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Toward the river it is steep, but it is united by a kind of isthmus to the high table-land, where the rest of the city is supposed to have stood. Remains above ground are non-existent. Many inscribed pedestals were found near the railway line in 1889-90.

'Dionysius, who is generally an excellent antiquary, says that Fidenae was an Alban colony, founded at the same time with Nomentum and Crustumerium, the eldest of three emigrant brothers building Fidenae. But it is evident that the great mass of the original inhabitants were Etruscans, for it appears, from Livy (lib. i. 27), that only a portion of the inhabitants "(ut qui coloni additi Romanis essent) Latine sciebant." The same author elsewhere relates, that when the Romans wanted a spy upon the Fidenates, they were obliged to employ a person who had been educated at Caere, and had learned the language and writing of Etruria : and in another place (lib. i. 15) he expressly says, " Fidenates quoque Etrusci fuerunt." The Fidenates were the constant allies of the Veientes, with whom they were probably connected by race.

'"The city," says Dionysius, ** was in its glory in the time of Romulus, by whom it was taken and colonised; the Fidenates having seized certain boats laden with corn by the Crustumerini for the use of the Romans, as they passed down the Tiber under the walls of Fidenae." Livy (lib. iv. 22) calls Fidenae " urbs alta et munita ;" and says, " neque scalis capi poterat, neque in obsidione vis ulla erat." *—Gell.

'Making the circuit of Castel Giubbileo, you are led round till you meet the road, where it issues from the hollow at the northern angle of the city. Besides the tombs which are found on both sides of the southern promontory of the city, there is a cave, running far into the rock, and branching off into several chambers and passages. Fidenae, like Veii, is said to have been taken by a mine; and this cave might be supposed to indicate the spot, being subsequently enlarged into its present form, had not Livy stated that the cuniculus was on the opposite side of Fidenae, where the cliffs were loftiest, and that it was carried into the Arx.

'The ruin of Fidenae is as complete as that of Antemnae. The hills on which it stood are now bare and desolate: the shepherd tends his flock on its slopes, or the plough furrows its bosom. Its walls have utterly disappeared; not one stone remains on another, and the broken pottery and the tombs around are the sole evidences of its existence. Yet, as Nibby observes, " few ancient cities, of which few or no vestiges remain, have had the good fortune to have their sites so well determined as Fidenae." Its distance of forty stadia, or five miles, from Rome, mentioned by Dionysius, and its position relative to Veii, to the Tiber, and to the confluence of the Anio with that stream, as set forth by Livy, leave not a doubt of its true site.'—Dennis.

'When we climb the promontory of Castel Giubbileo, and look around, standing in the shelter of the old house, what a strange prospect opens before us! Once how full of life and conflict!— now, how entirely a prey to decay and solitude! At our feet the lordly Tiber winds, with many a sweeping curve, away to Rome, which bristles in the horizon with its domes and towers. It is hardly possible to imagine that two hundred thousand human beings are living and moving two'" leagues off. As we turn the eye northwards not a creature is seen, not a single habitation of man. Still, how memory peoples the waste! That stream, which, marking its devious valley with a line of bare wintry trees, enters the Tiber opposite to the marshy meadow under our feet, is the Cremera— name of fatal omen, and yet eloquent of heroic daring. On that stream the race of the Fanii, who had undertaken on their own account the war with the people of Veii, perished, all, to the number of 306, being cut off by an ambush of the enemy.

* Further to the right, another stream, more faintly marked, comes into the Tiber on the other side. That is (?) the Allia, a name of even more fatal sound; for on its banks took place that great defeat by the Gauls which issued in the taking of Rome.

'This scene surveyed, we descend again into the valley, and climb the lower opposite hill, which was evidently the site of Fidenae. Here, as in several other places in the Campagna, we find mysterious ranges of rockcaverns communicating with one another, and opening into vast halls, now the stalls of cattle. It would seem that this was Fidenae. Yet, how should these holes represent a city 1 Whence issued the legions that met the legions of Rome? Where are the walls—where the materials of the houses? One ruin only appears containing anything like masonry, and that apparently of the Middle Ages. Wero these caves, hewn in the tufa, the ancient city? Then were the inhabitants little more than savages: then were the narratives of the historians impossible and self-contradicting. The whole matter is wrapped in impenetrable darkness.'—Dean Al/ord.

Horace speaks of Fidenae as if it was almost deserted in his time:—

'Scis, Lebedus quid sit; Gabiis desertior atque
Fidenis vicus . . .'

