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Egerius ifcs governor, who forthwith took, and transmitted to his descendants, the name of Collatinus. His daughter-in-law, Lucretia, was residing here during the siege of Ardea, and thus Collatia became the scene of the events which led to the overthrow of the Roman monarchy.
'As the king's sons and their cousin L. Tarquinius were sitting over their cups at Ardea, a dispute arose about the virtue of their wives. This cousin, surnamed Collatinus, from Collatia, where he dwelt as a dependent prince, was the grandson of Aruns, the elder brother of the first Tarquinius, after whose death Lucumo removed to Rome. Nothing was doing in the field : so they straightway mounted their horses to visit their homes by surprise. At Rorne, the princesses were revelling at a banquet, surrounded by flowers and wine. From thence the youths hastened to Collatia, where at that late hour of the night Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, was spinning amid the circle of her handmaids.
*. . . The next day Sextus, the eldest of the king's sons, returned to Collatia, and, according to the rights of gentle hospitality, was lodged in his kinsman's house." At the dead of night he entered sword-in-hand into the matron's chamber, and by threatening that he would lay a slave with his throat cut beside her body, would pretend to have avenged her husband's honour, and would make her memory for ever loathsome to the object of her love, wrung from her what the fear of death could not obtain.
'Who, after Livy, can tell of Lucretia's despair? She besought her father and her husband to come to her, for that horrible things had taken place. Lucretius came, accompanied by P. Valerius, who afterwards gained the name of Publicola; Collatinus with the outcast Brutus. They found the disconsolate wife in a garb of mourning, sitting in a trance of sorrow. They heard the tale of the crime, and swore to avenge her. (Saying, " I am not guilty, yet must I too share the punishment, lest any should think that they may be false to their husbands and live," Lucretia drew a knife from her bosom, and stabbed herself to the heart.) Over the body of Lucretia, as over a victim, the vows of vengeance were renewed. Her avengers carried the corpse into the market-place of Collatia. The citizens renounced Tarquinius, and promised obedience to the deliverers. Their young men attended the funeral procession to Rome. With one voice the decree of the citizens deposed the last king from his throne, and pronounced sentence of banishment against him and his family.'—Niebuhr, ' History of Rome?
Silius Italicus notices Collatia as the birthplace of the elder Brutus:—
'. . . altrix casti Collatia Bruti.*
—Punic, viii. 363.
In the time of Strabo1 Collatia was little more than a village. It is only two miles from the ruins to Gabii, up the valley of the Osa.
Mr. Thomas Ashby writes:—
* The site is one peculiarly adapted for an ancient Latin town, and the position of the Arx is characteristic. The city walls, if such ever existed, may have been destroyed by time or by the hand of man, or the scarping of the cliffs may have been considered sufficient. As to Collatia, classical writers give us little information, and the identification is made with the help of the passages of Frontinus, which enable us to identify the road which leads direct to this place with the Via Collatina. Pliny enumerates it among the lost cities of Latium. There are no traces of any Roman villa, such as are often found upon the sites of ancient Latin towns ; but these may have been obliterated by the construction of the castle.'—' Classical Topography of the Roman Campagna,' pp. 146-7.
ANTEMNAE AND FIDENAE
(This is a short pleasant afternoon's drive. Pedestrians may vary the way by going first to the Acqua Acetosa (see Walks in Rome), and turning to the right across the hill of Antemnae to Ponte Salario.)
LEAVING the Porta Salaria, by which Alaric entered Rome (August 24, 410), the Via Salaria runs between the uninteresting walls of villas until, passing the catacombs of S. Priscilla, it reaches the brow of the hill overlooking the Tiber. Here, on the left, about two miles from the city, stands the green rock table, which wasionce the site of the ' Turrigerae Antemnae'1 of Virgil, one of the many ancient towns of Latium.
* Antemnaque prisco
—Silius Hal., 'Punic,' viii. 367.
