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built quite at the end of the fortifications, is another striking point.
* Segni belongs to the same class of hill-fortress as Norba, not the same as Cori. It occupies, not the top of a conical hill, but a table-land on the mountain itself. The hill-top which Segni crowns is long and narrow, at some points very narrow indeed, so as to give to the space within the walls nearly the shape of a figure of eight. The modern town has drawn into one quarter of the ancient enclosure; but it has not withdrawn into the citadel. The traveller may enter by a gateway of Roman date, and if he does so his eye will soon be struck by the great number of graceful fragments of mediaeval work to be found within the narrow streets of Segni. Let him first make the circuit of the ancient walls. And he can hardly doubt whether to turn to the left or to the right hand. The claims of the left are in this case overwhelming. Long before he has reached the town, he must have seen, far away on the hill, the most precious of the remains of Signia, the gateway which stands, forsaken but still untouched, beckoning him, as it were, to make his way first of all to the most instructive thing which the primaeval city has to show him.'—E. A. Freeman, * Studies of Travel,' p. 157.
'When I reached this spot where the cyclopean citadel of the Volscians stood in hoary antiquity on the lofty heights, the magnificence of the situation took me by surprise; it reminded me of the Acropolis of some Sicilian mountain town. Here, on a height overlooking all Latium, stood the citadel and temple of ancient Signia, of which but few vestiges remain, among them a large circular cistern near the Seminary. The townspeople have here one of their favourite promenades; they walk about there on the cyclopean walls of the highest plateaux of the mountain, as if round a great stone table, among the grey blocks of stone overgrown with moss and wild flowers. One can imagine nothing more original than this promenade in the cloud-region, amid this grand rock scenery. Among the promenaders I saw, as it was a Sunday, many a gaily-decked young lady in silk attire parading up and down, while, immediately below, the mountain fell sheer away in a precipice, and Latium lay extended below. The eye reaches over a wide-spread picture of provinces with their innumerable mountains and cities, each of which is full of its own historical or mythical memories. For the panorama extends from Rome, visible in the plain, to Arpino, Cicero's paternal city, which stands out among the far blue mountains of the Neapolitan kingdom.
'The air up here is fresh, almost sharp. The brown grasses on the masses of rock, the wild roses, and the golden broom wave to and fro in it. The very spirit of antiquity and of the primaeval wilderness, of a great, mighty, pre-historic age, seems to brood on these storm-worn cyclopean stones.
'I scrambled further over the rocks, to reach the famous cyclopean walls. As in all the Latin cities, their long lines girdle the actual arx or citadel, and sink away sheer down the precipice. The arrangement of their unhewn stones is as perfectly preserved as if the builder had been at work but yesterday: here and there they are pierced by a small door of Etruscan appearance. At the end of one great line of wall there still stands the great cyclopean gate, in use at the presmt day. It is*built of massive, almost square blocks, in such a manner that the two side walls lean towards each other till the angle is cut off by the stone which forms the lintel.
'The hugeness of these grey walls, weather-stained by thousands of years, the wild growth of plants clinging to them, the mighty strength of the mountain on which the giant fabric rests, and the grandeur of nature which surrounds it, all combine to bring the mind into a state of feeling impossible to describe.
'When I had passed through that gate, the rocky path led me deep down the other side of the wall of mountain, so that the view of Latium was lost. Below I found another and far larger circular cistern hewn in the rock, of at least thirty feet in diameter. In its broad rocky margin many basins are scooped out, in which the women of Segni still do their washing. In all the Volscian towns I have found such ancient and perfectly preserved cisterns: they seem to be peculiar to that neighbourhood, as I do not remember ever to have met with them elsewhere in Latium of this size and shape.'— Gregorovius.
The narrow and dirty streets of Segni have little interest. In its piazza is the modernized Cathedral, having few memorials of a bishopric which dates from 499. It contains, however, two remarkable statues—one is that of S. Vitalian, a native of Segni, Pope from 657 to 672, the feeble though canonised pontiff who received the Emperor Constans II. at Rome, when he carried off to Constantinople so many of its treasures, including the gilt bronze tiles of the Pantheon. Nevertheless he deserves honour for having been in some respects, with Wilfrid, the apostle of England, and having sent the Greek Archbishop Theodore to Canterbury. The statue was placed here in 1721, and his likeness is taken from the image on his coins. Its inscription ends:
* Signia gave me to Rome: Rome gave me the tiara.
