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ferred from the Comitium to the Lateran, and thence brought to the Capitol. If it was found near the arch of Severus, it may have been one of the images which Orosius* says was thrown down in the Forum by lightning when Alaric took the city. That it is of very high antiquity the workmanship is a decisive proof; and that cir. cumstance induced Winkelmand to believe it the wolf of Dionysius. The Capitoline wolf, however, may have been of the same early date as that at the temple of Romulus. Lactantiust asserts that, in his time, the Romans worshipped a wolf; and it is known that the Lupercalia held out to a very late period, after every other observance of the ancient superstition had totally expired. This may account for the preservation of the ancient image longer than the other early symbols of Paganism.
It may be permitted, however, to remark that the wolf was a Roman symbol, but that the worship of that symbol is an inference drawn by the zeal of Lactantius. The early Christian writers are not to be trusted in the charges which they make against the pagans. Eusebius accused the Romans to their faces of worshipping Simon Magus, and raising a statue to him in the island of the Tyber. The Romans had probably never heard of such a person before, who came, however, to play a considerable, though scandalous part in the church history, and has left several tokens of his aerial combat with St. Peter at Rome ; notwithstanding that an inscription found in this very island of the Tyber, showed the Simon Magus of Eusebius to be a certain indigenal god, called Somo Sangus, or Fidius. $
Even when the worship of the founder of Rome had been abandoned, it was thought expedient to humour the habits of the good matrons of the city by sending them with their sick infants to the church of St. Theodore, as they had before carried them to the temple of Romulus.** The practice is continued to this day; and the site of the above church seems to be thereby identified with that of the temple: so that if the wolf had been really found there, as Winkelmann says, there would be no doubt of the present statue being that seen by Dionysius. tt But Faunus, in saying that it was at the Ficus Ruminalis by the Comitium, is only talking of its ancient position as recorded by Pliny; and even if he had been remarking where it was found, would not have alluded to the church of St. Theodore, but to a very different place, near which it was then thought the Ficus Ruminalis had been, and also the Comitium ; that is, the three columns by the church of Santa Maria Liberatrice, at the corner of the Palatine looking on the Forum.
It is, in fact, a mere conjecture where the image was actually dug up, # and perhaps, on the whole, the marks of the gilding, and of the lightning, are a better argument in favour of its being the Ciceronian wolf, than any that can be adduced for the contrary opinion. At any rate, it is reasonably selected in the text of the poem as one of the most interesting relics of the ancient city,* and is certainly the figure, if not the very animal, to which Virgil alludes in his beautiful verses :
* See note to stanza LXXX. in Historical Illustrations.
“Romuli nutrix Lupa honoribus est affecta divinis, et ferrem si animal ipsum fuisset, cujus figuram gerit.” Lactant. de falsa religione, lib. 1, cap. 20, pag. 101, edit. varior. 1660 ; that is to say, he would rather adore a wolf than a prostitute. His commentator has observed, that the opinion of Livy concerning Laurentia being figured in this wolf was not universal. Strabo thought so. Rycquius is wrong in saying that Lactantius mentions the wolf was in the Capitol.
To A. D. 496. “Quis credere possit,” says Baronius (Ann. Eccles. tom. viji. pag. 602, in an. 496), viguisse adhuc Romæ ad Gelasii tempora, quæ fuere ante exordia urbis allata in Italiam Lupercalia !" Gelasius wrote a letter which occupies four folio pages, to Andromachus, the senator, and others, to show that the rites should be given up.
ΚΑΙ Εusebius has these words : και ανδριάντι παρ' υμιν ως θεός τετίμηται, εν τω Τίβερι ποταμό μεταξύ των δέω γεφυρών, έχων επιγραφήν Ρωμαϊκήν ταύτην, Σίμωνι δέω Σάγκτφ. Eccles. Hist. lib. ii. cap. xiii. p. 40. Justin Martyr had told the story before; but Baronius himself was obliged to detect this fable. See Nardini Roma Vet, lib. vii, cap. xii.
**“ In essa gli antichi pontefici per toglier la memoria de' giuochi Lupercali istituiti in onore di Romolo, introdussero l'uso di portarvi bambini oppressi da infermità occulte, accio si liberino per l'intercessione di questo Santo, come di continuo si sperimenta.” Rione xii. Ripa, accurata e succinta descrizione, &c., di Rona Moderna dell' Ab. Ridolf. Venuti, 1766.
