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fortress, with a church, perhaps, on the top, as described by Luitprand, a little before the time of Otho III.* Yet the description of Manlio was followed by the anonymous pilgrim of the thirteenth century, and also by the sculptor of the bronze doors of St. Peter's in 1435, which furnish the original of the pictures seen in all the guide-books. The oldest description to be relied upon, that of Procopius, is much more simple. “Without the Aurelian gate,” says he, “a stone's throw from the walls, is the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian, a striking and memorable work. For it is composed of Parian marble, and the stones adhere compactly together, although without cement. Each of the sides is in breadth a stone's throw, and the four sides are equal one to another : the height exceeds that of the walls. On the top are seen many admirable statues of men and horses of the same marble; and because this tomb seemed, as it were, a stronghold over against the city, the ancients joined it to the walls by two branches, which connected it with the town wall; it looks, therefore, like a high tower protecting the neighbouring gateway.” *
quod totum lapidibus coopertum et diversis historiis est perornatum : in circuito vero cancellis æneis circumseptum, cum pavonibus aureis et tauro æneo ; ex quibus (pavonibus) duo fuerunt de illis qui sunt in cantharo Paradisi. In quatuor partes templi fuerunt quatuor caballi ænei deaurati, in unaquaque fronte portæ æneæ : in medio giro fuit sepulchrum porphyreticum quod nunc est Lateranis in quo sepultus est Innocen ius Papa II. cujus coopertorium est in Paradiso B. Petri super sepulchrum Præfecti.”-See Historia Basilicæ Antiquæ S. Petri Apost. in Vatic. cap. vii. p. 50, ad beatiss. pat. Alexand. JII. Pont. Max. apud Acta Sanctorum, tom. vii. part. ii. p. 37, edit. 1717, Ant. Alexander was elected in 1159 : there are interpolations in this history from the pen of a Roman canon of the Vatican, Paul de Angelis.-See Prefat. p. 36.
* “In ingressu Romanæ urbis quædam est miri operis miræque fortitudinis constituta munitio .. .. .. munitio autem ipsa, ut cetera desinam, tantæ altitudinis est, ut Ecclesia quæ in ejus vertice videtur in honore summi et cælestis militiæ principis Archangeli Michaelis fabricata dicatur Ecclesia sancti Angeli usque ad cælos.”—De rebus per Europam gestis, lib. iii. cap. xii. fo. 51, edit. 1514.
If then there was any colonnade similar to that of the plans, it must have disappeared before the time of Procopius; and the editor of Winkelmann, who avers that there are still evident traces of the adjustment of a vault, which sprang from the tower and terminated on the circular portico, asks whether it is probable that the pillars of the lower range may have been employed in forming the great portico which led to the Vatican, or in building the Vatican Basilica itself.+ By this query, it is presumed, he thinks such a conjecture is probable, notwithstanding the columnar ornaments of the sepulchre are merely traditional, and are falsely supposed to have enriched St. Paul's, without the walls, with her
* Procop. in loc. sup. cit.
+ “ Sarebbe mai probabile il dire, che le colonne più grandi abbiano servito al mentovato gran portico, che dalla mole giugneva fino alla basilica Vaticana, restaurato, e ampliato di molto dal Pontefice S. Adriano. O che siano state impiegate nella stessa Basilica Vaticana ?”—Dissertazione sulle Rovine, &c. p. 386. If so, the church has another plunder to be noted of the monuments of Rome.
paonazzetto pillars, and the Lateran with those of verdantique. . A more correct judgment could have been formed before the destruction in 1379 than can be deduced from the present naked skeleton of peperine, surrounded as it is by the repairs and outworks of successive pontiffs : for it should be borne in mind by the spectator, that, excepting the circular mass, he sees nothing which dates earlier than the beginning of the fifteenth century, and that even the round tower itself has been much changed by the explosion of the powdermagazine in 1497, the final reparation of which reduced the fortress to its present form.
