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going to Albano (see Walks in Rome, vol. i.), every step of which is full of interest; but carriages will usually follow the Via Appia Nuova, which emerges from the city walls by the Porta S. Giovanni, and after crossing the Via Latina (Walks in Rome, i. 124), runs between the stately arches of the Claudian Aqueduct on the left, and the ruined tombs of the Appian Way on the right.
"L'aqueduc et la voie d'Appius marquent un moment d'une grande importance dans la destinee de Rome, ils sont comme une magnifique vignette entre le premier alinea de l'histoire de la republique et les suivants."—Ampire, Hist. Rom., iv. 49.
"Passing out by the San Giovanni gate, you enter upon those broad wastes that lie to the south-east of the city. Going forward thence, with the aqueducts to your left, and the old Appian Way, lined with crumbling sepulchres, reaching for miles in one unswerving line on your far right, you soon leave Rome behind. Faint patches of vegetation gleam here and there, like streaks of light; and nameless ruins lie scattered broadcast over the bleak slopes of this most desolate region. Sometimes you come upon a primitive bullock-waggon, or a peasant driving an ass laden with green boughs ; but these signs of life are rare. Presently you pass the remains of a square temple, with Corinthian pilasters—then a drove of shaggy ponies—then a little truck with a tiny pent-house reared on one side of the seat, to keep the driver from the sun—then a flock of rusty sheep—a stagnant pool—a clump of stunted trees—a conical thatched hut—a round sepulchre, half buried in the soil of ages—a fragment of broken arch; and so on, for miles and miles across the barren plain. By and by you see a drove of buffaloes scouring along towards the aqueducts, followed by a mounted herdsman, buskined and brown, with his lance in his hand, his blue cloak
floating behind him, and his sombrero down upon his brow—the very picture of a Mexican hunter."—Miss Edwards, Barbara's History.
Eleven miles from Rome the Via Appia Nova joins the Via Appia Vecchia at Le Frattocchit. The view from hence, looking down the avenue of mouldering sepulchres, is most desolate and striking. The use of the popular term Strada del Diavolo, which we constantly meet with here as applied to the Via Appia, will call to mind the name of the Devil's Dyke as applied to a well-known Roman work in England.
"One day we walked out, a little party of three, to Albano, fourteen miles distant; possessed by a great desire to go there by the ancient Appian Way, long since ruined and overgrown. We started at halfpast seven in the morning, and within an hour or so were out upon the open Campagna. For twelve miles we went climbing on, over an unbroken succession of mounds, and heaps, and hills, of ruin. Tombs and temples, overthrown and prostrate; small fragments of columns, friezes, pediments; great blocks of granite and marble; mouldering arches, grass-grown and decayed; ruin enough to build a spacious city from, lay strewn about us. Sometimes loose walls, built up from these fragments by the shepherds, came across our path; sometimes a ditch, between two mounds of broken stones, obstructed our progress; sometimes the fragments themselves, rolling from beneath our feet, made it a toilsome matter to advance; but it was always ruin. Now, we tracked a piece of the old road above the ground; now traced it underneath a grassy covering, as if that were its grave; but all the way was ruin. In the distance, ruined aqueducts went stalking on their giant course along the plain; and every breath of wind that swept towards us stirred early flowers and grasses, springing up, spontaneously, on miles of ruin. The unseen larks above us, who alone disturbed the awful silence, had their nests in ruin; and the fierce herdsmen, clad in sheepskins, who now and then scowled upon us from their sleeping nooks, were housed in ruin. The aspect of the desolate Campagna in one direction, where it was most level, reminded me of an American prairie ; but what is the solitude of a region where men have never dwelt, to that of a Desert where a mighty race have left their foot-prints in the earth from which they have vanished; where the resting-places of their Dead have fallen like their Dead; and the broken hour-glass of Time is but a heap of idle dust 1 Returning, by the road, at sunset; and looking, from the distance, on the course we had taken in the morning, I almost felt as if the sun would never rise again, but look its last, that night, upon a ruined world."— Dickens.
Le Frattocchie itself was the scene of the fatal meeting (Jan. 20th, B.c. 52) between Clodius and Milo.
"Clodius était allé à Aricia pour une affaire. Le lendemain, il s'était arrêté dans sa villa, voisine du mont Albain, où il devait coucher. La nouvelle de la mort de son architecte le fit partir assez tard. A peine avait-il commencé à suivre la voie Appienne, qu'il se croisa près de Boville avec Milon; Milon se rendait à Lanuvium, d'où il était originaire, pour y installer dans sa charge un prêtre de la déesse du lieu, Junon Sospita.
