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places emanations of carbonic or azot issue. He supposes that the volcanic strata, acted upon by the rays of the sun, emit quantities of deleterious gas, which affect the vital principles of the human frame, and being assisted by the chillness of the night, may give rise to attacks of fever. The late ingenious geologist, Brocchi, it is true, in bis analysis of the air taken outside of the Roman walls, did not discover any of these emanations; but “is it not well known that there are elements which baffle the researches of chemistry, and that, for instance, we cannot by analysis discover any difference between the atmosphere of a crowded theatre and that of the best ventilated apartment?"

But whatever may have been the original causes of the insalubriousness of the Roman plains, there can be no doubt that the thinness and poverty of the population,—the overflowing in several places of the waters of lakes, canals, and streams,—the preference given to pasture over tillage, and the putrefaction of vegetable and animal substances, have fearfully aggravated the evil. Whence and how did the depopulation of the Campagna proceed? In a document quoted by Dureau de la Malle froin Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and dating of the year 278 of Rome, the population of the city and its colonies is stated at 195,000 citizens, as many women, 32,500 free strangers, and 17,000 slaves; in all, about 440,000 persons inbabiting the Latium, or country between the Tiber, the Anio, the Montes Lepini, and the sea,—not one third of the space included in the present province or department of Rome, as the whole right bank of the Tiber, or Etruria, and the mountains of Sabina and Umbria, were still independent.* The whole of the fourth century after the foundation of the city was spent in reducing the latter populations, which fact shows that they must have been at least as numerous as those of Rome. But in the fifth century the face of affairs changed; Rome, by the taking of Vulsinii and the overthrow of the Etruscan and Unbrian confederacy, forced a passage towards North Italy; whilst in the south she conquered Sicily from the Carthaginians. Then the male population of Rome became engaged in distant wars, and the cultivation of the country was abandoned to slaves;t the patri

There can be no doubt that the population of the Latium had been much greater before the Romans conquered it, when the Volsci alone bad i wenty-three towns, most of which were afterwarris destroyed by their conquerors, in the single district between the Montes Lepini and the sea. Some of these were afterwards rebuilt by colonies sent from Rome, and were in their turn destroyed during the eivil wars of the republic, or at the fall of the empire. Sylla had a great share in the second work of destruction. Ardea, Lanuvium, Circeii, Ostia, as well as Veii, Falerii, and others, have been thus repeatedly ruined.

+ The number of slaves, owing to the gigantic and exterminating wars waged by Rome, increased to such a degree that their value fell from 561. io the price of a measure of wheat per head!

cians, the successful generals, and the enriched pro-consubs, having accumulated properties in large masses, turned fields into large parks and pasture grounds.* The soil, given up to a spontaneous vegetation, developed and increased deleterious emanations; the Pomptine marshes and other lowlands, the towns of which had been ruined by the Romans, became overflowed through the neglect of the drains, and we begin to find the unhealthiness of particular spots mentioned by writers. Strabo designates as such Ardea, Setia, Anxur, and Circeii; Cicero complains of the fevers that afflicted the plains of Rome; Livy speaks of the Roman soldiers encamped in the pestilential barren grounds outside of the town, and Horace says of the month of August, adducit febres, ac testamenta resignat. The civil wars and proscriptions of Marius and Sylla, and of the triumvirates, must have greatly contributed to this, by reducing the population with frightful rapidity. Towns disappeared; the fields of Latium and Etruria were left to slaves and soldiers; whilst the people of Rome were supplied with distributions of corn from the granaries of Africa and Sicily.

The subject of malaria has been much discussed of late years by Brocchi, Dr. Macculloch, and others ;ť we shall abstain, therefore, from following M. Tournon in all his details, in which, however, the reader will find much that is new, accompanied by sound and sober judgment. The miasmata of the malaria seem to be of a dense heavy nature, seldom rising very high above the ground unless wafted by the winds. Walls seem to check their advance. The paving of streets and roads likewise prevents their exhalation. Fires dispel them. If one could transplant at once a dense population into a considerable village, sheltered as much as possible from the south wiuds, with houses built close together,

Propter avaritiam, contra leges er segetibus fecit prata, says Varso, speaking of some overgrown proprietor. And the number of proprietors became so small that in Cicero's time there were not 2,000 citizens who were freeholders, qui rem haberent. Latifundia perdidere Italiam, is the memorable expression of Pliny.

