliness.

Curiosity leads us to inquire where this amount of gold and treasure
came from, who it was that concealed it in the rock of the Akropolis,
and when, and for what reason. Visconti's surmise that it was hidden
there by a wealthy Roman, during the civic wars, and the proscriptions
which followed them towards the end of the Republic, is obviously
incorrect. No Roman general, magistrate, or merchant of republican
times could have collected such a fortune in impoverished Greece. I
have a more probable suggestion to make. When Xerxes engaged his fleet
against the Greek allies in the straits of Salamis, he was so
confident of gaining the day that he established himself comfortably
on a lofty throne on the slope of Mount Ægaleos to witness the fight.
And when he saw Fortune turn against his forces, and was obliged to
retire in hot haste, trusting his own safety to flight, I suppose that
the funds of war, which were kept by the treasurer of the army at
headquarters, may have been buried in a cleft of the Akropolis, in the
hope of a speedy and more successful return. The amount of money
carried by Xerxes' treasury officials for purposes of war must have
been enormous, when we consider that 2,641,000 men were counted at the
review held in the plains of Doriskos.

Whatever may have been the origin of the wealth of Atticus it could
not have fallen into better hands. His liberality towards men of
letters, and needy friends; his works of general utility executed in
Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy; his exhibitions of games and
entertainments in the Circus and in the Amphitheatre, did not prevent
him from cultivating science to such an extent that, on his arrival in
Rome, he was selected as tutor of the two adopted sons of Antoninus
Pius,--Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Here he married Annia
Regilla, one of the wealthiest ladies of the day, by whom he had six
children. She died in childbirth, and Herodes was accused, we do not
know on what ground, of having accelerated or caused her death by
ill-treatment or violence. Regilla's brother, Appius Annius Bradua,
consul A. D. 160, brought an action of uxoricide against Herodes, but
failed to prove his case. Still, the calumny remained in the mind of
the public. To dispel it, and to regain his position in society,
Herodes, although stricken with grief, made himself conspicuous almost
to excess in honoring the memory of his departed wife. Her jewels were
offered to Ceres and Proserpina; and the land which she had owned
between the Via Appia and the valley of the Almo was covered with
memorial buildings, and also consecrated to the gods. On the boundary
line of the property, columns were raised bearing the inscription in
Greek and Latin:--

"To the memory of Annia Regilla, wife of Herodes, the light and soul
of the house, to whom these lands once belonged."[137]

The lands are described in other epigraphic documents as containing a
village named Triopium, wheat-fields, vineyards, olive-groves,
pastures, a temple dedicated to Faustina the younger under the title
of the New Ceres, a burialspace for the family, placed under the
protection of Minerva and Nemesis, and lastly a grove sacred to the
memory of Regilla.

[Illustration: Tomb of Annia Regilla (fragment).]

Many of these monuments are still in existence. The first structure we
meet with is a tomb of considerable size built in the shape of a
temple, the lowest steps of which are watered by the Almo. Its popular
name of "Temple of the God Rediculus" is derived from a tradition
which points to this spot as the one at which Hannibal turned back
before the gates of Rome, and where a shrine to the "God of Retreat"
was subsequently raised by the Romans. The Campagna abounds in
sepulchral monuments of a similar design, but none can be compared
with this in the elegance of its terra-cotta carvings, which give it
the appearance and lightness of lace. The polychrome effect produced
by the alternate use of dark red and yellow bricks is particularly

Although no inscription has been found within or near this heroön,
there are reasons to prove that it was the family tomb of Regilla,
Herodes, and their six children. A more beautiful and interesting
structure is hardly to be found in the Campagna, and I wonder why so
few visit it. Perhaps it is better that it should be so, because its
present owner has just rented it for a pig-pen.

Higher up the valley, on a spur of the hill above the springs of
Egeria, stands the Temple of Ceres and Faustina, now called S. Urbano
alla Caffarella. It belongs to the Barberinis, who take good care of
it, as well as of the sacred grove of ilexes which covers the slope to
the south of the springs. The vestibule is supported by four marble
pillars, but, the intercolumniations having been filled up by Urban
VIII. in 1634, the picturesqueness of the effect is destroyed. Here
Herodes dedicated to the memory of his wife a statue, minutely
described in the second Triopian inscription, alluded to above. Early
Christians took possession of the temple and consecrated it to the
memory of Pope Urbanus, the martyr, whose remains were buried close
by, in the _crypta magna_ of the Catacombs of Prætextatus. Pope
Paschal I. caused the Confession of the church to be decorated with
frescoes representing the saint from whom it was named, with the
Virgin Mary, and S. John. In the year 1011 the panels between the
pilasters of the cella were covered with paintings illustrating the
lives and martyrdoms of Cæcilia, Tiburtius, Valerianus and Urbanus,
and, although injured by restorations, these paintings form the most
important contribution to the history of Italian art in the eleventh
century. We have therefore under one roof, and within the four walls
of this temple, the names of Ceres, Faustina, Herodes and Annia
Regilla, coupled with those of S. Cæcilia and S. Valerianus, of
Paschal I., and Pope Barberini; decorations in stucco and brick of the
time of Marcus Aurelius; paintings of the ninth and eleventh
centuries; and all this variety of wealth intrusted to the care of a
good old hermit, whose dreams are surely not troubled by the
conflicting souvenirs of so many events.

I need not remind the reader that the name of Egeria, given to the
nymphæum below the temple, is of Renaissance origin. The grotto in
which, according to the legend, and to Juvenal's description, Numa
held his secret meetings with the nymph Egeria, was situated within
the line of the walls of Aurelian, and in the lower grounds of the
Villa Fonseca, that is to say, at the foot of the Cælian Hill, near
the Via della Ferratella. I saw it first in 1868, and again in 1880
when collecting materials for my volume on the "Aqueducts and Springs
of Ancient Rome."[138] In 1887 it was buried by the military
engineers, while they were building their new hospital near Santo
Stefano Rotondo. The springs still make their way through the
newly-made ground, and appear again in the beautiful nymphæum of the
Villa Mattei (von Hoffmann) at the corner of the Via delle Mole di S.
Sisto and the Via di Porta S. Sebastiano.

As regards the Sacred Grove, there is no doubt that its present
beautiful ilexes continue the tradition, and flourish on the very
spot of the old grove, sacred to the memory of Annia Regilla, CVIVS

[Illustration: The Sacred Grove and the Temple of Ceres; now S. Urbano
alla Caffarella.]

To come back, however, to the "Queen of the Roads:" among the many
discoveries that have taken place in the cemeteries which line it,
that made on April 16, 1485, during the pontificate of Innocent VIII.,
remains unrivalled.

There have been so many accounts published by modern writers[139] in
reference to this extraordinary event that it may interest my readers
to learn the truth by reviewing the evidence as it stands in its
original simplicity. I shall only quote such authorities as enable us
to ascertain what really took place on that memorable day. The case is
in itself so unique that it does not need amplification or the
addition of imaginary details. Let us first consult the diary of
Antonio di Vaseli:--

(f. 48.) "To-day, April 19, 1485, the news came into Rome, that a body
buried a thousand years ago had been found in a farm of Santa Maria
Nova, in the Campagna, near the Casale Rotondo.... (f. 49.) The
Conservatori of Rome despatched a coffin to Santa Maria Nova
elaborately made, and a company of men for the transportation of the
body into the city. The body has been placed for exhibition in the
Conservatori palace, and large crowds of citizens and noblemen have
gone to see it. The body seems to be covered with a glutinous
substance, a mixture of myrrh and other precious ointments, which
attract swarms of bees. The said body is intact. The hair is long and
thick; the eyelashes, eyes, nose, and ears are spotless, as well as
the nails. It appears to be the body of a woman, of good size; and
her head is covered with a light cap of woven gold thread, very
beautiful. The teeth are white and perfect; the flesh and the tongue
retain their natural color; but if the glutinous substance is washed
off, the flesh blackens in less than an hour. Much care has been taken
in searching the tomb in which the corpse was found, in the hope of
discovering the epitaph, with her name; it must be an illustrious one,
because none but a noble and wealthy person could afford to be buried
in such a costly sarcophagus thus filled with precious ointments."

Translation of a letter of messer Daniele da San Sebastiano, dated

"In the course of excavations which were made on the Appian Way, to
find stones and marbles, three marble tombs have been discovered
during these last days, sunk twelve feet below the ground. One was of
Terentia Tulliola, daughter of Cicero; the other had no epitaph. One
of them contained a young girl, intact in all her members, covered
from head to foot with a coating of aromatic paste, one inch thick. On
the removal of this coating, which we believe to be composed of myrrh,
frankincense, aloe, and other priceless drugs, a face appeared, so
lovely, so pleasing, so attractive, that, although the girl had
certainly been dead fifteen hundred years, she appeared to have been
laid to rest that very day. The thick masses of hair, collected on the
top of the head in the old style, seemed to have been combed then and
there. The eyelids could be opened and shut; the ears and the nose
were so well preserved that, after being bent to one side or the
other, they instantly resumed their original shape. By pressing the
flesh of the cheeks the color would disappear as in a living body. The
tongue could be seen through the pink lips; the articulations of the
hands and feet still retained their elasticity. The whole of Rome,
men and women, to the number of twenty thousand, visited the marvel of
Santa Maria Nova that day. I hasten to inform you of this event,
because I want you to understand how the ancients took care to prepare
not only their souls but also their bodies for immortality. I am sure
that if you had had the privilege of beholding that lovely young face,
your pleasure would have equalled your astonishment."

Translation of a letter, dated Rome, April 15, 1485, among Schedel's
papers in Cod. 716 of the Munich library:

"Knowing your eagerness for novelties, I send you the news of a
discovery just made on the Appian Way, five miles from the gate, at a
place called Statuario (the same as S. Maria Nova). Some workmen
engaged in searching for stones and marbles have discovered there a
marble coffin of great beauty, with a female body in it, wearing a
knot of hair on the back of her head, in the fashion now popular among
the Hungarians. It was covered with a cap of woven gold, and tied with
golden strings. Cap and strings were stolen at the moment of the
discovery, together with a ring which she wore on the second finger of
the left hand. The eyes were open, and the body preserved such
elasticity that the flesh would yield to pressure, and regain its
natural shape immediately. The form of the body was beautiful in the
extreme; the appearance was that of a girl of twenty-five. Many
identify her with Tulliola, daughter of Cicero, and I am ready to
believe so, because I have seen, close by there, a tombstone with the
name of Marcus Tullius; and because Cicero is known to have owned
lands in the neighborhood. Never mind whose daughter she was; she was
certainly noble and rich by birth. The body owed its preservation to a
coating of ointment two inches thick, composed of myrrh, balm, and oil
of cedar. The skin was white, soft, and perfumed. Words cannot
describe the number and the excitement of the multitudes who rushed to
admire this marvel. To make matters easy, the Conservatori have agreed
to remove the beautiful body to the Capitol. One would think there is
some great indulgence and remission of sins to be gained by climbing
that hill, so great is the crowd, especially of women, attracted by
the sight.

"The marble coffin has not yet been removed to the city; but I am told
that the following letters are engraved on it: 'Here lies Julia Prisca
Secunda. She lived twenty-six years and one month. She has committed
no fault, except to die.' It seems that another name is engraved on
the same coffin, that of a Claudius Hilarus, who died at forty-six. If
we are to believe current rumors, the discoverers of the body have
fled, taking with them great treasures."

And now let the reader gaze at the mysterious lady. The accompanying
cut represents her body as it was exhibited in the Conservatori
palace, and is taken from an original sketch in the Ashburnham Codex,
1174, f. 134.

[Illustration: The body of a girl found in 1485.]

Celio Rodigino, Leandro Alberti, Alexander ab Alexandro and Corona
give other particulars of some interest:--

The excavations were undertaken by the monks of Santa Maria Nuova
(now S. Francesca Romana), five miles from the gate. The tomb stood on
the left or east side of the road, high above the ground. The
sarcophagus was imbedded in the walls of the foundation, and its cover
was sealed with molten lead. As soon as the lid was removed, a strong
odor of turpentine and myrrh was remarked by those present. The body
is described as well arranged in the coffin, with arms and legs still
flexible. The hair was blonde, and bound by a fillet (_infula_) woven
of gold. The color of the flesh was absolutely lifelike. The eyes and
mouth were partly open, and if one drew the tongue out slightly it
would go back to its place of itself. During the first days of the
exhibition on the Capitol this wonderful relic showed no signs of
decay; but after a time the action of the air began to tell upon it,
and the face and hands turned black. The coffin seems to have been
placed near the cistern of the Conservatori palace, so as to allow the
crowd of visitors to move around and behold the wonder with more ease.
Celio Rodigino says that the first symptoms of putrefaction were
noticed on the third day; and he attributes the decay more to the
removal of the coating of ointments than to the action of the air.
Alexander ab Alexandro describes the ointment which filled the bottom
of the coffin as having the appearance and scent of a fresh perfume.

These various accounts are no doubt written under the excitement of
the moment, and by men naturally inclined to exaggeration; still, they
all agree in the main details of the discovery,--in the date, the
place of discovery, and the description of the corpse. Who was, then,
the girl for the preservation of whose remains so much care had been

Pomponio Leto, the leading archæologist of the age, expressed the
opinion that she might have been either Tulliola, daughter of Cicero,
or Priscilla, wife of Abascantus, whose tomb on the Appian Way is
described by Statius (Sylv. V. i. 22). Either supposition is wrong.
The first is invalidated by the fact that the body was of a young and
tender girl, while Tulliola is known to have died in childbirth at the
age of thirty-two. Moreover, there is no document to prove that Cicero
had a family vault at the sixth milestone of the Appian Way. The tomb
of Priscilla, wife of Abascantus, a favorite freedman of Domitian, is
placed by Statius near the bridge of the Almo (Fiume Almone,
Acquataccio) four and a half miles nearer the gate; where, in front of
the Chapel of Domine quo vadis, it has been found and twice excavated:
the first time in 1773 by Amaduzzi; the second in 1887, under my
supervision. The only clew worth following is that given in Pehem's
letter of April 15, now in the Munich library; but even this leads to
no result. The inscription, which was said to mention the name and age
of the girl, is perfectly genuine, and duly registered in the "Corpus
Inscriptionum," No. 20,634. It is as follows:--


"To the infernal gods. [Here lie] Julia Prisca, freedwoman of Lucius
Julius, who lived twenty-six years one month, one day; [and also] Q.
Clodius Hilarus, who lived forty-six years. She never did any wrong
except to die." Pehem, Malaguy, Fantaguzzi, Waelscapple and all the
rest of them, assert unanimously that the inscription was found with
the body on April 16, 1485, and they are all mistaken. It had been
seen and copied, _at least twenty-two years before_, by Felix
Felicianus of Verona, and is to be found in the MSS. collection of
ancient epitaphs, which he dedicated to Andrea Mantegna in 1463. The
number of spurious inscriptions concocted for the occasion is truly
remarkable. Georges of Spalato (1484-1545) gives the following version
of this one in his MSS. diary, now in Weimar: "Here lies my only
daughter Tulliola, who has committed no offence, except to die. Marcus
Tullius Cicero, her unhappy father, has raised this memorial."

The poor girl, whose name and condition in life will never be known,
and whose body for twelve centuries had so wonderfully escaped
destruction, was most abominably treated by her discoverers in 1485.
There are two versions as to her ultimate fate. According to one, Pope
Innocent VIII., to stop the excitement and the superstitions of the
citizens, caused the _conservatori_ to remove the body at night
outside the Porta Salaria, and bury it secretly at the foot of the
city walls. According to the second it was thrown into the Tiber. One
is just about as probable as the other.

How differently we treat these discoveries in our days! In the early
morning of May 12, 1889, I was called to witness the opening of a
marble coffin which had been discovered two days before, under the
foundations of the new Halls of Justice, on the right bank of the
Tiber, near Hadrian's Mausoleum. As a rule, the ceremony of cutting
the brass clamps which fasten the lids of urns and sarcophagi is
performed in one of our archæological repositories, where the contents
can be quietly and carefully examined, away from an excited and
sometimes dangerous crowd. In the present case this plan was found
impracticable, because the coffin was ascertained to be filled with
water which had, in the course of centuries, filtered in, drop by
drop, through the interstices of the lid. The removal to the Capitol
was therefore abandoned, not only on account of the excessive weight
of the coffin, but also because the shaking of the water would have
damaged and disordered the skeleton and the objects which, perchance,
were buried inside.

The marble sarcophagus was embedded in a stratum of blue clay, at a
depth of twenty-five feet below the level of the city, that is, only
four or five feet above the level of the Tiber, which runs close by.
It was inscribed simply with the name CREPEREIA TRYPHAENA, and
decorated with bas-reliefs representing the scene of her death. No
sooner had the seals been broken, and the lid put aside, than my
assistants, myself, and the whole crowd of workmen from the Halls of
Justice, were almost horrified at the sight before us. Gazing at the
skeleton through the veil of the clear water, we saw the skull
covered, as it were, with long masses of brown hair, which were
floating in the liquid crystal. The comments made by the simple and
excited crowd by which we were surrounded were almost as interesting
as the discovery itself. The news concerning the prodigious hair
spread like wild-fire among the populace of the district; and so the
exhumation of Crepereia Tryphæna was accomplished with unexpected
solemnity, and its remembrance will last for many years in the popular
traditions of the new quarter of the Prati di Castello. The mystery of
the hair is easily explained. Together with the spring-water, germs or
seeds of an aquatic plant had entered the sarcophagus, settled on the
convex surface of the skull, and developed into long glossy threads of
a dark shade.


The skull was inclined slightly towards the left shoulder and towards
an exquisite little doll, carved of oak, which was lying on the
scapula, or shoulder-blade. On each side of the head were gold
earrings with pearl drops. Mingled with the vertebræ of the neck and
back were a gold necklace, woven as a chain, with thirty-seven
pendants of green jasper, and a brooch with an amethyst intaglio of
Greek workmanship, representing the fight of a griffin and a deer.
Where the left hand had been lying, we found four rings of solid gold.
One is an engagement-ring, with an engraving in red jasper
representing two hands clasped together. The second has the name
PHILETVS engraved on the stone; the third and fourth are plain gold
bands. Proceeding further with our exploration, we discovered, close
to the right hip, a box containing toilet articles. The box was made
of thin pieces of hard wood, inlaid _alla Certosina_, with lines,
squares, circles, triangles, and diamonds, of bone, ivory, and wood of
various kinds and colors. The box, however, had been completely
disjointed by the action of the water. Inside there were two fine
combs in excellent preservation, with the teeth larger on one side
than on the other: a small mirror of polished steel, a silver box for
cosmetics, an amber hairpin, an oblong piece of soft leather, and a
few fragments of a sponge.[140] The most impressive discovery was made
after the removal of the water, and the drying of the coffin. The
woman had been buried in a shroud of fine white linen, pieces of which
were still encrusted and cemented against the bottom and sides of the
case, and she had been laid with a wreath of myrtle fastened with a
silver clasp about the forehead. The preservation of the leaves is
truly remarkable.

Who was this woman, whose sudden and unexpected reappearance among us
on the twelfth of May, 1889, created such a sensation? When did she
live? At what age did she die? What caused her death? What was her
condition in life? Was she beautiful? Why was she buried with her
doll? The careful examination of the tomb and its contents enable us
to answer all these questions satisfactorily.

Crepereia Tryphæna lived at the beginning of the third century after
Christ, during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla, as is
shown by the form of the letters and the style of the bas-reliefs
engraved on the sarcophagus. She was not noble by birth; her Greek
surname _Tryphæna_ shows that she belonged to a family of freedmen,
former servants of the noble family of the Creperei. We know nothing
about her features, except that she had a strong and fine set of
teeth. Her figure, however, seems to have been rather defective, on
account of a deformity in the ribs, probably caused by scrofula.
Scrofula, in fact, seems to have been the cause of her death. In spite
of this deformity, however, there is no doubt that she was betrothed
to the young man Philetus, whose name is engraved on the stone of the
second ring, and that the two happy lovers had exchanged the oath of
fidelity and mutual devotion for life, which is expressed by the
symbol of the clasped hands. The story of her sad death, and of the
sudden grief which overtook her family on the eve of a joyful wedding,
is plainly told by the presence in the coffin of the doll and the
myrtle wreath, which is a _corona nuptialis_. I believe, in fact, that
the girl was buried in her full bridal costume, and then covered with
the linen shroud, because there are fragments of clothes of various
textures and qualities mixed with those of the white linen.

