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To trace all the poetical allusions to it would be endless: here are a few of them.
"Curve te in Herculeum deportant esseda Tibur.'
Propertius, II. 32.
Martial, iv. 62.
"Venit in Herculeos colles: quid Tiburis alti
Mart. vii. 12.
"Nec mihi plus Nemee, priscumve habitabitur Argos,
Stat. Silv. iii. I. 182.
"Quosque sub Herculeis taciturno flumine muris
Sil. Ital. iv. 234.
We re-enter the town by a gate with Ghibelline battlements, near which are two curious mediaeval houses, one with a beautiful outside loggia. Passing through the dirty streets almost to the Porta Santa Croce, by which we entered Tivoli, a narrow alley on the right leads us to a little square, one side of which is occupied by the Cathedral of S. Francesco, a picturesque little building, with a good rosewindow. Behind the church is a cella of the" age of Augustus, which some antiquaries have referred to the temple of Hercules.
"But it would be difficult to regard these vestiges as forming part of a temple 150 feet in circumference, nor was it usual to erect the principal Christian church on the foundations of a heathen temple. It is pretty certain, however, that the Forum of Tibur was near the cathedral, and occupied the site of the present Piazza dell' Ormo and its environs, as appears from a Bull of Pope Benedict VII., in the year 978. The round temple at the cathedral belonged therefore to the Forum, as well as the crypto-porticus, now called Porto di Ercole in the street del Poggie. The exterior of this presents ten closed arches about 200 feet in length,
which still retain traces of the red plaster with which they were covered. Each arch has three loop-holes to serve as windows. The interior is divided into two apartments or halls, by a row of 28 slender pillars. Traces of arabesque painting on a black ground may still be seen. The mode of building shows it to be of the same period as the circular remains."—SmUA's Diet, of Greek and Roman Geography.
Close to the Cathedral is the door of the famous Villa dEste, where we are admitted on ringing a bell, and crossing a court-yard, and descending a long vaulted passage, are allowed unaccompanied to enter and wander about in one of the grandest and wildest and most impressive gardens in the world. The villa itself, built in 1549, by Pirro Ligorio, for Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of Alfonso II., Duke of Ferrara, is stately and imposing in its vast forms, bold outlines, and deeply-projecting cornices. Beneath it runs a broad terrace (rather too much grown up now), ending in an archway, which none but fhe most consummate artist would have placed where it stands, in glorious relief against the soft distances of the many-hued Campagna. Beneath the twisted staircases which lead down from this terrace, fountains send up jets of silvery spray on every succeeding level against the dark green of the gigantic cypresses, which line the main avenue of the garden, and which also, interspersed with the richer verdure of Acacias and Judas trees, snowy or crimson with flowers in spring, stand in groups on the hill-side, with the old churches of Tivoli and the heights of Monte Catillo seen between them. The fountains at the sides of the garden are colossal, like everything else here, and overgrown with maiden-hair fern, and water glitters everywhere in stone channels through the dark arcades of thick foliage. Flowers there are few, except the masses of roses, guelder roses, and lilacs, which grow and blossom where they will. The villa now belongs to the Duke of Modena, the direct descendant of its founder.
(Those who return to Rome the same evening will do well to order their carriages to wait for them at the entrance of the Villa d'Este.)
Outside the Porta Santa Croce are the old Jesuits' College, with its charming terrace called La Veduta, and the Villa Braschi, in whose cellar the aqueduct of the Anio Novus may be seen. Some disappointment will doubtless be felt at the uncertainty which hangs over the different homes of the poets at Tivoli, especially over that of Horace, which was near the grove of Tiburnus ;* but then, though the actual ruins pointed out to us may not have belonged to them, there is so much of which they tell us that remains unchanged, the luxuriant woods, the resounding Anio, the thymy uplands, that the very atmosphere is alive with their verses; and amid such soul-inspiring loveliness, one cannot wonder that Tibur was beloved by them.
"Mihi jam non regia Roma, Sed vacuum Tibur placet."
Horace, I Ep. 7.
"Vester, Camoenae, vester in arduos
iii. Od. 4.
"... Ego, apis Matinae
iv. Od. 2.
• Suet. Vit. Hot.
HOMES OF THE POETS. 20J
"Sed quae Tibur aquae fertile proefluunt,
Fingent Mo\io carmine nobilem."
iv. Od. 3.
"Que de vers charmants dans Horace, consacrés à peindre ce Tibur tant aimé, ce délicieux Tivoli dont il est si doux de goûter après lui, je dirai presque avec lui, les impérissables enchantements! Comment ne pas y murmurer cette ode ravissante dans laquelle, après avoir énuméré les beaux lieux qu'il avait admirés dans son voyage de Grèce, revenant à son cher Tibur, il s'écrie, comme d'autres pourraient le faire aussi: 1 Rien ne m'a frappé autant que la demeure retentissante d'Albunée, l'Anio qui tombe, le bois sacré de Tibumus, et les vergers qu'arrosent les eaux yagabondes!'
'Quam domus Albuneae resonantis,
Carm. i. 7, 12.
Est-il rien de plus gracieux, de plus sonore, et de plus frais? Malheureusement il ne reste d'Horace à Tivoli que les cascatelles, dont le murmure semble un écho de ses vers. Les ruines qu'on montre au voyageur, comme celles de la maison d'Horace, ne lui ont jamais appartenu, bien que déjà du temps de Suétone à Tibur on fit voir au curieux la maison du poète."—Ampère, Emp. Rom. I. 360.
Catullus had a villa here on the boundary between the Sabine and Tiburtine territories, but which he chose to consider in the latter, while his friends, if they wished to tease him, said it was Sabine :—
"O funde noster, seu Sabine, seu Tiburs
Here also lived .' Cynthia," whose real name was Hostia, the beloved of Propertius, who did not hesitate to test his devotion by summoning him to face the dangers of the road from Rome to Tibur at midnight.
"Nox media, et dominae mihi venit epistola nostroe,
iii. El. 16.
And here she died and was buried, and her spirit, appearing to her lover, besought him to take care of her grave.
'Telle hederam tumulo, mihi quae pugnante corymbo
Mollia contortis alligat ossa comis.
Et nunquam Herculeo nomine pallet ebur.
Sed breve, quod currens vector ab urbe legat,
Accessit ripae laus, Aniene, tuae."
Beyond the Porta Santa Croce is the suburb Carciano, a corruption from Cassianum, its name in the 10th century from the villa of the gens Cassia, of which there are considerable remains beneath the Greek College. From the excavations made here in the reign of Pius VI. many of the 'finest statues in the Vatican were obtained, especially those in the Hall of the Muses.
Painters, and all who stay long enough at Tivoli, should not fail to visit the picturesque ruins of the Marcian and Claudian aqueducts beyond the Porta S. Giovanni. Delightful excursions may also be made to Subiaco, to S. Cosimato and Licenza, to Monte Gennaro, and to Montecelli. A pleasant road leads by the old castle of Passerano and Zagarolo to Palestrina.