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of emptied sepulchres, the dead formerly pursuing the living up to the very gates :of the city. For in the beliefs of old, the soul or ghost dwelt near the remains. Hence the food-offerings, the weapons for use, &c.
About three miles beyond Ponte Terrano, stranded and deserted in the upland plain, so wildly beautiful with its thickets of broom and primaeval oaks, backed by lovely ranges of the Ciminian hills, stands the ruined city of Falleri, the city, that is to say, founded by the Romans when they destroyed old Falerii for revolting during the first Punic war. Its inhabitants quitted it in the tenth century A.D. and created the present Civita on the Etruscan site. One of the finest Etruscan tombs is passed on the way thither. It is in a hollow, on the right of the road, presenting a triple-arched portico, with a boldly-cut cornice, sculptured in the rock. Within is an antechamber leading into the principal tomb. Here the flat ceiling is supported by a square pillar, all around are benches for sarcophagi, and the walls and pillars are perforated with niches for urns or ornaments. Several^ other tombs exist close by, but this may be taken as a good specimen of an Etruscan sepulchre, and perhaps architecturally is more interesting than any of the tombs at Castel d'Asso or Bieda.
Soon after ascending the hill beyond the tombs, Falleri comes in sight, its massive walls and towers rising above the ploughed land, about twenty-five feet in height. They are almost perfect, but there are no ruins standing of the city within them.
'There is nothing to recommend the site of Falerii, as a strong position. The whole of the northern wall of the city stands only as much above the plain as may be accounted for by the circumstance of having been built upon the earth thrown out of the ditch. In this part of the wall there are nineteen towers, all remaining in a state of great perfection, fifteen or sixteen courses in height; but, from their position, they are of little strength. About nineteen more are on the second side of the triangle, placed on the verge of precipices: the third side is defended not only by walls, but by a rocky descent into a deep glen, watered by a pretty stream, which falls into the Tiber. The vestiges of an ancient aqueduct may be traced from the upper country, and a modern one passes near the stream in the glen below.
'The walls were of tufa; in some parts twelve courses of blocks are still remaining, and in others as many as fifteen or sixteen. The solidity of the towers is singular; they do not project internally beyond the thickness of the walls, and some of them have no more than five stones at the base, and no empty space within. The distance between them is about fifty yards. Above the parapet the towers were chambered; and being pierced by doors, permitted an uninterrupted walk on the top of the walls behind the battlements. Perhaps no place presents a more perfect specimen of ancient military architecture; its preservation in modern times may be principally ascribed to the seclusion and comparative desertion of the district.'—Qell, 'Roman Topography.'
In the turfy enclosure which the walls encircle stand only the remains of a twelfth century abbey—S. Maria di Falleri, with its beautiful church, of the twelfth century, utterly ruined since the roof fell in 1829, and overgrown with rank vegetation, though retaining all the delicate sculpture of its pillars and cornices, evidently constructed of materials taken from the Roman city. It
likewise possesses a handsome portico by the Cosmati. The carttrack which diverges from the front of the church leads to Porta di Giove, a fine gate well-preserved and flanked by towers. It takes its name from the sculptured head over the key-stone of the arch, though this more probably represents Apollo than Jupiter.
To enjoy Falleri properly, one must make the circuit of the walls, which are nearly triangular, and which, on the side which overhangs the stream, rise almost perpendicular with the tufa rocks. Here and there they are hollowed into tombs and niches, while on the other side of the narrow ravine are cliffs full of small caverned sepulchres. In the distance beyond the broomy upland soars Soracte, ever one of the most beautiful of mountains. Below flows the rivulet Miccino, one of the waters which Pliny describes as having the power of imparting a white colour to cattle. In the southern wall of the city is Porta del Bove, so called from the bull's-head upon its key-stone. Near this is a ruined theatre, and beyond it a Piscina. Zonaras, who describes the capture of Falerium Vetus, says that 'the ancient city situated on a steep and lofty height was destroyed, and another built on a site easy of access.' The name of the ancient city was transferred with the inhabitants, and when the town on the earlier site rose from its ruins, in the ninth century, it was with the name of Civita Castellana. The second town was erected by the Romans at a time when Etruscan arts were most admired and copied, and it was probably raised on or near the site of some small Etruscan citadel, to which many of the tombs in its rock-barriers may have belonged.
