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ration to say that Titus showed the Roman people five thousand in one day,* or that Probus, unica missione, exhibited four thousand ostriches, boars, deer, ibexes, wild sheep, and other graminivorous animals, amidst a forest which had been transplanted into the amphitheatre.f Perhaps it is not to be understood that they were slain at once. I
The Coliseum was struck by lightning in the year A.D. 320, in the reign of Constantine, but repaired; for the laws for abolishing gladiatorial shows were not observed until the reign of Honorius ;$ and even after
teatro Flavio dal Canonico Giovanni Marangoni, Rom. 1746, pp. 33, 34.
*“Atque uno die quinque millia omne genus ferarum.”—Sueton. in Vit. Tit.
† Vopisc. in Vit. Prob., p. 233, Hist. Aug. edit. 1519. I Marangoni, ibid. p. 41.
§ In the reign of Theodosius II. and Valentinian III. Rufus Cecina Felix Lampadius, Prefect of Rome, restored the steps, the arena, and the podium-a circumstance unknown until the discovery of an inscription now preserved in the area of the building ; but whether these repairs were rendered necessary by the violence of Alaric in 409, we have no means of being certainly informed. Two other recently (1828) found inscriptions record that an abominable earthquake threw down the podium, and made requisite the repairs made by Decius Marius Venantius Basilius, consul in the year 496 of the vulgar era.
The Thcodosian inscription, with the obliterated letters restored, uns as follows :
SALvis dd NN THEODOSIO ET PLACIDO Valentiniano , Augg . RUFUS . CÆCINA , FELIX . LAMPADIUS. U0 . et inl prof. urb HATENAM AMPHITHEATRI A NOVO . UNA CUM podio et portic Posticis SED . ET REPARATIS. SPECTACULI , GRADIBUS restituit.
that period, men fought with wild beasts, which seems to have been the original purpose of the amphitheatre, rather than the combats of gladiators.* The fighting and hunting continued at least until the end of Theodoric's reign, in 526, and the seats of the principal senators were jealously preserved.† Maffei had heard of an inscription mentioning a restoration by that monarch, but was not able to find such a record. I
It is just possible that some of the holes which now disfigure the whole surface may have been made by the extraction of the metals used for clamps, which we have remarked to have been a practice of the Romans
The other inscription, referring to the repairs of Basilius, is in these words :
DECIUS . MARIUS , VENANTIUS.
URB. PATRICIUS, CONSUL.
TUS. RUIN. PROS
* Verona Illustrata, part iv. pp. 2, 3. Maffei notices that Cassiodorus calls it theatrum venatorium. True ; but gladiators had been abolished some time before, therefore the authority is not conclusive.
† Cassiod. Variar., epist. xlii. lib. V., the bishop lamented the enormity of the sport; “actu detestabilis, certamen infelix,” spectaculum tantum fabricis.—Ibid., epist. xlii. lib. iv.
I Verona Illust., ib. p. 37.
even before the Gothic invasion; but Montfaucon * is strangely mistaken in calling the Barbarians the sole and sufficing cause of all these holes : no less is another writer deceived in saying they were all made by artisans. Joseph Maria Suarez, who has written expressly on this subject, actually proves nothing with all his seven causes, and has made a gross mistake in supposing Volusian had occupied a part of the amphitheatre as a strong hold in the reign of Theodoric.f It was a box at the shows he had seized, not a fortress. I The true account seems to be given by the editor of Winkelmann, who believes that the greater number of the holes were made for the extraction of the metals, and only a few, comparatively, for the insertion of the beams and staples necessary for forming chambers and divisions, when the ruin was made a place of defence, in the first instance, and afterwards, perhaps, a magazine of manufactures. The first plunder may have been begun in war, but was more the labour of peace, and was actually continued in the time of Theodoric. | The thieves worked in the night. The lead is still seen in some of the
* Montf. Diar. Ital. “Unam germanamque causam foraminum," p. 233. See note 50, Decline and Fall, tom. xii. p. 419.
† Jos. M. Suaresii de foraminib. lapid. diatriba, addressed to a Barberini in 1651, ap. Sallengre, tom. i. p. 318.
I “ Hac crudeli surreptione captata turrem circi, atque locum amphitheatri illustris recordationis patris eorum detestabili ambitu a vestris suggerunt fascibus expeditum.” — Variar. lib. iv. epist. xlii.
§ Dissertazione sulle Rovine, pp. 277, 278.
holes. The larger cavities are to be attributed to the other cause.
Totila is said to have exhibited the equestrian games of the Circus; but nothing is told of his reviving those of the amphitheatre. Justinian abolished the latter in every part of his dominion; and from that period, so Maffei thinks, the attacks of time and man began to be injurious.* The great mass of the external structure might, however, have been entire when it appeared to the pilgrims as durable as the world itself; but abandoned to neglect and exposed to the floods and earthquakes of the seventh century, much of the lower and more fragile part of the work must have been defaced, and it seems probable that some of the mass itself had fallen when it was occupied by the Frangipane family in the twelfth century or earlier.f Its decay would facilitate the conversion by the supply of fallen materials.
The author of the memoir on the amphitheatre I ascribes the ruin of the arcades towards the Cælian mount to Robert Guiscard; who, if he destroyed the structures between that mount and the Capitol, s must
* Verona Illust. ibid. p. 60. “Allora fu, che il grand' anfiteatro di Tito reso inutile comminciò a soffrir gl' insulti e del tempo e degli uomini.”
† Onufrius Panvinius, in his MS. Memoirs de gente Fregepanica, quoted by Marangoni, ibid. 49, thinks this occupation took place after the year 1000.
I Ibid. p. 50. $ “ Et majorem urbis partem Cælium inter et Capitolium sitam
necessarily have fallen upon the Coliseum. What is certain is, that for more than two centuries and a half the buildings dedicated to the amusement contributed to the distresses of Rome. Donatus, and after him Gibbon, have made a mistake in supposing that a manufactory of silk-weavers was established there in the twelfth century. The Bandonarii or Banderarii of the Coliseum, in 1192, noticed by a contemporary writer, * were the officers who carried the standards of their school, and preceded the pope in his coronation. No such employment was exercised in the Coliseum, which was now become a regular fortress. Innocent II. took refuge there in 1130; and the Frangipani were shortly after expelled, but made themselves masters of it a second time. Alexander III. retreated thither from the Ghibeline faction in 1165.
In 1244 Henry and John Frangipane were obliged to cede the half of their intrenchment to the Annibaldi;
evertit.” These words of Leo Ostiensis (Ap. Baron. ad an. 1084) are quoted by Marangoni ; but the Abate Fea (Dissert. p. 395), . finding no certain memorial, hesitates.
* See Ordo Romanus xii. auct. Cencio Camerario. ap. Mabill. Museum Italic. tom. ii. p. 195, num. 52. “ Bandonarii Colosæi et Cacabarii, quando dominus Papa coronatur, in eundo et redeundo ipsum cum vexillis præcedunt, quasi etenim una schola est, et eadem die debent comedere cum eodem domino Papa.” They were certain trained bands of the different quarters, as we see by this expression in Villani, cap. xiv. lib. vii. Itiner. Greg. X. “ Currebant Banderarii Romani velut dementes tubis clangentibus.” See also Ducange verb. Banderarii. Marangoni, p. 49. The mistake of Donatus is at lib. iii. cap. vi., that of Gibbon at cap. lxxi. p. 419, oct. vol. xii.