#7 Nardini, lib. v. cap. ii. convicts Pomponius Lætus crassi erroris, in putting the Ruminal fig-tree at the church of Saint Theodore; but as Livy says the wolf was at the Ficus Ruminalis, and Dionysius at the temple of Romulus, he is obliged (cap. iv) to own that the two were close together, as well as the Lupercal cave, shaded as it were, by the fig-tree.
11 “Ad comitium ficus olim Ruminalis germinabat, sub qua lupæ rumam, hoc est, mammam, docente Varrone, suxerant olim Romulus et Remus ; non procul a templo hodie D. Mariæ Liberatricis appellato, ubi forsan inventa nobilis illa ænea statua lupæ geminos puerulos lactantis, quam hodie in Capitolio videmus.” Olai Borrichi antiqua Urbis Romanæ facies, cap. x. See also cap. xii. Borrichius wrote after Nardini in 1667. Ap. Græv. Antiq. Rom. tom. iv, p. 1522.
“ Geminos huic ubera circum
for the Roman's mind
Was modell'd in a less terrestrial mould. It is possible to be a very great man, and to be still very inferior to Julius Cæsar, the most complete character, so Lord Bacon thought, of all antiquity. Nature seems incapable of such extraordinary combinations as composed his versatile capacity, which was the wonder even of the Romans themselves. The first generalthe only triumphant politician—inferior to none in eloquence-comparable to any in the attainments of wisdom, in an age made up of the greatest commanders, statesmen, orators, and philosophers, that ever appeared in the world—an author who composed a perfect specimen of military annals in his travelling-carriage-at one time in a controversy with Cato, at another writing a treatise on punning, and collecting a set of good sayings— fighting # and making love at the same moment, and willing to abandon both his empire and his mistress for a sight of the fountains of the Nile. Such did Julius Cæsar appear to his contemporaries, and to those of the subsequent ages who were the most inclined to deplore and execrate his fatal genius.
But we must not be so much dazzled with his surpassing glory, or with his magnanimous, his amiable qualities, as to forget the decision of his impartial country
HE WAS JUSTLY SLAIN.
Note 48. Stanza xciii.
Our senses narrow, and our reason frail. “.... Omnes pene veteres ; qui nihil cognosci, nihil percipi, nihil sciri posse dixerunt ; angustos sensus; imbecilles animos, brevia curricula vitæ ; in profundo veritatem demersam ; opinionibus et institutis omnia teneri ; nihil veritati relinqui : deinceps omnia tenebris circumfusa esse dixerunt."** The eighteen hundred years which have elapsed since Cicero wrote this, have not removed any of the imperfections of humanity: and the complaints of the ancient philosophers may, without injustice or affectation, be transcribed in a poem written yesterday.
* Donatus, lib. xi. cap. 18, gives a medal representing on one side the wolf in the same position as that in the Capitol; and on the reverse the wolf with the head not reverted. It is of the time of Antoninus Pius.
# Æneid, viii. 631. See Dr. Middleton, in his Letter from Rome, who inclines to the Ciceronian wolf, but without examining the subject. * In his tenth book, Lucan shows him sprinkled with the blood of Pharsalia in the arms of Cleopatra :
“ Sanguine Thessalicæ cladis perfusus adulter
Admisit Venerem curis, et miscuit armis." After feasting with his mistress, he sits up all night to converse with the Egyptian sages, and tells Achoreus :
“ Spes sit mihi certa videndi
Noctis iter medium,"
“ Sed adest defensor ubique
Caca nocte carinis
Præcipiti cursu bellorum et tempore rapto." " Jure cæsus existimetur," says Suetonius, after a fair estimation of his character, and making use of a phrase which was a formula in Livy's time—" Melium jure cæsum pronuntiavit, etiam si regni crimine insons fuerit,” (lib. iv. cap. 48); and which was continued in the legal judgments pronounced in justifiable homicides, such as killing house-breakers. See Sueton, in vit. C. s Cæsaris, with the commentary of Pitiscus, p. 184.
** Academ. 1. 13.
Note 49. Stanza xcix.
There is a stern round tower of other days.
Note 50. Stanza cii.
-prophetic of the doom
Rich. Franc. Phil. Brunck. Poetæ Gnomici, p. 231, edit. 1784.
Note 51. Stanza cvü.
Behold the Imperial Mount !
Note 52. Stanza cviii.
First freedom, and then glory, &c.
Note 53. Stanza cx.
—and apostolic statues climb
To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept sublime.
