網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

only two miles from Gabii, as a slight turning from the Via Gabina would have led to it. Lunghezza accords much better than Castel dell' Osa with the description of Virgil:—

'Collatinas imponent montibus arces.'

'Aen.' vi. 774.

Virgil and Dionysius notice Collatia as a colony of Alba Longa. It was reduced into subjection to Rome in the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, who established a garrison there, and appointed his nephew Egerius as its 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 Rome, the princesses were revelling at a banquet, surrounded by flowers and wine. From thence the youths hastened to Collatia, where at the 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 the 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's 'Hist. of Rome.'

Silius Italicus notices Collatia as the birth-place of the elder Brutus:—

'. . . altrixcasti Collatia Bruti.'—VIII. 363.

In the time of Strabo l Collatia was little more than a village. It is only two miles from the ruins to Gabii up the valley of the Osa.]

From the Torre degli Schiavi the usual road to Gabii runs through an excessively wild and open part of the Campagna. Here and there a tomb or a tower breaks the wide expanse. Far on the left is the great castle of Cervaretto, and beyond it Cervara and Rustica; further still is the Tor dei Pazzi. To the left the valley is seen opening towards the Hernican and Volscian hills, between the great historic sites of Praeneste and Colonna. All is most beautiful, yet unutterably desolate:—

'The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers.'

Now, on the left, rises, on a broad square basement, the fine tower called Tor Tre Teste, from the three heads (from a tomb) built into its walls. Beyond, also on the left, is the Tor Sapienza.

The eighth mile from Rome is interesting as the spot where Roman legend, as narrated by Livy,2 tells that Camillus overtook the army of the Gauls laden with the spoils of Rome, and defeated them so totally, that he left not a single man alive to carry the news home to their countrymen.

'Among the fictions attached to Roman history, this was one of the first to be rejected.'—Niebuhr.

'Such a falsification, scarcely to be paralleled in the annals of any other people, justifies the strongest suspicion of all those accounts of victories and triumphs which appear to rest in any degree on the authority of the family memorials of the Roman aristocracy.'—Arnold.

At the ninth mile the road passes over the magnificent viaduct called Pontenona, consisting of seven arches, built of the gloomy stone called "lapis gabinus." The pavement of the bridge, and, even part of the parapet, exist, showing what it was when entire.

'C'est certainement à la plus belle époque de l'architecture républicaine qu'appartient le pont de Nona, sur la voie Prenestine, probablement à l'époque du Tabularium, c'est-à-dire au temps de Sylla. Il est bâti en péperin dont les blocs ont quelquefois dix ou douze pieds de longueur; au-dessous des arches, qui ont de dix-huit à vingt-quatre pieds de hauteur, est un pont beaucoup plus petit, qui a précédé l'autre. Ce petit pont primitif était sans doute l'œuvre des habitants du lieu et leur suffisait ; mais Rome est venue; elle a élevé le niveau du pont jusqu'au niveau de la voûte, à laquelle il était lié, et a laissé subsister à ses pieds son humble prédécesseur comme pour servir à mesurer sa grandeur par le contraste.'—Ampère, iv. 71.

More and more desolate becomes the country, till beyond the Osteria del Osa, 11 miles from Rome, we turn aside to the tall mediaeval tower of Castiglione (which is mentioned in a deed of 1225), occupying the highest point of a ridge in the Campagna. Beyond this are remains of the walls of Gabii, on a natural causeway of volcanic rocks, exceedingly picturesque and striking. We look across the grey-green crater of the lake, which has been recently drained by Prince Torlonia, to whom it belongs, to the great destruction of its beauty and improvement of his property. In the fields beyond (accessible by a rough carriage road which leaves the Via Praenestina at the Osteria dell' Osa) is a low massive ruin, which might easily pass overlooked, but which is no less than a fragment—the cella—of the famous Temple of Juno, celebrated by Virgil :—

'. . . quique arva Gabinae Junonis, gelidumque Anienem, et roscida rivis Hernica sa\a colunt.'—' Aen.' vii. 682.

and by Silius Italicus :—

'. . . nee amoena retentant
Algida, nee juxta Junonis tecta Gabinae.'—XII. 536.

