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Rome, but during his absence the Romans had ground this noble work, for the most part, to lime. This demolition, however, must be understood only of the square basement, on which, like the mausoleum of Hadrian, the round tower was raised. Nor was it complete even of the basement, which was not reduced to its present condition until the time of Urban VIII., who, we have seen, cut away some of the travertine blocks for the construction of the fountain of Trevi. The destroyer of the adjoining fortress was Sixtus Quintus, the Hercules of modern Rome, who dislodged every Cacus and cleared the Pontifical states of their dens.
The tomb has, indeed, been much disfigured, and the lower part of it retains only a few jutting blocks of its former structure; but it is still amongst the most conspicuous of the Roman ruins, and Gibbon must have been strangely forgetful of what he had seen when he wrote “ The sepulchre of Metella has sunk under its outworks.”* On the contrary, it is the sepulchre which
intactum, ad calcem postea majore ex parte exterminatum.”—De Fortuno Varietate, p. 508. From this period also Canina dates the general destruction of the monuments on the Appian Way—“Da quell'epoca (1440) sino in proximità dei tempi nostri si è continuata a distruggere quanto di più rimaneva della stessa Via Appia.” -(La Parte Prima della Via Appia, Notizie Preliminarie, p. 21, note 18, edit. 1853.)
* Decline and Fall, cap. lxxi. p. 415, tom. xii. To this he has the following note :—“I must copy an important passage of Montfaucon : Turris ingens rotunda ... Cæciliæ Metellæ ... sepulchrum
TOMBS ON THE APPI
184 TOMBS ON THE APPIAN WAY. Chap. XIX. remains and the outworks which have sunk. The feeble labours of puny modern nerves are fast crumbling round the massive fabric which seems to promise an existence as long as the period of its former duration.
TOMBS ON THE APPIAN WAY.
On the 14th of January, 1854, I went to see the recent excavations on the Appian Way, that extend for three miles beyond the tomb of Cecilia Metella. Except at Pompeji, I know nothing like this road of tombs. Nothing can be more interesting and imposing than the
erat, cujus muri tam solidi ut spatium perquam minimum intus vacuum supersit ; et Torre di bove dicitur, a boum capitibus muro inscriptis. Huic, sequiori ævo, tempore intestinorum bellorum, ceu urbecula adjuncta fuit, cujus mænia et turres etiamnum visuntur; ita ut sepulchrum Metellæ quasi arx oppidụli fuerit. Ferventibus in urbe partibus, cum Ursini atque Columnenses mutuis cladibus perniciem inferrent civitati, in utriusve partis ditionem cederet magni momenti erat.” This passage, which the reader will find in the Diarium Italicum, p. 156, surely need not have been ushered in with such solemnity, as if it related a fact to be collected nowhere else than in Montfaucon, or as if the occupation of Roman monuments by the factions was to be seen only at this tomb. Nothing remarkable is told by Montfaucon except the fact contradicted by the passage to which this note is appended, namely, that there was a great tower which had been the sepulchre of Metella, consequently that the said sepulchre had not “sunk under its outworks.”
Excavations were made in 1836 within the tomb, but nothing was discovered, except the fact that the suggestions of Santi Bartoli and Piranesi with respect to the inner cell of the tomb were unfounded.-See Canina, Via Appia, p. 87.
general appearance of these sepulchres—these records of ages long past, of a people the like of whom are not now to be found upon earth. I am not sure that it has been wise to stick the fragments of contiguous tombs on the same structure, as if they all originally belonged to it; but, seen at a little distance, the whole effect is most impressive, and the long line of broken aqueducts stretching across the Campagna to the left" (E.), the wild level down spreading to the sea on the right, the Alban Hills, with Castel Gandolfo, Marino, Grotto Ferrata, and Frescati, in white patches on the hills in front, under a deep blue sky and apparently close to us, surprised me and my young companion into repeated exclamations of admiration and delight.
The first to attempt a restoration of the tombs on the Appian Way was Canova, in 1808, when he put together, as before mentioned, the fragments of the monument of M. Servilius Quartus. The next restorer was the Abate Fea, who wrote a treatise on the Reconstruction of the Appian Way from Rome to Brindisi. But the last and most successful of the labourers in this quarter was Canina. He died only a short time ago (1858), but has left behind him many splendid proofs of his antiquarian exertions. A specimen of his painstaking genius may be found in the enumeration of the principal authorities consulted by him to ascertain the length of the old Roman mile, deduced from the exact measurement of the Roman foot, will be found at page 243 of his Appian
Way, Appendix 20.* More conjecture than reality is naturally the result of these restorations, but several great names have been applied to the tombs from fragmentary inscriptions, and notices extracted from the works of Cicero down to the legends of the saints and martyrs. We have a tomb of Seneca at the fourth milestone from Rome, with a stone sarcophagus and a relief, representing, some thought, the death of that personage, but more likely telling the famous story from Herodotus of the death of Atys and Adrastus.f An earlier mound is assigned to M. Cecilius and Pomponius Atticus; the latter of whom, however, I do not quite recognise in the epithet applied to him by the antiquary: “Cornelio Nepote, in fine della vita di “ Pomponio Attico, dicendo che questo illustre Capitano “ fu sepolto vicino alla Via Appia, alla quinta lapide nel “ monumento di Q. Cecilio suo zio materno.”
A letter of Count Borghesi, dated in September, 1851, gave several of the fragmentary inscriptions found on the Appian Way. One of them is considered by the Count to have referred to a remarkable man because it records of him, a certain Erchidnus, that he was killed in Lusitania, such record being very unusual. It seems that some of those who wrote the inscriptions, or to whom they referred, were anxious that the deceased should not appear more important than he really was, for on the right hand of the road between the sixth and seventh milestone, was found a sepulchral stone, with these letters: P. DECVMIUS. M. P. V. L. (PHILOMVSVS) Mùs; and, to prevent the possibility of the deceased being thought a lover of the Muses instead of mice, two of these little animals were sculptured on the sides of the Greek word.*
* E così il miglio composto di mille passi, cioè di mille piedi, si trovera correspondere a metri 1481, 750, Appendix II. p. 248.
+ Via Appia, p. 103. I Ibid. p. 129.
Mr. Eastlake has discovered some tombs on the Via Latina, the architectural decorations of which have appeared to him to be worthy of peculiar notice.
THE ALBAN HILL-CICERO'S TUSCULAN VILLA—THE
VILLA OF HORACE.
The whole declivity of the Alban hill is of unrivalled beauty, and from the convent on the highest point, which has succeeded to the Temple of the Latian Jupiter, the prospect embraces the Mediterranean, the whole scene of the latter half of the Æneid, and the coast. from beyond the mouth of the Tiber to the headland of Circæum and the Cape of Terracina.
The site of Cicero's villa may be supposed either at the Grotta Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince Lucian Buonaparte.
The former was thought some years ago the actual site, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero.
* Via Appia, p. 164.