Note 54. Stanza cxi.
Still we Trajan's name adore. Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes :t and it would be easier to find a sovereign uniting exactly the opposite characteristics, than one possessed of all the happy qualities ascribed to the emperor. “ When he mounted the throne," says the historian Dion,t “ he was strong in body, he was vigorous in mind; age had impaired none of his faculties; he was altogether free from envy and from de
* The History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero, sect. vi. vol. ii. pag. 102. The contrast has been reversed in a late extraordinary instance. A gentleman was thrown into prison at Paris ; efforts were made for his release. The French minister continued to detain him, under the pretext that he was not an Englishman, but only a Roman. See “ Interesting facts relating to Joachim Murat," p. 139.
+ “Hujus tantum memoriæ delatum est, ut, usque ad nostram ætatem non aliter in Senatu principibus acclamatur, nisi Felicior Augusto, melior Trajano.” Eutrop. Brev. Hist. Rom. lib. viii. cap. v.
1 Το τε γαρ σώματι έρρωτο........ και τη ψυχή ήκμαζεν, ως μήθ' υπό γήρως αμβλύνεσθαι........ και ούτ' έφθόνοι, ούτε καθήρει τινα, αλλά και πάνυ πάντας τους αγαθούς ετίμα και έμεγάλυνε και δια τούτο ούτε έφοβείτο τινα αυτών, ούτε εμίσει......... διαβολαίς τε ήκιστα επίστευε, και οργή ήκιστα έδoυλούτο των τε χρημάτων των αλλωτ οίων ίσα και φόνων των αδίκων απείχετο........ φιλούμενος τε ούν επ' αυτούς μάλλον και τιμώμενος έχαιρε, και το τι δήμω μετ' επιεικείας συνεγίνετο, και το γηρουσία σεμνοπρεπώς ωμίλει αγαπητός μεν πάσι φοβερός de randovi, ram rólewéois är. Hist. Rom. lib. Ixviji. cap. vi. vii.; tom. ij. p. 1123. 1124, edit. Hamb. 1750.
traction; he honoured all the good, and he advanced them; and on this account they could not be the objects of his fear or of his hate; he never listened to informers; he gave not way to his anger; he abstained equally from unfair exactions and unjust punishments; he had rather be loved as a man, than honoured as a sovereign; he was affable with his people, respectful to the senate, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country.”
Note 5b. Stanza cxiv.
Rienzi, last of Romans ! The name and exploits of Rienzi must be familiar to the readers of Gibbon. Some details and inedited manuscripts, relative to this unhappy hero, will be seen in the Illustrations of the IVth Canto.
Note 56. Stanza cxv.
Egeria ! sweet creation of some heart,
The respectable authority of Flaminius Vacca would incline us to believe in the claims of the Egerian grotto.* He assures us that he saw an inscription in the pavement, stating that the fountain was that of Egeria dedicated to the nymphs. The inscription is not there at this day; but Montfaucon quotes two lines t of Ovid from a stone in the Villa Giustiniani, which he seems to think had been brought from the same grotto.
This grotto and valley were formerly frequented in summer, and particularly the first Sunday in May, by the modern Romans, who attached a salubrious quality to the fountain which trickles from an orifice at the bottom of the vault, and, overflowing the little pools, creeps down the matted grass into the brook below. The brook is the Ovidian Almo, whose name and qualities are lost in the modern Aquataccio. The valley itself is called Valle di Caffarelli, from the dukes of that name who made over their fountain to the Pallavicini, with sixty rubbia of adjoining land.
There can be little doubt that this long dell is the Egerian valley of Juvenal, and the pausing place of Umbricius, notwithstanding the generality of his commentators have supposed the descent of the satirist and his friend to have been into the Arician grove, where the nymph met Hippolitus, and where she was more peculiarly worshipped.
The step from the Porta Capena to the Alban hill, fifteen miles distant, would be too considerable, unless we were to believe in the wild conjecture of Vossius, who makes that gate travel from its present station, where he pretends it was during the reign of the Kings, as far as the Arician grove, and then makes it recede to its old site with the shrinking city. The tufo, or pumice, which the poet prefers to marble, is the substance composing the bank in which the grotto is sunk.