'The temple (the cell of which remains almost entire, but rent in certain parts apparently by lightning;) is built of rectangular blocks of peperino. It has the same aspect as that of Diana at Aricia; that is, the wall of the posticum is prolonged beyond the cella, to the width of the portico on each side:—" Columnis adjectis dextra et sinistra ad humeros pronai."1 The number of columns could scarcely be less than six in front; those of the flanks have not been decided. The columns were fluted, and of peperino, like the rest of the building; but it might perhaps be hazardous to assign them to a very remote period. The pavement is a mosaic of large white tesserae.'—Sir W. Gel/.

Near the temple remains of semi-circular seats, perhaps indicating a Theatre, have been discovered, and nearer the high-road it has become possible to trace the plan of the Forum, a work of imperial times surrounded on three sides by porticoes and adorned with statues.

Virgil and Dionysius say that Gabii was a Latin colony of Alba. Solinus asserts that it was founded by two Siculian brothers Galatios and Bios, from whose united names that of the city was formed. Dionysius says that it was one of the largest and most populous of Latin cities. It seems to have been the university of Latium, and Plutarch and Strabo narrate that Romulus and Remus were sent there to learn Greek and the use of arms. In the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, Gabii gave refuge to exiles from Rome and other cities of Latium, and so aroused the hostility of the King.

'Ultima Tarquinius Romanae gentis habebat
Regna; vir injustus, fortis ad arma tamen.
Ceperat hie alias, alias everterat urbes;
Et Gabios turpi fecerat arte suos.'

Ovid, 'Fast.' ii. 687.

'The primaeval greatness of Gabii is still apparent in the walls of the cell of the temple of Juno. Dionysius saw it yet more conspicuous in the ruins of the extensive walls, by which the city, standing in the plain, had been surrounded, and which had been demolished by a destroying conqueror, as well as in those of several buildings. It was one of the thirty Latin cities; but it scorned the determination of the 'Vitruvius.

confederacy—in which cities far from equal in power were equal in voles—to degrade themselves. Hence it began an obstinate war with Rome. The contending cities were only twelve miles apart; and the country betwixt them endured all the evils of military ravages for years, no end of which was to be foreseen : for within their walls they were invincible.

'But Sextus, the son of Tarquinius Superbus, pretended to rebel. The king, whose anger appeared to have been provoked by his wanton insolence, condemned him to a disgraceful punishment, as if he hail been the meanest of his subjects. He came to the Gabines under the mask of a fugitive. The bloody marks of his stripes, and still more the infatuation which comes over men doomed to perish, gained him belief and goodwill. At first he led a body of volunteers ; then troops were trusted to his charge. Every enterprise succeeded; for booty and soldiers were thrown in his way at certain appointed places; and the deluded citizens raised the man, under whose command they promised themselves the pleasures of a successful war, to the dictatorship. The last step of his treachery was yet to come. None of the troops being hirelings, it was a hazardous venture to open a gate. Sextus sent to ask his father in what way he should deliver Gabii into his hands. Tarquinius was in his garden when he received the messenger; he walked along in silence, striking off the heads of the tallest poppies with his stick, and dismissed the man without an answer. On this hint, Sextus put to death, or by means of false charges banished, such of the Gabines as were able to oppose him. By distributing their fortunes he purchased partisans among the lowest class; and, acquiring the uncontested rule, brought the city to submit to his father.'— Niebuhr, 'Hist of Rome, i. 491.'

The treaty concluded at this time between Rome and Gabii was preserved on a wooden shield in the temple of Jupiter Fidius at Rome. It is evidently one of those alluded to by Horace as the

'foedera regum
Cum Gabiis aut cum rigidis aequata Sabinis.

After the expulsion of the kings, Sextus Tarcfuinius took refuge at Gabii, where, according to Livy, he was murdered. But Gabii was one of the cities which combined in behalf of the Tarquins at the Lake Regillus. After that battle it became subject to Rome, and almost disappears from history for several centuries, and was so reduced that—

'Smith's Diet, of Creek and Roman Geography.

« 上一頁繼續 »