And now let us turn our attention to the doll. This exquisite _pupa_,
a work of art in itself, is of oak, to which the combined action of
time and water has given the hardness of metal. It is modelled in
perfect imitation of a woman's form, and ranks amongst the finest of
its kind yet found in Roman excavations. The hands and feet are carved
with the utmost skill. The arrangement of the hair is characteristic
of the age of the Antonines, and differs but little from the coiffure
of Faustina the elder. The doll was probably dressed, because in the
thumb of her right hand are inserted two gold keyrings like those
carried by housewives. This charming little figure, the joints of
which at the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows are still in good
order, is nearly a foot high. Dolls and playthings are not peculiar to
children's tombs. It was customary for young ladies to offer their
dolls to Venus or Diana on their wedding-day. But this was not the end
reserved for Crepereia's doll. She was doomed to share the sad fate of
her young mistress, and to be placed with her corpse, before the
marriage ceremony could be performed.


[121] See chapter iii., p. 67, of _Ancient Rome_

[122] _De titulis in quibus impensæ monumentorum sepulcralium indicatæ

[123] See Luigi Grifi: _Sopra la iscrizione antica dell' auriga
Scirto_, in the _Accademia archeologica_, 1854, v. xiii.

[124] See the _Corpus inscriptionum latinarum_, vol. vi., part 2, nos.

[125] See Walch: _Ad Gorii Xenia_, p. 98.--Orelli-Henzen: vol. 2, no.
4789, etc.

[126] _Monumenti inediti dell' Instituto di correspondenza
archeologica_, Supplemento, 1891.

[127] _Titus_, 4.

[128] See:--Pietro Sante Bartoli: _Gli antichi sepolcri_. Roma: de
Rossi, 1727.--_Corpus inscriptionum latinarum_, vol. vi., part ii.,
pp. 1073, 1076.--_Villa Pamphylia, ejusque palatium cum suis
prospectibus: statuæ, fontes, vivaria_. Romae: fol. max.--Ignazio
Ciampi: _Innocenzo X Pamfili e la sua corte_. Roma: Galeati, 1878.

[129] See:--Otto Jahn: _Die Wandgemälde des Columbariums in der Villa
Pamfili_, in the _Abhandlungen der bayerischen Akademie_, 1857.--Eugen
Petersen: _Sitzungsberichte des Archäologischen Instituts_, Römische
Abtheilung, March 18, 1892.

[130] A discovery of the same kind has come within my experience. In
1885, while excavating near the city walls, between the Porta S.
Lorenzo and the Porta Maggiore, we found an amphora of great size,
containing the corpse of a little child embedded in lime. He had
probably died of a contagious disease. The corpse had been reduced to
a handful of tiny bones; and the impression of them was so spoiled by
dampness and age that it was found impossible to cast the form of the

[131] _Digest_, ix., 2, 5, § 3.

[132] See:--_Notizie degli Scavi_, 1884, p. 393.--Henzen: _Bullettino
dell' Instituto_, 1885, p. 9.--Stevenson: _idem_, 1885, p.
22.--Geffroy: _Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome_, 1885, p. 318,
pl. vii-xiii.

[133] See C. Ludovico Visconti: _Il sepolcro del fanciullo Quinto
Sulpicio Massimo._ Roma, 1871.--Wilhelm Henzen: _Sepolcri antichi
rinvenuti alla porta salaria_, in the _Bullettino dell' Instituto_,
1871, p. 98.--Luigi Ciofi: _Inscriptiones latinæ et græcæ, cum carmine
græco extemporali Quinti Sulpicii Maximi_. Roma, 1871.--J. Henry
Parker: _Tombs in and near Rome_. Oxford, 1877. (Plate X.)

[134] On the subject of this competition see:--Suetonius: _Domitian_,
4.--Stefano Morcelli: _Sull' Agone Capitolino_. Dissertazione postuma.
Milano, 1816.--Joachim Marquardt: _Handbuch der römischen
Alterthümer_, iv., 453.

[135] See Cesare Lucchesini: _Esame della questione se i latini
avessero veri poeti improvvisatori_. Lucca, 1828.

[136] The bibliography on Herodes Atticus and his villa at the second
milestone of the Appian Way is so rich that I can mention but a few of
the leading works, besides Visconti's.--Claude Saumaise: _Mémoires sur
la vie d'Herodes Atticus_, in _Académie des inscriptions et belles
lettres_, xxx. p. 25; _Corpus inscriptionum græcarum:_ vol. iii.
no. 6280, p. 924.--Wilhelm Dittenberger: _Die Familie des Herodes
Atticus_.--Richard Burgess: _Description of the Circus on the Via
Appia_. Italian translation, p. 89. Rome, 1829.--Ludovico Bianconi:
_Descrizione dei circhi e particolarmente di quello di Caracalla_.
Roma, 1786.--Antonio Nibby: _Del circo volgarmente detto di
Caracalla_. Roma, 1825.

[137] When Maxentius repaired the Appian Way in 309, one of these
commemorative columns was converted into a milestone, the seventh from
the Porta Capena. The column was removed in the Middle Ages to the
Church of S. Eusebio on the Esquiline, where it was seen and
purchased, at the beginning of the last century, by cardinal
Alessandro Albani. It now belongs to the Capitoline Museum.

[138] _I comentari di Frontino intorno le acque e gli acquedotti_:
Opera premiata dalla r. Accademia dei Lincei col premio reale di lire
10,000. Roma, Salviucci, 1880.

[139] Among the modern writers on the subject are:--Christian Hülsen:
_Die Auffindung der römischen Leiche vom Jahre_ 1485, in the
_Mittheilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtforschung_,
Band iv., Heft 3.--J. Addington Symonds: _History of the Renaissance_,
i. 23.--Giovanni Antonio Riccy: _Dell' antico pago Lemonio_. Roma,
1802 (p. 109).--Gregorovius: _Geschichte der Stadt Rom im
Mittelalter_, vii., 3, p. 571.--_Corpus inscriptionum latinarum_, vol.
vi., no. 20,634.

Contemporary documents:--Stefano Infessura: _Diario_, edited by
Tommasini. Rome, 1890.--Notarius a Nantiportu: in _Cod. Vatic._,
6,823, f. 250.--Raffaele Maffei da Volterra (Volterranus, born 1451,
died 1522): _Commentarii rerum Urbanarum_, column 954 of the Lyons
edition, 1552.--Bartolomeo Fonte (Humanist, born 1445, died 1513):
letter to Francesco Sassetto, published by Janitschek: _Gesells. der
Rénaissance_, p. 120.--Letter from Laur Pehem, dated April 15, 1475,
in the _Cod. Munich_, 716 (among the papers collected by Hartman
Schedel).--Copy of a letter from messer Daniele da San Sebastiano to
Giacomo di Maphei, citizen of Verona, in the _Cod. Marciano_ (Venice),
xiv. 267.--Alexander ab Alexandro (born at Naples, 1461, died in Rome,
1523): _Genialium Dierum_, iii. 2.--Fragment of the diary of Antonio
di Vaseli (1481-1486), in the _Archives of the Vatican_, Armar. XV.
fasc. 41.--Fragment of the diary of Corona (first entry Jan. 30, 1481;
last July 25, 1492) in the possession of H. D. Grissel, Esq.--Anonym
ap. Mountfaucon, _Diarium Italicum_, xi. 157.

[140] Sponges are most frequently found in the _cistæ_ at Palestrina,
which were nothing else but toilet-boxes. I have had the opportunity
of examining the contents of twelve of them, lately discovered. These
include sponges, combs of various kinds and shapes, hairpins, wooden
boxes with movable lids, still full of excellent powders, cosmetics,
and ointments, and other articles of the _mundus muliebris_.



     Sanctity of tombs guaranteed to all creeds alike.--The
     Christians' preference for underground cemeteries not due to fear
     at first.--Origin and cause of the first persecutions.--The
     attitude of Trajan towards the Christians, and its results.--The
     persecution of Diocletian.--The history of the early Christians
     illustrated by their graves.--The tombs of the first
     century.--The catacombs.--How they were named.--The security they
     offered against attack.--Their enormous extent.--Their gradual
     abandonment in the fourth century.--Open-air cemeteries developed
     in proportion.--The Goths in Rome.--Their pillage of the
     catacombs.--Thereafter burial within the city walls became
     common.--The translation of the bodies of martyrs.--Pilgrims and
     their itineraries.--The catacombs neglected from the ninth to the
     sixteenth century.--Their discovery in 1578.--Their wanton
     treatment by scholars of that time.--Artistic treasures found in
     them.--The catacombs of Generosa.--The story of Simplicius,
     Faustina and Viatrix.--The cemetery of Domitilla.--The Christian
     Flavii buried there.--The basilica of Nereus, Achilleus and
     Petronilla.--The tomb of Ampliatus.--Was this S. Paul's
     friend?--The cemetery 'ad catacumbas."--The translation of the
     bodies of SS. Peter and Paul.--The types of the Saviour in early
     art.--The cemetery of Cyriaca.--Discoveries made
     there.--Inscriptions and works of art.--The cemetery "ad duas
     Lauros."--Frescoes in it.--The symbolic supper.--The discoveries
     of Monsignor Wilpert.--The Academy of Pomponio Leto.

The Roman law which established the inviolability of tombs did not
make exceptions either of persons or creeds. Whether the deceased had
been pious or impious, a worshipper of Roman or foreign gods, or a
follower of Eastern or barbaric religions, his burial-place was
considered by law a _locus religiosus_, as inviolable as a temple. In
this respect there was no distinction between Christians, pagans, and
Jews; all enjoyed the same privileges, and were subject to the same
rules. It is not easy to decide whether this condition of things was
an advantage to the faithful. It was certainly advantageous to the
Church that her cemeteries should be considered sacred by the law, and
that the State itself should enforce and guarantee the observance of
the rules (_lex monumenti_) made by the deceased in connection with
his interment, and tomb; but as the police of cemeteries, and the
enforcement of the _leges monumentorum_, was intrusted to the college
of high priests, who were stern champions of paganism, the church was
liable to be embarrassed in many ways. When, for instance, a body had
to be transferred from its temporary repository to the tomb, it was
necessary to obtain the consent of the _pontifices_; which was also
required in case of subsequent removals, and even of simple repairs
to the building. Roman epitaphs constantly refer to this authority of
the pontiffs, and one of them, discovered by Ficoroni in July, 1730,
near the Porta Metronia, contains the correspondence exchanged on the
subject between the two parties. The petitioner, Arrius Alphius, a
favorite freedman of the mother of Antoninus Pius, writes to the high
priests: "Having lost at the same time wife and son, I buried them
temporarily in a terra-cotta coffin. I have since purchased a burial
lot on the left side of the Via Flaminia, between the second and the
third milestones, and near the mausoleum of Silius Orcilus, and
furnished it with marble sarcophagi. I beg permission of you, my
Lords, to transfer the said bodies to the new family vault, so that
when my hour shall come, I may be laid to rest beside the dear ones."
The answer was: "Granted (_fieri placet_). Signed by me, Juventius
Celsus, vice-president [of the college of pontiffs], on the 3d day of
November [A. D. 155]."

The greatest difficulty with which the Christians had to deal was the
obligation to perform expiatory sacrifices in given circumstances; as,
for instance, when a corpse was removed from one place to another, or
when a coffin, damaged by any accidental cause, such as lightning,
inundation, fire, earthquake, or violence, had to be opened and the
bones exposed to view. But these were exceptional cases; and there is
no doubt that the magistrates of Rome were naturally lenient and
forbearing in religious matters, except in time of persecution. The
partiality shown by early Christians for underground cemeteries is due
to two causes: the influence which Eastern customs and the example of
the burial of Christ must necessarily have exercised on them, and the
security and freedom which they enjoyed in the darkness and solitude
of their crypts. Catacombs, however, could not be excavated
everywhere, the presence of veins or beds of soft volcanic stone being
a condition _sine qua non_ of their existence. Cities and villages
built on alluvial or marshy soil, or on hills of limestone and lava,
were obliged to resort to open-air cemeteries. In Rome itself these
were not uncommon. Certainly there was no reason why Christians should
object to the authority of the pontiffs in hygienic and civic matters.
This authority was so deeply rooted and respected, that the emperor
Constans (346-350), although a stanch Christian and anxious to abolish
idolatry, left the pontiffs full jurisdiction over Christian and pagan
cemeteries, by a constitution issued in 349.[142]

From apostolic times to the persecution of Domitian, the faithful were
buried, separately or collectively, in private tombs which did not
have the character of a Church institution. These early tombs, whether
above or below ground, display a sense of perfect security, and an
absence of all fear or solicitude. This feeling arose from two facts:
the small extent of the cemeteries, which secured to them the rights
of private property, and the protection and freedom which the Jewish
colony in Rome enjoyed from time immemorial. The Romans of the first
century, populace as well as government officials, made no distinction
between the proselytes of the Old Testament and those of the New.

Julius Cæsar and Augustus treated the Jews with kindness, and when S.
Paul arrived in Rome the colony was living in peace and prosperity,
practising religion openly in its Transtiberine synagogues.[143] The
same state of things prevailed throughout the peninsula. Thus the
rabbi or archon of the synagogue at Pompeii called the _Synagoga
Libertinorum_ (the existence of which was discovered in September,
1764), could take, in virtue of his office, an active part in city
politics and petty municipal quarrels, and in his official capacity
could sign a document recommending the election of a candidate for
political honors, as is shown by one of the Pompeian inscriptions:--

                 PRINCEPS LIBERTINORUM.[144]

The persecution which took place under Claudius was really the first
connected with the preaching of the gospel. According to Suetonius
(Claud. 25) the Jews themselves were the cause of it, having suddenly
become uneasy, troublesome, and offensive, _impulsore Chresto_, that
is to say, on account of Christ's doctrine, which was beginning to be
preached in their synagogues. The expression used by Suetonius shows
how very little was known at the time about the new religion. Although
Christ's name was not unknown to him, he speaks of this outbreak under
Claudius as having been stirred up personally by a certain Chrestus,
as though he were a living member of the Jewish colony. At that early
stage the converts to the gospel were identified by the Romans with
the Jews, not by mistake or error of judgment, but because they were
legally and actually Jews, or rather one Jewish sect which was
carrying on a dogmatic war against the others, on a point which had no
interest whatever in the eyes of the Romans,--that is, the advent of
the Messiah. This statement is corroborated by many passages in the
Acts, such as xviii. 15; xxiii. 29; xxv. 9; xxvi. 28, 32; xxviii. 31.
Claudius Lysias writes to the governor of Judæa that Paul was accused
by his fellow-citizens, not of crimes deserving punishment, but on
some controversial point concerning their law. In Rome itself the
apostle could preach the gospel with freedom, even when in custody, or
under police supervision.[145] And as it was lawful for a Roman
citizen to embrace the Jewish persuasion, and give up the religion of
his fathers, he was equally free to embrace the Evangelic faith, which
was considered by the pagans a Jewish sect, not a new belief.

The pagans despised them both, and mixed themselves up with their
affairs only from a fiscal point of view, because the Jews were
subject to a tax of two drachms per head, and the treasury officials
were obliged to keep themselves acquainted with the statistics of the

This state of things did not last very long, it being of vital
importance for the Jews to separate their cause from that of the
new-comers. The responsibility for the persecutions which took place
in the first century must be attributed to them, not to the Romans,
whose tolerance in religious matters had become almost a state rule.
The first attempt, made under Claudius, was not a success: it ended,
in fact, with the banishment from the capital of every Jew, no matter
whether he believed in the Old or the New Testament. _Judæos,
impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes, Claudius Romæ expulit_
(Suetonius: Claud. 25). It was, however, a passing cloud. As soon as
they were allowed to come back to their Transtiberine haunts, the
Jews set to work again, exciting the feelings of the populace, and
denouncing the Christians as conspiring against the State and the
gods, under the protection of the law which guaranteed to the Jews the
free exercise of their religion. The populace, impressed by the
conquests made by the gospel among all classes of citizens, was only
too ready to believe the calumny. The Church, repudiated by her mother
the Synagogue, could no longer share the privileges of the Jewish
community. As for the State, it became a necessity either to recognize
Christianity as a new legal religion, or to proscribe and condemn it.
The great fire, which destroyed half of Rome under Nero, and which was
purposely attributed to the Christians, brought the situation to a
crisis. The first persecution began. Had the magistrate who conducted
the inquiry been able to prove the indictment of arson, perhaps the
storm would have been short, and confined to Rome; but as the
Christians could easily exculpate themselves, the trial was changed
from a criminal into a politico-religious one. The Christians were
convicted not so much of arson (_non tam crimine incendii_) as of a
hatred of mankind (_odio generis humani_); a formula which includes
anarchism, atheism, and high treason. This monstrous accusation once
admitted, the persecution could not be limited to Rome; it necessarily
became general, and more violent in one place or another, according to
the impulse of the magistrate who investigated this entirely
unprecedented case.

Was the hope of a legal existence lost forever to the Church? After
Nero's death, and the condemnation of his acts and memory, the
Christians enjoyed thirty years of peace. Domitian broke it, first, by
claiming with unprecedented severity the tribute from the Jews and
those "living a Jewish life;"[146] secondly, by putting the
"atheists," that is, the Christians, to the alternative of giving up
their faith or their life. These measures were abolished shortly after
by Nerva, who sanctioned the rule that in future no one should be
brought to justice under the plea of impiety or Judaism. The answer
given by Trajan to Pliny the younger, when governor of Bithynia, is
famous in the annals of persecutions. To the inquiries made by the
governor, as to the best way of dealing with those "adoring Christ for
their God," Trajan replied, that the magistrate should not molest them
at his own initiative; but if others should bring them to justice, and
convict them of impiety and atheism, they deserved punishment.[147]
These words contain the solemn recognition of the illegality of
Christian worship; they make persecution a rule of state. The faithful
were doomed to have no respite for the next two centuries, except what
they could obtain at intervals from the personal kindness and
tolerance of emperors and magistrates. Those of the Jewish religion
continued to enjoy protection and privileges, but Christianity was
either persecuted or tolerated, as it happened; so that, even under
emperors who abhorred severity and bloodshed, the faithful were at the
mercy of the first vagrant who chanced to accuse them of impiety.

Strange to say, more clemency was shown towards them by emperors whom
we are accustomed to call tyrants, than by those who are considered
models of virtue. The author of the "Philosophumena" (book ix., ch.
11) says that Commodus granted to Pope Victor the liberation of the
Christians who had been condemned to the mines of Sardinia by Marcus
Aurelius. Thus that profligate emperor was really more merciful to the
Church than the philosophic author of the "Meditations," who, in the
year 174, had witnessed the miracle of the Thundering Legion. The
reason is evident. The wise rulers foresaw the destructive effect of
the new doctrines on pagan society, and indirectly on the empire
itself; whereas those who were given over to dissipation were
indifferent to the danger; "after them, the deluge!"

At the beginning of the third century, under the rule of Caracalla and
Elagabalus, the Church enjoyed nearly thirty years of peace,
interrupted only by the short persecution of Maximus, and by
occasional outbreaks of popular hostility here and there.[148]

In 249 the "days of terror" returned, and continued fiercer than ever
under the rules of Decius, Gallus, and Valerianus. The last
persecution, that of Diocletian and his colleagues, was the longest
and most cruel of all. For the space of ten years not a day of mercy
shone over the _ecclesia fidelium_. The historian Eusebius, an
eye-witness, says that when the persecutors became tired of bloodshed,
they contrived a new form of cruelty. They put out the right eyes of
the confessors, cut the tendon of their left legs, and then sent them
to the mines, lame, half blind, half starved, and flogged nearly to
death. In book VIII., chapter 12, the historian says that the number
of sufferers was so great that no account could be kept of them in the
archives of the Church. The memory of this decade of horrors has never
died out in Rome. We have still a local tradition, not altogether
unfounded, of ten thousand Christians who were condemned to quarry
materials for Diocletian's Baths, and who were put to death after the
dedication of the building.

Towards the end of 306, Maxentius stopped the persecution, but the
true era of peace did not begin before 312, which is the date of
Constantine's famous "edict of Milan," granting to the Church liberty
and free possession of her places of worship and cemeteries forever.

The events of which I have given a summary sketch are beautifully
illustrated by the discoveries which have been made in early Christian
cemeteries, from May 31, 1578, which is the date of the discovery of
the first catacomb, to the present day.

