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candidly owns that Paul III. and Riario may have thrown down many of the inner arches.
Amongst the projects of Sixtus Quintus was that of establishing a woollen manufactory in the Coliseum, which had before given shelter to the artisans of periodical fairs, and according to what we can collect of the plan from Fontana,* it appears that if it had been carried into execution the arcades of the Coliseum would have been entirely closed up, and the whole mass have been converted to a circuit of dirty dens like the Theatre of Marcellus. Mabillon, who says that if Sixtus had lived a year longer we should have had the Coliseum entirely restored,t talks as if he had never been at Rome or opened a single book on the subject.
In 1594 some of the upper arches were occupied by mechanics,* who paid a pound of wax quit-rent to the arch confraternity of the Roman Gonfalonier.
The papal government must be charged with neglect, if not with spoliation. Of the wall said to be built round the Coliseum by Eugenius IV. there is no authentic record. Gibbon quoted it from Montfaucon, who took
* Some of the earth was cleared away and excavations made in the area, and Sixtus had already advanced 15,000 crowns to merchants to " establish the manufactory."—Fontana—di alcune Fabbriche fatte in Soma da PP. Sisto V. Marangoni, ibid., p. 60, 61.
f" Vixisset Sixtus V. et amphitheatrurn, stupendum illud opus, iDtegratum nunc haberemus."—Iter. Hal., num. xxix., Mus. ltd., tom. i. p. 74.
% Marangoni, ibid., p. 71, 72.
it from Flaminius Vacca, who lived more than a hundred years after Eugenius, and reported it on hearsay.* This majestic relic, which had been protected as a barrack, a hospital, and a bazar, and which more enlightened ages considered only as a convenient quarry, seems never to have been estimated in its true character, nor preserved as the noblest monument of Imperial Rome, until a very late period. Piety had interfered but feebly, notwithstanding the claims of the amphitheatre to veneration. Fontana, in his work,-f- had intended to give a list of the martyrs who suffered there, but employed a person to furnish his catalogue who is owned to have been of no very critical capacity, and to have inserted names to which this arena could not pretend. The more judicious Marangoni, who will follow no blind guides, nor any less respectable authority than the Roman martyrology, or the sincere acts of Ruinart, or Surio, or Peter de Natalibus, thinks it a supportable conjecture that Gaudentius was the architect who built it, and was put to death for his Christianity by Vespasian. rUhe excellent Vicentine Canon forgot that he had just mentioned that the completion of the work took place after the death of that
* Intesi dire, &c. Vacca heard it from certain Olivetan monks of Santa Maria Nova; but Marangoni looked over their archives, and found no such record, nor have the Olivetans pretended to the property (ibid., p. 58). Yet Nibby (For. Rom., p. 234) quotes it as if not questionable (1828).
t L' Anfiteatro Flavio descritto, e delineato, dal Cav. Carlo Fontana, Hag. 1725. Marangoni, ib., p. 25.
VOL. II. I
emperor. He will, however, positively name no more than eighteen martyrs of the male sex, beginning with Saint Ignatius and ending with Telemachus, together with six females, four of whom are hardly to be reckoned amongst the triumphs of the arena, as the lions refused to injure them,* and they were reserved for less discriminating executioners. The list is considerably swelled with two hundred and sixty "anonymous soldiers," who, after digging an arena without the Salarian gate, were rewarded with death, which the Christian fasti call martyrdom, on the first of March, in the reign of Claudius II. t Marangoni avers that no memorial remains of the exact contrivance by which the sufferers were exposed to the wild beasts, although there are so many left of the conversion of the lions; but he might have seen the small bronze reliefs at the Vatican found in the Catacombs, where the lions are seen chained to a pilaster,
* S. Martina, S. Tatiana, S. Prisca, were all exposed to lions, who licked their feet: also " S. Daria verg. sliosa di S. Crisanto, come crede il Martinelli, fu esposta dal Tiranno all' ignominia, sotto le volte dell' anfiteatro, ove da un lione fu difesa la di lei castita" (Marangoni, p. 25). Then conies much learning to prove there were brothels in the amphitheatre, which appears certain; but that there were lions in waiting may want confirmation. The lions being found good Christians, at least where females were concerned, virgins were condemned to worse than death from the violence of men ; and. it became a proverb, "Christiani ad leones, virgines ad lenones."— See Aringhi Roma Subterranea, lib. ii. cap. i. tom. i. p. 197, num. 23, edit. 1651.
t "Dugento, e LX. MM. anonimi soldati, sotto lo stesso Claudio IL," &c. lb. 23.
and the martyr unarmed and half naked at their feet. That some innocent Christians suffered amongst real criminals is extremely probable. We learn from Martial that the amphitheatre was a place of execution, and that under Domitian the spectators were glutted with burnings and crucifixions. Those who had the noble courage to die for their faith, would be punished and confounded, except by their own sect, with other rebellious subjects of the empire. It appears that the condemned were brought in at the close of the day, and that the gladiatorial shows were terminated with these horrors.
The Canon, in order to show how much the Coliseum was always esteemed by the pious, relates that Saint Philip Neri was tempted by the devil there in the shape of a naked woman,* and that a friend of Saint Ignatius Loyola had a hundred gold crowns given to him by a messenger from the martyrs who had suffered there, and
* The story is told from Father Bacci's Life of Saint Philip Neri, lib. i. cap. v. n. viii.; but Marangoni, in relating it, does not observe that the devil must have beeu as fond of the Coliseum as the saint. Neri was a very considerable person in his day, and raised several people from the dead, particularly a youth of the Massimi family, on the 17th of the kalends of April, in 1583. This family, one of the noblest, and descended (so it is thought) from the Fabii, have attested the fact by building a chapel in their own palace, and by performing an annual service there, when they distribute pictures of the miracle, drawn in 1761 by order of Camillus Marquis Massimi, with a subjoined account of it just as it happened, in the presence of the father and many witnesses. Very nearly the same time that Neri was raising the dead in Bome, Lord Bacon was spreading his philosophy in London.
who were the peculiar objects of Loyola's devotions.* Moreover, Pius V. used to say, that he who wanted relics should take some earth from the arena, which was cemented with so much holy blood ;f and Cardinal Uderic Carpegna always stopped his coach opposite to the Coliseum, and repeated the names of all the martyrs who had been sacrificed on that spot.f His eminence's patience and piety were not, as we haye seen, put to any very severe test. Yet, in spite of the sanctity of the earth, the structure itself was little benefited.
At the end of the sixteenth century a little church, with a bell and a contiguous hermitage, were consecrated by Julio Sansedonio, patrician of Sienna and bishop of Grassetto, and this structure was repaired, in 1622, in those arches where the hermitage and chapel are now seen.
It was above the site of this church, on a wide plat
* John Cruccius was the man's name—the messenger disappeared after giving the crowns. Cruccius came home and told Ignatius, "Il S. Fadre tosto rese grazie a Dio, senza dimostrare alcun segno di maraviglia, forse avendone avuto alcun lume superiore.: ma quanto alla circostanza del luogo, che fu l* anfiteatro, sembra potersi credere, che seguisse anche per intercessione de' SS. Martiri, de' quali S. Ignazio fu divotissimo."—Marang., ib. 63. This is the way that books, and very good books too, are written at Rome.
t lb. 64.
X "Ed a tempi nostri, son io testimonio, che ogni qualunque volto sono ivi passato col Signor Cardinale Ulderico Carpegna, questo piissimo Signore ha fatto sempre fermare la carezza con fare la commemorazione de' SS. Martiri, che ivi gloriosamente trionfarono."— Ibid. 64.