'The other statue, also of indifferent execution, stands opposite that of S. Vitalian. Bruno, a native of Asti, in Piedmont, came to Rome, recommended to Gregory VII., and was afterwards made Bishop of Segni by Urban II. In defiance of the Canon, he abandoned his episcopal seat and went to Monte Cassino, where the Abbot Odcrisius received him among the Benedictines. Although Paschal II. ordered the truant to return to his diocese, he remained at Monte Cassino, was there chosen Abbot, and in the leisure of the cloister composed his exegetical writings.
'Not long after^ Bruno played a part at Rome. It is well known that in the sequel of the strife about investiture, Pope Paschal was taken prisoner by the Emperor Henry V., aud compelled to issue a Bull by which he yielded to the Emperor the contested right of spiritual investiture. After his release, when Henry had returned to Germany, Cardinals and Bishops beset Paschal with entreaties to revoke the Bull thus wrung from him, and to break his oath; among these fanatics the most zealous was Bruno. His vehemence angered Paschal, who thereupon forbade him to bo at the same timo Bishop and Abbot. So Bruno laid down his office at Monte Cassino, and returned to Segni, where he died in 1123. He was canonised in 1183.
'It was Lord Ellis, also both Abbot of Monte Cassino and Bishop of Segni, who raised this monument to his predecessor. But the Church of Segni has another and more remarkable connection with distant England ; for it was in a synod of bishops of the Campagna held here in 1173, that Thomas a Becket was canonised shortly after his murder. This is recorded by an inscription in the Cathedral.
'Lord Ellis became Bishop of Segni in 1708. He restored the Cathedral, and bequeathed to the town a seminary, its best memorial of him. Pupils come to it from all parts of Latium ; they wear a priestly garb, although not necessarily intended for Holy Orders. The seminary stands near the Church of S. Pietro.'—Grei|orovius.
Nothing can be more kind than the reception which the inhabitants of Segni give to strangers. The women here wear a different costume to those in the towns on the other side of the valley. They have no panni, but a large silver bodkin fastens up their hair, and their bodices, usually green, are laced behind instead of in front. Almost all the natives are proprietors in the country on "a small scale, and though little can be grown in these lofty uplands, the vineyards, oliveyards, and fruit-gardens are very productive. Excellent cherries and peaches abound; and the woods supply chestnuts for a coarse bread which is considered very nourishing, and abundant acorns for the maintenance of the black pigs which feed here in vast numbers. It is amusing to see the return of the country-people at sunset from their fields, hundreds at a time, streaming along the terrace in front of the gateway, and up the steep streets into the upper town, each accompanied by his domestic animals—his donkeys, his goats, or his pet pigs, which come frisking behind their masters in the most diverting manner, for all share their homes with them. Then the whole street is blocked up for a time, and the cries, the shouts, the braying, the barking, and, above all, the squeaking and grunting, baffle description.
The ruins of the Volscian city of Artena (m. 650), are distant two hours' walk from Segni by Pian di Civita. The polygonal walls of the Acropolis, which dominated the town, are worth visiting. They are formed of irregular blocks measuring m. l-60 x 0'98, put together in the roughest of early styles. Livy states that being besieged by the Romans, B.C. 400, it became theirs by means of treachery. The views are supremely beautiful. The mediaeval Artena below is perhaps the filthiest town in the Campagna di Roma. For Rocca Massima (m. 743) a guide is necessary (L. 2). The polygonal blocks here are even larger than at Artena, and their interstices are filled in. The descent may be made to Cori in an hour and three-quarters, or to the railway at Giulianello.