From the time of the apostles to the first persecution of Domitian,
Christian tombs, whether above or below ground, were built with
perfect impunity and in defiance of public opinion. We have been
accustomed to consider the catacombs of Rome as crypts plunged in
total darkness, and penetrating the bowels of the earth at
unfathomable depths. This is, in a certain measure, the case with
those catacombs, or sections of catacombs, which were excavated in
times of persecution; but not with those belonging to the first
century. The cemetery of these members of Domitian's family who had
embraced the gospel--such as Flavius Clemens, Flavia Domitilla,
Plautilla, Petronilla, and others--reveals a bold example of

The entrance to the crypt, discovered in 1714 and again in 1865, near
the farmhouse of Tor Marancia, at the first milestone of the Via
Ardeatina, is hewn out of a perpendicular cliff, which is conspicuous
from the high road (the modern Via delle Sette Chiese). The crypt is
approached through a vestibule, which was richly decorated with
terra-cotta carvings, and, on the frieze, a monumental inscription
enclosed by an elaborate frame. No pagan mausolea of the Via Appia or
the Via Latina show a greater sense of security or are placed more
conspicuously than this early Christian tomb. The frescoes on the
ceiling of the vestibule, representing biblical scenes, such as Daniel
in the lions' den, the history of Jonah, etc., were exposed to
daylight, and through the open door could be seen by the passer. No
precaution was taken to conceal these symbolic scenes from profane or
hostile eyes. We regret the loss of the inscription above the
entrance, which, besides the name of the owner of the crypt, probably
contained the _lex monumenti_, and a formula specifying the religion
of those buried within. In this very catacomb, a few steps from the
vestibule, an inscription has been found, in which a Marcus Aurelius
Restitutus declares that he has built a tomb for himself and his
relatives (_sibi et suis_), provided they were believers in Christ
(_fidentes in Domino_). Another tombstone, discovered in 1864, in the
Villa Patrizi, near the catacombs of Nicomedes, states that none might
be buried in the tomb to which it was attached except those who
belonged to the creed (_pertinentes ad religionem_) of the founder.

[Illustration: Entrance to the Crypt of the Flavians.]

The time soon came when these frank avowals of Christianity were
either impossible or extremely hazardous; and although legally a tomb
continued to be a _locus religiosus_, no matter what the creed of the
deceased had been, a vague sense of anxiety was felt by the Church,
lest even these last refuges should be violated by the mob and its
leaders. Hence the extraordinary development which underground
cemeteries underwent towards the end of the first and the beginning of
the second century. These catacombs were considered by the law to be
the property of the citizen who owned the ground above, and who either
excavated them at his own cost, or gave the privilege of doing so to
the Church. This is the reason why the names of our oldest suburban
cemeteries are derived, not from the illustrious saints buried in
them, but from the owner of the property under which the catacomb was
first excavated. Balbina, Callixtus, Domitilla were never laid to rest
in the catacombs which bear their names. Prætextatus, Apronianus, the
Jordans, Novella, Pontianus, and Maximus, after whom other cemeteries
were named, are all totally unknown persons. When these cemeteries
became places of worship and pilgrimage, after the Peace of
Constantine, the old names which had sheltered them from the violence
of persecutors were abandoned, and replaced by those of local martyrs.
Thus the catacomb of Domitilla became that of Nereus and Achilleus;
that of Balbina was named for S. Mark; that of Callixtus for SS.
Sixtus and Cæcilia; and that of Maximus for S. Felicitas.

One characteristic of Christian epigraphy shows what a comparatively
safe place the catacombs were. Inscriptions belonging to them never
contain those requests to the passer to respect the tomb, which are so
frequent in sepulchral inscriptions from tombs above-ground, and which
sometimes, on Christian as well as pagan graves, take the form of an
imprecation. An epitaph discovered by Hamilton near Eumenia, Phrygia,
contains this rather violent formula: "May the passer who damages my
tomb bury all his children at the same time." In another, found near
the church of S. Valeria, in Milan, the imprecation runs: "May the
wrath of God and of his Christ fall on the one who dares to disturb
the peace of our sleep."

The safety of the catacombs was not due to the fact that their
existence was known only to the proselytes of Christ. The magistrates
possessed a thorough knowledge of their location, number, and extent;
and we have evidence of raids and descents by the police on
extraordinary occasions, as, for instance, during the persecutions of
Valerian and Diocletian. The ordinary entrances to the catacombs,
which were known to the police, were sometimes walled up or otherwise
concealed, and new secret outlets opened through abandoned pozzolana
quarries (_arenariæ_). Some of these outlets have been discovered, or
are to be seen, in the cemeteries of Agnes, Thrason, Callixtus, and
Castulus. In May, 1867, while excavating on the southern boundary line
of the Cemetery of Callixtus, de Rossi found himself suddenly
confronted with sandpits, the galleries of which came in contact with
those of the cemetery several times. The passage from one to the other
had been most ingeniously disguised by the _fossores_, as those who
dug the catacombs were called.[149]

The defence of these cemeteries in troubled times must have caused
great anxiety to the Church. Tertullian tells how the population of
Carthage, excited against the Christians, sought to obtain from
Hilarianus, governor of Africa, the destruction of their graves. "Let
them have no burial-ground!" (_areæ eorum non sint_) was the rallying
cry of the mob.

The catacombs are unfit for men to live in, or to stay in even for a
few days. The tradition that Antonio Bosio spent seventy or eighty
consecutive hours in their depths is unfounded. When we hear of Popes,
priests, or their followers seeking refuge in catacombs, we must
understand that they repaired to the buildings connected with them,
such as the lodgings of the keepers, undertakers, and local clergymen.
Pope Boniface I., when molested by Symmachus and Eulalius, found
shelter in the house connected with the Cemetery of Maximus on the Via
Salaria. The crypts themselves were sought as a refuge only in case of
extreme emergency. Thus Barbatianus, a priest from Antiochia,
concealed himself in the Catacombs of Callixtus to escape the wrath of
Galla Placidia.

Many attempts have been made to estimate the extent of our catacombs,
the length of their galleries, and the number of tombs which they
contain. Michele Stefano de Rossi, brother of the archæologist, gives
the following results for the belt of catacombs within three miles of
the gates of Servius:[150]--

(A) Surface of tufa beds, capable of being excavated into catacombs,
67,000,000 square feet.

(B) Surface actually excavated into catacombs, from one to four
stories deep, 22,500,000 square feet,--more than a square mile.

(C) Aggregate length of galleries, calculated on the average
construction of six different catacombs, 866 kilometres, equal to 587
geographical miles.

The sides of the galleries contain several rows of loculi, sometimes
six or eight. Some bodies are buried under the floor, or in the
cubiculi which open right and left at short intervals. Assuming these
galleries to be capable of containing two bodies per metre, the
number of Christians buried in the catacombs, within three miles from
the gates of Servius, may be estimated at a minimum of 1,752,000.

The construction of this prodigious labyrinth required the excavation
and removal of 96,000,000 cubic feet of solid rock.

With regard to the number of inscriptions, I quote the following
passage from Northcote's "Epitaphs," page 3: "Of Christian
inscriptions in Rome, during the first six centuries, de Rossi has
studied more than fifteen thousand, the immense majority of which were
taken from the catacombs; and he tells us there is still an average
yearly addition of about five hundred, derived from the same source.
This number, vast as it is, is but a poor remnant of what once
existed. From the collections made in the eighth and ninth centuries
it appears that there were once at least one hundred and seventy
ancient Christian inscriptions in Rome, which had an historical or
monumental character; written generally in metre, and to be seen at
that time in the places which they were intended to illustrate. Of
these only twenty-six remain, either whole or in parts. In the Roman
topographies of the seventh century, one hundred and forty sepulchres
of famous martyrs and confessors are enumerated; we have recovered
only twenty inscribed memorials, to assist us in the identification of
these. Only nine epitaphs have come to light belonging to the bishops
of Rome during the same six centuries; and yet, during that period,
there were certainly buried in the suburbs of the city upwards of
sixty. Thus, whatever facts we take as the basis of our calculation,
it would seem that scarcely a seventh part of the original wealth of
the Roman church in memorials of this kind has survived the wreck of
ages; and de Rossi gives it as his conviction that there were once
_more than one hundred thousand_ of them."

When the catacombs began to be better known to the general public, and
were visited by crowds of the devout or curious, they became one of
the marvels of Rome. Travellers who so admired the _syringes_ or
crypts of the kings of Thebes, calling them τἀ θαὑματα (the
wonders), could not help being struck with awe at the great work
accomplished by our Christian community in less than three centuries.
An inscription found by Deville at Thebes, in one of the royal crypts,
and published in the "Archives des missions scientifiques," 1866, vol.
ii. p. 484, thus refers to the parallel wonders of Roman and Egyptian
catacombs: "Antonius Theodorus, intendant of Egypt and Phœnicia,
who has spent many years in the Queen-city of Rome, has seen the
wonders (τἀ θαὑματα) both there and here." The allusion to
the catacombs in comparison with the _syringes_ is evident. The
inscription dates from the second half of the fourth century.

To the edict of Milan, and to the peace which it gave to the Church,
we must attribute the origin of the decadence of underground
cemeteries. Burial in open-air cemeteries having become secure once
more, there was no reason why the faithful should give preference to
the unhealthy and overcrowded crypts below. The example of desertion
was set by the Popes themselves. Melchiades (311-314), who was the
first to occupy the Lateran palace after the victory of the Church,
was the last Pope buried near his predecessors _in cœmeteris
Callisti in cripta_. Sylvester, his successor, was buried in a chapel
built expressly, above the crypt of Priscilla, Mark above the crypts
of Balbina, Julius above those of Calepodius, and so on. Still, the
desire of securing a grave in proximity to the shrine of a martyr was
so intense that the use of the catacombs lasted for a century longer,
although in diminishing proportions. When a gallery is discovered
which contains more graves than usual, and has been excavated even in
the narrow ledges of rock which separated the original loculi, or else
at the corners of the crossings, which were usually left untouched, as
protection against the caving-in of the earth, we may be sure we are
approaching a martyr's altar-tomb. Sometimes the paintings which
decorate a martyr's _cubiculum_ have been disfigured and their
inscriptions effaced by an overzealous devotee. The accompanying cut
shows the damage inflicted on a picture of the Good Shepherd in the
cubiculum of S. Januarius, in the Catacombs of Prætextatus, by an
unscrupulous disciple who wished to be buried as near as possible to
his patron-saint.

[Illustration: Cubiculum of Januarius.]

By the end of the fourth century burials in catacombs became rare, and
still more between 400 and 410. They were apparently given up
altogether after 410. The development of open-air cemeteries increased
in proportion, those of S. Lorenzo and S. Paolo fuori le Mura being
among the most popular. In 1863, when the entrance-gate to the modern
Camposanto adjoining S. Lorenzo was built, fifty tombs, mostly
unopened, were found in a space ninety feet long by forty feet wide.
Since that time five hundred tombstones have been gathered in the
neighborhood of that favorite church. As regards S. Paul's cemetery,
more than one thousand inscriptions, whole or in fragments, were found
in rebuilding the basilica and its portico, after the fire of
1823;[151] two hundred in the excavations of S. Valentine's basilica,
outside the Porta del Popolo. These last excavations are the only ones
illustrating a Christian cemetery which are left visible; but their
importance is limited. The cemeteries of Arles and Pola, alluded to by
Dante, have disappeared; and so has the magnificent one of the
officers and men employed in the Roman arsenal at Concordia
Sagittaria, which was discovered in 1873, near Portogruaro, by Perulli
and Bartolini. This cemetery, which contains, in the section already
explored, nearly two hundred sarcophagi, cut in limestone, in the
shape of Petrarch's coffin, at Arquà, or Antenor's at Padua, was
wrecked by Attila in 452, and buried soon after by an inundation of
the river Tagliamento, which spread masses of mud and sand over the
district, and raised its level five feet. The accompanying plate is
from a photograph taken at the time of the discovery.

I have just stated that burial in catacombs seems to have been
abandoned in 410, because no inscription of a later date has yet been
found. The reader will easily perceive the reason for the abandonment.
On August 10, 410, Rome was stormed by Alaric, and the suburbs
devastated. This fatal year marks the end of a great and glorious era
in Christian epigraphy, and in the history of catacombs the end of the
work of the _fossores_. More fatal still was the barbaric invasion of
457. The actual destruction began in 537, during the siege of Rome by
Vitiges. The biographer of Pope Silverius expressly says: "Churches
and tombs of martyrs have been destroyed by the Goths" (_ecclesiæ et
corpora sanctorum martyrum exterminata sunt a Gothis_). It is
difficult to explain why the Goths, confessed and even bigoted
Christians (Arians) as they were, and full of respect for the
basilicas of S. Peter and S. Paul, as Procopius declares, should have
ransacked the catacombs, violated the tombs of martyrs, and broken
their historical inscriptions. Perhaps it was because none of the
barbarians could read Latin or Greek epitaphs, and make the
distinction between pagan and Christian cemeteries; or perhaps they
were moved by the desire of finding hidden treasures, or securing
relics of saints. Whatever may have been the reason of their behavior,
we must remember that two encampments, at least, of the Goths were
just over catacombs and around their entrances; one on the Via
Salaria, over those of Thrason; the other on the Via Labicana, above
those of Peter and Marcellinus. The barbarians could not resist the
temptation of exploring those subterranean wonders; indeed they were
obliged to do so by the most elementary rules of precaution in order
to insure the safety of their intrenchments against surprises. Here I
have to record a remarkable coincidence. In each of these two
catacombs the following memorial tablet has been seen or found,
written in distichs by Pope Virgilius:--


     "When the Goths pitched their camps under the walls of Rome, they
     declared an impious war against the Saints:

     "And destroyed in their sacrilegious attack the tombs dedicated
     to the memory of martyrs:

     "Whose epitaphs, composed by Pope Damasus, have been

     "Pope Virgilius, having witnessed the destruction, has repaired
     the tombs, the inscriptions, and the underground sanctuaries
     after the retreat of the Goths."

The repairs must have been made in haste, between March, 537, the date
of the flight of Vitiges, and the following November, the date of the
journey of Virgilius to Constantinople, from which he never returned.
Traces of this Pope's restorations have been found in other catacombs.
In those of Callixtus the fragments of a tablet, dedicated by Damasus
to S. Eusebius, have been found, dispersed over a large area, and also
a copy set up by Virgilius in the place of the original. In those of
Hippolytus, on the Via Tiburtina, an inscription was discovered in
1881, which stated that the "sacred caverns" had been restored
_præsule Virgilio_. The example of Virgilius and his successors in the
See of Rome was followed by private individuals. The tomb of
Crysanthus and Daria on the Via Salaria was restored, after the
retreat of the barbarians, _pauperis ex censu_, that is to say, with
the modest means of a devotee.

Nibby has attributed the origin of cemeteries within the walls to the
invasion of Vitiges, burial within the city limits having been
strictly forbidden by the laws of Rome. But the law seems to have been
practically disregarded even before the Gothic wars. Christians were
buried in the Prætorian camp, and in the gardens of Mæcenas, during
the reign of Theodoric (493-526). I have mentioned this particular
because it marks another step towards the abandonment of suburban
cemeteries. The country around Rome having become insecure and
deserted, it was deemed necessary to place within the protection of
the city walls the bodies of martyrs who had been buried at a great
distance from the gates. The first translation took place in 648: the
second in 682, when the bodies of Primus and Felicianus were removed
from Nomentum, and those of Viatrix, Faustinus and Simplicius from the
_Lucus Arvalium_ (Monte delle Piche, by la Magliana). The last blow to
the catacombs was given by Paschal I. (817-824). Contemporary
documents mention innumerable transferences of bodies. The mosaic
legend of the apse of S. Prassede says that Pope Paschal buried the
bodies of many saints within its walls.[152]

The official catalogue of the remains removed on July 20, 817, which
was compiled by the Pope's notary and engraved on marble, has come
down to us. It speaks of the translation of twenty-three hundred
bodies, most of which were buried under the chapel of S. Zeno, which
Paschal I. had built as a memorial to his mother, Theodora Episcopa.
The legend in the apse of S. Cæcilia speaks, likewise, of the
transference to her church of bodies "which had formerly reposed in
crypts" (_quæ primum in cryptis pausabant_): among them those of
Cæcilia herself, Valerianus, Tiburtius, and Maximus. The finding and
removal of Cæcilia's remains from the Catacombs of Callixtus is one of
the most graceful episodes in the life of Paschal I. He describes it
at length in a letter addressed to the people of Rome.

After many unsuccessful attempts to discover the coffin of the saint,
he had come to the conclusion that it must have been stolen by the
Lombards, when they were besieging the city in 755. S. Cæcilia,
however, told him in a vision where her grave was; and hurrying to the
catacombs of the Appian Way he at last discovered her crypt and
coffin, together with those of fourteen Popes, from Zephyrinus to
Melchiades. It is only fair to say that the discoveries made in this
very crypt, between 1850 and 1853, confirm the account of Paschal in
its minutest details.

The first half of the ninth century thus marks the final abandonment
of the catacombs, and the cessation of divine worship in their
historical crypts. In later times we find little or no mention of them
in Church annals. When we read of Nicholas I. (858-867) and of Paschal
II. (1099-1118) visiting the cemeteries, we must believe that their
visits were to the basilicas erected over the catacombs, and to their
special crypts, not to the catacombs themselves. In the chronicle of
the monastery of S. Michael ad Mosam we read of a pilgrim of the
eleventh century who obtained relics of saints "from the keeper of a
certain cemetery, in which lamps are always burning." He refers to the
basilica of S. Valentine and the small hypogæum attached to it
(discovered in 1887), not to catacombs in the true sense of the word.
The very last account referring directly to them dates from the time
of Pope Nicholas I. (858-867) who is said to have restored the crypt of
Mark on the Via Ardeatina, and of Felix, Abdon, and Sennen on the Via
Portuensis. At this time also the visits of pilgrims, to whose
itineraries, or guidebooks, we are indebted for so much knowledge of
the topography of suburban cemeteries, come to an end. The best
itineraries are those of Einsiedeln, Salzburg, Wurzburg, and William
of Malmesbury; and the list of the oils from the lamps burning before
the tombs of martyrs, which were collected by John, abbot of Monza, at
the request of queen Theodolinda. The pilgrims left many records of
their visits scratched on the walls of the sanctuaries; and to these
_graffiti_ also we are indebted for much information, since they
contain formulas of devotion addressed to the saint of the place. They
are very interesting in their simplicity of thought and diction, as
are generally the memoirs of early pilgrims and pilgrimages. I shall
mention one, discovered not many years ago in the cemetery of
Mustiola at Chiusi. It is a plain tombstone, inscribed with the

                NOMEN · DEUS · SCIT

"Here is buried a pilgrim from Thrace, whose name is known only to
God." The tale is simple and touching. A pilgrim on his way to Rome,
or back to his country, was overtaken by death at Chiusi, before he
could make himself known to those who had come to his help. They could
only suppose he had come from Thrace, the country of the Cicones,
possibly from the language he spoke, or from the costume he wore.

On May 31, 1578, a workman, while digging a sandpit in the vineyard of
Bartolomeo Sanchez at the second milestone of the Via Salaria, came
upon a Christian cemetery containing frescoes, sarcophagi, and
inscriptions. This unexpected discovery created a great
sensation,[153] and the report was circulated that an underground city
had been found. The leading men of the age hastened to the spot; among
them Baronius, who speaks of these wondrous crypts three or four times
in his annals.[154] It seems that the network of galleries, crossing
one another at various angles, the skylights, the wells, the symmetry
of the cubiculi and arcosolia, the number of loculi with which the
sides of the galleries were honeycombed, affected the imagination of
visitors even more than the pictures, the sarcophagi, and the
epitaphs. The subjects of the frescoes were so varied as to contain
almost the whole cycle of early Christian symbolism. There were the
Good Shepherd and the Praying Soul, Noah and the ark, Daniel and the
lions, Moses striking the rock, the story of Jonah, the sacrifice of
Isaac, the three men in the fiery furnace, the resurrection of
Lazarus, etc. The bas-reliefs of the marble coffins represented
Christian love-feasts and pastoral scenes. The epitaphs contained
simply names, except one, which was raised by a girl "to her sweet
nurse Paulina, who dwells in Christ among the blessed." These pious
memorials of the primitive church led the learned visitors to
investigate their meaning and value, as well as the history and name
of those mysterious labyrinths. The origin of Christian archæology,
therefore, really dates from May 1, 1578. Antonio Bosio, the Columbus
of subterranean Rome, was but three years old at that time, but he
seems to have developed his marvellous instinct on the strength of
what he saw in the Vigna Sanchez in his boyhood. The crypts, however,
had but a short life: the quarry-men damaged and robbed them to such
an extent that, when Bosio began his career in 1593, every trace of
them had disappeared. They have never been found since. We can only
point out to the lover of these studies the site of the Vigna Sanchez.
It is marked by a monumental gate, on the right side of the Via
Salaria, crowned by the well-known coat-of-arms of the della Rovere
family, to whom the property was sold towards the end of the sixteenth
century. The gate is a little more than a mile from the Porta Salaria.

