« ZurückWeiter »
which he placed on Aracoeli. But it appears to me that the latter objection need not have alarmed him, for there is no reason why the triumphal road should not have wound round the western corner of the Tabularium of Catulus, where the modern prisons are now built, and have crossed the Capitoline area, or intermontium, to the eastern summit of the hill. Indeed there are some polygons of the old road to be seen close under the recently opened entrance on that side into the Tabularium.
The theory that the Triumphal Way was a continuation of the Via Sacra derives some support from the discovery of the lines of basalt polygons running alongside of the base of the Basilica Julia to the ruins of the temples under the Capitol. It seems ascertained that this part of the road was anciently called the Clivus Sacerus as well as the Via Triumphalis; but the conjecture that identifies this ascent with the “ Clivus Asyli” appears unfounded. That road is, with greater probability, carried from the Arch of Severus, where some of its flag-stones were discovered, in 1803, to the back of the Mamertine Prisons, corresponding perhaps with a lane passing in that direction into the Via del Arco di Settimio, and called the Via di S. Pietro in Carcere. Some modern brick-walls, of considerable height, supporting a terrace attached to the convent and church of Aracoeli, rise immediately above this lane, and, together with other mean buildings, entirely disfigure the ancient site and appearance of this angle of the Capitoline Hill.
THE HUNDRED STEPS. The hundred steps of the Tarpeian rock were at the angle opposite to that of the Clivus Asyli, namely, the south corner of the Capitoline Hill towards the Tiber. Vestiges of them were remaining early in the twelfth century, as appears by a document referable to that period; but that they followed the direction of the modern pathway from the “Piazza della Consolazione,” called “ Via del Monte Caprino,” is only a conjecture. On this side the Capitoline Hill is ascended by three roads. The first, so frequently before alluded to, and the most modern, for it was made by Leo XII., winds upwards from the eight columns to the modern prisons ; it is a carriage way, and is called the Via del Campidoglio. It is constructed on an artificial mound: underneath this road a filthy lane follows the same line. The next ascent, to the westward, is called Via del Monte Tarpejo; and further on towards the Tiber is the “ Via del Monte Caprino.” The two last are only footways, and both lead into a street on the declivity of the hill, composed of mean dwelling-houses. A little higher up, on the same angle of the hill, is another street, half buried in filth and rubbish : on one of the houses of this street are this quotation and inscription :
Hinc ad Tarpejiam sedem et Capitolia ducit
Pervia nunc, olim silvestribus horrida dumis.
Hier. Alterius Ædilis secundo } curabant. .
The whole of this acclivity, the base of which is formed by a line stretching from the “ Campo Vaccino” to the “Piazza della Consolazione,” is choked up by houses of the meanest description, ascending to the back of the Cafarelli Palace, on the south-west summit of the hill. Gregory and his ædiles were modest enough to omit the golden epithet of Virgil ("aurea”); but there was little to boast of in the actual exploit.
Before my visit to Rome in 1842 (I believe in 1835), the excavations immediately under the modern ascent, the “ Via del Campidoglio" and the corner of the Tabularium, had laid bare three fragments of the arched chamber and portico of the so-called Schola Xantha and the colonnaded structure assigned to the Di Consentes. The remains are so considerable and so clearly defined, that an antiquarian artist would have no difficulty in constructing a probable restoration of these edifices; but the comparatively late date of them, the reign of Valentinian, a little detracts from their importance. Mr. Dyer (Smith's Dict., p. 788) thinks that Cicero alluded to those more ancient offices of the scribes of the ædiles in his “fatally divine” Philippic. The inscription in the dedication to the divinity of the twelve “ Deum Consentium," and not Consentum, which was found under the Tabularium, seems to deprive the temple of any high antiquity; but as the quotation from Varro, cited by Mr. Dyer, * would, as that writer justly remarks,
* The words from Varro are as follows :—“Et quoniam, ut aiunt, Dei facientes adjuvant, prius inyocabo eos; nec ut Homerus et include the Clivus Capitolinus in the Forum, I am inclined to doubt the accuracy of this designation. No plausible scheme can bring the Clivus within the Forum.
The fragment of an architrave, on which the inscription was carved, may not have belonged to a building anciently placed in this spot. So little care was taken by the restorers of temples, that one of the columns of the temple of Saturn or Vespasian is found to be upside down.
The ascent called Monte Caprino is continued from the Piazza del Campidoglio to the portico above, belonging to the Conservators' Palace. The mean baildings on the left hand (south) of this ascent were once the property of the little corporations of modern Rome, now as much forgotten as the Tribes of the Republican City. On the doorways of these wretched dwellings may be seen these inscriptions :-“The University of the Coblers ;” “The Consuls of the Masons;" “The University of the Whitewashers." .
Some merit may have been justly claimed by Gregory XIII. and his Ædiles for opening the Tarpejan ascent; but the old carriage-road, seen in modern pictures, from the Campo Vaccino to the Capitol, was certainly one of the most barbarous of
Ennius, Musas, sed xii deos consentis ; neque tamen eos urbanos, seu quorum imagines ad forum auratæ stant, sex mares et feminæ totidem, sed illos xii deos qui maxime agricolarum duces sunt.”
all the Papal exploits, inasmuch as, by half choking up and pressing down, the great remains of the temples in that quarter, it served to perpetuate the deformity of those majestic ruins. Yet an inscription on the wall facing the prisons records, that this was the work of Pope Clement XI. and his Conservators in 1709. The first labour of the French administration was devoted to breaking up this hideous causeway.
The Via del Arco de Settimio is a paved road, large enough, and not too steep, for carriages. It is, however, but seldom used, and a chain has been drawn across the upper end of it. The ancient building of the Capitol has been recently cleared on this side, and the large travertine blocks of which it is composed being exposed, show what must have been the massive solidity of the ancient citadel. The contrast between them and the before-mentioned brick wall under the terrace is exceedingly striking.
THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD. The reader may recollect a fine passage in Middleton's letter from Rome: "For my own part as I have been rambling about in the very róstra of old Rome, or in that temple of Concord where Tully assembled the senate in Catiline's conspiracy; I could not help fancying myself much more sensible of the force of his eloquence, whilst the impression of the place served to warm my imagination to a degree almost equal to that