The fate of the modern city, and even of the papal power, has in some measure depended upon the castle of Saint Angelo; and, by a lamentable coincidence, the tomb of one of their despots has helped to perpetuate the subjection of the Roman people. Of such importance was this fort to the pontiffs, that the taking of it is, by an ecclesiastical writer, ranked with a famine, an eclipse, and an earthquake.*
At one time it commanded the only entrance into Rome on the Tuscan side.f The seizure of it by the
* “ Eodem anno per totum orbem magna fames fuit, ita quod exinde multi homines mortui sunt: et sol eclypsim passus est, castrum S. Angeli captum est, terra mota est."-- Vit. Pontif. Card. de Aragon. et alior. ap. Script. Rer. Italic., tom. iii. p. 313, speaking of the year 1084.
† Luitprand, in loc. sup. cit.
Patrician Theodora, in the beginning of the tenth century, was one of the first steps towards the establishment of the power of herself and the more famous Marozia, her daughter; and the possession of it enabled her lover, Pope John X., after her death probably, to expel from Rome Alberic, Marquis of Camerino, the husband of the same Marozia.* The daughter, however, was mistress of the castle in 925, and handed it over, with the sovereignty of Rome, to her second and third husbands, Guido and Hugo. Her son Alberic drove away the latter, who was obliged to drop down from the battlements upon the town wall. The castle stood two sieges against Hugo, and passed into the hands of the Patrician Pope John XII. That pontiff and Adalbert,
* There are some doubts and difficulties respecting these two persons whom Gibbon calls sisters (cap. xlix. vol. iv. oct. p. 197). Marozia had a sister, Theodora, whom Baronius, by a great mistake, calls the wife of Adalbert II., Duke or Marquis of Tuscany (Annali d'Italia, ad an. 917, tom. V. p. 282): but the lady to whom the exploits of a Theodora seem to belong, was the mother of Marozia, and she who placed her lover, the Bishop of Ravenna, on the papal throne, under the name of John X. in the year 914. This is the scortum impudens of Luitprand, who says of her, “Romanæ civitatis non inviriliter monarchiam obtinebat.” (Annali ad an. 914, ib. p. 273.) Gibbon tells us, that “ the bastard son, the grandson, and the great grandson of Marozia, a rare genealogy, were seated in the chair of Saint Peter" (ibid. p. 198); but John XI. was the son of her husband, Alberic, not of her lover, Pope Sergius III., as Muratori has distinctly stated. (Annali, ad an. 911, tom. v. p. 268.) Her grandson John, otherwise called John XII. was Pope ; but a great grandson cannot be discovered in any of the succeeding Popes, nor does our historian himself,. in his subsequent narration (pag. 202), seem to know of one.
son of King Berenger, endeavoured to hold it against Otho the Great (A.D. 963), but were compelled to retire.* The Saxon emperor came to Rome, and deposed John for “hunting and calling on Jove and Venus, and other demons, to help him when he played at dice, besides other irregularities.”+ Otho addressed himself to the assembly in Saxon, not being able to speak Latin. Benedict VI. was murdered in the castle by Cardinal Boniface Francone (in 973), who was driven from Rome by Benedict VII., but kept the Mole by means of a band of ruffians, and thus enabled himself to return from Constantinople, when he put to death another pope, John XIV. This was in 984 or 985.
It was in the succeeding pontificate of John XV. that the Cæsar Crescentius seized and re-fortified the castle so strongly that it was called afterwards his rock or tower, and all the efforts of an imperial army, commanded by Otho III. in person, were insufficient to dislodge him. His surrender was the effect of treachery, not of force.
The next memorable notice of the castle is the two years blockade of the anti-pope Cadaloo, in the time of
* The dates of some of these events will have been seen in another place. Luitprand is the authority for Hugo king of Burgundy's method of escape.
+ “In ludo aleæ, Jovis, Veneris, cæterorumque dæmonum auxilium poposcisse dixerunt.”—Luitprand, lib. vi. cap. vii. fol. xc. He was accused also of turning the Lateran into a brothel ; in short, of every thing but the real offence, his opposition to Otho.
I Muratori has the first, Baronius the second date.