From that time to the first quarter of the present century, we have to
tell the same long tale of destruction. And who were responsible for
this wholesale pillage? The very men--Aringhi, Boldetti, Marangoni,
Bottari--who devoted their lives, energies and talents to the study of
the catacombs, and to whom we are indebted for many standard works on
Christian archæology. Such was the spirit of the age. Whether an
historical inscription came out of one cemetery or another did not
matter to them; the topographical importance of discoveries was not
appreciated. Written or engraved memorials were sought, not for the
sake of the history of the place to which they belonged, but to
ornament houses, museums, villas, churches and monasteries. In 1863,
de Rossi found a portion of the Cemetery of Callixtus, near the tombs
of the Popes, in incredible confusion and disorder: loculi ransacked,
their contents stolen, their inscriptions broken and scattered far and
wide, and the bones themselves taken out of their graves. The
perpetrators of the outrage had taken care to leave their names
written in charcoal or with the smoke of tallow candles; they were men
employed by Boldetti in his explorations of the catacombs, between
1713 and 1717. Some of the tombstones were removed by him to S. Maria
in Trastevere, and inserted in the floor of the nave. Benedict XIV.
took away the best, and placed them in the Vatican Library. They have
now migrated again to the Museo Epigrafico of the Lateran Palace.
Those left in the floor of S. Maria in Trastevere were removed to the
vestibule of the church in 1865.

In 1714, some beautiful paintings of the first century were discovered
in the crypt of the Flavian family (Domitilla) at Torre Marancia. They
were examined by well-known archæologists and churchmen, whose names
are scratched or written on the walls: Boldetti, Marangoni, Bottari,
Leonardo da Porto Maurizio, and G. B. de Rossi (the last two since
canonized by the Church), and by hundreds of priests, nuns,
missionaries, and pilgrims. No mention is made of this beautiful
discovery in contemporary books; but an attempt was made to steal the
frescoes, which resulted, as usual, in their total destruction.[155]
The catacombs owe their sad fate to the riches which they contained.
In times of persecution, when the _fossores_ were pressed by too much
work and memorial tablets could not be secured in time, it was
customary for the survivors to mark the graves of the dear ones either
with a symbol, a word, or a date scratched in the fresh cement; or
with some object of identification, such as glass cups, medallions,
cameos, intaglios, objects cut in rock crystal, coral, etc. If the
work of exploration has been carried on actively in the last three
centuries, it is on account of the rich harvest which searching
parties were sure to reap whenever they chanced to come across a
catacomb or part of a catacomb, yet unexplored, with these signs of
recognition untouched.

The best works of the glyptic art, the rarest gems, coins, and
medallions of European cabinets have come to light in this way. Pietro
Sante Bartoli, who chronicled the discoveries made in Rome in the
second half of the seventeenth century, speaks several times of
treasure-trove in catacombs:[156]

"In a Christian cemetery discovered outside the Porta Portese, in the
vineyard of a priest named degli Effetti, many relics of martyrs have
been found, a beautiful set of the rarest medallions (_bellissima
serie di medaglioni rarissimi_), works in metal and crystal, engraved
stones, jewels, and other curios and interesting objects, many of
which were sold by the workmen at low prices." And again: "The opening
of a catacomb was discovered by accident under the Casaletto of Pius
V., outside the Porta S. Pancrazio. Although the crypt had never been
entered, and promised to be very rich, no excavations were attempted,
owing to the dangerous condition of the rock. One object only was
extracted from the ruinous cavern; a polychrome cameo of marvellous
beauty (_di meravigliosa bellezza_) representing a Bacchanalian. The
stone measured sixteen inches in length by ten in width. It was given
to cardinal Massimi."[157]

The number of catacombs has been greatly exaggerated. Panvinius and
Baronius stated it as forty-three; Aringhi and his followers raised
this number to sixty. De Rossi, however, in vol. i., p. 206, of the
"Roma sotterranea" proves that the number of catacombs excavated
during the first three centuries, within a radius of three miles from
the walls of Servius Tullius, is but twenty-six; besides eleven of
much less importance, and five which were excavated after the Peace of

It would be impossible to give even a summary description of these
forty-two cemeteries, within the limits of the present chapter. De
Rossi's account of Lucina's crypts in the Cemetery of Callixtus
occupies one hundred and thirty-two folio pages, and has required
thirty-five plates of illustration. I must confine myself to the
mention of the few discoveries, connected with the history and
topography of underground Rome, which have come within my personal
experience, or which I have had occasion to study.

THE CATACOMBS OF GENEROSA. In 1867, while watching with my friend
commendatore Visconti (the present director of the Vatican Museum) the
excavations of the Sacred Grove of the Arvales, on the Via Campana,
five miles outside the Porta Portese, I witnessed for the first time
the discovery of a catacomb. The experience could not have been more
pleasant, nor the history of the first occupants of these crypts more

In the persecution of Diocletian two brothers, Simplicius and
Faustinus, were tortured and put to death for their faith, and their
bodies were thrown into the Tiber from the bridge of Æmilius Lepidus.
The stream carried them to a considerable distance, and their young
sister Beatrix, who was anxiously watching the banks of the river for
the recovery of their dear remains, discovered them lying in the
shallows of la Magliana, near the grove of the Arvales. She buried
them in a small Christian cemetery which a certain Generosa had
excavated close by, under the boundary line of the grove itself.
Beatrix, left alone in the world, found shelter in the house of one of
the Lucinas; but the persecutors, to whom her pious action had
evidently been reported, discovered her retreat, and killed her by
suffocation, seven months after the execution of Simplicius and
Faustinus. Lucina laid her to rest in the same cemetery of Generosa,
by the side of her brothers. This touching story is related in
contemporary documents.

Pope Damasus, who in his younger days had been notary and stenographer
of the church of Rome, and was acquainted with every detail of the
last persecution, raised a small oratory to the memory of the three
martyrs, and sanctified the ground which for eleven centuries had been
the seat of the worship of the Dea Dia. The chapel lasted until the
pontificate of Leo II., when it became evident that the only way of
saving the remains of Beatrix, Simplicius, and Faustinus from
profanation and robbery, was to remove them from a place so
conspicuous for many miles around, and directly in the path of pirates
and invaders from the sea, and to place them under the protection of
the city walls. The translation took place in 682; the bodies were
removed to the church of Santa Biviana, or the Bibiana, on the
Esquiline, and placed in a sarcophagus, with the record: "Here lie in
peace Simplicius and Faustinus, martyrs, drowned in the Tiber and
buried in the cemetery of Generosa, above the landing-place called ad
Sextum Philippi." Sarcophagus and inscription are still in existence.
The discovery of the oratory of Pope Damasus and the cemetery of
Generosa took place, as already stated, in the spring of 1867, when a
fragment of the architrave of the altar was found in front of the
apse, inscribed with the names, ··· STINO · VIATRICI, engraved in the
best Damasian calligraphy. The spelling of the second name deserves
attention, because it is certainly intentional, as Damasus and his
engraver Furius Dionysius Philocalus are distinguished for absolute
epigraphic correctness. _Viatrix_, the feminine of _Viator_, is
altogether different from _Beatrix_, and has its own Christian
meaning, as an allusion to the eventful journey of human life. Must we
take the word _Beatrix_ as a new form, more or less connected with the
adjective _beatus_, or as a corruption of the genuine name? No doubt
it is a corruption, as the oldest martyrologies and liturgies have the
genuine spelling. The substitution of the B instead of the V took
place in the eighth or ninth century, and appears for the first time
in the Codex of Berne. The grammarian who wrote it was evidently of
the opinion that _Viatrix_ was not the right spelling; and so the true
and beautiful name of the sister of Faustinas and Simplicius became

[Illustration: Sancta Viatrix.]

The accompanying illustration represents the portrait of Viatrix
discovered in the Catacomb of Generosa in the spring of 1868.

THE CEMETERY OF DOMITILLA. The farm of Torre Marancia, at the crossing
of the Via Ardeatina and the Via delle Sette Chiese, is familiar to
archæologists on account of the successful excavations which the
duchess of Chablais made there in the spring of the years 1817 and
1822. Bartolomeo Borghesi, who first visited them in April, 1817,
describes the remains of a noble villa of the first century, with
mosaic pavements, fountains, statuary, candelabra, and frescos. The
pictures of Pasiphae, Canace, Phædra, Myrrha, and Scylla, which are
now in the Cabinet of the Aldobrandini Marriage, in the Vatican
Library, were discovered in one of the bedrooms of the villa. Other
works of art, now exhibited in the third compartment of the Galleria
dei Candelabri, were found in the peristyle. An exact description of
these discoveries, with maps and illustrations, is given by Marchese
Biondi in a volume called "Monumenti Amaranziani," published in Rome
in 1825.

The Villa Amaranthiana, from which the modern name of Torre Marancia
is derived, belonged to two ladies, one of imperial descent, Flavia
Domitilla, a relative of Domitian and Titus, the other of patrician
birth, Munatia Procula, the daughter of Marcus. Domitilla's name
appears twice in documents attesting her ownership of the ground; the
first is the grant of a sepulchral area, measuring thirty-five feet by
forty, to Sergius Cornelius Julianus _ex indulgentia Flaviæ
Domitillæ_; the other mentions the construction of another tomb,
_Flaviæ Domitillæ divi Vespasiani neptis beneficio_.[158] These
concessions refer to burial-plots above ground, on the Via Ardeatina.
Much more important was the permission given by Domitilla for the
excavation of a catacomb in the service of the Church, which had just
been established in Rome by the apostles. The catacomb consisted
originally of two sections; one for the use of those members of the
imperial Flavian family who had been converted to the gospel, and one
for common use. I have already given a brief account of the first (see
p. 10). The entrance to the crypts was built in a conspicuous place,
under the safeguard of the law which guaranteed the inviolability of
private tombs. The place can still be visited. On each side of the
entrance are apartments for the celebration of anniversary banquets,
the ἀγἁπαι or love-feasts of the early Church. Those on the
left are decorated in the so-called Pompeian style, with birds and
festoons on a red ground. Here is the well, the drinking-fountain, the
washing-trough, and the wardrobe. On the opposite side is the
_schola_, or banqueting-room, with benches on three sides. There is no
doubt that the builders and owners of these crypts were Christians;
because the graves within were arranged for the interment of bodies,
not for cremation; that is, for sarcophagi and coffins, not for
cinerary urns; and, as I stated at the beginning of the previous
chapter, the pagans of the first century, and of the first half of the
second, were never interred. The Domitilla after whom the catacombs
were named was a niece of Vespasian, _Divi Vespasiani neptis_. The
reader will remember that in chapter i. I quoted Xiphilinus as saying
that in the year 95 some members of the imperial family were condemned
by Domitian on the charge of atheism, together with other leading
personages, who had adopted "the customs and persuasion of the
Jews,"--an expression which means the Christian faith. Among those
condemned he mentions Clemens and Domitilla, whose genealogy is still
subject to some uncertainty.

A tombstone discovered in 1741, by Marangoni, in these very catacombs,
mentions two names, Flavius Sabinus and Flavia Titiana. They are
descendants, perhaps grandchildren, of Flavius Sabinus, the brother of
Vespasian. Sabinus was prefect of Rome during the persecution of Nero;
but Tacitus[159] describes him as a gentle man, who hated violence
(_mitem virum abhorrentem a sanguine et cædibus_). His second son,
Titus Flavius Clemens, consul A. D. 82, was executed in 95 on account
of his Christian faith; and Flavia Domitilla, his daughter-in-law, was
banished for the same cause to the island Pandataria. There is a
record of the banishment of another Flavia Domitilla to the island of
Pontia; but her genealogy and relationship with the former have not
been yet clearly established. Some writers, however, have identified
her with the niece of Vespasian, mentioned in the inscription referred
to above, as owner of the villa of Torre Marancia and founder of the
catacombs. The small island, where she spent many years in solitary
confinement, is described by S. Jerome as one of the leading places of
pilgrimage in the fourth century of our era.

The "Acta Martyrum" state that Flavia Domitilla, niece of Flavius
Clemens, was buried at Terracina, with her attendants, Theodora and
Euphrosyne; and that her body-servants, or _cubicularii_, Nereus and
Achilleus, who were executed for the same reason, were laid to rest in
the crypts of the Villa Amaranthiana, half a mile from Rome, near the
tomb of Petronilla, the so-called daughter of S. Peter. In the early
itineraries the place is also indicated as the "cemetery of
Domitilla, Nereus, and Achilleus, near Santa Petronilla." Bosio
discovered it towards the end of the sixteenth century, and mistook it
for the Cemetery of Callixtus. The discoveries made in 1873 leave no
doubt as to its identification with the famous burial-place of the
Flavians; they brought to light, not a crypt of ordinary dimensions,
but a basilica equal in size to the one dedicated to S. Lorenzo by

[Illustration: Basilica of Nereus, Achilleus and Petronilla.]

The pavement of the basilica is sunk to the level of the second floor
of the catacombs, in order that the graves of Nereus, Achilleus, and
Petronilla could be enclosed in the altar, without being raised, or
touched at all. The body of the church is divided into nave and aisles
by two rows of columns, mostly of _cipollino_, some of which were
stolen in 1871 by the farmer; the others were found in 1876 lying on
the floor, in parallel lines from northeast to southwest, as if they
had been overthrown by an earthquake.

A fragment of one of the four columns which supported the ciborium
above the high altar has been found in the apse. This fragment
contains a bas-relief representing the execution of a martyr. The
young man is tied to a stake, which is surmounted by a cross-beam,
like a [Symbol: T], the true shape of the _patibulum cruciforme_. A
soldier, dressed in a tunic and mantle, seizes the prisoner with the
right hand, and stabs him in the neck with the left. The weapon used
is not a lictor's axe, nor the sword of a legionary, but a sort of
cutlass, which would be more likely to cut the throat than to sever
the head from the body. The cross is crowned by a triumphal wreath, as
a symbol of the immortal recompense which awaits the confessor of the
Faith. The historical value of this rare sculpture is determined by
the name, ACILLEVS, engraved above it.

[Illustration: The Execution of Acilleus.]

The character of the letters and the style of the bas-relief are those
of the second half of the fourth century. Of the sister column, with
the name and martyrdom of NEREVS, only a small bit has been found.
Another monument of equal value is a broken slab containing, in the
first line, the letters ····RVM; in the second, the letters ····ORVM;
and below these, the cross-shaped anchor, the mysterious but certain
emblem of Christian hope. As the position of the symbol determines the
middle point of the inscription, it is easy to reconstruct the whole
text, by a careful calculation of the size of each letter:--


"the tomb of the Flavian family," namely, of those relatives of
Domitilla who had embraced the Christian faith.

Under the pavement of the nave, aisles, and presbytery, are numberless
graves, some of which belong to the original catacombs, before they
were cut and disarranged by the building of the basilica; others are
built in accordance with the architectural lines of the basilica
itself. A grave belonging to the first series, that is, to a gallery
of the catacombs which had been blocked by the foundations of the left
aisle, bears the date of the year 390; while a sarcophagus placed at
the foot of the altar is dated Monday, May 12, 395. It is evident,
therefore, that the basilica was built between 390 and 395, during the
pontificate of Siricius.

No memorial of Petronilla, the third saint for whom the building was
named, has been found within the sacred enclosure,--a fact not wholly
unexpected, because the coffin in which her remains were placed is
known to have been removed to the Vatican by Paul I. (755-756), at the
request of the king of France. In November, 1875, a cubiculum was
found at the back of the apse, connected with it by a corridor which
opens near the episcopal chair. The walls of this passage are covered
with _graffiti_ and other records of pilgrims. The cubiculum contains
two graves: one empty, in the arcosolium, the place of honor; the
other, in front of it, of a much later date. The front of the
arcosolium is closed by a wall, on the surface of which is an
interesting fresco, which is here reproduced.

[Illustration: Petronilla and Veneranda.]

The younger figure, on the right, is Petronilla Martyr; the elder is a
matron named Veneranda, buried January 7 (DEP_osita_ VI. IDVS.
IANVARIAS), in the sarcophagus below the picture. There is no doubt
that Petronilla was buried in close proximity to this cubiculum. The
story of her relationship to S. Peter has no foundation whatever; it
rests on an etymological mistake, by which the name Petronilla is
treated as a diminutive of Petrus, as is Plautilla of Plautius or
Plautia, and Domitilla of Domitius or Domitia. Petrus is not a Latin
name; it came into use with the spreading of the gospel, and only in
rare and exceptional cases. The young martyr was named after a member
of the same Flavian family to which this cemetery belonged, Titus
Flavius Petron, an uncle of Vespasian. Her kinship with the apostle
must consequently be taken in a spiritual sense.

Towards the end of 1881 another remarkable discovery took place in
these catacombs: that of a cubiculum which in style of decoration is
unique. It looks more like the room of a Pompeian house than a
Christian crypt. Its architectural paintings with groups of frail
columns supporting fantastic friezes, and enclosing pastoral
landscapes, might be compared to the frescoes of the Golden House of
Nero, or those of the house of Germanicus on the Palatine; but they
find no parallel in "subterranean Rome."

The name of the owner of this conspicuous tomb is engraved above the
arcosolium: AMPLIATI. The size and the beauty of the letters, the
peculiarity of a single cognomen in a possessive case, the fact that a
man of inferior condition[160] should own such a tomb; that at a later
period, a staircase had been cut through the rock, to provide a direct
communication between the Via Ardeatina and the tomb, for the
accommodation of pilgrims; the care used to keep the tomb in good
order, as shown by later restorations,--all these circumstances make
us believe that Ampliatus was a prominent leader of our early
Christian community.

Such being the case, the mind runs at once to the paragraph of S.
Paul's Epistle to the Romans (xvi. 8): "Salute Ampliatus my beloved in
the Lord," and one feels inclined to kneel before the tomb of the dear
friend of the apostle. However, when discoveries of this kind happen,
it is wise to proceed with caution, and examine every detail from a
sceptical point of view. Doubtless the cubiculum of Ampliatus was made
and painted in the first century of our era. The type of the letters
engraved above the tomb is peculiar to painted or written inscriptions
of the beginning of the second century. It is possible, therefore,
that the name was at first painted on the white plaster, and engraved
on marble many years after the deposition of Ampliatus. As regards
Ampliatus himself, it is true that according to Greek tradition he
died when Bishop of Mœsia,[161] but the tradition is derived from
an apocryphal source. There are those who doubt whether all the
salutations contained in S. Paul's epistle are really addressed to the
faithful residing in Rome and belonging to the Roman community.[162]
Another difficulty arises from the fact that in the same cubiculum a
tombstone has been found, inserted in the wall above the arcosolium,
between two painted peacocks, with this inscription: "Aurelius
Ampliatus and his son Gordianus have placed this memorial to Aurelia
Bonifatia, wife and mother incomparable, and truly chaste, who lived
25 years, 2 months, 4 days, and 2 hours." Although the name Aurelius
is not uncommon on tombstones of the first century in this very
Cemetery of Domitilla, there is no doubt that the tablet of Aurelia
Bonifatia belongs to a later period. The name Bonifatius--derived from
_bonum fatum_, not from _bonum facere_ as commonly believed--did not
come into use before the middle of the second century. At all events,
Ampliatus, husband of Bonifatia and father of Gordianus, may be the
son, grandson, or even a later descendant of the man in whose memory
the cubiculum was originally built.

Shall we recognize in this man the friend of S. Paul? I do not think
the question can as yet be answered with certainty. Further
excavations in the galleries radiating from the crypt may disclose
fresh particulars, and supply more conclusive evidence.

The discoveries of which a summary description has here been given
deserve a place of honor in the comments to Suetonius' "Lives of the
Emperors." The exploration of underground Rome must be greeted with
pleasure, not only by the pious believers in Christ and his martyrs,
but also by agnostic students of classical history. A tombstone, which
on one side is inscribed with the records of the victories gained by
the imperial legions, on the other with the simple and humble name of
a Christian who has given his life for his faith, is a monument worthy
the consideration of all thoughtful men. Christian archæology has an
intimate and indissoluble connection with classical studies, and there
is no discovery referring to the first century of Christianity which
does not throw new and often unexpected light on general history, art,
and science. Those made at Torre Marancia in 1875 illustrate the
history of Rome and the Campagna, after the fall of the empire. In the
niche where the episcopal chair was placed,--behind the high altar, in
the middle of the apse,--a rough hand has sketched the figure of a
priest, dressed in a casula, in the act of preaching from his seat.
This sketch reminds us of Gregory the Great, when in this very
cemetery of Nereus and Achilleus, in this very apse, he read one of
his homilies from this episcopal chair, deploring to the
panic-stricken congregation the state of the city, the queen of the
world, desolated by famine, by pestilence, and by the Lombards, who at
that very moment were burning and plundering the villas and farms of
the surrounding Campagna.