'Not a tree—not a shrub on its turf-grown surf ace—not a house—not a ruin —not one stone upon another, to tell yon the site had been inhabited. Yet here once stood Antemnae, the city of many towers. Not a trace remains above ground. Even the broken pottery, that infallible indicator of bygone civilisation, which marks the site und determines the limits of habitation on many a now desolate spot of classic ground, is here so overgrown with herbage that the eye of an antiquary would alone detect it. It is a site strong by nature, and well adapted for a city, as cities then were ; for it is scarcely larger than the Palatine Hill, which, though at first it embraced the whole of Rome, was afterwards too small for a single palace. It has a peculiar interest as the site of one of the three cities of Sabina, whose daughters, ravished by the followers of Romulus, became the mothers of the Roman race.' 2—Dennis,
'It would seem that the highest point nearest the road was the citadel; and the descent of two roads, now scarcely perceptible, one toward Fidenae and the bridge, and tho other toward Rome, marks the site of a gate. On the other side of the knoll of the citadel is a cave, with signs of artificial cutting in the rock, being a sepulchre under the walls. There was evidently a gate also in the hollow which runs from the platform of the city to the junction of the Auiene and the Tiber, where there is now a little islet. Probably there was another gate toward the meadows, on the side of the Acqua Acetosa, and another opposite; and from these two gates, which the nature of the soil points out, one road mnst have run up a valley, tending in the direction of the original Palatium of Rome ; and the other must have passed by a ferry toward Veii, up the valley near the present Torre di Quinto. It is not uninteresting to observe how a city, destroyed at a period previous to what is now called that of authentic history, should, without even one stone remaining, preserve indications of its former existence. From the height
1 Aen. vii. 630.
of Antemnae is a fine view of the field of battle between the Romans and the Fidenates, whence Tullus Hostillus despatched M. Horatlus to destroy the city of Alba Longa. The isthmus, where the two roads from Palatium and Veil met, unites with the city a higher eminence, which may have been another citadel. The beauty of the situation is such, that it is impossible it should not have been selected as the site of a villa in the flourishing times of Rome.
'The spot is frequently adverted to in the early periods of history. Servius, Varro, and Festns agree that Antemnae was so called, "guati ante amnein posita."'—GeU.
Just below the site of Antemnae the Via Salaria crossed the Anio by a fine bridge built by Narses in the sixth century upon the site of the Ponte Salario, where Manlius fought with the Gaul. This bridge was blown up during the panic caused by the approach of Garibaldi and the insurgents in 1867, and the ruins, which were of great interest, were destroyed in 1874. Beyond the ugly modern bridge is a mediaeval tower, Torre Salaria, built as usual upon a Roman tomb, which is itself used as an Osteria.
The Via Salaria now runs direct to Castel Giubbileo, passing Torre Serpentara and the site of Fidenae, above the road, with remains of rock-tombs. The scene of the battle which led to the destruction of Alba, was probably Prato Fiscale, beside the Anio.
'When the combat between the Horatii and Curiatli was agreed upon, the compact had been, that the nation whose champions should be victorious, was to command the obedience and service of the other: and the Albans fulfilled it. When Fidenae, however, having driven out or overpowered the Roman colonists, was defending itself with the help of the Veientines against Tullus and the Romans, in the battle that ensned, the Romans stood against the Veientines: on the right, over against the Fidenates, were the Albans under their dictator Mettius Fuffotius. Faithless, and yet Irresolute, he drew them off from the conflict to the hills. The Etruscans, seeing that he did not keep his engagement, and suspecting that he meant to attack their flank, gave way, and fled along his line; when the twofold traitor fell upon them in their disorder, in the hope of cloaking his treachery. The Roman King feigned himself deceived. On the following day the two armies were summoned to receive their praises and rewards. The Albans came without their arms, were surrounded by the Roman troops, and heard the sentence of the Inexorable King ; that, as their dictator had broken his faith both to Rome and to the Etruscans, he should in like manner bo torn in pieces by horses driven in opposite directions, while, as for themselves and their city, they should be removed to Rome, and Alba should be destroyed.'—Niebuhr, 1. 349.
* On the same field was fought many a bloody flght between the Romans and Etruscans. Here, in the year of Rome 317, the Fidenates, with their -allies of Veil and Falerii, were again defeated, and Lars Tolumnius, chief of the Veientines, was slain. And a few years later, Mamilius Acmilius and Cornelius Cossus, the heroes of the former flght, routed the same foes in the same plain, and captured the city of Fidenae. Here, too, Annibal seems to have pitched his camp when he marched from Capua to surprise the city.'— Dennis.
A low range of hills now skirts the road on the right. A mile away from the road to the right at about the third mile from Rome, a few crumbling bits of wall near some old bay-trees arc pointed out as fragments of the Villa of Phaon, the freedman of Nero, where that emperor died. This is easily reached from Ponte Nomentaho on the Via Nomentana.
