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ternal portico on every side ; a quadrangular court, or atrium, also adorned with enormous columns; two libraries ; a triumphal arch; the great column and the portion of a temple,* crowded into a space not so considerable as one of our smallest London squares. Whatever the earth covered of these magnificent structures is now exposed to view, and the remnants are sufficient to show what must be the subterranean riches of Rome. We may find it difficult to account for there being so much or so little left. Buildings composed of columns were certain to be soon despoiled for the service of modern edifices : but the flooring of some of the many fragments are so perfect as to make the sudden burial of these parts of the city more probable than the gradual decay. The bronze statues had, however, been previously removed, if such an accident did overwhelm the Forum, for none were found. The head of the colossal statue of Trajan was extant in the sixteenth century.t
Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes,f and it would be easier to find a sovereign uniting exactly the opposite characteristics than one possessed of all the happy qualities ascribed to this emperor. “When he mounted the throne,” says the historian Dion,* " he was strong in body, he was vigorous in mind; age had impaired none of his faculties; he was altogether free from envy and from detraction; he honoured all the good and he advanced them, and on this account they could not be the objects of his fear or of his hate ; he never listened to informers; he gave not way to his anger; he abstained equally from unfair exactions and unjust punishments; he had rather be loved as a man than honoured as a sovereign; he was affable with his people, respectful to the senate, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country.”
* The Temple seems to have been behind the Column, where. huge fragments of columns have been found and are still to be seen in the cellars of a neighbouring palace, called the Palazzo Imperiale.
of Ciacconius de Colon. Trajan.
I “Hujus tantùm memoriæ delatum est ut, usque ad nostram ætatem non aliter in Senatu principibus acclamatur, nisi, FELICIOR. AVGVSTO. MELIOR . TRAJANO . "-Eutrop. Brev. Hist. Rom., lib. viii. cap. v.
THE BATHS OF TITUS.
These have disappeared since my first visit in 1817. Neither the painted vaults on the side of the Monte Oppio--or Carinæ, as some would call it-nor the arcaded ruins on the summit of that eminence of the
Esquiline are now believed to have belonged to the Baths of Titus, which, it seems, were on the level ground near the Coliseum, the Campus Neronianus of the preceding age. The vaults, still adorned with the arabesques imitated by Raphael, have become part of the Golden House of Nero, and the ruins on the hill above are the Baths of Trajan. On these points the treatise of Stefano Piale—at least, so far as demolishing the claims of Titus to the Baths is concerned-appears quite conclusive.*
But a strip of pavement lately (1843) cleared is still said to belong to the house of Mæcenas, and the plinths of the two columns are still assigned to the portico of Nero's Golden House. No changes have taken place in that respect. The arabesques and the hole by which Raphael entered, and the long corridors, and the little baths are in the same condition as they were ten years ago; no work is now going on here (1854).
* “Delle Terme Trajane dette dal volgo erroneamente di Tito, &c. &c. Da Stefano Piale Romano.” Rome, 1832. I confess I do not agree with the author of the article in Dr. Smith's Dictionary (p. 847), who, with Vignoli and other antiquarians, thinks that Trajan only repaired and enlarged the Baths of Titus.
CHAPTER X VI.
THE PALATINE AND ARCH OF CONSTANTINE.
THE troops of Genseric occupied the Palatine and despoiled it of all its riches. The ruin of the structures themselves is involved in the most impenetrable obscurity: nor have the immense masses which remain assisted, though they have stimulated, research. Theodoric found their beauty admirable,* but impaired by age. From that moment the palace of the Cæsars disappears, and the labours of the antiquary have been unable to produce more than a single word to show that it was not ruined by Totila, which is the general belief. Anastasius, in the life of Pope Constantine who was elected in 708, narrating a civil commotion which took place in Rome against the emperor Philip, has these words: “And it came to pass that while Christopher, who was duke, was contending on this account with Agatho and his followers, a civil war arose, so that they came to arms in the sacred way before the
*“Quando pulchritudo illa mirabilis, si subinde non reficitur, senectute obrepente vitiatur.”—Cassiod. Variar., lib. vii. epist. v.
palace.”* What a fate! The palace may have been a fragment, or, as it now is, a word.
When the Palatine again rises, it rises in ruins. A corner of the structures had served to lodge the Frangipane family. The Turris Cartularia included a portion of the Palatine mansions and the arch of Titus.f It was thrown down in 1240 by Gregory IX., was rebuilt, and shortly after destroyed by the people.
The pilgrim of the thirteenth century who talks of the imperial palace must be alluding to sites, not buildings. In the beginning of the fifteenth century there was not a single edifice standing on the whole mount except the church of St. Nicholas, built by Pope Calixtus,f which was itself in ruins.
* “Et factum est dum Christophorus, qui erat Dux, ob hanc causam cum Agathone et suis hominibus concertarent, bellum civile exortum est, ita ut in via sacra ante palatium sese committerent," &c.—De vitis Roman. Pontif. ap. Script. Rer. Ital., tom. iii. p. 153.
It was one of the strong houses of the Frangipane to which Pope Innocent II. retreated in 1138, in his struggles with the Antipope Anaclete II. See Onuph. Panvinius de gente Frangepanica, ap. Marangoni Dell' memorie sacre e profane dell'Anfiteatro Flavio, Roma, 1746, p. 31, 52, edit. 1746. Alexander III. also retired thither in 1167. A portion of it was standing in 1817 ; but this, as well as some contiguous structures of the middle ages, had disappeared when I afterwards visited Rome. I doubt the utility of removing these historic buildings when the date of them has been so decidedly recognised as to prevent all future mistake (1857).
I “ Multo autem pauciora habet integra Palatinus mons quam Capitolinus aut Aventinus, nam præter S. Nicolai ecclesiam a Calixto Papa ædificatam, quæ et male integra cernitur nullum is celeberrimus mons habet ædificium.”—Flav. Blond. Roma Inst., lib. i. fol. 11.