—Epist. 1.11, 7.

but in the reign of Tiberius it appears to have been a municipal town:—

'Hujns qui trahitur praetextam sumere mavis;
An Fidenamm, Gabiorumque esse potestas.'

—Juvenal, 'Sat.' x. 99.

and that its population was considerable is attested by the greatness of a public calamity (a.d. 27), due to jerry-building, which took place there.

'The retirement of Tiberius was followed by a succession of public calamities. ... A private speculator had undertaken, as a matter of profit, one of the magnificent public works, which in better times it was the privilege of the chief magistrates or candidates for the highest offices to construct for the sake of glory or influence. In erecting a vast wooden amphitheatre in the suburban city of Fidenae, he had omitted the necessary precaution of securing a solid foundation ; and when the populace of Rome, unaccustomed, from the parsimony of Tiberius, to their favourite spectacles at home, were invited to the diversions of the opening day, which they attended in immense numbers, the mighty mass gave way under the pressure, and covered them in its ruins. Fifty thousand persons, or, according to a lower computation, not less than twenty thousand, men and women of all ranks, were killed or injured by this catastrophe.'—Merivale, 'History of the Romans, ch. xiv.

At the sixth mile, rises an almost isolated hill, overlooking the valley of the Tiber, called Castel Giubbileo, from the farm-buildings crowning it, which were erected by Boniface VIII. with money raised in the year of the first Jubilee (1300).

Here the Tiber, making a bold bend, leaves the road and the railway for a while, On the R. Sette Bagni is passed, and a bridge across a Fossa brings us to Malpasso, near which have been found remains of early villas. This leads on to Casale Marcigliana, and the hilly, bare country in the neighbourhood of Mentana and Monte Rotondo.

CHAPTER XI

MENTANA AND MONTE ROTONDO

(This is a delightful day's excursion from Borne, and comprises much of interest. Train to Monte Kotondo. A carriage meets passengers and deposits them at the town (Locande, Umberto I., and dell' Olmo); whence may be examined Grotta Marozza with a mediaeval tower, whence a descent on to the Via Nomentana will commence a fine walk in splendid scenery, 16 miles to Bagnl station, on the Tivoli line.)

THE ancient road which led from Rome to Nomentum was called Via Nomentuna. It issued from the city by the Servian wall gate, Porta Collina, and proceeded almost in a direct line to its destination. The modern road from Porta Pia nearly foDows the Roman Way. It was on this side that the Italian troops approached Rome, on the day which so many patriotic spirits rightly regarded as the dawn of freedom for Rome.

'The blind, and the people in prison,

Souls without hope, without home,
How glad were they all that heard!
When the winged white flame of the word
Passed over men's dust, and stirred
Death ; for Italia was risen,

And risen her light upon Rome.

'The light of her sword in the gateway
Shone, an unquenchable flame,
Bloodless, a sword to release,
A light from the eyes of peace,
To bid grief utterly cease,
And the wrong of the old world straightway
Pass from the face of her fame:

'Hers, whom we turn to and cry on,

Italy, mother of men:
From the si<rht of the face of her glory,
At the sound of the storm of her story,
That the sanguine shadows and hoary
Should flee from the foot of the lion,
Lion-like, forth of his den.'

Swinburne, 'The Halt before Rome.'

Below the basilica of S. Agnese we cross the Anio by Ponte Nomentano, occupying the site of the ancient bridge, but in itself mediaeval (viii. and xv. cents.), with forked battlements. The green slopes beyond the bridge are regarded by some as those of Mons Sacer, where took place the famous secession of the Plebs, in B.C. 494, which extorted from the Patricians the concession to them of Tribunes who should represent the interests of the people. Others make claim for Mons Aventinus.

'The spot on which this great deliverance had been achieved became to the Romans what Runnymede is to Englishmen : the top of the hill was left for ever unenclosed and consecrated, and an altar was built on it, and sacrifices offered to Jupiter, who strikes men with terror and again delivers them from their fear; because the commons had fled thither in fear, and were now returning in safety. So the hill was known for ever by the name of the Sacred Hill.'—Arnold, 'History of Rome,' i. 149.

Tombs are seen right and left. On the left the Strada delle Vigne Nuove leads direct to the Villa of Phaon and Vigna Chiari, the scene of Nero's suicide.

Passing Coazzo (with remains) and the tomb (Torraccio), known as Torre Nomentana, we reach, on the right (10 kil.), the disinterred Basilica of S. Alessandro, constructed with a catacomb of late third century. A little beyond this, at Capobianco, before passing the farm and Macchia Cesarina, the road divides. The sharp turn to the right passes on to a road (14 kil.) that leads to Palombara, a clean and picturesque town of the Sabina (4000 inhab.) once a fortress of the Savelli, but since 1637 belonging to the Borghese (now Torlonia), most beautifully situated between the Nomentana and Tiburtina at the foot of Monte Gennaro (3900 ft.).