The modern topographers & find in the grotto the statue of the nymph and nine niches for the Muses ; and a late traveller** has discovered that the cave is restored to that simplicity which the poet regretted had been exchanged for injudicious ornament. But the headless statue is palpably rather a male than a nymph, and has none of the attributes ascribed to it at present visible. The nine Muses could hardly have stood in six niches ; and Juvenal does not allude to any individual cave.* Nothing can be collected from the satirist but that somewhere near the Porta Capena was a spot in which it was supposed Numa held nightly consultations with his nymph, and where there was a grove and a sacred fountain, and fanes once consecrated to the Muses; and that from this spot there was a descent into the valley of Egeria, where were several artificial caves. It is clear that the statues of the Muses made no part of the decoration which the satirist thought misplaced in these caves ; for he expressly assigns other fanes (delubra) to these divinities above the valley, and moreover tells us, that they had been ejected to make room for the Jews. In fact, the little temple, now called that of Bacchus, was formerly thought to belong to the Muses, and Nardinit places them in a poplar grove, which was in his time above the valley.
*“ Poco lontano dal detto luogo si scende ad un casaletto, del quale ne squio Padroni li Cafarelli, che non questo nome e chiamato il luogo ; vi è una fontana sotto una gran volta antica, che al presente si gode, e li Romani vi vanno l' estate a ricrearsi; nel pavimento di essa fonte si legge in un epitaffio essere quella la fonte di Egeria, dedicata alle ninfe; e questa, dice l' epitaffio, essere la medesima fonte in cui fu convertita.” Memorle, &c., ap. Nardini, pag. 13. He does not give the inscription.
+" In villa Justiniana extat ingens lapis quadratus solidus in quo sculpta hæc duo Ovidii carmina sunt:
Ægeria est quæ præbet aquas dea grata Camænis.
Ila Numæ conjux consiliumque fuit. Qui lapis videtur ex eodem Egeriæ fonte, aut ejus vicinia isthuc comportatus.” Diarium Italic. p. 153. • De Magnit. Vet. Rom. ap. Græv. Ant. Rom. tom. iv. p. 1507.
$ Echinard. Descrizione di Roma e dell'agro Romano corretto dall' Abate Venuti in Roma, 1750. They believe in the grotto and nymph. “ Simulacro di questo fonte, essendovi scolpite le acque a pie di Esso.”
** Classical Tour, chap. vi. p. 217, vol. ii.
It is probable, from the inscription and position, that the cave now shown may be one of the “ artificial caverns," of which, indeed, there is another a little way higher up the valley, under a tuft of alder bushes : but a single grotto of Egeria is a mere modern invention, grafted upon the application of the epithet Egerian to these nymphea in general, and which might send us to look for the haunts of Numa upon the banks of the Thames.
Our English Juvenal was not seduced into mistranslation by his acquaintance with Pope: he carefully preserves the correct plural
“ Thence slowly winding down the vale, we view
The Egerian grots; oh how unlike the true !" The valley abounds with springs, and over these springs, which the Muses might haunt from their neighbouring groves, Egeria presided : hence she was said to supply them with water; and she was the nymph of the grottos through which the fountains were taught to flow.
The whole of the monuments in the vieinity of the Egerian valley have received names at will, which have been changed at will. Venuti & owns he can see no traces of the temples of Jove, Saturn, Juno, Venus, and Diana, which Nardini found, or hoped to find. The mutatorium of Caracalla's circus, the temple of Honour and Virtue, the temple of Bacchus, and, above all, the temple of the god Rediculus, are the antiquary’s despair.
The circus of Caracalla depends on a medal of that emperor cited by Fulvius Ursinus, of which the reverse shows a circus, supposed, however, by some to represent the Circus Maximus. It gives a very good idea of that place of exercise. The soil has been but little raised, if we may judge from the small cellular structure at the end of the Spina, which was probably the chapel of the god Consus. This cell is half beneath the soil, as it must have been in the circus itself, for Dionysius** could not be persuaded to believe that this divinity was the Roman Neptune, because his altar was under ground.
Note 57. Stanza cxxvii.
Yet let us ponder boldly. " At all events,” says the author of the Academical Questions, “ I trust, whatever may be the fate of my own speculations, that philosophy will regain that estimation which it ought to possess. The free and philosophic spirit of our nation has been the theme of admiration to the world. This was the proud distinction of
* “ Substitit ad veteres arcus, madidamque Capenam
Hic ubi nocturna Numa constituebat amicæ.
Sat. III. Lib. lii. cap. iii.
Undique e solo aquæ scaturiunt." Nardini, lib. iii. cap. lii. $ Echinard, &c. Cic. cit. p. 297-298. ** Antiq. Rom. lib. il. cap. xxxi.