CEMETERY AD CATACUMBAS.[163] The cemetery near the church of S.
Sebastiano was originally called in an indefinite way _cimiterium ad
catacumbas_. The etymology of the name is uncertain. De Rossi suggests
the roots _cata_, a Græco-Latin preposition of the decadence,
signifying "near," and _cumba_, a resting-place. The word would
therefore mean _apud accubitoria_, "near the resting-places," an
allusion to the many tombs which surrounded the old crypt above and
below ground. This crypt dates from apostolic times, or, at all
events, from a period much earlier than the martyrdom of Sebastian,
the Christian officer whose name it now bears.

The great interest of the cemetery is derived from the shelter which
the bodies of the apostles are said to have had in its recesses during
the fiercest times of persecution. The temporary transferment of the
remains of SS. Peter and Paul, from their graves on the Via Cornelia
and the Via Ostiensis, to the catacombs, is not a mere tradition. It
is described by Pope Damasus in a metric inscription published by de
Rossi,[164] and by Pope Gregory in an epistle to the empress
Constantina, no. 30 of book iv. A curious entry in the calendar called
_Bucherianum_, from its first editor, seems to point to a double
transferment. The entry is dated June 29, A. D. 258:--

_Tertio Kalendas Julias, Tusco et Basso consulibus, Petri in Vaticano,
Pauli in via Ostiensis--utriusque in Catacumbas._

Since, in early calendars, the date is only appended in case of
transferment of remains, archæologists have suggested the theory that
the bodies of the apostles may possibly have found shelter in the
catacombs of the Appian Way a second time, during the persecution of
Valerian (A. D. 258). Marchi asserts that the evidences of a double
concealment are still to be found in the frescoes of the crypt, some
of which belong to the first, others to the third, century; but this
hardly seems to be the case. I lowered myself into the hiding-place on
February 23 of the present year, and, after careful examination, have
come to the conclusion that its paintings are by one hand and of one
epoch, the epoch of Damasus. However, whether they were laid there
once or twice, its temporary connection with the apostles made the
"locus ad catacumbas" one of the great suburban sanctuaries. The
cubiculum, called Platonia, was decorated by Damasus with marble
incrustations. According to the Acts of S. Sebastian (January 20) he
expressed the wish to be buried "_ad catacumbas_, at the entrance of
the crypt, near the memorial of the apostles." These events were
represented in the frescoes of the old portico of S. Peter's,
destroyed in 1606-1607 by Paul V. One of them showed the bodies of
the apostles, bandaged like mummies, being lowered into the place of
concealment; the other, Lucina and Cornelius bringing back the bodies
to their original graves in the Via Cornelia and the Via Ostiensis.

A remarkable monument was discovered in the crypt four years ago. It
is a marble bust, or rather the fragment of a bust, of the Redeemer,
with locks of hair descending on each shoulder,[165] a work of the
fourth century.

It is well known that the oldest representations of the Redeemer are
purely ideal. He appears as a young man, with no beard, his hair
arranged in the Roman style, wearing a short tunic, and showing the
amiable countenance of the Good Shepherd. I give here a characteristic
specimen of this type, a statue of the first quarter of the third
century, now in the Lateran Museum.[166] Whether performing one of the
miracles which prove his divinity, or teaching the new doctrine to the
disciples, the type never varies. It is evident that the Christian
painters or sculptors of the first three centuries, in drawing or
modelling the head of Jesus, had no intention of making a likeness,
but only a conventional type, noble and classic, and suggestive of the
eternal youth of the Word. A new tendency appears in Christian art
towards the middle of the fourth century, the attempt to reproduce the
genuine portrait of Christ, or what was regarded as such by the
Orientals. The change was a consequence of the peace and freedom given
to the Church, and of the cessation of that overbearing contempt in
which the Gentiles had held a religion which they believed to be that
of the vile followers of a crucified Jew. It had been considered
prudent, at the outset, to present the Redeemer to the neophytes, who
were not yet entirely free from pagan ideas, in a type which was
familiar and pleasing to the Roman eye, rather than with the
characteristics of a despised race. The triumph of the Church made
these precautions unnecessary, and then arose the desire of exhibiting
a truer portraiture of Christ. The first addition to the conventional
type was that of the beard, and probably of the hair parted in the

[Illustration: The portrait head of Jesus in the Sancta Sanctorum.]


Ancient writers have left but little information about the personal
appearance of the Saviour; and the vagueness of their accounts proves
the absence of a type which was universally recognized as authentic.
Many documents concerning this subject must be rejected as forgeries
of a later age. Such is the pretended letter of Lentulus, governor of
Judæa, to the Senate, describing the appearance of Jesus. In the same
way we should regard the images attributed to Nicodemus and Luke, and
those called _acheiropitæ_ (not painted by human hands), like the
famous one of the chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum,[167] the first
historical mention of which dates from A. D. 752, when Pope Stephen
II. carried it in a procession from the Lateran to S. Maria Maggiore,
to obtain divine protection against Aistulphus. Garrucci questions
whether it may not be that of Camulianus, described by Gregory of
Nyssa; or a copy of the image alleged to have been sent by the Saviour
himself to Abgar, king of Edessa,[168] with an autograph letter. Must
we consider these and other portraits, like the "Volto Santo" in the
Vatican, as fanciful as the old youthful Roman type of the Good
Shepherd? There can be no doubt that in some provinces of the East,
like Palestine, Syria, and Phœnicia, the oral traditions about the
personal appearance of the Saviour were kept for many generations. It
is also probable that the tradition was confirmed by some work of art,
like the celebrated group of Paneas (Bâniâs). With regard to this,
Eusebius says that the woman with the issue of blood, grateful to the
Saviour for her cure (Mark v., 25-34), caused a statue, representing
Him in the act of performing the miracle, to be set up in front of her
house; that it still existed when he wrote, and was held in great
veneration throughout Palestine and the whole East. Sozomenos adds
that Julian the Apostate substituted his own statue for it, but that
the imperial image was struck by lightning. This excited the wrath of
the pagans to such an extent that they destroyed the group of Christ
and the Woman, which Julian had caused to be removed. Cassiodorus,
Rufinus, Kedrenos, and Malala, assert that the head was saved from
destruction. It has been suggested that the group did not represent
the woman at the feet of the Saviour, but a conquered province
kneeling before the Roman emperor and addressing him as her Saviour
(ΣΩΤΗΡΙ). But this explanation seems more ingenious than
probable, because it implies that Christians, Eusebius included, had
mistaken the portrait of a Roman conqueror for that of

Christ, which would have been so different in type, dress, and
attitude. At all events, the belief that the group of Bâniâs was a
genuine likeness was general in the fourth century. Eusebius
contributed to make it known in the Western world; and to this
diffusion we probably owe the second type of the Saviour's
physiognomy, the bearded face, the large impressive eyes, the hair
parted in the middle, and falling in locks on the shoulders.[169]

To this type belongs the bust discovered four years ago in the "locus
ad catacumbas." According to an ingenious hypothesis of Bottari,
adopted by de Rossi, the Paneas group is represented on the Lateran
sarcophagus, engraved by Roller in the second volume of his
"Catacombs," plate 58.

[Illustration: Landslip in the Cemetery of Cyriaca.]

THE CEMETERY OF CYRIACA. This, the principal cemetery of the Via
Tiburtina, was excavated in the hill above the basilica of S. Lorenzo
fuori le Mura. It is the one with which I have had most to do, because
the building of the new Camposanto, together with the sinking of the
foundations of the new tombs, has been the occasion of frequent
discoveries. One of the characteristic features of Cyriaca's cemetery
is the large number of military inscriptions from the prætorian camp
which were used to close the graves, the name of the deceased
Christian being engraved on the blank side of the slab. On December
23, 1876, a landslide of considerable extent took place along the
southern face of the rock in which the catacombs are excavated, in
consequence of which many loculi, arcosolia, and painted cubicula were
laid open. I happened to witness the accident, and was able to direct
the exploration of the graves. Among the objects discovered, I
remember a pair of silver earrings, a necklace of gold and emeralds,
sixteen inches long, clay objects of various kinds, gladiatorial and
theatrical lamps, and nine Christian tombstones. One of them was
engraved on the back of a slab from the prætorian camp, containing the
roster of one hundred and fifty soldiers from the twelfth and
fourteenth city cohorts (_cohortes urbanæ_). Each individual has his
prænomen, nomen, and cognomen, carefully indicated, together with the
names of his father, tribe, and country. The men are grouped in
companies, which are indicated by the name of their captains, such as
the "company of Marcellus" or the "company of Tranquillinus," with the
consular date of the year in which Marcellus and Tranquillinus were
in command of that company. Another part of the same roster, engraved
on a slab of the same marble and size, and containing many more names,
was found a century and a half ago in the same place, and removed to
the Vatican Museum.

One of the tombs, discovered during the following January, seems to
have belonged to a lady of rank. A gold necklace and a pair of opal
earrings were found in the earth which filled the grave. Relatives or
friends of the occupants of the cubiculum had written on the plaster
words of affection and devotion, such as "Gaianus, live in Christ with
Procula;" "Semplicius, live in Christ."

It is to be regretted that, in order to make room for the daily
victims of death, the municipality of Rome should be obliged to turn
out of their graves the faithful of the third and fourth centuries who
were buried in the neighborhood of S. Lorenzo. In 1876 I witnessed the
discovery of a section of the old cemetery at the foot of the hill of
Cyriaca. The tombs were mostly sarcophagi, with reliefs, the subjects
of which are taken from the Bible. One of them, carved in the rude but
pathetic style of the fifth century, represents the crossing of the
Red Sea, and the Egyptian hosts, led by Pharaoh, following closely on
the Jews. The waves are closing over the persecutors, just as the last
of the fugitives emerges safely on the land. The "column of fire" is
represented, according to the Vitruvian rules, with base and capital;
and the costumes of the warriors of the Nile are those of Roman
_gregarii_, or privates, under Constantine. Another sarcophagus shows
the Virgin Mary, with the infant Saviour in her arms, receiving the
offering of the Eastern kings. A third represents a sort of pageant of
court dignitaries of one of the Valentinians. Besides these and many
other pieces of sculpture seventy-two inscriptions or fragments of
inscriptions were dug up, mostly from the pavement of a ruined chapel,
one of the seven by which the basilica of S. Lorenzo was surrounded in
ancient times.

[Illustration: Inscription from the tombstone of a dentist.]

[Illustration: Inscription from the grave of Alexander, a dentist.]

[Illustration: Surgeon's instruments; relief on a tombstone.]

Another inscription, discovered in 1864, deserves attention on account
of the instruments which are engraved upon it. It is a fragment from
the tomb of a dentist named Victorinus, or Celerinus, with the
representation of the instruments he used in extracting teeth. Such
representations are by no means rare on gravestones. The other two
specimens reproduced here are also from the catacombs. Alexander was a
dentist; the unknown owner of the other slab was a general surgeon,
yet the symbol of dentistry occupies the prominent place in his
display of tools. In my experience of Roman or Latin excavations, in
which thousands of tombs have been brought to light, I have hardly
ever met with a skull the teeth of which showed symptoms of decay, or
evidence of having been operated upon by a professional hand.
Specimens of filling are even more rare than those of gold plating. Of
this latter process we have now a beautiful sample in a skull
discovered in the excavations of Faleria, and exhibited in the
Faliscan Museum at the Villa Giulia, outside the Porta del Popolo. The
gold socket or plating of three molar teeth is still in excellent
condition. And here I may recall the ancient law, mentioned by Cicero
(De Leg. ii. 24), which made it illegal to bury a body with gold,
except such as had been used in fastening the teeth.

THE CEMETERY AD DUAS LAUROS (of SS. Peter and Marcellinus).[170] To
the left of the second milestone of the Via Labicana there was an
imperial villa, named _ad Duas Lauros_ (the two laurels), where the
empress Helena was buried by Constantine, and Valentinian III. was
murdered when playing with other youths, in 455. Adjoining the tomb of
the empress, which was described in chapter iv., pp. 197 sq., were two
cemeteries,--one above ground, belonging to the "Equites Singulares,"
or body guards; the other, below. The latter was the largest of the
Via Labicana, and was known in early Church annals under the same name
as the imperial villa. In 1880-82 a third and deeper network of
galleries was excavated for the sake of extracting the pozzolana, the
beds of which support the tufa and the catacombs excavated in it. Some
damage was done to the tombs, but the Italian proverb _Non tutto il
male viene per nuocere_ proved true once more on this occasion. The
excavation of the catacombs, which is generally a difficult and
costly work, and sometimes impossible, when the owner of the ground
above them objects to this form of trespassing on his estate, here
became an easy matter, the earth being simply thrown into the sandpits
from the catacombs above. The discoveries made on this occasion, added
to the descriptions and drawings left by former explorers, give us a
thorough knowledge of these labyrinths. The impression which they make
at first is rather poor; but this is due chiefly to the ravages
committed by early explorers.

The inscriptions are few and not particularly interesting, excepting
one, which was discovered in 1873, and is written in excellent style:
"Aurelius Theophilus, a citizen of Carrhæ, a man of pure mind and
great innocence, at the age of twenty-three has rendered his soul to
God, his body to the earth." His native city, the Haran, or Charan of
the Bible, where Abraham lived, is known in Church annals as one of
the strongholds of paganism in Mesopotamia. When Julian the Apostate
led the Roman armies against the Persians, in 362, he halted for some
time at Carrhæ, to perform impious and cruel sacrifices in the
sanctuary of Luno. A description of the crime is given by Theodoretus
in Book III. ch. xxvi. At that time Carrhæ, in spite of its devotion
to the old religion, had a bishop named Vitus, who died in 381, and
was succeeded by Protogenes. According to Theodoretus, he succeeded in
"cultivating that wild field which had been covered with idolatrous
thorns." Aurelius Theophilus was probably a contemporary of these
events, as the inscription on his tombstone belongs undoubtedly to the
end of the fourth century. There are also a few inscriptions scratched
on plaster, by pilgrims who visited the three historical crypts of
Marcellinus and Peter, Gorgonius, and Tiburtius. To save devout
visitors the trouble and danger of crossing the labyrinths, each of
these crypts was made accessible directly from the ground above by
means of a staircase. The _graffiti_ are found mostly on the sides or
at the foot of these staircases, or else on the door-posts of the
crypts themselves.

The historical and religious associations of this catacomb are summed
up and illustrated in a beautiful picture representing the Saviour
with S. Paul on his right and S. Peter on his left: and, on a line
below, the four martyrs who were buried in the cemetery, Gorgonius,
Peter, Marcellinus, and Tiburtius, pointing with their right hands to
the Divine Lamb on the mountain. The heads of the two apostles are
particularly fine, and the shape of their beards most characteristic.
This well-known fresco, preserved in cubiculum no. 25 of Bosio's plan,
was discovered in 1851 by de Rossi, in a curious manner. Having
obtained from padre Marchi permission to carry the excavations towards
the cubiculum, and finding that the work proceeded too slowly for his
impatience, he crept on his hands and feet for fifty yards along the
narrow gap between the ceiling of the galleries and the earth with
which they were filled, and reached the cubiculum nearly suffocated.
Here, by means of a skylight which was not obstructed by rubbish, he
found that the place was used as a deposit for carrion, as the
half-putrefied carcass of a bull was lying under the famous fresco.

Many cubiculi were painted by one artist, whose power of invention was
rather restricted. He has but two subjects: the story of Jonah, and
the Symbolic Supper. Of this last there are four representations, all
reproduced from the same pattern, of which I give an example. A family
consisting of father, mother, and children, are sitting around a
table, upon which the ἰχθὑς or fish is served; the banquet
is presided over by two mystic figures, Irene or Peace on the left,
Agape or Love on the right. The head of the family addresses Peace
with these words: "Irene, da calda!" and Love, "Agape, misce mi!" The
last words are easily understood: "Give me to drink," the verb
_mescere_ being still used in the same sense in Tuscany, where a
wine-shop is sometimes called a _mescita di vino_. The meaning of the
word _calda_ is not certain. There is no doubt, as Bötticher says,
that the ancients had something to correspond to our tea: but the
_calda_ seems to have been more than an infusion; apparently it was a
mixture of hot water, wine, and drugs, that is, a sort of punch, which
was drunk mostly in winter.[171] The names written in charcoal above
the principal inscriptions in this illustration are those of Pomponio
Leto and his academicians.[172]

[Illustration: The Symbolic Supper.]

Another artist distinguished himself in these catacombs, not from
skill in design and color, but from the beautiful subjects chosen by
him for the decoration of the walls and ceilings of three
cubiculi,--compositions which may be called "The Gospel Illustrated."
They have been admirably described and reproduced by photographs and
in outline by monsignore Joseph Wilpert, in his book referred to in
the note on page 354. The intuition of this learned man in detecting
paintings which have been effaced by age, dampness, and smoke is fully
appreciated by students of Christian archæology: but on this occasion
he accomplished a real _tour de force_. When, on December 19, I
entered the cubiculum no. 54, in which the paintings are, and he began
to point out to me outlines of figures and objects, I thought he was
laboring under an optical delusion; I could see nothing beyond a
blackened and mouldy plaster surface. My eyes, however, soon became
initiated to the new experience, and able to read the lines of this
curious palimpsest. The dark spots soon grew into shape, and lovely
groups, inspired by the purest Christian symbolism, appeared on the
walls. There are thirteen pictures, representing the following-named
subjects: the annunciation, the three magi following the star (which
is shaped like the monogram [Symbol: Chi Rho]), their adoration at
Bethlehem, the baptism of our Lord, the last judgment, the healing of
the blind, the crippled, and the woman with the issue of blood, the
woman of Samaria, the Good Shepherd (twice), the Orantes (twice).

The catacombs of SS. Peter and Marcellinus have another attraction for
students. Poor as they are in epitaphs and works of art, they contain
hundreds of names of celebrated humanists, archæologists, and artists
who explored these depths in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,
and made record of their visits. When one walks between two lines of
graves, in the almost oppressive stillness of the cemetery, with no
other company than one's thoughts, the names of Pomponius Letus and
his academicians, of Bosio, Panvinio, Avanzini, Severano, Marangoni,
Marchi, and d'Agincourt, written in bold letters, give the lonely
wanderer the impression of meeting living and dear friends; and one
wonders at the great love which these pioneers of "humanism" must have
had for antiquities, to have spent days and days, and to have held
their conferences and banquets, in places like these.

In chapter i., page 10, of "Ancient Rome," I mentioned Pomponio's
Academy, and its visits to the crypts of Callixtus. Since the
publication of my book, the subject has been investigated again and
illustrated by Giacomo Lombroso[173] and de Rossi.[174] It appears
that after the trial which the Academicians underwent at the time of
Paul II., and their unexpected liberation from the Castle of S.
Angelo, they decided to turn over a new leaf. From a fraternity which
was pagan in manners and instincts, which had made itself conspicuous
by the use of profane language, and by the celebration of profane
meetings over the tombs of the martyrs, they became the "Societas
literatorum S. Victoris et sociorum in Esquiliis," a literary society
under the patronage of S. Victor and his companion saints, namely,
Fortunatus and Genesius. Their _pontifex maximus_ became a president;
their _sacerdos_ a priest, whose duty it was to say mass on certain
anniversaries. The most important celebration fell, as before, on
April 21, the birthday of Rome. We have a description by an
eye-witness, Jacopo Volaterrano, of that which took place in 1483: "On
the Esquiline,[175] near the house of Pomponius, the society of
literary men has celebrated the birthday of Rome. Divine service was
performed by Peter Demetrius of Lucca; Paul Marsus delivered the
oration. The dinner was served in the hall adjoining the chapel of S.
Salvatore de Cornutis," etc. In 1501, after the death of Pomponius,
the anniversary meetings were held on the Capitol; the solemn mass was
sung in the church of the Aracœli, while the banquet took place in
the Palazzo dei Conservatori. The convivial feast of 1501 was not a
success. Burckhardt describes it as _satis feriale et sine bono vino_
(commonplace and with no good wine).

Was the conversion of the Academicians a sincere one? We believe it
was not; they manifested under Sixtus V. the same feelings which had
brought them to justice under Paul II.