+ See an article on Alalaria in the Edinburgh Review, No. 72, February, 1822. In the number for November last of the Nuovo Giornale de' Letterati, published at Pisa, we find an account of some interesting experiments lately instituted in Tuscany by MM. Savi and Passerini, professors of natural history and chemistry in the University of Pisa, on the noxious qualities of some plants supposed to be a source of malaria. The results of these we shall here briefly stale.

The chara, a genus of plants which grows very plentifully in the marshes, exhales, especially during summer, a fetid smell, similar to that of the marshes themselves. This has led some to suspect that these plants, during their growth, decay, and decomposition, might be the cause of the malaria. To clear up this doubt, MM. Savi and Passerini undertook a series of observations on, and analyses of, the more common species, the chara vulgaris and the chara flexibilis.

They found these plants covered with an external crust of carbonate of lime, the quantity of which, always considerable, diminishes successively and gradually during the four months of May, June, July and August, which are precisely those in which

streets narrow and paved, and the ground around being previously cleared and planted into gardens, with wholesome water, and sufficient means of sustenance, and they were to follow the common precautionary rules, such as not to sleep on the ground, not to go out fasting in the morning, shut their shutters carefully at night, and light a fire, and live on temperate but nourishing diet, such a colony in the midst of the Campagna might succeed. But the undertaking of colonizing the maremma on such a system is too gigantic to be carried into effect. Pius VII. as well as his predecessors, made some attempts, but to no purpose.

The whole surface of the province or department of Rome M. Tournon states to be about 6,000 square miles, of which the healthy portions, where constant cultivation is practised, occupy 4,600; while the unwholesome plains, subject to the grande culture, or unequal alternation of crops, pasture, and fallows, fill up the remaining 1,400. Here we have, then, the extent of the evil, and limits to future exaggeration.

There is another important topic connected with the above, upon which we apprehend there exists a considerable degree of misconception; we mean the reported gradual progress of the malaria of late years within the city of Rome. By looking at the map, we shall find that, wherever the houses are few and far between, and the ground is mainly covered with gardens and fields, or ruins, the malaria is felt during the summer months, though not in the same degree as in the open country outside of the walls. Now this is the condition of the greater part of ancient Rome, of all the districts to the east and south of the Quirinal and the Capitol, with the exception of some streets that extend towards Santa Maria Maggiore and Campo Vaccino. Five of the seven hills are, therefore, either totally or partially unhealthy; this was the case, we remember, thirty years ago, and, we believe, long before that epoch, as it was not talked of as any thing new. But it is said that the malaria has penetrated “ through the Porta del Popolo, and extended along the Pincian Hill by the church of La Trinita de' Monti, and thus round the foot of the Quirinal and Viminal bills to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.” The upper part of the Pincian hill, which is entirely covered with villas and gardens, we remember was always considered unhealthy, as well as the further end of the road to Porta Pia and from the baths of Dioclesian, down to Porta San Lorenzo. Likewise we are told that “it reaches to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, diverging towards the Campo Vaccino, and proceeding onward to the east of the Colosseum to St. John Lateran,” &c. But all these districts can hardly be called inhabited; there are only a few houses and churches, and convents here and there, and the rest is gardens, villas, vineyards, tields, and ruins. To the best of our recollection they were all considered unhealthy in the summer months, as we have said, thirty years since, although a few individuals, chiefly monks, contrived to live there all the year round. We

the influence of the malaria is most strongly felt. Among the other elements of the chara they detected also a fat volatile substance, hitherto unnoticed, which, containing azut, has an analogy with animal substances, and produces the fetid smell which gave rise to these researches. They named this substance puterine, from the vulgar name of putera, which the Italians give to the plant.