'The Hundred Days of Nero were drawing rapidly to a close. He was no longer safe in the city. . . He would have thrown himself into the Tiber, but his courage failed him. He must have time, he said, and repose to collect his spirits for suicide, and his f reedman Phaon at last offered him his villa in the suburbs, four miles from the city. In undress and barefooted, throwing a rough cloak over his shoulders, and a kerchief across his face, he glided through the doors, mounted a horse, and, attended by Sporus and three others, passed the city gates with the dawn of the summer morning. The Nomentane road led him beneath the wall of the praetorians, whom he might hear uttering curses against him, and pledging vows to Galba; and the early travellers from the country asked him as they met, What news of Nero? or remarked to one another, These men are pursuing the tyrant. Thunder and lightning, and a shock of earthquake, added horror to the moment. Nero's horse started at a dead body on the road-side, the kerchief fell from his face, and a praetorian passing by recognised and saluted him. At the fourth milestone the party quitted the highway, alighted from their horses, and scrambled on foot through a corn-brake, laying their own cloaks to tread on, to the rear of the promised villa. Phaon now desired Nero to crouch in a sand-pit hard by, while he contrived to open the drain from the bath-room, and so admit him unperceived; but he vowed he would not go alive, as he siid, under-ground, and remained trembling beneath the wall. Taking water in his hand from a puddle, This, he said, is the famous drink of Nero. At last a hole was made, through which he crept on all fours into a narrow chamber of the house, and there threw himself on a pallet. The coarse bread that was offered him he could not eat, but swallowed a little tepid water. Still he lingered, his companions urging him to seek refuge, without delay, from the insults about to be heaped on him. He ordered them to dig a grave, and himself lay down to give the measure; he desired them to collect bits of marble to decorate his sepulchre, and prepare water to cleanse and wood to burn his corpse, sighing meanwhile, and muttering, What an artist toperish! Presently a slave of Phaon's brought papers from Rome, which Nero snatched from him, and read that the senate had proclaimed him an enemy, and decreed his death, in the ancient fashion. He asked what that was? and was informed that the culprit was stripped, his head placed in a fork, and his body smitten with a stick till death. Terrified at this announcement, he took two daggers from his bosom, tried their edge one after the other, and again laid them down, alleging that the moment was not yet arrived. Then he called on Sporus to commence bis funeral lamentations; then he implored some of the party to set him the example; once and again he reproached himself with his own timidity. Fie! Nero,fie! he muttered in Greek, Courage, man I come, rouse thee! Suddenly was heard the trampling of horsemen, sent to seize the culprit alive. Then at last, with a verse of Homer hastily ejaculated, Sound of swift-footed steeds strikes on my ears, he placed a weapon to his breast, and the slave Epaphroditus drove it home. The blow was scarcely struck, when the centurion rushed in, and thrusting his cloak against the wound, pretended he was come to help him. The dying wretch could only murmur, Too late, and, Is this your fidelity f and expired with a horrid stare on his countenance. He had adjured his attendants to burn his body, and not let the foe bear off his head ; and this was now allowed him: the corpse was consumed with haste and imperfectly, but at least without mutilation.' — Merivale, 'History of the Romans under the Empire,* vil. 45.
N£ron vit que tout dtait perdu. Son esprit faux ne lui suggerait que des idées grotesques: se revetir d'habits de deuil, aller haranguer lc peuple en cet accoutrement, employer toute sa puissance scenique pour exciter la compassion, et obtenir ainsi le pardon du passe, ou, faute de mieux, la préfecture de l'Egypte. 11 ecrivit son discours; on lui fit remarquer qu'avant d'arriver au forum, il serait mis en pieces. II se concha : se reveillant an milieu de la nuit, il se trouva sans gardes ; on pillait d6ja sa chambre. II sort, frappe a diverses portes, personne ne répond. II rentre, vent mourir, demande le mirmillon Spiculus, brillant tueur, unc des celebrites de 1'amphitheatre. Tout le monde s'écarte. Il sort de nouveau, erre seul dans les rues, va pour se jeter dans le Tibre, revient sur ses pas. Le monde semblait faire le vide autour de lui. Phaon, son affranchi, lui offrit alors pour asile sa villa située entre la voie Salaria et la voieJNomentane, vers la quatrième borne milliaire. Le malheureux, à peine vêtu, couvert d'un méchant manteau, monté sur un cheval misérable, le visage enveloppé pour n'être pas reconnu, partit accompagné de trois ou quatre de ses affranchis, parmi lesquels étaient Phaon, Spbrus, Ëpaphrodite, son secrétaire. Il ne faisait pas encore jour; en sortant par la porte Colline, il entendit au camp des prétoriens, près duquel il passait, les cris des soldats qui le maudissaient et proclamaient Galba. Un écart de son cheval, amené par la puanteur d'un cadavre jeté sur le chemin, le fit reconnaître. Il put cependant atteindre la villa de Phaon, en se glissant à plat ventre sous les broussailles et en se cachant derrière les roseaux.