In the calendars of the Church of Rome only one name is registered on
April 21, that of Pope Victor. His alleged companions, Fortunatus and
Genesius, were singled out of old, disused calendars of the church of
Africa, unknown to the Latins. Why did the academicians select such
enigmatic and obscure protectors? The reason is evident. Genesius was
chosen because his name suggested an allusion to the _genesis_
(_natalis_) or birthday of Rome; Victor and Fortunatus, likewise, were
considered names of good omen, with a suggestion of the Victory and
Fortune who presided over the destinies of ancient Rome.

Under the protection of these alleged saints, Pomponius and his
friends worshipped, and celebrated the birthday of Rome, and the
goddesses connected with the city.[176]

This state of things did not wholly escape the attention of
contemporary observers. One of them, Raffaele Volaterrano, expressly
says: "Pomponius Lætus worshipped Romulus and kept the birthday of
Rome; the beginning of a campaign against religion (_initium abolendæ

The Roman academy found the means of keeping faithful to its
traditions, and to the spirit of its institutions, in spite of the
reform of its statutes. Victor, Fortunatus, Genesius, in whose honor
divine service was performed on April 20, did not represent to the
initiated the saints of the Church, but the fortunes of ancient Rome,
its founder, the _Paliliæ_. Still, we are not yet able to discover
whether all this was done simply out of love and admiration for the
ancient world, under the influence of the Renaissance of classical
studies; or from hatred and contempt of Christian faith: _initium
abolendæ fidei_.



[141] Principal authorities:--Philip de Winghe: _Cod. biblioth.
Bruxell_. 17872.--Panvinius: _De Cœmeteriis Urbis Romæ_. Rome,
1568.--Antonio Bosio: _Roma sotterranea_; opera postuma. Roma,
1632-34.--Paolo Aringhi: _Roma subterranea novissima._ Roma, 1651 fol.
Cologne, 1659 fol.--M. A. Boldetti: _Osservazioni sopra i cimiteri de'
SS. martiri._ Roma, Salvioni, 1720.--Giovanni Bottari: _Sculture e
pitture estratte dai cimiteri di Roma._ 3 vol. Roma, 1737-54.--Filippo
Buonarroti: _Vasi antichi di vetro ornati di figure_, etc. Firenze,
1716, 4.--Raoul Rochette: _Le catacombe di Roma._ Milano,
1841.--Giuseppe Marchi: _Monumenti delle arti cristiane primitive._
Roma, Puccinelli, 1844.--Raffaele Garrucci: _Storia dell' arte
cristiana._ Roma: 6 vol. fol.; _Vetri ornati di figure in oro, trovati
nei cimiteri dei Cristiani._ Rome, Salviucci, 1858.--Louis Perret:
_Les catacombes de Rome_, etc. 6 vol. fol. Paris, 1852-1856.--De
Rossi: _Roma sotterranea cristiana._ 3 vol. fol. Roma, Salviucci,
1864; _Inscriptiones Christianæ Urbis Romæ._ 2 vol. fol. Rome,
1861-1887; _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana._ Roma, Salviucci,
1863-1891.--Northcote and Brownlow: _Roma sotterranea._ 2 volumes 8vo,
2d ed. London, Longmans, 1878.--Northcote: _Epitaphs of the
Catacombs._ London, Longmans, 1878.--Henry Parker: _The Catacombs of
Rome._ Oxford, Parker, 1877.

[142] See _Cod. Theodos._ ix. 17, 2.

[143] On the subject of the Jewish colony in Rome, see:--Emmanuel
Rodocanachi: _Le saint-siège et les Juifs: le Ghetto a Rome._ Paris,
Didot, 1891.--A. Bertolotti: _Les Juifs à Rome._ Revue des études
juives, 1881, fasc. 4.--Raffaele Garrucci: _Cimiterio degli antichi
Ebrei._ Roma, 1862.--Pietro Manfrin: _Gli Ebrei sotto la dominazione
romana._ Roma, 1888-1890.--Ettore Natali: _Il Ghetto di Roma._ Roma,
1887.--Perreau: _Education et culture des Israelites en Italie au
moyen âge._ Corfou, 1885.

[144] This "poster," painted in red letters, which is now in the Museo
Nazionale, Naples, was published by Zangemeister in vol. iv., p. 13,
n. 117, of the _Corpus inscriptionum latinarum._--Prof. Mommsen, in
the _Rheinisches Museum_, xix. (1864), p. 456, contradicts the opinion
of de Rossi as regards the religious persuasion of this Fabius Eupor
(_Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1864, pp. 70, 92).

[145] See Champagny: _Rome et la Judée_, p. 31, of the first edition.

[146] See Suetonius, _Domitian_, chap. 92; Dion Cassius, lxvii. 13.

[147] See Pliny, _Epistolæ_, x. 67.

[148] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1868, p. 19.

[149] See _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1867, p. 76.

[150] See _Atti dell' Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei_, sessione 6 maggio,

[151] _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1863, p. 75.

[152] ... passim corpora condens Plurima sanctorum subter hæc mœnia

[153] The attention of learned men had been directed towards Christian
underground Rome just ten years before this event, by the publication
of Panvinio's pamphlet _De cæmeteriis urbis Romæ_, 1566.

[154] _Ad ann. 575_; 130, 226.

[155] See _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1865, p. 36.

[156] See Fea: _Miscellanea_, vol. i., pp. 238, 245, etc.

[157] It is now in the Vatican Library. A good engraving is to be
found in Buonarroti's _Osservazioni sui medaglioni_, p. 497.

[158] _Historiar._, iii. 65.

[159] _Historiæ_, iii. 65.

[160] The name Ampliatus belongs to servants and freedmen; it was
never used by men of rank, whether pagans or Christians.

[161] Baronius _ad Martyr_. 31 October.

[162] See Renan's _St. Paul_, lxvii.

[163] Orazio Marucchi: _Di un ipogeo scoperto nel cimitero di S.
Sebastiano._ Roma, 1879; _Un antico busto del Salvatore, etc._, in the
_Mélanges de l'Ecole française_, 1888, p. 403.--Pietro d' Achille: _Il
sepolcro di S. Pietro._ Roma, 1867.--Giovanni B. Lugari: _Le catacombe
ossia il sepolcro apostolico dell' Appia._ Roma, 1888.--De Rossi:
_Roma sotterranea cristiana_, vol. iii., p. 427; _Il sepolcro degli
Uranii cristiani a S. Sebastiano_, in the _Bullettino di archeologia
cristiana_, 1886, p. 24.--Pietro Marchi: _Monumenti primitivi delle
arti cristiane_, p. 212, tav. xxxix-xli.

[164] _Inscriptiones Christianæ_, vol. ii. 32, 77.

[165] Represented in plate ix. of the _Mélanges de l'Ecole française
de Rome_, 1888.

[166] This is also illustrated by Martigny: _Dictionnaire_, 2d ed. p.
586.--Kraus: _Realencyclopädie_, ii. p. 580.--Northcote and Brownlow:
_Roma Sotterranea._ London, 1879. (ii. p. 29.)--Roller: _Catacombes_,
planche i., xl. n. 2.--Garrucci: _Arte cristiana_, tav. 428,
5.--Duchesne: _Bullettino critique_, Décembre, 1882, p. 288.--De
Rossi: _Bullettino comunale_, 1889, p. 131, tav. v., vi.

[167] See:--Giovanni Marangoni: _Istoria dell' oratorio appellato
Sancta Sanctorum._ Roma, 1747.--Gaspare Bambi: _Memorie sacre della
cappella di Sancta Sanctorum._ Roma, 1775.--Giuseppe Soresini: _Dell'
immagine del SS. Salvatore ad Sancta Sanctorum._ Roma,
1675.--Benedetto Millini: _Oratorio di S. Lorenzo ad Sancta
Sanctorum._ Roma, 1616.--Raffaele Garrucci: _Storia dell' arte
cristiana_, vol. i. p. 408.--Rohault de Fleury: _Le Latran_.

[168] A pious but unfounded tradition identifies this picture of
Edessa with the one preserved in Genoa, in the church of S. Bartolomeo
degli Armeni.

[169] On the subject of the Paneas group see:--André Peraté: _Note sur
le groupe de Paneas_, in _Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome_,
1885, p. 302.--Raoul-Rochette: _Discours sur les types imitatifs qui
constituent l'art du Christianisme_, 1834.--Bayet: _Recherches pour
servir à l'histoire de la peinture en Orient_, p. 29.--Orazio
Marucchi: _Di un busto del Salvatore_, etc., in the _Mélanges_, 1888,
p. 403.--Eusebius: H. E. VII., 185, edition Teubner, p. 315.--Grimouard
de St. Laurent: _Guide de l'art Chrétien_, ii. p. 215.

[170] See:--Bossio: _Roma sotterranea_, p. 591, D.--Bruder: _Die
heiligen Martyren Marcellinus und Petrus_. Mainz, 1878.--De Rossi:
_Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_. 1882, p. 111.--Wilpert: _Ein
Cyclus christologischer Gemälde aus der Katacombe der heiligen Petrus
und Marcellinus_. Freiburg, 1891.

[171] See Becker: _Gallus_, p. 4.

[172] See _Ancient Rome_, p. 10.

[173] Giacomo Lombroso: _Gli accademici nelle catacombe_, in the
_Archivio della società romana di storia patria_, 1889, p. 219.

[174] _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1890, p. 81.--See also:
de Nollae: _Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome_, 1866, p. 165.

[175] The house of Pomponius and the seat of the Academy was not on
the Esquiline, but on the Quirinal, on the area of the Baths of
Constantine, opposite the gate of the Colonna Gardens. The mistake in
the name of the hill must be attributed to Pomponius himself, who had
written on the door of the house:--POMPONI · LÆTI · ET · SOCIETATIS ·
ESCVVILINAI. After the reform of the statutes, another sign, less
classic in style, was put up:

[176] The Temple of Fortune in Rome was dedicated on this very day.
See Mommsen, in the _Corpus inscriptionum latinarum_, vol. i. p. 392.





(_See Chapter II., pp. 73-82_)








For the names of individual arches, basilicas, catacombs, churches,
forums, palaces, piazzas, statues, streets, temples, tombs, and
villas, see the headings, _Arch, Basilica, Catacombs, Churches_, etc.

Academy of Pomponio, 359.

Achilleus, martyr, bas-relief representing his execution, 339 (cut).

Acilii Glabriones. See _Glabriones_.

Ærarium Saturni, 163.

Agapæ, 42, 336.

Ager Fonteianus, 270.

Agrippa, M., 79, 82, 99;
  edifices due to, 176.

Agrippina, fate of her pedestal once in the ustrinum, 183, 184 (cut);
  her death, 183.

Aius Locutius, 72.

Albanum, amphitheatre of, 6.

Alexamenos, 12.

Alexander VII., Pope, 36.

Altars, ancient, 33;
  their usual form, 67.
  See also _Aræ_.

---- of Aius Locutius, 71, 72 (cut);
  ---- of Dis and Proserpina, 73;
       its foundation, 74;
       its discovery, 76 (cut);
       its shape and surroundings, 77;
  ---- of Hercules, 59;
  ---- Incendii Neroniani, 83;
  ---- Maxima Herculis, 69;
  ---- of Mercurius Sobrius, 34 (cut);
  ---- Pacis Augustæ, 82, 83 (cut);
  ---- Roma Quadrata, 70;
  ---- of Vedjovis, at Bovillæ, 68;
  ---- of Verminus, 68.

Amasis, King, sphinx of, 94 (cut).

Ambrose, S., 43.

Amphitheatre at Albanum, 6.

Ampliatus, his tomb, 342;
  possibly the friend of S. Paul, 343.

Anagni, basilica of, 25.

Anastasius IV., Pope, his sarcophagus, 197.

Ancyra, Augusteum at, 173.

Anisson, Charles d', 36.

Annius, a maker of lamps, in Ostia, 17.

Annona, 27.

Antinous, statue of, 240, 241 (cut).

Apollo, in Christian art, 25.

Appian Way. See _Via Appia_.

Aqueduct of Damasus, 121.

Aquila and Prisca, 110;
  their house and oratory, 111, 126.

Aræ compitales, 33. See _Altars_.

Arch of Claudius, 99;
  of Constantine, 101;
  testimony of its inscription to the position of Christianity,
    20 (plate);
  of Marcus Aurelius, panel, 90 (plate).

Arco di S. Lazaro, 181.

Argeorum sacraria, 33.

Artemisium Nemorense, 59.

Arx, 85.

Athens, Acropolis, probable origin of the gold found here by Herodes
  Atticus, 289.

Atrium sutorium, 275.

Atticus, Herodes, bibliography, 288 n.;
  his father's discovery of riches, 288;
  his liberality and public spirit, 289;
  the buildings erected in memory of his wife, 290.

Atticus, Pomponius, house of, 191.

Atys, 27.

Augustea, 173.

Augustine, S., his pupil Licentius, 14;
  on eating and drinking in honor of martyrs, 43;
  on the celebration of S. Peter's day, 44.

Augustus, Emperor, strenæ calendariæ offered to, 34;
  offerings in the temple of Concord, 54;
  his house, 71 n.;
  celebrates the Secular games, 79;
  dedicates an altar to Peace on the Campus Martius, 82;
  death and funeral, 168;
  resolutions in the senate, 169;
  mausoleum, 172;
  his _Res gestæ_, 172;
  his army, 174;
  his liberalities, 175;
  public improvements in his time, 176;
  his mausoleum destroyed, 179;
  other members of the imperial family buried here, 182.

Banqueting-halls, 42.

Basilica, origin of its plan in that of the private house, 114 (cut);
  its form derived from the schola, 118.

---- of Constantine, 162;
  Julia, 163;
  of Junius Bassus, 28;
  of Nereus, Achilleus and Petronilla, 338 (cut).

Bassus, Junius, basilica of, 28.

Bassus, Pomponius, 192.

Baths, in connection with Christian churches, 37;
  of Diocletian, 38, 48, 74.

Bayazid, his gift of the holy lance, 243.

Beatrix, martyr, 333;
  the name corrupted from Viatrix, 334 (cut).

Belloni, Paolo, 151.

Benedict VII., Pope, tomb, 234.

Benedict XII., Pope, 138.

Benedict XIV., Pope, 37.

Bernini, influence of his school, 250.

Bidentalia, 106.

Biga, in the Vatican, 27.

Bologna, monumental crosses, 35.

Boniface I., Pope, 319.

Bonifatius, origin of the name, 344.

Bosio, Ant., investigator of the Catacombs, 329.

Bovillæ, altar to Vedjovis, 68.

Bridge of Caligula, 101.

Brattius Præsens, 10.

Burial, rights of, accorded the Christians, 119;
  more common than cremation in prehistoric times, 253;
  early burial in the trunks of trees, 254;
  clay coffins in the same form, 254;
  difficulties encountered by the Christians, 308;
  within the city walls, 325.

Burial companies, 258.

Byzantine princes, their images in Rome, 162.

Cæcilia, S., her tomb discovered by Pope Paschal I., 326.

Cæpio, Aulus Crispinius, his tomb, 267.

Cæsar, Caius, beloved by Augustus, 184.

Cæsar, Julius, his offerings in the temple of Concord, 54.

Caffarella, Valle della, 286.

Calda, 357.

Caligarii, 274.

Caligula, his bridge, so-called, 101;
  places his mother's ashes in the mausoleum, 184.

Callixtus, death, 220.

----, Catacombs of. See _Catacombs_.

Calpurnii, their tomb, 276;
  their history, 277.

Cambyses, conquest of Egypt, 94.

Camillus, capture of Veii, 64.

Campagna, 286 (plate).

Campo dell' Augusta, 179.

Campus Esquilinus, 256.

Campus Martius, 74;
  early excavations in, 98.

Candelabrum, in church of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, 26 (cut);
  in Church of S. Paolo, 239 (cut).

Canevari, Ant., 159.

Canova, his tomb of Clement XIII., 250.

Capitoline games, 281.

Capitoline Hill, 85;
  the western summit, 86 (plate).

Capitoline museum, 15, 42, 59, 70, 93, 106, 190, 255, 290 n.
  See, also, _dei Conservatori_, under _Palaces_.

Capitolium. See _Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus_.

Caracalla, 12.

Carrhæ, 355.

Carthage, excitement against the Christians in, 318.

Castel S. Angelo, 234.

  Crypt of the Acilii Glabriones, 4;
  its devastation in the 17th cent., 8;
  burial of Christian martyrs, 119;
  injury occasioned by the building of churches over the tombs of
    martyrs, 122;
  preferred by the early Christians to open-air cemeteries, 308;
  their development in the 2d century, 317;
  the names given them, 317;
  their secret entrances, 318;
  not habitable, 319;
  their extent, 319;
  compared to the tombs of the kings at Thebes, 321;
  their use declined in the 4th century, 321;
  pillaged by the Goths, 324;
  restored by Pope Vigilius, 325;
  unmentioned by later Church annals, 327;
  discovered in 1578, 328;
  their wholesale pillage, 329;
  the treasures found in them, 331;
  the number of the Catacombs, 332.

---- of Callixtus, 50, 117, 216, 219, 339;
  ---- ad Catacumbas or of S. Sebastiano, 345;
  the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul concealed here, 346;
  ---- of Cyriaca, 350;
  ---- of Domitilla, 335;
  the Flavian crypt, 316 (cut), 330, 336;
  the basilica of Nereus and Achilleus, 338;
  the tomb of Ampliatus, 342;
  ---- ad Duas Lauros, or of SS. Peter and Marcellinus, 354;
  a fresco of the Saviour with SS. Paul and Peter, 356;
  relics of Renaissance humanists, 358;
  ---- of Generosa, 332;
  ---- of Pontianus, 221;
  ---- of Prætextatus, the cubiculum of S. Januarius, 322 (cut);
  ---- of Priscilla (map), 7, 23, 42, 111, 221;
  ---- of the Via Salaria, 285.

Catacumba, derivation of the word, 345.

Caves for burial on the Viminal and Esquiline, 255.

Ceadwalla, King, baptism and death, 231;
  tomb, 232.

Celibacy discouraged, 80.

Cellæ, 42.

Cellini, Benvenuto, the cause of his imprisonment, 247.

Cemeteries, pagan, 253-305;
  prehistoric cemeteries of the Viminal and the Esquiline, 254, 255;
  extensive cemeteries along the high roads, 260;
  on the Via Aurelia, 262;
  on the Via Triumphalis, 270;
  on the Via Salaria, 275;
  buried under twenty-five feet of earth, 284;
  on the Via Appia, 286;
  Christian cemeteries, 306-361;
  under the authority of the pontiffs, 307;
  underground cemeteries preferred by the early Christians, 308;
  their use revives after Constantine, 321, 323;
  at Concordia Sagittaria, 323, 324 (plate);
  suburban cemeteries abandoned on account of insecurity, 325.
  See also, _Catacombs_; _Columbaria_; _Tombs_; _Ustrinum_.

Chartres, cathedral, labyrinth, 31.

Christ, type of the early representations of, 347, 348 (cut and plate);
  early traditions of his appearance, 349.

Christian archæology, dates from the discovery of the Catacombs, 329.

Christian art, adoption of pagan symbolism, 23.

Christianity, early patrician converts in Rome, 2;
  attitude of the government toward, 11;
  evidence of the _graffiti_ on, 12;
  difficulties and inconstancy of Christian converts, 14;
  mixed marriages, 15;
  friendly relations between pagans and Christians, 16;
  military service under the Empire, 18;
  the gradual change under Constantine, 20;
  spread of Christianity under Gregory the Great, 228;
  the persecutions under Nero and later emperors, 312.
  See also _Church_; _Churches_; _Martyrs_.

Christians, at first identified with the Jews by the Romans, 310.

Church, adoption of pagan rites and customs, 23;
  love-feasts, 42;
  public granaries, 44;
  flower festivals, 49;
  its simple origin, 109;
  adopted the institution of funeral colleges from the pagans, 117.

Churches, objects of pagan art preserved in, 23, 26;
  pagan decorations not destroyed, 28;
  private contributions to the decoration of churches, 30;
  labyrinths in the pavements, 31;
  bathing accommodations, 37;
  sets of weights and measures in, 39, 41;
  the great number and variety of churches, 108;
  the names of churches, 109;
  private oratories, 109;
  the steps of the transition from private halls to regular churches, 114;
  the schola as a predecessor of the Christian church, 116;
  churches built over the tombs of martyrs and confessors, 119;
  frequently sunk in the ground, 120;
  those connected with the houses of confessors and martyrs, 158;
  those formed from pagan monuments, 160.

