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That it is of very high antiquity the workmanship is a decisive proof; and that circumstance induced Winkelmann to believe it the wolf of Dionysius. The Capitoline wolf, however, may have been of the same early date as that at the temple of Romulus. Lactantius * asserts that in his time the Romans worshipped a wolf; and it is known that the Lupercalia held out to a very late period † after every other observance of the ancient superstition had totally expired. This may account for the preservation of the ancient image longer than the other early symbols of Paganism.
It may be permitted, however, to remark that the wolf was a Roman symbol, but that the worship of that symbol is an inference drawn by the zeal of Lactantius. The early Christian writers are not to be trusted in the charges which they make against the
*“ Romuli nutrix Lupa honoribus est affecta divinis, et ferrem si animal ipsum fuisset, cujus figuram gerit” (Lactant. de Falsa Religione, lib. i. cap. xx. p. 101, edit. varior. 1660); that is to say, he would rather adore a wolf than a prostitute. His commentator has observed that the opinion of Livy concerning Laurentia being figured in this wolf was not universal. Strabo thought so. Rycquius is wrong in saying that Lactantius mentions the wolf was in the Capitol.
† To A.D. 496. “Quis credere possit,” says Baronius (Ann. Eccle. tom. viii. p. 602, in an. 496), “ viguisse adhuc Romæ ad Gelasii tempora, quæ fuere ante exordia urbis allata in Italiam Lupercalia ? " Gelasius wrote a letter, which occupies four folio pages, to Andromachus, the senator, and others, to show that the rites should be given up.
Pagans. Eusebius accused the Romans to their faces of worshipping Simon Magus, and raising a statue to him in the island of the Tiber. The Romans had probably never heard of such a person before, who came, however, to play a considerable, though scandalous part in the church history, and has left several tokens of his aerial combat with St. Peter at Rome, notwithstanding that an inscription found in this very island of the Tiber showed the Simon Magus of Eusebins to be a certain indigenal god, called Semo Sangus or Fidius.*
Even when the worship of the founder of Rome had been abandoned it was thought expedient to humour the habits of the good matrons of the city by sending them with their sick infants to the church of Saint Theodore, as they had before carried them to the temple of Romulus.f The practice is continued to this day; and the site of the above church seems to
be thereby identified with that of the temple; so that if the wolf had been really found there, as Winkelmann says, there would be no doubt of the present statue being that seen by Dionysius.* But Faunus, in saying that it was at the Ficus Ruminalis by the Comitium, is only talking of its ancient position as recorded by Pliny; and even if he had been remarking where it was found, would not have alluded to the church of Saint Theodore, but to a very different place, near which it was then thought the Ficus Ruminalis had been, and also the Comitium, t that is, the three columns by the church of Santa Maria Liberatrice, at the corner of the Palatine looking on the Forum.
It is, in fact, a mere conjecture where the image was actually dug up; and perhaps, on the whole, the marks of the gilding and of the lightning are a better argument in favour of its being the Ciceronian wolf
* Nardini, lib. v. cap. xi., convicts Pomponius Lætus crassi erroris, in putting the Ruminal fig-tree at the church of St. Theodore ; but as Livy says the wolf was at the Ficus Ruminalis, and Dionysius at the temple of Romulus, he is obliged (cap. iv.) to own that the two were close together as well as the Lupercal cave, shaded, as it were, by the fig-tree.
† “ Ad comitium ficus olim Ruminalis germinabat, sub qua lupæ rumam, hoc est, mammam, docente Varrone, suxerant olim Romulus et Remus ; non procul a templo hodie D. Mariæ Liberatricis appellato ubi forsan inventa nobilis illa ænea statua lupæ geminos puerulos lactantis, quam hodie in capitolio videmus."-Olai Borrichii Antiqua Urbis Romana facies, cap. x. ; see also cap. xii. Borrichius wrote after Nardini in 1687.-Ap. Græv. Antiq. Rom. tom. iv. p. 1522.
than any that can be adduced for the contrary opinion. At any rate, it is one of the most interesting relics of the ancient city,* and is certainly the figure, if not the very animal, to which Virgil alludes in his beautiful verses :
“ Geminos huic ubera circum
THE CONSERVATORS' PALACE. The Conservators' palace exhibits vestiges of the reform of Arnold of Brescia, and of his re-established senate. In apartments contiguous to that which contains the old Fasti, the modern series of inglorious magistrates is ranged, in humble imitation of the venerable list of ancient conquerors and triumphs. I The initials of the modern title are so given that what must be read Conservators looks like Consuls. It does not seem to be known at what precise period the modern senate of Rome diminished from a council, $
* Donatus, lib. xi. cap. 18, gives a medal representing on one side the wolf in the same position as that in the Capitol ; and in the reverse the wolf with the head not reverted. It is of the time of Antoninus Pius.
† Æn. viii. 631. See Dr. Middleton, in his Letter from Rome, who inclines to the Ciceronian wolf, but without examining the subject.
I See Dissertazione sulle Rovine, &c., p. 410, ad fin.
§ See Serie Cronologica de' Senatori di Roma dal Conte Antonio Vendettinį in Roma, 1778.
which at one time amounted to fifty-six persons, to a single magistrate; nor does it appear, that after that reduction the government of the city was invariably trusted to one alone.* The senate, in the modern sense, was an office exercised by one or more persons for a term which was at first annual; and we read of this senate long after the duties had been exercised by an individual.t Notwithstanding the re-establishment dates from 1143, the chronological series does not begin before the year 1220 with Parenzio Parenzi. The names for the next year will sound powerfully to our ears
1221, HANNIBAL AND NAPOLEON.
Napoleon of the Orsi is a frequent name in the early fasti. The chief magistrate was assisted by three assessors, to administer criminal and civil justice; but the next in dignity and power to those or to him who composed the senate were the three Conservators; and in addition to these the same list contains the names of the Capo-Rioni, who are often enrolled with the Conservators. There were Marshals also, of whom one is recorded, and Præfects, or Notaries of the præfec
*“ E primieramente vediamo dall'elenco medesimo che i Senatori ora erano più, ora un solo, e prima di questo tempo or uno or due.”—Vendett. loc. citat.
† His title was Illustris first, and then Illustrissimus, with the addition Dei gratia.