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have been in this neighbourhood. It was more probably at La Solfatara in the great Laurentine wood sacred to Picus and Faunus. Thither, and not hither, the king of Laurentum would naturally go to consult the oracle.*
"Sir Humphrey Davy made some carious experiments on the process bv which the water in these lakes continually adds to the rocks around, by petrifaction or incrustation. He says, that the water taken from the most tranquil part of the lake, even after being agitated and exposed to the air, contained in solution more than its own volume of carbonic acid gas, with a very small quantity of sulphuretted hydrogen. The temperature is 80 degrees of Fahrenheit. It is peculiarly fitted to afford nourishment to vegetable life. Its banks of Travertino are everywhere covered with reeds, lichen, conferva, and various kinds of aquatic vegetables; and at the same time that the process of vegetable life is going on, crystallizations of the calcareous matter are everywhere formed, in consequence of the escape of the carbonic acid of the water.
"In the line between the bridge and the Solfatara, the rocky crust was broken in on the left near the stream, in the year 1825, and a portion of the water was lost; and another stream, called Acqua Acetosa, falls into a hole on the right: these instances show that the crust is but thin in some places. It probably covers an unfathomable abyss; for a stone thrown into the lake, occasions in its descent so violent a discharge of carbonic acid gas, and for so long a time, as to give the idea of an immense depth of water. The taste is acid, and the sulphureous smell so strong, that when the wind assists, it has sometimes been perceived in the higher parts of Rome."— Gell.
Two miles beyond the canal is the Ponte Lucano, well known by engravings from the beautiful picture by G. Poussin in the Doria Palace. Close beyond the bridge rises, embattled into a tower by Pius II., the massive round tomb of the Plautii, built by M. Plautius Silvanus in B.C. 1, and long used by his descendants. At Barco, near this, were the principal quarries for the Travertino used in the buildings of ancient Rome.
• But two inscriptions have been found which show that there was once a temple of Cybele here, and that the waters themselves were honoured as "Aquae Albulae Sanc
About half a mile beyond the bridge a lane to the left leads to the gates of the Villa Adriana, which is said once to have been from 8 to 10 miles in extent. It is believed to have been ruined during the siege of Tibur by Totila. The chief interest of the ruins arises from their vast extent, and from the lovely carpet of the shrubs and flowers, with which Nature has surrounded them. In spring nothing can exceed the beauty of the violets andanemonies here.* Successive generations of antiquaries have occupied themselves with the nomenclature of the different masses of ruin, and they always disagree: most travellers will consider such discussions of little consequence, and, finding them exceedingly fatiguing, will rest satisfied in the knowledge that the so-called villa was once a most stupendous conglomeration of unnecessary buildings, and in the joyful contemplation of its present loveliness.
"I went down to Adrian's villa with exalted ideas of its extent, variety, and magnificence. On approaching it, I saw ruins overgrown with trees and bushes; I saw mixt-reticular walls stretching along the side of a hill, in all the confusion of a demolished town; but I saw no grandeur of elevation, no correspondence in the parts. I went on. The extent and its variety opened before me—baths, academies, porticos, a library, a palestra, a hippodrome, a menagerie, a naumachia, an aqueduct, theatres both Greek and Latin, temples for different rites, and every appurtenance suitable to an imperial seat. But its magnificence is gone: it is removed to the Vatican, it is scattered over Italy, it may be traced in France. Anywhere but at Tivoli you may look for the statues and caryatides, the columns, the oriental marbles, and the mosaics, with which the villa was once adorned, or supported, or wainscoted, or floored. "—Forsyth.
"The drive was less beautiful than most of those which lie round Rome. Thus two hours and a half went by, dully; and I was not sorry when, turning aside from the castellated tomb of the Plautii family,
• Since this account was written (1873) the destroying hand of Signor Rosa has been here, the flowers are all rooted up, the ruins stripped of their creepers, and of the fringes of lovely shrubs which gave them all their charm: and, for tbe present, the Villa Adriana—a mass of bare walls in a naked country—is little worth visiting— VILLA ADRIANA.
we passed down a shady lane, and stopped at the gate of Hadrian's Villa. Alighting here, we passed into that wide and wondrous wilderness of ruin, through avenues dark with cypress, and steep banks purple with violets. The air was heavy with perfume. The glades were carpeted with daisies, wild periwinkle, and white and yellow crocus-blooms. We stepped aside into a grassy arena which was once the Greek theatre, and sate upon a fallen cornice. There was the narrow shelf of stage on which the agonies of CEdipus and Prometheus were once rehearsed; there was the tiny altar which stood between the audience and the actors, and consecrated the play; there, row above row, were the seats of the spectators. Now, the very stage was a mere thicket of brambles; and a little thrush lighted on the altar, while we were sitting by, and filled all the silent space with song.