* This celebrated city, unlike the other rivals of Bome, has preserved entire the circuit of her ancient walls. Not one ancient building is standing within them: they have survived all that they were erected to defend. It is very fine to see the enormous masses of travertine masonry glowing in the rays of the setting sun, and throwing their long purple shadows on the bright fresh green of the spring grass and blossoming thickets. And most of all, where the walls skirting one of the deep glens, are built down even into its depths, presenting a face of solid masonry not less than fifty feet in height. One longs to have a painter there, to catch the warm glow of the great wall, lichened and weather-stained, as it descends into the verdure, and then into the deep shadow of the underlying ravine ; then the same is again repeated, but with all the varieties of receding colour, as, promontory after promontory, the defences run up the glen; till at length a barrier of high rocks closes in its head, over which, after a belt of wooded country, rises the graceful group of Soracte, in loveliest, tenderest blue. But no painter can give us the fragrance of the spring flowers which fills the air, nor the gushing notes of many nightingales from the balmy thickets below.'—Dean Alford.
On May 1st we drove out from Civita Castellana to spend the day upon Soracte, emerging from the town through an Etruscan cutting in the rock, which is lined with tombs. The excursion is an easy one, though when we first made it the stone bridges in the hollow had all been washed away in a flood, and a man had to be sent forward to help in taking our horses out and in dragging our carriage over a temporary wooden structure.
No drive can be uninteresting with such an object as Soracte before one ever becoming more and more defined. Those who look at it from Rome have little idea of the majestic character of the mountain as seen from this side, where it rises abruptly in the midst of the rich green plain. Dennis compares it to the rock of Gibraltar. Ampere says that it resembles a blue island in the Aegean Sea. At first it is a sharp blue wedge against the sky, darkened by the woods with which it is covered, then it lengthens out into successive peaks of sharp cliff crowned by white convents and hermitages. The lower slopes are rich and green. They melt gradually into thick olive-groves, which in turn terminate in steeps of bare grey rock, white and dazzling when the sun falls upon them.
It is a mark of a severe winter when Soracte is capped with snow :—
'Vides, lit alta stet nive candidum
—Horace, '0d.'l.9. and, thus crested, it is the most beautiful feature in the well-known view from the terrace of the Pamfili-Doria villa at Rome. But all the snow will have melted before the charms of spring have attracted visitors to Civita Castellana, and its lower slopes will be breaking into such a loveliness of tender green as is beyond brush or pen to describe. Though of no great altitude, Soracte (2100 ft.), from its isolation (like Teneriffe), its form, and its glorious everchanging colour, is far more impressive than many mountains which are five times its height.
* Athos, Olympus, Etna, Atlas, made
—Byron, 'Childe Harold,' c.iv.
Separated from the main mass of the mountain on the Roman side is an attendant rock supporting the picturesque little town of Sant' Oreste, which has given its modern name to Soracte. At the foot of this smaller hill is Civitucola, marking the site of Feronia, where the peasants of the surrounding districts offered their firstfruits to the great goddess, who would seem to have been identical with Proserpine.
* The most important of all the Italian fairs was that which was held at Soracte in the grove of Feronia, a situation than which none could be found more favourable for the exchange of commodities among the three great nations. That high isolated mountain, which appears to have been set down by Nature herself in the midst of the plain of the Tiber as a goal for the pilgrim, lay on the boundary which separated the Etruscan and Sabine lands (to the latter of which it appears mostly to have belonged), and it was likewise easily accessible from Lutium and Umbria. Roman merchants regularly made their appearance there, and the wrongs of which they complained gave rise to many a quarrel with the Sabines.'—Mommsen, 'Hist, of Rome,' ch. xiii.
In B.C. 217 the Roman Freedwomen made a gift of money to her temple. It was narrated by Strabo, that pilgrims to Feronia, possessed