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remains of the ancient Latin city Nomentum, which is spoken of by Virgil (vi. 773) and Dionysius (ii. 53) as a colony of Alba. It was one of the thirty cities of the Latin league,* and continued to flourish in the times of the Empire, when Seneca had a country house-there,t and also Martial, who frequently speaks of it in his poems, and contrasts its peaceful retirement with the vanities of Bais and more fashionable summer villeggiature.
"Me Nomentani confirmant otia ruris,
Hie vestrce mihi sunt, Castrice, divitiae.
Currere, nee longas pertimuisse vias:
"Numae colles, et Nomentana relinques
Martial praises its wine, which is also extolled by Seneca and Pliny.
"In Nomentanis, Ovidi, quod nascitur agris,
In the Middle Ages the place was called Civitas Nomen
tana, and was the seat of a bishopric. Here, in A.d. 800,
• Nicbuhr, ii. 17. t Sen. Ep. 104.
MONTE ROTONDO. 181
Leo III. met Charlemagne, when he came to be crowned at Rome, and here the great Consul Crescentius was born. Mentana was granted by Nicholas III. (1277-81) to his own family, the Orsini, by whom it was sold to the Peretti, whose arms still remain upon the walls of its 15th-century castle. The place now belongs to the Borghese.
The Via Nomentana proceeds to join the Via Salara near Correse, passing—three miles beyond Mentana—Grotta Marozza, which is believed with much reason to occupy the site of the Sabine Eretum, which, from its position on the frontier between the Latins and Sabines, was constantly the scene of warfare between the two nations. It was never a place of much importance. Valerius Maximus speaks of it as "Vicus Sabinse regionis."
It is two miles from Mentana to Monte Rotondo, also the site of a battle between the Papal troops and the Garibaldians. Here is a fine old castle built by the Barberini, on the site of a fortress of the Orsini: it is now the property of the Buoncompagni. There is a wide and beautiful view from its summit. A road of two miles leads to the railway station in the valley, whence we may return to Rome by the Via Salara.
One and a half mile from hence, near Fonte di Papa, the road crosses an insignificant brook, which is decided to coincide more than any other with the description which Livy (v. 37) gives of the fatal Allia, a description so accurate as to show that the place was not necessarily familiar to his readers, viz.:
"/Egread undecimum lapidem occursum est, qua flumen Allia Crustuminis montibus praealto defluens alveo, haud multum infra viam Tiberino amni miscetur."
Here, then, and in the upland hollows, which are watered by the same brook, the Romans underwent their famous defeat by the Gauls under Brennus (b.c. 390), which led to the capture of the city, on the 18th of July (a.d. XV. Kal. Sextiles) called thenceforth Dies Alliensis, and regarded as so illomened, that no business was transacted upon it.
"Haec est in fastis cui dat gravis Allia nomen."
Ovid in Ibin. 221.
"Quosque secans infaustum interluit Allia nomen."
j£n. vii. 717.
"Damnata diu Romanis Allia fastis."
Lucan. vii. 408.
At about nine miles from the city, we pass (on the left) beneath the extensive farm-buildings called Marrigliana Vccchia, which are usually believed to occupy the site of the city of Crustumerium, though some place it at Sette Bagni, the next large farm on the left of the road to Rome, where there arc traces of ancient buildings; while others refer it to Monte Rotondo.
Dionysius speaks of Crustumerium as an Alban colony sent out long before the building of Rome. The city was taken by Romulus, again by Tarquinius Priscus, and again during the Roman Republic, B.C. 499, after which it remained subject to Rome. In B.c. 477 occurred the " Crustumerina Secessio," when the army which was being led by the Decemvirs against the Sabines deserted, and retreated to Crustumerium. Virgil * mentions the Crustumian pears, and Servius says that they were red only on one side. It is interesting that wild pears of this kind still grow in abundance
• Gtorqics, ii. 88.
over all these desolate uplands, amongst which Crustumerium must certainly have been situated. Two miles further we reach, on the right, Castel Giubileo, the site of Fidenae, described in chapter x.
(This, 18 miles distant, is the most attractive of all the places in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, and the one excursion which no one should omit, even if they are only at Rome for a week. A carriage with two horses ought not to cost more than 25 francs for the day. The Villa Adriana may be visited on the way: then the Temple of the Sibyl, the Cascades, the view of the Cascatelle from the opposite side of the valley, and last of all the Villa d'Este. Those who are not strong enough for the whole should see the view of the Cascatelle and the Villa d'Este. The round which Tivoli guides and donkey-men take strangers, through the woods and underneath the waterfalls, is very long and fatiguing. There are two hotels at Tivoli, la Regina (in the town), which is comfortable, clean, and well-furnished, but where it is necessary to come to a very strict agreement as to prices on arriving, and La Sibylla, far humbler, but not uncomfortable, and in the most glorious situation. In the former, guests are received en pension at 8 francs ; at the latter, at 6 francs a day. Those who stay long will find endless points of interest both in the place itself and the excursions which may be made from it. Visitors who are pressed for time may omit the Villa Adriana, but on no account the Villa d'Este.)
THE road to Tivoli follows the ancient Via Tiburtina for the greater part of its course, and leads through one of the most desolate and least interesting parts of the Campagna, Issuing from the Porta S. Lorenzo, we pass the great basilica of the same name, and descending into the valley of the Anio, cross the river by a modern bridge, near the ancient Ponte Mammolo, which took its name (Pons Mammaeus) from Mammaea, mother of Alexander Severus.