'Son esprit drolatique, son argot de gamin ne l'abandonnèrent pas. On voulut le blottir dans un trou à Pouzzolane comme on en voit beaucoup en ces parages. Ce fut pour lui l'occasion d'un mot à effet !" Quelle destinée," dit-il; "aller vivant Sous terre 1" Ses réflexions étaient comme un feu roulant de citations classiques, entremêlées de lourdes plaisanteries d'un bobèche aux abois. Il avait sur chaque circonstance une réminiscence littéraire, une froide antithèse: "Celui qui autrefois était fier de sa suite nombreuse n'a plus maintenant que trois affranchis." Par moments, le souvenir de ses victimes lui revenait, mais n'aboutissait qu'à des figures de rhetorique, jamais à un acte moral de repentir. Le comédien survivait à tout. Sa situation n'était pour lui qu'un drame de plus, un drame qu'il avait répété. Se rappelant les rôles où il avait figuré des parricides, des princes réduits à l'état de mendiants, il remarquait que maintenant il jouait tout cela pour son compte, ot chantonnait ce vers qu'un tragique avait mit dans la bouche d'Œdipe:
*' Ma femme, ma mère, mon père
Incapable d'une pensée sérieuse, il voulut qu'on creusât sa fosse à la taille de son corps, fit apporter des morceaux de marbre, de l'eau, du bois pour ses funérailles; tout cela, pleurant et disant: "Quel artiste va mourir!"
'Le courrier de Phaon, cependant, apporte une dépêche; Néron la lui arrache. Il lit que le sénat l'a déclaré ennemi public et l'a condamné à être puni "selon la vieille coutume."—" Quelle est cette coutume î " demande-t-il. On lui répond que la tête du patient tout nu est engagée dans une fourche, qu'alors on le frappe de verges jusqu'à ce que la mort s'ensuive, puis que le corps est traîné par un croc et jeté dans le Tibre. Il frémit, prend deux poignards qu'il avait sur lui, en essaye la pointe, les resserre, disant que *' l'heure fatale n'était pas encore venue." Il engageait Sporus à commencer sa nénie funèbre, essayait de nouveau de se tuer, ne pouvait. Sa gaucherie, cette espèce de talent qu'il avait pour faire vibrer faux toutes les fibres de l'âme, ce rire à la fois bête et infernal, cette balourdise prétentieuse qui fait ressembler sa vie entière aux miaulements d'un sabbat grotesque, atteignaient au sublime de la fadeur. Il ne pouvait réussir à se tuer. "N'y aura-1-il donc personne ici,"demanda-t-il, "pour me donner l'exemple?" Il redoublait de citations, se parlait en grec, saisait des bouts de vers. Tout-à-coup on entend le bruit du détachement de cavalerie qui vient pour le saisir vivant.
"Les pas des lourds chevaux me frappe les oreilles,"
dit-il. Epaphrodite alors pesa sur le poignard et le lui fit entrer dans la gorge. Le centurion arrive presque au même moment, veut arrêter le sang, cherche à faire croire qu'il vient le sauver. "Trop tard!" dit le mourant, dont les yeux sortaient de la tête et glaçaient d'horreur. "Voilà où en est la fidélité!" ajouta-t-il en expirant. Ce fut sou meilleur trait comique. Néron laissant totûber une plainte mélancolique sur la méchanceté de son siècle, sur la disparition de la bonne foi et de la vertu! . . . Applaudissons. Jjg drame est complet. Une seule fois, nature aux mille visages, tu as su trouver un acteur digne d'un pareil rôle.'—' IS Antéchrist.'
The Villa Spada, at the fifth mile above the road (R.), is believed to have been the Arx of ancient Fidenae of Etruscan origin.