"Je crois que les deux ennemis ne s'attendaient pas à se rencontrer. Milon était en voiture avec sa femme; escorté par ses esclaves, parmi lesquels se trouvaient deux gladiateurs renommés. Dans la situation oit il se trouvait vis-à-vis de Clodius, cette escorte n'avait rien d'extraordinaire.
"Clodius était à cheval, suivi de trois amis, et d'une trentaine d'esclaves. Les deux ennemis s'étaient dépassés sans se rien dire. Une querelle s'engagea entre ceux qui formaient leur suite.
"Selon Cicéron, un grand nombre des gens de Clodius attaquèrent Milon d'un lieu qui dominait la route. Son cocher fut tué. Milon sauta à terre pour se défendre; les gens de Clodius coururent vers la voiture pour attaquer Milon, et commencèrent à frapper ses esclaves à coups d'épée. Ce fut alors que le gladiateur Birra, attaquant Clodius par derrière, lui perça l'épaule.
"Les serviteurs de Clodius, beaucoup moins nombreux, s'enfuirent et emportèrent leur maître dans une hôtellerie ; l'hôtellerie fut assiégée par les hommes de Milon, l'hôte tué. Clodius, arraché de cet asile, fut ramené sur la route, et là percé de coups. Milon ne fit rien pour l'empêcher. On dit plus tard qu'après le meurtre il était allé dans la villa de son ennemi, qui était tout proche, pour chercher son enfant et l'égorger; que, ne le trouvant pas, il avait torturé ses esclaves; mais ces accusations n'ont aucune vraisemblance.
"La suite de Clodius s'était dispersée. Un sénateur qui passait par là trouva son corps gisant sur la route et le fit reporter dans sa maison du Palatin."—Ampère, Hisl. Rom., iv. 577.
Some ruins at a short distance to the left are supposed tc
mark the site of the city of Appiola, destroyed by Tarquin, who used its spoil to erect the Circus Maximus.
A little to the right are the ruins of Bovilla, whose foundation is attributed to Latinus Silvius of Alba. The remains consist of insignificant fragments of the circus and theatre. Bovillae was the first station on the Appian Way :—
"Et cum currere debeas ISovillas,
Martial, ii., Ep. 6.
The title of Suburbanae distinguished it from another town of the same name :—
"Orta suburbanis quaedam fuit Anna Bovillis,
Ovid. Fast. iii. 667.
"Quidve suburbanae parva minus urbe Bovillae."
Ptoperiius, iv., Eleg. i.
Floras speaks of Bovillae as one of the first towns subdued by the Romans: Plutarch tells how it was taken and plundered by Marcus Coriolanus. In the time of Cicero, who speaks of it as a "municipium," it was already almost deserted.* The Julian Gens had a chapel here, where their images were preserved, and games were performed in their honour. Here the body of the Emperor Augustus rested for a month as it was being brought from Nola, and here the knights assembled to conduct it to the city. The position of Bovillae receives an additional identification from the description which Cicero gives of the circumstances which led to the murder of Clodius, when he speaks of it as " Pugna Bovillana."t
Beyond Le Frattocchie the Via Appia ascends continuously.
■ Oral pro Plancio.
t Ad Atticum. v. 15.
"Now the Campagna is left behind, and Albano stands straight before you, on the summit of a steep and weary hill. Low lines of white-washed wall border the road on either side, enclosing fields of fascine, orchards, olive-yards, and gloomy plantations of cypresses and pines. Next come a range of sand-banks, with cavernous hollows and deep under-shadows; next, an old cinque-cento gateway, crumbling away by the road-side; then a little wooden cross on an overhanging crag; then the sepulchre of Pompey; and then the gates of Albano, through which you rattle into the town, and up to the entrance of the Hotel dc Russie."—Miss Edwards, Barbara's History.
Immediately before entering the town, we pass, on the left, a lofty tomb, always known as the Tomb of Pompey. Plutarch mentions his sepulchre as being near his villa at Albanum, though according to the epigram of Varro Atacinus, quoted by the scholiast on Persius ii. 36, Pompey had no tomb :—
"Marmoreo Licinus tumulo jacet; at Cato parvo;
To those who receive their previous impressions of Albano from water-colour drawings and from the engravings of Pinclli, the sight of the place will be full of disappointment . The town consists, for the most part, of an ill-paved street a mile in length, of shabby white-washed houses, without feature, and the inhabitants have little beauty and wear no distinctive costume. All the interest of the place is to be found in the lovely scenery which surrounds it, and most lovely it is; and for costumes and primitive habits of the peasantry we must penetrate further, to the Volscian and Hernican hills. Yet, except in the building of a few better-class hotels, Albano has made no progress in late years, and is ill-provided with all the comforts of civilized life: the few there are being supplied to strangers at prices which are enormous for Italy.