  S. Adriano, 48.
  S. Andrea, decorations, 28 (cut).
  S. Andrea del Noviziato, 83.
  S. Andrea al Quirinale, 84.
  S. Antonio, 30.
  S. Antonio all' Esquilino, 36.
  SS. Apostoli, 38.
  Aracœli, 85, 360;
    figures of Augustus and the Sibyl, 24;
    altar previously dedicated to Isis, 27.
  S. Biviana, 333.
  S. Cæcilia, kantharos in its court, 38, 39 (cut);
    bodies of martyrs transferred to it, 326.
  S. Cesareo, 36.
  S. Cesareus de Palatio, 162.
  Chapel of the Crucifixion, 127.
  S. Clemente, fresco, 32 (plate).
  S. Cosimato in Trastevere, 38.
  SS. Cosma e Damiano, 28 (cut), 162.
  S. Croce in Gerusalemme, 234.
  S. Croce a Monte Mario, 166.
  Demetrias, 116.
  S. Felicitas, 221.
  S. Francesca Romana, discovery of the body of a girl, 299.
  S. Francesco a Ripa, 36.
  S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, 81.
  S. Giovanni in Laterano, 109, 236;
    the cloisters as now restored, 238 (plate).
  SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 158;
    the tomb of Card. Luke, 159;
    the garden, 160.
  S. Hermes, 120.
  Lateran basilica, 109,
  S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 164.
  S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, 32, 36, 121, 135 (cut), 221;
    sarcophagus of Licentius, 14;
    chapel of SS. Abundius and Irenæus, 41;
    the large number of tombs, 323, 350.
  S. Marcello, 180.
  S. Maria Antiqua, 3.
  S. Maria in Cosmedin, 32.
  S. Maria de Foro, 163.
  S. Maria Liberatrice, 92, 102.
  S. Maria Maggiore, 32, 36, 136.
  S. Maria Nova, 161;
    discovery of the body of a girl, 295.
  S. Maria della Pace, 25, 89.
  S. Maria del Popolo, 189.
  S. Maria de Porticù, 32.
  S. Maria in Trastevere, 27, 31, 330;
    ponderaria, 41.
  S. Martina, bas-relief, 30 (plate), 48.
  S. Martino, 38.
  S. Menna, 156.
  S. Michele in Borgo, 27.
  SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, 36;
    candelabrum, 26 (cut).
  S. Nicola in Carcere, 5.
  Oratorium Sanctæ Crucis, 163;
    a new chapel built in 1470, 166.
  S. Pancrazio, 36, 37.
  S. Paolo fuori le Mura, 27, 38;
    the plans of the original and later structures compared, 150 (plate);
    its size and plan limited by its position, 151;
    its destruction in 1823, 152 (cut);
    its exposed situation, 153;
    fortified by John VIII., 154;
    the quadri-portico, 155;
    the grave of S. Paul, 157;
    the portraits of the Popes, 210;
    a candelabrum, 239 (cut);
    the large number of tombs about it, 323.
  S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane, 156;
    mosaics, 25 (cut).
  S. Peter's, 25, 84, 103, 271;
    its early system of drainage, 121;
    the abundant literature of the subject, 122;
    plan of the old church, 128 (plate);
    Constantine's basilica, 132;
    plan of the graves of Peter and others, 132 (plate);
    the Colonna Santa, 133 (cut);
    the nave in 1588, 134 (cut), 146 (plate);
    the doors of the atrium, 134;
    the fountain in the atrium, 135, 136 (cut);
    the tomb of Otho II., 136;
    the doors of the church, 137;
    the interior and roof, 138;
    the triumphal arch, 139;
    the baptistery, 139;
    the chair of S. Peter, 140 (cut);
    the bronze statue of Peter, 141, 142 (cut);
    the destruction of the old church and its rebuilding, 143;
    Grimaldi's account of its progress, 145;
    the building of the dome, 146 (plate);
    statistics and measurements, 147;
    the illumination, 148;
    the body of S. Peter probably still here, 148;
    Constantine's cross seen in 1594, 149;
    the imperial mausoleum on its site, 200 (cut), 202 (plate);
    excavations in, in 15th and 16th centuries, 202, 203;
    atrium of the old church, 222 (cut);
    the tomb of Ceadwalla, 231;
    the Porticus Pontificum, 233;
    the tomb of Innocent VIII., 242;
    of Paul III., 245;
    panel from the bronze door, 272 (cut).
  S. Pietro in Montorio, 128.
  S. Prassede, bodies of martyrs transferred to it, 326.
  S. Prisca, 111.
  S. Pudentiana, 109, 112;
    restored in 1588, 113.
  SS. Quattro Coronati, 27.
  S. Saba, 32.
  S. Salvatore in Ærario, 163.
  Sancta Sanctorum chapel, portrait head of Jesus, 348 (cut).
  S. Sebastiano, 36.
  S. Sebastiano, in Pallara, 32.
  Sistine Chapel, 25.
  S. Stefano, 41, 178.
  S. Stefano del Cacco, 97.
  S. Stefano del Trullo, 99.
  S. Sylvester, 38.
  SS. Syxtus and Cæcilia, 118.
  S. Teodoro, altar, 27.
  S. Tommaso a' Cenci, 180.
  S. Urbano alla Caffarella, 32, 292, 294 (cut).
  S. Valentine, 164, 327;
    the tombs in its cemetery, 323.

Ciborio della santa lancia, 243.

Cippus of Agrippina the Elder, 184 (cut).

Circus of Nero and Caligula, 127.

Clemens, Flavius, martyr, 3, 6, 7.

Clement VIII., 150.

Clement IX., 37.

Clement XI., 48.

Clement XIII., 48;
  his tomb by Canova, 249, 250 (plate);
  and the suppression of the Jesuits, 252.

Clivus Rutarius, 270.

Cocumelle, 172.

Coliseum, Christian churches on the site of, 161.

Colonnas, banished from Rome, 179.

Columbaria, 256;
  the cost of loculi, 257;
  the three kinds of columbaria, 257;
  that on the Via Latina owned by shareholders, 258;
  the loculi drawn by lot, 259;
  interior, 260 (plate).

Columbus, Christopher, birthplace of, 245 n.

Column of Antoninus, bas-reliefs, 170, 171 (cuts).

Commodus, 313.

Concordia Sagittaria, its cemetery, 323.

Constantia, S., her mausoleum, 199.

Constantine, Emperor, 50;
  date of his profession of Christianity, 21;
  relation to his pagan subjects, 22;
  builds a basilica over the tomb of Peter, 132;
  his cross on S. Peter's tomb seen in 1594, 149;
  the memorial chapel of his victory over Maxentius, 163;
  the battle (front.);
  statue of, 164 (cut);
  discovery of his sarcophagus in 1458, 202;
  the edict of Milan, 314.

Consul suffectus, 10 n.

Convent of the Visitation, 71 n.

Cornelii, their family vaults, 218.

Cornelius, Pope, his tomb, 215 (cut), 218 (plate);
  portrait, 219 (cut).

Cortile di S. Damaso, 121.

Crassus Frugi, M. Licinius, 277.

Cremation, introduced in the 5th century

of Rome, 255;
  the _ustrinum_ on the Appian Way, 256.

Crescentius de Theodora, 234.

Crispina, Bruttia, Empress, 10.

Cross of Henry IV. of France, 36.

Crosses, monumental, 35.

Crows, a platform dedicated to, 268.

Cups, 43.

Cybele, 27.

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 217.

Cyril, S., fresco showing the translation of his remains, 32 (plate).

Damasus, Pope, 139, 217, 219;
  his aqueduct, 121;
  built an oratory to the memory of Simplicius and Faustinus, 333.

Decursiones, 171.

Demetrius, 116.

Dentists, inscriptions from the tombs of, 353 (cuts).

Destruction of Roman monuments in the Middle Ages, 8, 53, 66, 87, 90,
  98, 103, 113, 136, 137, 143, 155, 156, 177, 182, 185, 195, 202, 233,
  237, 256, 269, 286, 301, 320, 324, 329.

Diocletian, persecution of the Christians, 314.

Diplomata, 91.

Discoveries. See _Excavations and discoveries_.

Doll, found in the sarcophagus of Crepereia Tryphæna, 305.

Domitian, 5, 6, 281;
  dedicates the Ara Incendii Neroniani, 84;
  his birthplace, 193;
  his death, 193.

Domitilla Flavia, 10;
  her villa, 335;
  the catacombs on her estate, 336;
  her family and relationship, 337.

Domitillæ, 3.

Donatists, 21.

Donnus I., Pope, 271.

Drinking cups, 43.

Egeria, grotto of, 293.

Egyptian art, specimens found near the Iseum, 92;
  its influence in Rome, 239.

Elagabalus, included Christ among the other gods, 13;
  his extravagances, 131.

Episcopus, a municipal officer, 12.

Epitaphs, 261, 262;
  on the tombs of the Popes in S. Peter's, 222;
  on Pope Sylvester II., 237;
  imprecations expressed in, 262, 317;
  of Pompeius Magnus Crassi f., 279;
  of Q. Sulpicius Maximus, 282;
  of Julia Prisca, 300;
  of a pilgrim from Thrace, 328;
  of Aurelius Theophilus, 355.

Eugenius IV., Pope, 92, 138.

Eupor, Fabius, 310.

Excavations and discoveries, in the Campus Martius, 98;
  in 1374, obelisk of the Piazza della Rotonda, 92;
  in 1435, Egyptian lions, 92;
  in 1440, figure of a river-god, 93;
  in 1458, sarcophagus of Constantine, 202;
  cir. 1480, temple of Hercules, 69:
  in 1485, the long-buried body of a woman near the Casale Rotondo, 295,
    298 (cut);
  in 1519, in S. Peter's, 202;
  in 1527, the mausoleum of Augustus, 182;
  in 1544, the tomb of Maria in S. Peter's, 203;
  in 1546, the Baths of Caracalla, 249;
  in 1549, the temple of Augustus, 103;
  in 1554, the Ara Pacis Augustæ, 82;
  in 1556, statue of Oceanus, 93;
  in 1555, house of Pomponius Atticus, 191;
  in 1578, in the Catacombs, 328;
  in 1588, fragments of a Laocoön under S. Pudentiana, 113;
  in 1594, the grave of S. Peter, 150;
  in 1599, on the Via Latina, 258;
  in 1614-16, in S. Peter's, 129;
  in 1660, on the site of the Villa Pamfili-Doria, 269;
  in 1695-1741, in the Naro vineyard, 276;
  in 1713-17, in the Catacombs, 330;
  in 1719, an Isiac altar, 93;
    Egyptian antiquities, 96;
  in 1776, near church of S. Prisca, 111;
  in 1777, the ustrinum under the Corso, 182;
  in 1780, remains of the temple of Jupiter Maximus, 89;
  in 1793, in the Via di S. Lucia in Selci, 206;
  in 1810, silver near Civita Castellana, 207;
  in 1817, the temple of Concord, 53;
  in 1817-22, remains of the villa Amaranthiana, by the Duchess of
    Chablais, 335;
  in 1820, altar of Aius Locutius, 71;
  in 1821, at Parma, 207;
  in 1849-52, near the Appian Way, 215;
  in 1851, the fresco of the Saviour in the Catacomb ad Duas Lauros, 356;
  in 1858, Egyptian sculptures, 93;
  in 1859, the Ara Pacis Augustæ, 82;
    five capitals in the Via di S. Ignazio, 93;
  in 1862, sarcophagus of Licentius, 14;
    temple of Hercules, 59;
  in 1864, a schola of the citizens of Serræ, 41;
  in 1867, foundations of a memorial chapel to S. Paul, 156;
    in the cemetery of Callixtus, 318;
    in the cemetery of Generosa, 332;
  in 1869, the altar of Roma Quadrata, 71;
  in 1871, inventory of gifts in the temple of Diana Nemorensis, 54;
  in 1875, temple of Jupiter Maximus, 85;
    coins of Nero, under the abbey of the Tre Fontane, 157;
  in 1876, favissæ of the temple of Hercules, 59;
  in 1877, coins at Belinzago, 208;
  in 1878, remains of the temple of Neptune, 99;
  in 1879, fragments of a bedstead (?) on the Esquiline, 208;
  in 1880-82, in the Catacombs ad Duas Lauros, 354;
  in 1881, shrine of Semo Sancus, 105;
  in the catacombs of Domitilla, 342;
  in 1883, mensæ ponderariæ, at Tivoli, 40;
  Egyptian remains from the temple of Isis, 92, 94;
  in 1884, house of Vegetus, 192;
  in the Via di Porta Salaria, 276;
  in 1885, temple of Diana Nemorensis, by Lord Savile, 59;
  in the Villa Bertone, 283;
  in 1886, a stonecutter's house, under the Palazzo della Banca
    Naz., 240;
  in 1886-87, altar of Dis and Proserpina, 75;
  in 1887, on the Corso d' Italia, 276;
  in 1888, crypt of the Acilii Glabriones, 4, 8;
  in 1889, ex-votos at Veii, by the Empress of Brazil, 65;
  under the new Halls of Justice, 301;
  in 1890, inscriptions describing the Secular games, 73.

Exedræ, 42.

Ex-votos, found on the sites of temples, 58;
  anatomical specimens, 62;
  shops for the sale of, 62;
  deposits found near the Tiber, 62.

Faliscan Museum, 354.

Farnesina gardens, house discovered in, 263, 264 (plate).

Favissæ, 58.

Flavians, the members of the family who became Christians, 337;
  their crypt in the Catacombs of Domitilla, 316 (cut), 330, 336

Flowers, feasts of, in ancient times, 49.

Fortunatus, S., 360.

Forum Julium, 54;
  Romanum, Caligula's bridge, 101; Olitorium, 5;
  Trajanum, the earth taken from it placed over the cemetery of the
    Via Salaria, 284.

Foundation of a city, ceremonies of, 70.

Fountain, in the atrium of S. Peter's, 135, 136 (cut);
  in front of S. Paolo, 155.

Frescos. See _Paintings_.

Funeral ceremonies and memorial feasts, 117, 171.
  See also _Burial_.

Funerary banquets, 42.

Funeraticia collegia, 116.

Furnilla, Marcia, wife of Titus, 207;
  statue (plate).

Gauls, their invasion foretold by a mysterious voice, 72.

Genesius, S., 360.

Germano, Padre, 158.

Geta, remains of his mausoleum, 196 (cut).

Giardino delle Tre Pile, 101.

Glabrio, Manius Acilius, consul A. D. 91, 5;
  his martyrdom, 6.

Glabriones, Acilii, discovery of their burial place, 4;
  history of the family, 5.

Gods, the name and sex of those little known, seldom mentioned, 72.

Goths, their pillage of the Catacombs, 324.

Græcina, Pomponia, a Christian convert, 9.

Graffiti, evidence on the position of the church, 12;
  in the catacombs, 42, 219, 327, 356.

Granaries, 44;
  belonging to the church, 46;
  the grain sold by Pope Sabinianus, 47;
  the institution long survived, 48;
  the granary at Ostia, 47 (cut).

Great litany, 165.

Greek language used by the church, 216.

Gregorian chant, 229.

Gregorovius, Ferdinand, 213.

Gregory I. (the Great), 47;
  his tomb, 221, 223;
  statue of, 225 (cut);
  his work, 228;
  the monastery founded by him, 229, 230 (cut);
  in the basilica of Nereus and Achilleus, 345.

Gregory XIII., Pope, 48.

Grimaldi, 122.

Hadrian, Emperor, 49, 99;
  attitude toward Christianity, 11.

Hadrian's Mole, and apartments built by Paul III., 247.

Hair, restoration of, ascribed to Minerva, 63.

Haran, or Charan, 355.

Helena, tomb of, 197 (cut), 198 (plate).

Henry IV. of France, column of, 36.

Hercules, 104;
  labors of, 25;
  bronze statue of, 69.

Hermes Trismegistos, 25.

Hermione, Claudia, her tomb, 129.

Herod, King, profaned the tomb of David, 205.

Herodes Atticus. See _Atticus_.

Hierones, 67.

Hippolytus, statue of, 141, 143 (cut).

Hispellum, temple dedicated to Constantine, 22.

Honorius I., Pope, 137.

Horace, the Carmen Sæculare, 78, 81.

Horrea publica, 44;
  advertisement for leasing and regulations for use found, 45.

House of a patrician, discovered in the Farnesina gardens, 263 (cut).

Improvvisatori, 281, 283.

Innocent VIII., Pope, his tomb, 145, 242 (plate).

Inscription, to Acilius Glabrio (cut), 4;
  to Pomponius, 9;
  found near Porta del Popolo in 1877, 15 (cut);
  to M. Anneus Paulus Petrus, 16 (cut);
  to Publia Ælia Proba, 19;
  to Petro Lilluti Paulo, 18 n;
  on arch of Constantine, 20;
  on the pyramid of Louis XIV., 36;
  on the column of Henry IV., 37 n;
  in baths of the churches of SS. Sylvester and Martin, 38;
  in temple of Hercules; Tivoli, 40;
  on pagan tombs relating to libations, 42;
  inventory of works of art in the temple of Diana Nemorensis, 55;
  tariff for sacrifices, 57;
  mentioning the Roma Quadrata, 71;
  altar of Aius Locutius, 72;
  to the Genius of Rome, 72;
  descriptive of the Ludi Sæculares, 73, 79 (text in appendix);
  of the Ara Incendii Neroniani, 84;
  on the foundation walls of the temple of Jupiter, 88;
  pedestal of statue of Semo Sancus, 106;
  on the label of a dog's collar, 153;
  S. Paul's tombstone, 157 (cut);
  spurious inscriptions, 301;
  the immense number that have been lost, 320;
  military inscriptions, from the Prætorian camp, 351.
  See, also, _Epitaphs_; _Graffiti_.

Iseum. See _Temple of Isis_.

Isis, altar to, in church of Aracœli, 27;
   statue of, 55.

Italians, tolerant in matters of religion, 16.

Januarius, S., his grave in the Catacombs, 322 (cut).

Jerome, S., on the celebration of S. Peter's day, 44.

Jesuits, expelled from Portugal, Spain, and France, 251.

Jews, position in the Roman Empire, 12;
  toleration enjoyed in Rome, 16, 309;
  responsible for the first Christian persecution, 311.

Johannipolis, 153.

John III., Pope, 38.

John VIII., Pope, builds the defences of S. Paolo, 154;
  defeats the Saracens off Cape Circeo, 154

John X., Pope, death and burial, 235.

Jubilee of 1350, 166.

Julian the Apostate, 355.

Jupiter, statue of, in Constantine, Algeria, 56.

Labyrinths, in church pavements, 31.

Lamps, ornamented with figure of the Good Shepherd, 18 (cut);
  found in the Catacombs, 218.

Lance, Holy, story of, 243.

Laocoön, fragments found under the church of S. Pudentiana, 113.

Lateran museum, 141.

Lateran palace, its early occupation by the Church, 21.

Leo I. (the Great), 155; his tomb, 223.

Leo IV., Pope, 137.

Leo X., Pope, 93.

Leto, Pomponio, his academy, 359.

Licentius, a pupil of S. Augustine, his career, 14;
  his tomb discovered, 14.

Licinianus, Calpurnius, 278.

Licinii Calpurnii, their tomb, 276;
  their history, 277.

Linus, the successor of Peter and Paul, 125;
  his tomb discovered, 130.

Lipsanotheca, 166.

Locanda della Gaiffa, 181.

Loretto, Santa Casa, 25.

Louis XIV., pyramid of, in Rome, 36.

Love-feasts, 42.

Lucca, Cathedral, 31.

Lucina, a Christian matron, 9.

Ludi sæculares. See _Secular games_.

Ludi Tarentini, 75.

Luke, cardinal, his tomb, 159.

Mamertine prison, 163.

Map of Rome, the author's, 163 n.

Marius, pillages the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter, 87.

Mark, Pope, 50.

Marriages, mixed, in pagan Rome, 15;
  Tertullian on, 15.

Martial, Valerius, house of, 192.

Martyrs, early, 3;
  their alleged stupidity, 7;
  stones said to be tied to the necks of, 39, 41;
  love-feasts celebrated near their tombs, 42;
  their tombs decorated with flowers, 49;
  their burial and tombs, 119;
  scene of the first martyrdoms, 127;
  churches connected with their houses, 158;
  their tombs in the Catacombs, 322;
  their bodies translated from suburban cemeteries to the city, 325;
  bas-relief representing an execution, 339 (cut).

Mausolea. See _Tombs_.

Mellini, Pietro and Mario, 166.

Memoriæ, 42.

Messalina, 277.

Meta, its signification lost, 128.

Meta di Borgo, 27.

Michael, archangel, summits of hills consecrated to, 226;
  the statue on the mausoleum of Hadrian, 227, 228 (cut).

Michelangelo, his first design for S. Peter's, 146.

Military inscriptions from the Prætorian camp, 351.

