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their flying ban Is were of regular features. The painters covered the sides of the tribune with three courses of pictures, fragments of which remain. On the upper to the right, the prophets with scrolls, on the second, martyrs with the chalice, on the third, scenes from the Old Testament . On the left the lowest course was likewise filled up with biblical subjects taken from the Revelation. The aisles and nave were also doubtless painted, but the pictures have unfortunately disappeared. The painters inscribed their names as follows beneath the feet of the Saviour in the apsis—Joh. FF. Stefanu frts picto . . e . . Komani et Nicholaus Nepr Johs.
"The paintings of S. Elia are far more instructive and interesting than those of a later date, and even than the mosaics of the eleventh century at Rome."—Crmoe and Cavalcaselle.
Nepi is the ancient Nepete. Its position is not higher than that of the surrounding plain, but it is cut off by deep ravines like Civita Castellana. At the entrance of the town
built by Paul III. in the sixteenth century. Below this a little rivulet tumbles over the cliffs to a great depth. The piazza has a handsome town-hall, with a large fountain and a wide portico decorated with Roman altars and fragments of sculpture found in the neighbourhood. The cathedral has a fine campanile; its first bishop was S. Romanus, and tradition ascribes the foundation of the see to S. Peter. At the Roman entrance to the town stands the most picturesque castle, with a double gateway. Outside this there is a charming spot; the great machicolated towers hang over the edge of the cliffs, against which rises an old mill, and, below, a waterfall sparkles and loses itself in a mass of luxuriant evergreens. Turning to the right are some grand remains of ancient Etruscan wall, probably the same which were scaled by Camillus, when he came to avenge the desertion of the city from the Roman alliance to that of Etruria.
Again a drive of two hours, through woods of oaks and deep lanes overhung with golden broom, and then along the plain which is bounded by the beautiful Ciminian Hills, upon which Ronciglione and Caprarola gleam in the sunlight, and—crossing the high road from Rome to Siena—we reach Sutri. The little town is visible at a great distance, and occupies a crest in the tufa, filling every rocky projection with its old walls and houses, for its extent seems to have been limited by the cliffs which formed its natural protection, and which gave it such strength as made it deserve the name of " the key of Etruria."
Sutrium was made a Roman colony at a very early period, and was celebrated for its devotion to Rome. In u. c. 365 it was captured by the Etruscans, and the whole of its inhabitants were expelled, with nothing but the clothes they wore. Camillus met them with his army as they were escaping towards Rome, and moved by their anguish, bade them be of good cheer, for he would soon transfer their troubles to their conquerors, and this he did, for that very day he reached the town, found it undefended, and the Etruscans occupied in collecting the spoil. Before night the rightful inhabitants were restored, and their victors driven out. From the rapidity with which his march was effected, "ire Sutrium" became henceforth a proverb for doing anything in a hurry. Soon .after (368) the town was again taken by the Etruscans, and again restored by Camillus: in 443 the old enemy once more besieged it, when the consul Fabius came to the rescue.
As we approach the town on the Roman side, the rocks on the left of the road are filled with tombs. They are cut in the tufa, but many seem to have been fronted with more durable stone-work. The cliffs are crested by grand old ilexes which hang downwards in the most luxuriant masses of foliage, unspoilt by the axe. There is no appearance of anything more than this, and it is startling, when one turns aside from the road and crossing a strip of green meadow passes through a gap in the rocks, to find oneself suddenly in a Roman Amphitheatre, perfect in all its forms, almost in all its details, with corridors, staircases, vomitories, and twelve ranges of seats one above the other, not built, but hewn out of tiht solid rock, all one with the cliffs which outwardly make no sign. The Coliseum is grander, but scarcely so impressive as this vast ruin in its absolute desertion, where Nature, from which it was taken by Art, has once more asserted her rights, and where the flowers and the maiden-hair fern, clambering everywhere up the
grey steps and fringing the rock galleries, and the green lizards darting to and fro, are the only spectators which look down upon the turfy arena. All around the great ilexes girdle it in, with here and there the tall spire of a cypress shooting up into the clear air. The silence is almost awful, and there is a strange witchery in the solitude of this place, which nothing leads up to, and which bears such an impress of the greatness of those who conceived it, and made it, and once thronged the ranges of its rock-hewn benches, now so unspeakably desolate. Dennis considers that the amphitheatre of Sutri was "perhaps the type of all those celebrated structures raised by Imperial Rome, even of the Coliseum itself. For we have historical evidence that Rome derived her theatrical exhibitions from Etruria. Livy tells us that ludi stenici, a new thing for a warlike people, who had hitherto only known the games of the circus, were introduced into Rome in the year 390, in order to appease the wrath of the gods for a pestilence then devastating the city, and that ludiones were sent for from Etruria, who acted to the sound of the pipe, in the Etruscan fashion."
under the old city. The tufa, glowing from the red and golden colour with which time has stained it, is half rock and half masonry, the natural cliffs being surmounted by ranges of Etruscan walling, and the whole crested by stately mediaeval houses which follow every crevice of the natural formation, and occasionally, where more space is required, are bracketted out from it upon arches.
On the other side of the narrow ravine, the rocky barrier is still fringed with ilexes and perforated with tombs. A httle path attracted us to the entrance of one of these, just beneath the villa and the old clipped garden of the Marchese Savorelli. Over the door is inscribed in Italian :— "Here stay thy step; the place is sacred to God, to the Virgin, and to the repose of the departed. Pray or pass on.' It admitted us to one of the most interesting places we ever entered. Several tombs had apparently been thrown together at a very early period of Christianity, and formed a very long narrow Christian church, of which the pavement, roof, pillars, and seats were all one, and all carved out of the living rock. From the ante-chapel or entrance tomb, still surrounded with its couches for the dead after the manner of Etruria, one looks down an avenue of low pillars green with damp, and separated from the aisles by rockhewn seats, to the altar, beyond which, from an inner sanctuary, a light streams in upon the gloom. On the rock walls are mouldering frescoes—the Annunciation, the Salutation, the Last Supper; several saints, and a grand angel with a face raised in low relief. It is a touching and most unearthly sanctuary, and carries one back to the earliest times of Christian life and Christian suffering more forcibly than the most celebrated Roman catacomb. The church is now