Following, however (to left) the Via Nomentana, where the ancient pavement becomes very perfect, we reach (13 kil.) Case Nuove, and, about 15 kil. from Rome (on the left) is seen the fine mediaeval tower called Torre Lupara, built of alternate courses of brick and stone. The neighbouring hill is called Monte Gentile (425 ft.). It had a thirteenth-century Orsini stronghold on it once, and is one of the disputed sites of the Latin city of Ficulea or Ficulnea, which is frequently mentioned both by Livy and Dionysius in the early history of Rome. Gell speaks of the ground near Torre Lupara as 'strewn with tiles and pottery—one of the surest indications of an ancient settlement,' but these probably belonged to a villa of later times. It has been supposed by Nibby, from an inscription and bas-relief found near the farm Cesarina referring to a charitable institution of M. Aurelius and Faustina for 'Pueri et Puellae Alimentarii Ficolensium,' and from the expression ' Ficulea vetus' used by Livy, and 'Ficelias veteres' by Martial, that there may have been a second town called Ficulea, built in later times nearer the capital. But careful search of the locality has not yet discovered the site; which is claimed for two other spots. Ficulea was the seat of an early bishopric. It is said to have derived its name from the wild fig trees. In the acts of Pope Caius and S. Lawrence the Martyr it is called ' Civitas Figlina extra Portam Salariam.' The Via Nomentana is sometimes spoken of as Via Ficulea (Livius, c. 52, Lib. iii.).

Beyond Monte Gentile, the road passes by Torre Mancini through oak woods, a contrast to the barer Campagna, until, when it first mounts up in sight of Mentana, it reaches the height which was the site of the battle, in which, Oct. 1867, the Papal troops, assisted by the French, defeated the Italians under Garibaldi. The headquarters of the latter were in the Vigna Santucci.

Some blocks of marble in the main street are the only remains of the ancient Latin town Nomentum, which is spoken of by Virgil and Dionysius as a colony from Alba. It was one of the thirty cities of the Latin League, and continued to nourish in the times of the Empire, when Seneca had a country house there, as well as Martial, who frequently refers to it in his poems, and contrasts its peaceful retirement with the vanities of Baiae and the more fashionable summer villeggiature.

'Me Nomentani conllrmant otia ruris,
Et casa jugeribus non onerosa suis,
Hoc mihi Baiani soles, mollisqne Luerinus;Hoc vestrae mihi sunt, Castrice, divitiae.
Quondam laudatas quocunque libebat ad undas

Currere, nee longas pertimuisse vias:
Nunc urbi vicina juvant, facilesque recessus,
Et satis est, pigro si licet esse mihi.'

Mart. ' Ep.' vi. 43, 3.

'Ergo Numae colles, et Nomentana relinquis
Otia nec retinent rusque focusque senem?'

—x. 44.

'Cur saepe sicci parva rura Nomeuti,
Laremque villae sordidum petam, qnaeris?
Nec cogitandi, Sparse, nec quiescendi
In urbe locus est pauperi.'

—xii. 67,1.

Martial likewise praises its wine, which is also extolled by Seneca and Pliny.

'In Nomentanis, Ovidi, quod nascitur agris,
Accepit quotiens tempora longa, merum,
Exuit annosa mores nomenque senecta,
Et, quidquid voluit, testa vocatur anus.'

-i. 105.

In the Middle Ages the place was once more called Civitas Nomentana, and was the seat of a bishopric (a.d. 450). Here, in A.D. 800, Leo III., accompanied by his clergy, the Senate, and all the Guilds of Rome, met Charlemagne, when he came to be crowned, and gave him a banquet. It was the birthplace of the great Consul Crescentius. Mentana was granted by Nicholas III. (1277-81), to his own family, the Orsini, by whom it was sold to the Peretti, whose arms still remain upon the walls of its fifteenth-century castle. The place now belongs to the Borghese.

The Via Nomentana proceeds toward Monte Libretti, passing —three miles beyond Mentana—Orotta Marozza, with a mediaeval castle on an eminence, believed by some to occupy the site of Eretum, which from its position on the frontier between the Latins and Sabines, was constantly the scene of warfare between the two peoples. It was never a place of much importance. Valerius Maximus speaks of it as 'Vicus Sabinae regionis.' A mile from Monte Rotondo the landscape widens and drops away to the plain, leaving to the view distant Soracte to the north, with a

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