Military service of Christians under the Roman Empire, 18.

Minerva in Christian art, 25;
  honored as a restorer of hair, 63.

Monastery of S. Alessio, 235;
  of S. Andrew, 229, 230 (cut).

Monte Mario, 165.

Monte Testaccio, 181.

Mosaics, in church of S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane, 25;
  in church of S. Andrea, 29 (cut);
  in church of S. Pudentiana, 113;
  in S. Peter's, 139.

_Mundus muliebris_, 204.

Museo delle Terme, 268.

Museums. See _Capitoline_, _Lateran_, _Vatican_;
  also _dei Conservatori_, under _Palaces_.

Music, religious, school of, established by Gregory, 229.

Naples, church of the Olivetans, 25.

Nemi, the site of a temple of Diana, 60 (cut).

Neptunium. See _Temple of Neptune_, 99.

Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs, 337.

Nero, 127, 287;
  relation to Christianity, 11;
  deserted by the legions, 185;
  head of, 186 (cut);
  his flight and death, 187;
  his funeral, 189;
  his tomb, 189.

Nerva, 177.

Nicomachus Flavianus, attempt to restore paganism, 97.

Oaths, 105.

Obelisks, discovered in Rome, 92, 97, 172;
   of Rameses the Great, discovered in 1883, 95.

Oils, 218.

Oratories, private, of the early Christians, 109.

Orientation of churches, 120, 152.

Orpheus, in Christian art, 23 (cut).

Ossaria, 256.

Ostia, imperial palace at, 25;
  granary at, 47 (cut).

Otho II., his tomb, 136.

Pacuvius, 69.

Pætus, Lucilius, tomb of, 283.

Pagan rites and customs adopted by the Church, 23.

Paintings, fresco in S. Clemente, translation of Cyril's remains,
    32 (plate);
  in a patrician house in the Farnesina gardens, 263, 264 (plate),
    265 (cut);
  in the Catacombs, discovered in 1714, 330;
  in the Villa Amaranthiana, 335;
  of the Saviour with SS. Paul and Peter in the Catacomb ad Duas
    Lauros, 356;
  of the story of Jonah and the Symbolic Supper, 356, 357 (cut);
  illustrations of the Gospel in the Catacombs, 358;
  battle between Constantine and Maxentius, _frontispiece_.

Palaces: Albani del Drago, 30;
  Altieri, 101;
  Caffarelli, 85;
  dei Conservatori, 30, 53, 77, 100, 185 (see also
    _Capitoline museum_);
  Farnese, 100;
  Fiano, 82;
  Lateran (see _Lateran_);
  Maraini, 280;
  Moroni, 88;
  Odescalchi, 100.

Pammachius, 158.

Pantheon, 56.

Parenzo, Dalmatia, basilica of, 30.

Paschal I., Pope, 326.

Passion-plays in Rome, 181.

Paul, the apostle, his friendship with Seneca, 17;
  silver-gilt statue of, 26;
  proofs of his death in Rome, 123;
  position of his tomb, 151;
  place of his execution, 156;
  his grave and tombstone, 157 (cut);
  portrait head, 212 (cut);
  his liberty to preach in Rome, 311;
  his friend Ampliatus, 343;
  his body transferred temporarily to the Catacombs, 345.

Paul, S., basilica of. See _S. Paolo fuori le Mura_, under _Churches_.

Paul and Peter, names on a pagan tomb, 16.

Paul III., tomb, 245;
  character, 246;
  his patronage of art, 247;
  his apartments on Hadrian's Mole, 247;
  and Cellini, 247;
  excavates the Baths of Caracalla, 249.

Paul V., Pope, 48, 136, 144.

Paulinus of Nola, 43;
  his epistles to Licentius, 14.

Pavements, basilica of Parenzo, 30.

Pavia, Church of S. Michele Maggiore, 31.

Pelagius II., Pope, 121.

Pentecost, celebration of, 50.

Perpetua, Acts of, 49.

Persecution under Claudius, 310;
  under Nero, 312;
  under later emperors, 313;
  under Diocletian, 314.

Peter, S., celebration of the feast of, 43;
  his presence in Rome proved by documents, 123;
  by monumental evidence, 125;
  the exact place of his execution determined, 127;
  his tomb, 129;
  his chair, 140 (cut);
  the bronze statue, 141, 142 (cut);
  his body probably still under the altar in his church, 148;
  portrait head, 212 (cut);
  his body transferred temporarily to the Catacombs, 345.

Peter and Paul, houses connected with their stay in Rome, 110, 112.

Petronilla, 3, 200;
  her burial-place, 340;
  represented in a fresco, 341 (cut);
  not a daughter of S. Peter, 342.

Phaon, Nero's flight to villa of, 186;
  remains of villa of, 188 (map).

Philip the Arab, Emperor, a Christian, 13.

Philip the Younger, son of Philip the Arab, bust, 13 (cut).

Piacenza, church of S. Sevino, 31;
  votive tablet to Minerva found at, 63.

Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 172, 182;
  di Santa Maria in Trastevere, 220;
  della Minerva, 95, 97;
  del Pantheon, 95;
  di Pietra, 99;
  del Quirinale, 172;
  della Rotonda, 92, 97;
  della Stazione, 97;
  di Termini, 48.

Pilate, house of, 180.

Pincian Hill, palace of the Acilii Glabriones, 5.

Piso Frugi Licinianus, L. Calpurnius, 277.

Platorinus, C. Sulpicius, his tomb, 265, 268 (plate).

Poetical contests on the Capitol, 282.

Polla, Lucilia, tomb of, 283.

Polla, Minasia, 267 (plate).

Pompeius Magnus, son of Licinius Crassus, 277;
  his epitaph, 279.

Pomponius Lætus, 246;
  his academy, 359.

Ponderaria, in churches, 39.

Pons Vaticanus, 126.

Ponte Nomentano, 187 (cut).

Pontius, Bishop, 167.

Popes, their portraits in the basilicas of Rome, 209;
  their tombs, 213.

Porta Sanqualis, 104.

Portico of the Argonauts, 99;
  of church of S. Paolo, 156;
  of the Danaids, 71, 80.

Poseidonion. See _Temple of Neptune._

Præsens, Bruttius, 10.

"Preaching of Peter," 124.

Priscilla, wife of Abascantus, tomb of, 300.

Pudens, 110;
  his house, 112, 114 (cut), 115 (cut).

Pudens, L. Valerius, 282.

Pyramids on the Via Triumphalis, 271.

Quadragesima Sunday, 50.

Quietus, Postumius, 9.

Quindecemviri, call for the celebration of the Secular games, 75.

Ravenna, church of S. Vitale, 31.

Regilla, Annia, wife of Herodes Atticus, 290;
  her supposed tomb, 291 (cut).

Renaissance, the interest in archæology, 101.

Renzo di Maitano, 32.

Rhodismos, 49.

Ricci, Lorenzo, 252.

Rienzi, 155;
  his funeral pyre, 179;
  his birthplace, 180.

Robigalia, 165.

Roma Quadrata, 70.

Rome, its transformation to a Christian city, 1;
  early Christian buildings, 3;
  the freedom enjoyed by the church, 11;
  the change gradual, 19;
  evidences of it, 20;
  artistic feeling among the lower classes, 32;
  substitution of chapels and shrines for the aræ compitales, 33;
  monumental crosses, 35;
  warehouses, 44;
  the calamities of the year 605, 46;
  pagan shrines and temples, 51;
  capture by the Gauls, B. C. 390, 73;
  the conflagration under Nero, 83;
  occupation by the Saracens in 846, 149;
  the author's archæological map of, 163 n.;
  population under Augustus, 175;
  public improvements in his time, 176;
  the city in the time of Gregory the Great, 226;
  the charming surroundings of the city, 286;
  the invasions of the Goths in the 5th and 6th centuries, 324;
  the itineraries of pilgrims, 327.

Rosaria, 48.

Rosationes, 49.

Rose, symbolism of, 49;
  the golden rose of Quadragesima Sunday, 50.

Rossi, De, discovers the crypt of the Acilii Glabriones, 4;
  discovers tomb of Cornelius, 215;
  discovers a fresco in the Catacomb ad Duas Lauros, 356.

Rousalia, 49.

Rues de Jerusalem, 31.

Rusalky, 49.

Rusticus, Junius, 40.

Sabinianus, Pope, sold the grain in the church's granaries, 47.

Sabinus, Flavius, 337.

Sacellum Sanci, 104.

Sacrifices, right to perform, granted to civilians, 57;
  tariff for, 57.

Saint-Omer, church at, labyrinth, 31.

Sallust, gardens of, 276.

Sancus, worship of, 104.

Sannazzaro, tomb of, 25.

Saracens in Rome, in 846, 149;
  defeated off Cape Circeo, by John VIII., 154.

Sarcophagi of the Calpurnii, 279, 280 (cut);
  from the cemetery of Cyriaca, 352.

Sarcophagus, of the empress Helena, 198 (plate);
  of S. Constantia, 198.

Saturus, martyr, 49.

Scholæ, 42, 116;
  that of the citizens of Serræ, 41:
  that above the Catacombs of Callixtus, 117, 118 (plan);
  transformation of the schola to the church, 118.

Scirtus, charioteer, 260.

Seasons, the four, in Christian art, 25.

Secular games, the inscription describing them found in 1890, 73 (cut);
  origin of the games, 74;
  their celebration under Augustus, 78-82.

Semo Sancus, worship of, 104; statue, 105 (cut).

Senate, resolutions relating to the Secular games, 80.

Senate house, 163.

Seneca, his friendship for Paul, 17.

Septimius Severus, 12.

Sergius II., Pope, 149.

Serræ, citizens of, their banqueting-hall, 41.

Severus Alexander, relation to Christianity 11, 13.

Shoemakers, 274.

Shrines, in Rome, 33;
  of Semo Sancus, 104.
  See also _Altars._

Sibyls in Christian art, 24.

Siena, Duomo, 25, 32.

Silvio Antoniano, an improvvisatore, 283.

Simon the Magician, confused with Semo Sancus, 104, 161.

Simplicius and Faustinus, martyrs, 332;
  their bodies translated to S. Biviana, 333.

Siricius, Pope, 112, 152.

Sixtus II., Pope, 117.

Sixtus V., Pope, the dome of St. Peter's, 146.

Skeletons found in tombs, 273, 286.

Solomon, Judgment of, represented in a Roman tomb, 270, 271 (cut).

Sponges, found in tombs, 303 n.

Statues, their immense number in ancient Rome, 52;
  those of gods commonly loaded with ornaments, 55;
  Egyptian statues, found in Rome, 93.

---- to Acilius Glabrio, 5;
  of Antinous, 240, 241 (cut);
  of Constantine, 164 (cut);
  of Gregory the Great, 225 (cut);
  of Hercules, 69;
  of Hippolytus, 141, 143 (cut);
  of Isis, 55;
  of Jupiter, 56;
  of Marcia Furnilla, 267;
  of S. Paul, 26;
  of S. Peter, 141, 142 (cut);
  of Semo Sancus, 105 (cut);
  the sphinx of Amasis, 94 (cut);
  of Tiberius, 268;
  of Vortumnus, 104.

Stephen III., Pope, 48.

Street-shrines in Rome, 33.

Streets (ancient): Alta Semita, 190, 191 (cut);
  Clivus Suburanus, 35;
  Vicus Apollinis, 82;
  Vicus Sobrius, 35.
  See also _Via_.

Streets (modern): Bocca della Verità, 181;
  Borgo Nuovo, 271;
  Coronari, 35;
  Corso, 180, 182;
  Corso d' Italia, 276;
  Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 75, 78;
  Ferratella, 293;
  SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 229;
  S. Ignazio, 92, 94;
  S. Lucia in Selci, 35;
  Marmorata, 181;
  Minerva Medica, 62;
  Porta S. Paolo, 181;
  Quattro Cantoni, 35;
  Quirinale-Venti Settembre, 190;
  Salara, 181;
  Strada di Monte Mario, 127;
  Vigne Nuove, 188.

Sublician bridge, 33.

Sulla, reconstructed the Capitolium, 87;
  his body burned, 253.

Sulpicius Maximus, Q., his tomb, 280, 282 (plate);
  his story, 281.

Sutores, 274.

Sylvester I., 221.

Sylvester II., his tomb, 236.

Symmachus, Pope, 37, 135.

Syringes, 321.

Tablinum, 114.

Tabularium, 53.

Tarpeian Rock, 89.

Tempietto del Bramante, 128.

Temples, standards of weights and measures kept in, 40, 51;
  the art treasures collected in them, 52;
  commonly ornamented with hangings, etc., 56;
  evidence obtained from their vaults or _favissæ_, 58;
  invariably turned into Christian churches, 160.
    of Æsculapius, 62;
      the stern of the ship, 61 (cut).
    of Antoninus and Faustina, 163.
    of Apollo, 56, 71;
      its treasures of art, 52.
    Augusteum at Aneyra, 173.
    of Augustus, 101, 163;
      its position determined, 102;
      plan and sketch, 103 (cut).
    of Bacchus (so called), 199 (cut).
    of Ceres and Faustina, 292, 294 (cut).
    of Claudius, 160.
    of Concord, 53 (cut), 163.
    of Diana, 70.
    of Diana Nemorensis, 59;
      an inventory of its works of art discovered, 54.
    of the God Rediculus, 291 (cut).
    of Health, 69.
    of Hercules, 69.
    of Hercules, near Porta S. Lorenzo, 59.
    of Isis and Serapis, 92;
      excavations in 1883, 96;
      history and extent of the temple, 96;
      its final destruction, 98.
    of Janus Quadrifrons, 163.
    of Juno, at Veii, 64;
      enormous number of ex-votos, 64, 67;
      excavations by Cardinal Chigi, 65;
      by the Empress of Brazil, 66.
    of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, 56, 80, 84;
      literature, 84 n;
      architecture of the old temple, 86;
      destroyed by fire, 86;
      its restorations, 87;
      its platform and foundation walls, 87, 88 (cut);
      plan, 86 (plate);
      early notices of its remains, 89;
      plundered by the Vandals, 90;
      represented in pictorial reliefs, 90 (plate);
      public acts, etc., posted here, 91.
    of Jupiter Tonans, 80.
    of Malakbelos, 57.
    of Minerva Medica, 62.
    of Neptune, 99, 161;
      its bas-reliefs, 100 (cut).
    of Peace, 56.
    of Piety, 5.
    Sacræ Urbis, 28 (cut), 162.
    of the Sibyl at Tivoli, 161.
    of Venus, 161.
    of Venus and Rome, 56.

Terebinth of Nero, 27.

Terentum, the pool, 74.

Thebes, the tombs of the kings, 321.

Theresa, Empress of Brazil, excavations at Veii, 65, 66.

Tiber, ex-votos probably to be found in, 62.

Tiberius, Emp., 11, 96;
  statue, 268.

Tiles of the roof of S. Peter's, 139.

Tivoli, mensæ ponderariæ found at, 40;
  temple of the Sibyl, 161.

Toilet-box, in the sarcophagus of Crepereia Tryphæna, 303.

Tombs of Christians of high rank in Rome, 10;
  of Christian prætorians, 18;
  inscriptions on, 42, 261;
  the word _meta_ applied to, 128;
  discovered in 1614-16, in the vicinity of S. Peter's, 129;
  occasion of their destruction, 131;
  in S. Peter's, 145;
  of Christian emperors, 196, 200 (cut);
  of the popes, 213;
  the pontifical crypt, 269;
  cost, 257;
  the immense number surrounding the city, 260;
  on the Via Aurelia, 262;
  near the Villa Pamfili-Doria, 269;
  on the Via Triumphalis, 270;
  on the Via Salaria, 275;
  their inviolability under Roman law, 307;
  the early Christian tombs not concealed, 315.
  See also, _Burial_; _Catacombs_; _Cemeteries_; _Sarcophagi_.

---- of Ampliatus, 342;
  of M. Anneus Paulus Petrus, 16;
  of Annia Regilla, 291 (cut);
  of Augustus, 172, 177, 179, 181;
  of Benedict VII., 234;
  of Ceadwalla, 232;
  of Claudia Ecloge, 190;
  of Clement XIII., 249, 250 (plate);
  of S. Constantia, 198, 199 (cut);
  of Pope Cornelius, 215 (cut), 218 (plate);
  of Crepereia Tryphæna, 302 (plate);
  of the Flavians, 190, 316 (cut), 338;
  of Geta, 196 (cut);
  of Gregory the Great, 221, 223;
  of Hadrian, 227, 228 (cut);
  of Helena, mother of Constantine, at Torre Pignattara, 197 (cut);
  of Helius, the shoemaker, 273, 274 (cut);
  of other shoemakers, 275;
  of the horse of Lucius Verus, 272;
  of Innocent VIII., 242 (plate);
  of Leo the Great, 223;
  of Licentius, 14;
  of the Licinii Calpurnii, 276;
  of Linus, 130;
  of Lucilia Polla, 283;
    its vicissitudes, 284;
  of Luke, card. of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 159;
  of Maria, wife of Honorius, 203;
  of Nero, 189;
  of kings Offa of Essex and Coenred of Mercia, 233;
  of Otho II., 136;
  of S. Paul, 157;
  of Paul III., 245, 246 (plate);
  of S. Peter, 129;
  of Sannazzaro, 25;
  of Q. Sulpicius Maximus, 280, 282 (plate);
  of Sulpicius Platorinus, 265, 268 (plate);
  of Silvester II., 236;
  of Urban VI., 146.

Torre Marancia, 335.

Torre Pignattara, 197 (cut).

Totila, siege of, A. D. 546, 46.

Trajan, instructions in regard to the persecution of Christians, 313.

Triopium, 290.

Tryphæna, Crepereia, her tomb discovered in 1889, 302;
  objects found in the sarcophagus, 303 (plate).

Tubilustrium, 275.

Tulliola, daughter of Cicero, 300.

Tusculum, Roman expedition against, 177.

Urania, daughter of Herodes Atticus, 9.

Urban VI., Pope, desecration of his tomb, 146.

Urbino, Sphæristerion, 97.

Urns, cinerary, 266.

Ustrinum of the imperial family, 170;
  unearthed in 1777, 182;
  cippi in, 184;
  on the Appian Way, 255.

Val d' Inferno, 287.

Valle della Caffarella, 286.

Valle dei Morti, 178.

Vases, found in the tomb of Maria, 205.

Vassalectus, an inscription of, 238 (cut);
  candelabrum and other works, 239 (cut).

Vatican district, its early topography, 127.

Vatican museum, 26, 93, 105, 106, 182, 185, 198.

Vedjovis, shrine of, 85.

Vegetus, Valerius, house of, 192.

Veii, its capture by Camillus, 64;
  site of a temple of Juno, 65 (cut).

Verus, Lucius, tomb of his horse, 272.

Vestal virgins, 33, 81.

Via Appia, 172, 215;
    its tombs, 286 (plate);
    the body of a girl discovered in 1485, 295, 298 (cut);
  ---- Ardeatina, 315;
  ---- Aurelia, tombs on, 262;
  ---- Clodia, 127;
  ---- Cornelia, 127, 128;
  ---- Labicana, 172, 354;
  ---- Latina, 116, 178;
  ---- Merulana, 62;
  Nomentana, 188, 197;
  ---- Ostiensis, 150, 151;
  ---- Sacra, 82, 161;
  ---- Salaria, 4 (map), 7, 172, 221;
    tombs on, 275;
  ---- Triumphalis, 127;
    tombs on, 270.

Via Dolorosa of Jerusalem, imitated at Rome, 181.

Viatrix, S., 334 (cut).

Victor, S., Pomponio's academy placed under his patronage, 359.

Vigilius, Pope, 46;
  repaired the damages done by the Goths in the Catacombs, 325.

Vigna Barberini, 162.

Vigne Nuove, 287.

Villa Amaranthiana, 335;
  Aniciana, 116;
  Fonseca, 293;
  Madama, 165;
  Mattei von Hoffman, 92, 97, 293;
  Medici, 83, 89;
  Pamfili-Doria, 269;
  di Papa Giulio, 254;
  of Phaon, 188 (map).

Virgin, immagine di Ponte, 35.

Volesus, founds the Ludi Tarentini, 74.

Volkanalia, 84.

Vortumnus, 104.

Votive head, to Minerva, 63 (cut).

Votive offerings. See _Ex-votos_.

Warehouses, 44.

Wedding presents, of Maria, wife of Honorius, 204;
  of Projecta, wife of Turcius Asterius Secundus, 206.

Weights and measures, standards of, 39.

Wilpert, Joseph, his skill in tracing old paintings, 358.

Xerxes and the battle of Salamis, 289.

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