After examining the chara in its living and perfect state, they submitted it to putrefaction by steeping it in water. Decomposition began to show itself very soon. Acetic acid was formed, united with carbonate of lime, and disengaged the carbonic acid, whichi, rising into the atmosphere, produced a scum over the surface of the water. The smell of the plant began to exhale at the same time so powerfully as to cause serious accidents and violent head-ache to the persons exposed to it, even at a great distance. By degrees the plant assumed a dark colour, became soft and soapy, and was finally reduced to a blackish mixture, formed of fragnients of woody fibres and of very thin coal, unctuous to the touch, and with an intolerable stench. In the last stage of putrefaction, the water in which the plant had been steeped became stinking, blackish and mucilaginous; on its surface was formed a dark pellicle, sprinkled with yellowish stains, reflecting in some points the colours of the rainbow, and emiting a disagreeable odour; when exposed to the action of fire it yielded azotic productions. The same experiments, carried on with covered vessels, under the action of solar heat, gave the same results. Repeated upon the chara of brackish waters, the saline principle of which is so powerful as to destroy all other plants, the observations presented the same phenomena, but with a greater degrec of intensity.

MM. Savi and Passeriui think themselves entitled to conclude, from these repeated experiments, that the puterine, or fetid principle of the genus chara, if not the only and general cause of the malaria, is, at least, one of the most powerful causes of its pro). duction in Italy. This mischievous principle, the odour of which is the same with that of marshy exhalations, extends its influence with still greater effect, whenever the diminution or evaporation of the waters leaves the plants uncovered, and by its volatility, it escapes, and is kept suspended in the atmosphere.

thc of the extensive district bevond the Palatine and Aventine to the gates of St. Sebastian and St. Paul's; they were decidedly bad; but then they are deserted, and covered with fields. One might there fancy oneself in the open country. On the other side of the Tiber, the Lungara, and the slope of the Javiculum above it, the seat of the Villa Corsini, we remember also as unhealthy. We see nothing new or particularly alarming, therefore, in these late reports. Modern Rome, which extends from the Quirinal and the Capitol to the banks of the Tiber, is sufficiently healthy, at least as far as the malaria is concerned. There are unhealthy seasons at Rome, as well as in other cities, in particular years, when epidemic fevers spread through the thickest inhabited districts ; but this is very different from the gradual progress of the malaria.

One question, however, we are enabled to set definitively at rest; and that is the supposed decrease of the population of Rome. That population has been rapidly increasing ever since

can say


the peace. Intolerable misery, brought on by violent convulsions and foreign invasion, and the dispersion of its government and court, did at various times fearfully reduce its numbers. The earliest census we possess since the fall of the western empire, after the ravages of barbarians, and the subsequent attacks of Normans and Saracens, is that of 1198, under Innocent III.; the population was then only 35,000. The removal of the Papal See to Avignon reduced it so low as 17,000!* It was then, indeed, that some prophets of woe might have announced the approaching annihilation of the eternal city! Viterbo and Tivoli were then able to rival and cope with the former mistress of the world! The return of the Papal court, however, from Avignon, in 1977, was followed by an increase, which continued till the time of Leo X. when we find the numbers 60,000. But the storming and pillage of Rome by Bourbon's army, in 1527, again reduced the population to 33,000. Afterwards it began to recover, especially under Sixtus V.; who having cleared the country of banditti, and checked feudal oppression, by a severe but equal justice to all, restored confidence and security, encouraged industry, and deserved the title of “ Restorer of the public peace.” Since his reign the population kept steadily increasing until the beginning of the last century, when it had risen to 138,000; having quadrupled in 150 years. In 1730 it was 145,000; in 1750, 157,000; and in 1775 it rose to 165,000; the highest point it has ever reached in modern times. 164,586 in 1795, just previous to the first French revolutionary invasion. The calamities of the following years, the depreciation of the paper money, which had been issued with prodigal improvidence by Pius VI., the unheard of exactions of the French generals, by draining the treasury, the clergy, and the nobility of all their disposable wealth, produced a lamentable state of misery among the lower classes, which was further increased by the entrance of the French army in 1798, the violent removal of Pius VI., the dispersion of his court and clergy, the plunder and confiscation of public and private property, and the contributions and other charges imposed upon the “ Roman republic" by its French allies. To these may be added, revolts in the province or Campagna, and the devastations which followed, and in which several towns, such as Terracina, Frosinone, Ferentino, Ronciglione, Viterbo, &c. were sacked and partly destroyed. In 1800 we find the population of Rome reduced to 153,000; and the consequences of these calamities continuing

It was

See the Abate Cancellieri's learned inquiries on the subject. † See Botta, Book XIII.

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