Abbildungen der Seite

ture. In an interregnum, or during the absence of the senators, the Conservators exercised the functions, unless they were entrusted to those who, under various names of Reformers of the Roman republic, Chamberlains, Good men, Deputies of the people, supplied the place of the regular government, and were sometimes dependent on the bene placitum of the Pope, sometimes derived their authority from the people.

The law by which an alien alone could be chosen for senator does not apply to those first on the list, who are specified as Romans, nor did it constantly obtain, in subsequent periods, until the reform of the statutes in 1580.

When Brancaleone was elected, in 1252, this was the usage, but in the next century the office was divided frequently between the Colonna and Orsini. Muratori * mentions that the custom of choosing foreigners for magistrates was introduced into Italy before the year 1180. The choice of foreign arbitrators in the controversies of states and princes seems to have been the fashion of the thirteenth century. Thus the English referred to Philip of France; thus the kings of France and Arragon, and other princesthe Scotch for instance-submitted their claims to the judgment of King Edward I. †

* Dissertazione sopra le antichità Ital. diss. xlvi. p. 67, tom. iii. † See Hume, Hist. of England, Edw. I. cap. xiii.

The ancient statutes have been traced back to the year 1364.

Every vestige of the popular government* which those statutes were meant to preserve has been gradually abolished, and the Senate and Roman people, after nearly seven centuries of feeble, dubious existence, are now at their last gasp.

The pageant, however, remains. The three Conservators act certain parts in certain ceremonies: they stand on the second step of the papal throne, and they have a right to carry the sacramental vessels between the high altar and his holiness on Easter Sunday. The Senator of Rome bears a still more conspicuous part in these scenes of humiliation. When the Pope pontificates, the Senator stands amidst a seated assembly, but stands at the right hand of the hierarch, on a level with the throne, and a step above the Conservators. His cloak of golden brocade, and his depending rolls of borrowed hair, suit well with the meek ministerial attitude of the gentleman-usher; but they are dwindled into nothing amidst the purple of the cardinals and the seven-fold robes of the holy father: even his patient resignation is obscured by the incense and awful bustle of that pious pantomime.

* For a short account of the statutes and government of Rome, see the Decline and Fall, cap. lxx. p. 380, tom. xii. oct. What has been said above was inserted merely in explanation of the modern Fasti Consulares. The civil and criminal justice of Rome previously to the French revolution was esteemed, and with reason, the most iniquitous in Italy.

The half-starved porters of the Campidoglio make their boast to strangers that their Senator is placed for life, and cannot be degraded from his office, even by the Pope himself. But the pontiffs have shown their conviction of his impotence by dispensing with the statute which enacted that no one but an alien could be chosen. Pius VII. did not think it expedient to nominate a relation, as Rezzonico had done, but gave the idle title to the young Patrizzi, the representative of a noble Siennese family transplanted to Rome.*

* The successor of Patrizzi was Prince Corsini, but he claimed certain privileges which the Pope thought fit to refuse; and Altieri, another Roman prince, was called to the unimportant dignity. He has, or rather is, a tribunal of his own. He and his assessors take coguisance of various matters, both civil and criminal. He can condemn to imprisonment and to the galleys, and might condemn to death, but he never exercises that power. The Jews are under his peculiar authority. They swear and pay tribute to him on the first day of carnival, in the Capitol. He and the four conservators sometimes sit together on days of ceremony, but rarely on official occasions. The conservators have a court of their own. They superintend the public spectacles, and several minor affairs, such as the care of small debts, in Rome itself; and over four towns, of which Cora is chief, containing altogether about 20,000 souls, they have absolute anthority, including the power of life and death, but with appeal in that case to the Pope. In one of the rooms of the Capitoline palace, the conservators, with the caporioni and other subordinate magistrates, hold their sittings in chairs, and at a table as worn out and decayed as their own authority; and the next change will probably deprive them of all the remains of their ancient power. Cardinal

The eloquent initials of the S. P. Q. R. are still to be seen multiplied on all the escutcheons and inscriptions of the modern city; and the same ambitious formula has been imitated by the little tributary towns of the pontifical state. We read, on the stuccoed gateway at Tivoli, of a modern “ Senate, and Tiburtine People.”


Whether the gladiator of the Capitol be a laquearian gladiator, which in spite of Winkelmann's criticism has been stoutly maintained, t or whether it be a Greek

Consalvi contemplated that consummation. Pius VII. visited the Capitol only at the feast of Aracoli. Leo XII. never deigned to ascend it once during his whole reign (1828).

*“A most beautiful and precious work, and of peculiar interest, as bringing so forcibly into evidence the power which the art of statuary may possess of touching the heart."-Bell, Observations on Italy, p. 96, edit. 1834. The whole description of this great work by the anatomist is very masterly.

The Gladiator has been thought to belong to the same group as the Arria and Petus, or Gaul killing his wife, in the Ludovisi collection; and the whole group was conjectured to have been contained in the pediment of a temple erected at Delphi to commemorate 'the flight of the Gauls. It ought to be recollected that the name of Gladiator was often given to statues of warriors : the Atreus with the son of Thyestes was formerly so called, as we find by the memorials of Aldroandi, p. 18, in the Miscellanea of Fea.

+ By the Abate Bracci, in his “Dissertazione sopra un clipeo votivo” (Preface, p. 7), who accounts for the cord round the neck, but not for the horn which it does not appear the. gladiators ever used.-Note A, Storia delle Arti, tom. ii. p. 205.

herald, as that great antiquary positively asserted,* or whether it is to be thought a Spartan or Barbarian shield-bearer, according to the opinion of his Italian editor, f it must assuredly seem a copy of that masterpiece of Ctesilaus which represented “a wounded man dying who perfectly expressed what there remained of life in him.” | Montfaucon § and Maffei || thought it the identical statue ; but that statue was of bronze. The Gladiator was once in the villa Ludovisi, and was bought by Clement XII. The right -arm is an entire restoration by Michael Angelo. I

Gladiators were of two kinds, compelled and voluntary, and were supplied from several conditions : from slaves sold for that purpose; from culprits ; from Barbarian captives, either taken in war, and, after being led in triumph, set apart for the games, or those seized and condemned as rebels; also from free citizens, some fighting for hire (auctorati), others from a depraved

* Either Polifontes, herald of Laius, killed by Edipus; or Cepreas, herald of Euritheus, killed by the Athenians when he endeavoured to drag the Heraclidæ from the altar of mercy, and in whose honour they instituted annual games, continued to the time of Hadrian ; or Anthemocritus, the Athenian herald, killed by the Megarenses, who never recovered the impiety. See Storia delle Arti, &c., tom. ii. pp. 203-207, lib. ix. cap. ii.

† Storia, &c., tom. ii. p. 207, note A.

† “ Vulneratum deficientem fecit in quo possit intelligi quantum restat animæ.”—Plin. Nat. Hist., lib. xxxiv. cap. viii.

$ Antiq., tom. iii. par. ii. tab. 155.
|| Racc. stat. tab. 64.

Mus. Capitol., tom. iii. p. 154, edit. 1755.

« ZurückWeiter »