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ttroyed the country, and particularly the fruit-trees, for which it was celebrated."—Livy, v. 24.
There are some small remains of the foundations of walls and towers, and of reticulated work, visible here and there amid the thickets of wild-pear, descendants of the fruit-trees mentioned by Livy, which are covered with blossom in spring.
"Placed, like Alba and Gabii, upon the verge of a volcano, Capena assumed the form of a crescent; the citadel was on the highest point westward, and communicated by a steep path with the Via Veientana. This road may be traced in the valley below, running towards the Grammiccia and the natural opening of the crater on the east; and it was only here, as the remains testify, that carriages could enter the city.
"On ascending from this quarter, a fine terrace is observed, which is evidently placed on the top of the ancient walls. The squared blocks with which the place is strewed, show that thes% were parallelograms of volcanic stone. They may yet be traced by their foundations round the summit of the hill.
"Capena has something in it altogether peculiar: the situation, though commanding, seems singularly secluded, the country is once more wholly in a state of nature; nothing of animated life, except here and there flocks of goats or sheep, feeding on some green eminence or in the valleys below, which are spotted with such innumerable patches of underwood, that, were it not for the brousing of these animals, it would soon become a forest. The desolation is complete: Silvanus, instead of Ceres, is in full possession of the soil."—Gells' Topography of Rome.
"The view from the height of Capena is wildly beautiful. The deep hollow on the south, with its green carpet: the steep hills- overhanging it, dark with wood—perhaps the groves celebrated by Virgil: the bare swelling ground to the north, with Soracte towering above: the snowcapt Apennines in the eastern horizon: the deep silence, the seclusion; the absence of human habitations (not even a shepherd's hut) within the sphere of vision, save the distant town of Sant' Oreste, scarcely distinguishable from the gray rock on which it stands;—it is a scene of more singular desolation than belongs to the site of any other Etruscan city in this district of the land."—Dennif Cities of Etruria.
The stream of the Grammiccia probably once bore the name of Capenas.
"Dives ubi ante oranes colitur Feronia luco,
Si/. Hal xiii. 84.
The site of Capena is best visited on horseback, and may be reached from Rome by leaving the Via Flaminia on the left at the Monte della Guardia. About three miles from Capena, on the Tiber, is Fiano, with the castle of the Duke of that name. This village is supposed to mark the site of the Flavinium of Virgil:—
"Hi Soractis habent arces, Flaviniaque arva,
Ain. vii. 696.
and the Flavina of Silius :—
"Quique tuos, Flavina, focos, Sabatia quique
Si/, viii. 492.
Six miles north of Civita Castellana is Corchiano, a most picturesque village occupying an Etruscan site, and surrounded, like almost all the towns of Etruria, with ravines full of mutilated sepulchres. One of these, half a mile distant, on the way to Fallen, is inscribed Larth. Vel. Amies, in Etruscan characters. Three miles further is Gallese, beautifully situated on a rock at the junction of two ravines. Canon Nardoni has written a work to prove that this is the ^Equum Faliscum, mentioned by Strabo, Virgil, and Silius. It contains some obscure Roman remains, and there are many Etruscan tombs in the neighbouring valleys. Gallese was early the seat of a bishopric.
Six miles north-west of Corchiano is Vignarullo, and four miles beyond it Soriano, both Etruscan sites*
'For all these places see Dtnntf Cititt and Cemittrut of Etruria, vol. ii.
Dennis believes that he has identified the fragments of a city, half covered with wood, but marked by the ruined church of S. Silvestro (" a mile and a half west of Ponte Felice, on the way to Corchiano"), with the lost town of Fescennium, mentioned by Dionysius and Virgil, and celebrated in the history of Latin poetry for the nuptial songs called Carmina Fescennina, to which, according to Festus, it gave its name.
THE CIMINIAN HILLS—NEPI, SUTRI, AND
(These most interesting places may be visited from Civita Castellana, taking the railway to Borghetto. Here a carriage may be engaged for the whole excursion at about 20 francs a day. Or Ronciglione, where the Aquila Nera is a humble but tolerable inn, may be reached by diligence from Rome, and excursions made from thence. If a carriage be taken from Rome to Ronciglione, Nepi and Sutri—a few miles oft* the road in opposite directions—may be visited on the way. Caprarola is three miles beyond Ronciglione.)
IT is a delightful drive of about an hour and a half through the forest from Civita Castellana to Nepi. The road passes near the castle and Benedictine church of Sanf Elia, the latter a very curious early Christian building, covered internally with frescoes by the brothers Johannes and Stephanus and their nephew Nicolaus of Rome.
"The exact period in which these artuts executed the decorations of S. Elia cannot be ascertained ; but they were men who combined the imitation of forms and compositions characteristic of various ages of Roman art, with a technical execution which can only be traced as far back as the tenth century. Their work, though it has suffered from the ravages of time, illustrates a phase hitherto comparatively unknown. They seem to have been men accustomed to mosaics, for they mapped out their colours so as to resemble that species of work. They used, not the thin water-colour of the early catacomb painters at Rome or Naples, « but the body-colour of the later artists, who painted of the chapel of S. Cecilia in S. Calisto and the figures of Curtius and Desiderius in the
catacomb of S. Januarius. On a rough surface of plaster they laid in the flesh tones of a uniform yellowish colour, above which coarse dark outlines marked the forms, red tones the half-tints, and blue the shadows. The lights and darks were stippled on with white or black streaks, and a ruddy touch on the cheeks seemed intended to mark the robust health of the personage depicted. The hair and draperies were treated in the same manner. They were painted of an even general tone streaked with black or white lines to indicate curls, folds, light and shadow. The result was a series of flat unrelieved figures, which were, in addition, without the charm of good drawing or expression.
"In the semidome of the apsis, the Saviour was represented standing with his right arm extended, and in his left hand holding a scroll. On his right S. Paul in a similar attitude was separated from S. Elias by a palm on which the phoenix symbolized Eternity. S. Elias, in a warrior's dress, pointed with his left hand to S. Paul. To the Saviour's left S. Peter, whose form is now but dimly visible, and probably another saint were depicted. A background of deep blue, spotted with red clouds of angular edges, relieved the figures. This was in fact an apsis picture similar to those in the numerous churches of Rome, and in arrangement not unlike that of SS. Cosmo e Damiano. The form of the Redeemer indeed, his head, of regular features, with a nose a little depressed and the flesh curiously wrinkled, his high forehead, and long black hair falling in locks, his double-pointed, beard, tunic, mantle and sandals, had a general likeness with those of SS. Cosmo ed Damiano. The saints, on the other hand, in their slender forms, S. Elias with his small head and long body, were reminiscent of later mosaics, whilst their attitude, and movement, their draperies, depicted with lines, their defective feet and hands, were not unlike those of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo. The NeoGreek influence might be traced in other parts of the paintings of S. Elia. Beneath the green foreground, where the four rivers gushed from under the feet of the Saviour, and the Lamb stood pouring its blood into a chalice, an ornament separated the paintings of the semidome from those in the lower courses of the apsis. In the uppermost of these, Jerusalem, and in the intervals of three windows, twelve sheep in triple groups, between palms, were depicted. Bethlehem, no doubt, closed the arrangement on the right, but is now gone. In the next lower course, the Saviour sat enthroned between two angels and six female saints, amongst which S. Catherine in a rich costume and diadem and S. Lucy may still be recognized. The rich ornaments, the round eyes and oval faces, of these female saints, were not without admixture of the foreign element which had left its impress on Rome in the seventh and eighth centuries. Still, the angels with their hair bound in tufts and