"Passing hence, we came next upon open fields, partly cultivated, and partly cumbered with shapeless mounds of fallen masonry. Here, in the shadow of a gigantic stone pine, we found a sheet of mosaic pavement, glowing with all its marbles in the sun; and close by, half buried in deep grass, a shattered column of the richest porphyry. Then came an olive plantation; another theatre; the fragments of a temple; and a long line of vaulted cells, some of which contained the remains of baths and conduits, and were tapestried within with masses of the delicate maiden-hair fem. Separated from these by a wide space of grass, amid which a herd of goats waded and fed at their pleasure, rose a pile of reticulated wall, with part of a vast hall yet standing, upon the vaulted roof of which, sharp and perfect, as if moulded yesterday, were encrusted delicate bas-reliefs of white stucco, representing groups of Cupids, musical instruments, and figures reclining at table. Near this spot, on a rising ground formed all of ruins, overgrown with grass and underwood, we sate down to rest, and contemplate the view.
"A deep romantic valley opened before us, closed in on either side by hanging woods of olive and ilex, with here and there a group of dusky junipers, or a solitary pine, rising like a dark green parasol above all its neighbours. Interspersed among these, and scattered about the foreground, were mountainous heaps of buttressed wall, arch, vault, and gallery, all more or less shattered out of form, or green with ivy. At the bottom of the valley, forming, as it were, the extreme boundary of the middle distance, rose two steep volcanic hills, each crowned with a little white town, that seemed to wink and glitter in the sun; while beyond these again, undulating, melancholy, stretching mysteriously away for miles and miles in the blue distance, lay the wastes of the Campagna."—Barbara's History; "Autour de moi, a travers les arcades des mines, s'ouvraient des points de rue sur la campagne romaine : des buissons de sureau remplissaient les salles désertes, où venaient se réfugier quelques merles solitaires; les fragments de maçonnerie étaient tapissés de feuilles de scolopendre, dont la verdure satinée se dessinait comme un travail en mosaïque sur la blancheur des marbres. Cà et là de hauts cyprès remplaçaient les colonnes tombées dans ces palais de la mort. L'acanthe sauvage rampait à leurs pieds sur des débris, comme si la nature s'était plu à reproduire sur ces chefs d'ceuvre inutiles de l'architecture l'ornement de leur beauté passée; les salles diverses, et les sommités des ruines, ressemblaient à des corbeilles et à des bouquets de verdure; le vent en agitait les guirlandes humides, et les plantes s'inclinaient sous la pluie du ciel."—Chateaubriand.•
The villa formed part of a large estate purchased by Pius VI. It is now the property of his representative, Duke Braschi.
On Monte Affiiano, which rises behind the Villa Adriana, to the south of Tivoli, most authorities place the site of the Latin city .rEsula. The mountain of Tivoli is divided into three positions: Ripoli, towards the town; Spaccato, in the centre; and Monte Affiiano, at the southern extremity. Porphyrion has accurately described the position of vEsula as on this southern extremity of the centre of Tibur.
"Udum Tibur propter aquarum copiam. . . /Esula, nomen urbis, alterius in latere montis constitute."
There are remains of a city having stood here.
"^îîsula declive contempleris arvum."
Horace, iii. Ode 29.
It was probably deserted on account of its inconvenient situation, and the temple of Bona Dea or Ops was its representative, in later times.t
A winding road, constructed by the Braschi, winds up the
• The powerful description of Chateaubriand cannot be realized ww, but is inserted, in the hope that when the reign of Signor Rosa is over, Nature will be permitted tu restore the ruins of the Villa Adriana to their former beauty.
t See Cell's "Topography of Rome and its Vicinity."
ASCENT TO TIVOLI.
hill to Tivoli, through magnificent olive-groves, the silvery trunks of the old trees caverned, loop-holed, and twisted in every possible contortion.
"It is well to have felt and seen the olive-tree; to have loved it fot Christ's sake, partly also for the helmed Wisdom's sake which was to the heathen in some sort as that nobler Wisdom which stood at God's right hand, when he founded the earth and established the heavens: to have loved it, even to the hoary dimness of its delicate foliage, subdued and faint of hue, as if the ashes of the Gethsemane agony had been cast upon it for ever; and to have traced, line by line, the gnarled writhing of its intricate branches, and the pointed petals of its light and narrow leaves, inlaid on the blue field of the sky, and the small rosy-white stars of its spring blossoming, and the beads of sable fruit scattered by autumn along its topmost boughs—the right, in Israel, of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow,—and, more than all, the softness of the mantle, silver grey, and tender like the down on a bird's breast, with which, far away, it veils the undulation of the mountains."—Ruskin, Stones oj Venice, iii. 176.
As we drive slowly up the ascent it may be pleasant to consider the history of Tibur, which claims to go back much further than that of Rome. Dionysius says that it was a city of the Siculi, and called Siculetum or Sicilis, and that the original inhabitants were expelled by Tiburtus, Corax, and Catillus, the three grandsons of Amphiaraus, the king and prophet of Thebes, who flourished a century before the Trojan war. Tibur was named after the eldest of the brothers.
"Tum gemini fratres Tiburtia mcenia linquunt,
"Jam mnenia Tiburis udi
Ovid. Fast. iv. 71.
Horace, Od. 1. xviii. 1.