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REMAINS OF GABH.
long. It had columns of the Doric order in front and at the sides, but none at the back. The surrounding area was about fifty-four feet at the sides, but in front a space of only eight feet was left open, in consequence of the position of the theatre, which abutted closely upon the temple. On the eastern side of the cella are traces of the rooms in which the priests in charge of the temple lived."—Burn, The Roman Campagna.
From the temple we look across the grey-green crater of the lake—which has lately been drained by Prince Torlonia, to whom it belongs, to the great destruction of its beauty, and the improvement of his property—to the mediaeval tower of Castiglionc (which is mentioned in a deed of 1225) occupying the highest part of the ridge, and marking the site of the citadel of Gabii. Slight remains of wall exist near the tower, and small fragments of ruins with scattered pieces of marble may be found all along the ridge. 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.
These fragments, ill-defined and scattered at long intervals in the corn or rank weeds with which the Campagna is overgrown, are all that remains of Gabii.
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
Ovid. Fast. ii. 687. "The primeval 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 confederacy—in which cities far from equal in power were equal in votes—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 had 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."—Nubuhr's 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 :—
After the expulsion of the kings, Sextus Tarquinius 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:—
"... Gabios, Veiosque, Coramque Pulvere vix tectae poterum monstrare ruinae."
Lucan. vii. 392.
"Sets Lebedus quam sit Gabiis desertior atque
I/or. i. Ep. If.
"Quippe suburbana e parva minus urbe Bovillae;
Propert. iv. El. I.
"Hujus qui trahitur pratextam sumere mavis;
"Juvenal. Sat. x. 100.
"Quis timet, aut timuit gelida Praneste ruinam;
Juvenal. Sal. iii. 1S9.
"cum jam celebres notique poeta e
Balneolum Gabiis, Romae conducere fumos
Juvenal. Sal. vii. 4.
The Gabini had a peculiar mode of girding the toga,
• See Smith's Diet, of Greek and Roman Geography.
which gave more freedom to the limbs, and which was found useful when hurrying to battle from a sacrifice. Virgil alludes to it:—
"Ipse, Quirinali trabea cinctuque Gabino
ALn. vii . 612.
Under Tiberius the town had a slight revival, which was increased under Hadrian, who adorned it with handsome public buildings, colleges, and an aqueduct . In the first ages of Christianity it became the seat of a bishopric (a list of its bishops from A.d. 465 to 879 is given in Ughelli's // alia Sera), but it was finally ruined when Astolphus ravaged the Campagna, at the head of 6000 Lombards. It is only a mile's walk or ride from the Osteria del Osa (turning left) to the Castello del Osa or Collatia, for which see chapter ix.
Continuing along the Via Pranestina, much of the old pavement is visible. This is most perfect at Cavanwnte (seven miles beyond Gabii), where the road passes through a deep cutting in the rocks which guard the valley of Gallicano. The cliffs on either side of the road reach a height of 70 feet, and are most picturesquely overhung with shrubs and ivy. The road, which is generally only 14 feet wide, here has a width of 27 feet. After passing through Cavamonte, the Via Praenestina ascends towards Praneste by the Convent of the Buon Pastore.
On the left of the road (19 miles from Rome) is the village of Gallicano, supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Pedum, whose name is familiar to readers of Horace, from the epistle to Albius Tibullus.
"Albi, nostrorum sermonum candide judex,
i. Ep. iv.
The present name is derived from Ovinius Gallicanus, Prefect of Rome in the time of Constantine, who was afterwards canonized for his charities, and in whose honour the Hospital in the Trastevere was dedicated. The place was formerly a fief of the Colonnas, and now gives a title to the Rospigliosi.
"The towns of Scaptia, Ortona, and Querquetula lay somewhere in this neighbourhood. Scaptia was one of the cities which conspired to restore the Tarquins to the Roman throne. It gave a name Xo one of the tribes at Rome, but in Pliny's time had fallen entirely into ruins. The site of Passerano has been fixed upon as the representative of Scaptia by most modern topographers. But this opinion rests upon a false reading in Festus, and must be rejected. Ortona lay on the frontier, between the Latins and ^Equians, but belonged to the Latins. It seems to have been near Corbio, and on the further side of Mount Algidus. The site of Querquetula is entirely unknown. Gell and Nibby place it *t Corcolo, arguing from the similarity of the name. Corcolo is four miles from Gallicano, and six from Zagarolo, at a point where there is an artificial dyke separating a small hill from the neighbouring plateau. There are traces of ancient roads converging to this spot from Pncneste, Castellaccio, and Gallicano."—Bunt, The Roman Campugna.
Zagarola, 21 miles from Rome, will scarcely be made the object of an especial excursion, but may be visited by those who drive to Palestrina. It is a curious old mediaeval town chiefly built by the Colonnas, in whose wars it was twice sacked, first by Boniface VIII., and afterwards by Cardinal Vitelleschi in the reign of Eugenius IV. It now gives a ducal title to the Rospigliosi. Many Roman antiquities found in the neighbourhood are built up into the walls and houses, and over the Roman gate is a seated statue of Jupiter. The commission for the revision of the Vulgate under
Gregory XIV. met in the palace of Zagarolo.
Vol. 1. 11