THE HERNICAN HILLS—ALATRI, FERENTINO,
THIS is one of the most interesting excursions near Rome, and is perhaps the one which is least known, though it is rendered easy by the railway. To accomplish it, one must leave Rome by the first train, say at 7 A.m. , and it must be remembered, that that train alone is met by the omnibus from Segni, Anagni, Ferentino, and other places on the route, but distant several miles from the railway; and that if any other train is chosen, the traveller may find himself deposited at a small country station in a desolate district, without any further means of progress, unless he sends word of his coming to the local station-master ordering a conveyance. The pedestrian, however, may take advantage of this circumstance, and map in hand find his way across country. He will meet with nothing but civility. The few sheep-dogs will not come to close quarters if he shows fight by sending a stone or two in their direction. But they must not, on any account, be fled from. For the same reason it will be best to visit the nearest places first, taking up the same train at the different stations. Those who are delicate about food, had better take it with them in a net, or at any rate some tea or coffee. Meat can scarcely ever be obtained in the mountain towns, but eggs, goats' milk, and excellent coarse bread are always to be found there, and often spaghetti also, with the hard wine of the hill districts. The inns are poor taverns, often approached by filthy alleys, but the people are civil, the linen clean, and the beds sufficiently comfortable to be appreciated by a tired traveller, whose appetite, strengthened by the fresh mountain air, will not depreciate the humble fare of the place. The charges are those of an Italy unspoilt by foreigners; one lira for bed, two lire for dinner, and fifty centimes for breakfast, are not unusual prices. It is unnecessary to bargain. It will only create surprise, and perhaps discomfort.
Those who have not been accustomed to it in Rome, will learn on this excursion how much beauty and pleasure are lost for lack of early rising. The most delicate hues and shadows do not last for many hours after sunrise. When we have emerged from the railway station, and traversed the vineyards and salad-gardens of Rome, we are astonished by the colouring of the pale pink precipices in the familiar range of the Sabina, as they melt into a silver haze. Here and there a projecting cliff can be distinguished, in the rest all form is lost in colour; Monticelli and S. Angelo glitter on their hill-tops, and the long lines of the Campagna are tinged with peacock hues as the blue cloud shadows flit across them. In the foreground the thistles, marigolds, and lupins, grow together so vigorously that you seem to see them sucking their strong life out of the brown volcanic soil. On the other side, we have first the bold striding aqueducts, tinged on the inner edge by the dazzling sunlight, and then the long line of ruined tombs, which marks out the Appian Way against the low-lying horizon. Soon the train crosses the sepulchral road of so many memories, whose stones were once trodden by the sandalled feet of S. Paul—and so into the upland, to olive-gardens, whose silvery stems glisten against the brilliant green of the young wheat, to dark cypress groves and pine-trees by terraced villas, and on to fields divided by hedges of Spina Christi, the hallowed plant, said to have been brought to Italy by the returning crusaders, the seed of the tree on Calvary whence a sacred crown was once enwoven. Thus we wind round the base of the green slopes of Monte Cavo, from which Castel Gandolfo looks down upon the Alban lake, and reach the station of Albano. Beyond this, upon the right, we overlook a plain historical with the sites of Pratica, Tellene, and Ardea to a wide expanse of blue sea, with Astura, Antium, and Ostia. On the left Civita Lavinia rises with its tower on a fortified platform; next Velletri, with its orange-lichened roofs and wooded hills riven into gulfs of verdure; and then we enter a wilder, less-wooded country, the valley of the Sacco—a plain alternately narrow and wide; a very definite plain indeed, closed in by the Hernican hills on one side, and the Lepini on the other, which rise abruptly with their rocky buttresses.
A carriage met us at Frosinone station and took us through a country where the most remarkable feature seemed to be faggots, stacked high up in the maple trees, pollarded for the purpose. We found tolerable rooms at the little inn at Alatri (Albergo Centrale, Locanda di Roma.) It is a drive (11 kil.) of two hours, skirting the base of the mountains, and crossing several streams:
'Roscida rivis Hernica saxa colunt.'
—Am. vii. 683.
You are beginning to wonder where Alatri can be, when you suddenly see its polygonal walls rising sharp-cut against the sky at the end of a valley on the left, and forming a terrace fit for the very Titans to walk upon—a sort of architectural Walhalla, surrounded by the loftier Hernicans. The modern road winds to the town by gradual ascent to Porta S. Pietro. The ancient approach is possibly the earliest instance of a eordondta, a hill-side broken by steps, such as the approach to the Capitol. On either side at entering will be seen an archaic sculptured figure in relief.