Charlotte Mary Yonge.

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This sketch of the History of Rome covers the period till the reign of
Charles the Great as head of the new Western Empire. The history has
been given as briefly as could be done consistently with such details as
can alone make it interesting to all classes of readers.




1. - Italy 13

2. - The Wanderings of Æneas 21

3. - The Founding of Rome. B.C. 753-713 31

4. - Numa and Tullus. B.C. 713-618 39

5. - The Driving Out of the Tarquins. B.C. 578-309 47

6. - The War with Porsena 55

7. - The Roman Government 66

8. - Menenius Agrippa's Fable. B.C. 494 74

9. - Coriolanus and Cincinnatus. B.C. 458 84

10. - The Decemvirs. B.C. 450 92

11. - Camillus' Banishment 101

12. - The Sack of Rome. B.C. 390 110

13. - The Plebeian Consulate. B.C. 367 119

14. - The Devotion of Decius. B.C. 357 127

15. - The Samnite Wars 135

16. - The War with Pyrrhus. 280-271 144

17. - The First Punic War. 264-240 151

18. - Conquest of Cisalpine Gaul. 240-219 163

19. - The Second Punic War. 219 172

20. The First Eastern War. 215-183 181

21. - The Conquest of Greece, Corinth, and Carthage. 179-145 188

22. - The Gracchi. 137-122 195

23. - The Wars of Marius. 106-98 203

24. - The Adventures of Marius. 93-84 212

25. - Sulla's Proscription. 88-71 220

26. - The Career of Pompeius. 70-63 229

27. - Pompeius and Cæsar. 61-48 242

28. - Julius Cæsar. 48-44 252

29. - The Second Triumvirate. 44-33 263

30. - Cæsar Augustus. B.C. 33 A.D. 14 273

31. - Tiberius and Caligula. A.D. 14-41 285

32. - Claudius and Nero. A.D. 41-68 297

33. - The Flavian Family. 62-96 305

34. - The Age of the Antonines. 96-194 317

35. - The Prætorian Influence. 197-284 326

36. - The Division of the Empire. 284-312 337

37. - Constantine the Great. 312-337 345

38. - Constantius. 337-364 355

39. - Valentinian and his Family. 364-392 364

40. - Theodosius the Great. 392-395 374

41. - Alaric the Goth. 395-410 383

42. - The Vandals. 403 394

43. - Attila the Hun. 435-457 404

44. - Theodoric the Ostrogoth. 457-561 416

45. - Belisarius. 533-563 425

46. - Pope Gregory the Great. 563-800 434


The Pope's Doortender. (_Frontispiece._) PAGE.

The Tiber 14

Curious Pottery 15

Jupiter 17

The Coast 23

Mount Etna 25

Carthage 28

Roman Soldier 30

Gladiatorial Shows at a Banquet 34

The Forum 37

Janus 41

Actors 45

Sybil's Cave 50

Brutus condemning his sons 57

Roman Ensigns, Standards, Trumpets etc. 63

Head of Jupiter 68

Female Costumes 70

Female Costumes 71

Senatorial Palace 79

View of a Roman Harbor 81

Roman Camp 87

Ploughing 89

Death of Virginia 95

Chariot Races 98

Arrow Machine 102

Siege Machine 105

Ruins of the Forum at Rome 111

Entry of the Forum Romanum by the Via Sacra 117

Costumes 120

Costume 121

Curtius leaping into the Gulf 125

The Apennines 129

Combat between a Mirmillo and a Samnite 137

Combat between a light armed Gladiator and a Samnite 137

Ancient Rome 141

Pyrrhus 145

Roman Orator 147

Roman Ship 153

Roman Order of Battle 159

The wounded Gaul 165

Hannibal's Vow 168

In the Pyrenees 170

Meeting of Hannibal and Scipio at Zama 173

Archimedes 178

Hannibal 184

Corinth 190

Cornelia and her Sons 196

Roman Centurion 201

Marius 205

One of the Trophies, called of Marius,
at the Capitol at Rome 207

The Catapult 215

Island on the Coast 217

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence 223

Cornelius Sulla 225

Coast of Tyre 231

Mountains of Armenia 235

Cicero 238

Colossal Statue of Pompeius of the
Palazzo Spada of Rome 239

Pompeius 243

Amphitheatre 246

The Arena 247

Julius Cæsar 253

Cato 254

Funeral Solemnities in the Columbarium of
the House of Julius Cæsar at the
Porta Capena in Rome 255

Marcus Antonius 265

Marcus Brutus 268

Alexandria 270

Caius Octavius 272

Statue of Augustus at the Vatican 275

Paintings in the House of Livia 281

Ruins of the Palaces of Tiberius 287

Agrippina 290

Rome in the time of Augustus Cæsar 293

Claudius 298

Nero 301

Arch of Titus 308

Vesuvius previous to the Eruption of A.D. 63 311

Persecution of the Christians 314

Coin of Nero 316

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina 319

Marcus Aurelius 325

Septimus Severus 327

Antioch 328

Alexander Severus 329

Temple of the Sun at Palmyra 332

The Catacombs at Rome 333

Coin of Severus 336

Diocletian 338

Diocletian in Retirement 341

Constantine the Great 343

Constantinople 347

Council of Nicea 349

Catacombs 352

Julian 357

Arch of Constantine 361

Alexandria 365

Goths 367

Convent on the Hills 372

Julian Alps 375

Roman Hall of Justice 377

Colonnades of St. Peter at Rome 385

Alaric's Burial 391

Roman Clock 396

Spanish Coast 398

Vandals plundering 401

Pyramids and Sphynx, Egypt 403

Hunnish Camp 405

St. Mark's, Venice 409

The Pope's House 413

Romulus Augustus resigns the Crown 419

Illustration 423

Naples 427

Constantinople 429

Pope Gregory the Great 435

The Pope's Pulpit 437

Battle of Tours 441





I am going to tell you next about the most famous nation in the world.
Going westward from Greece another peninsula stretches down into the
Mediterranean. The Apennine Mountains run like a limb stretching out of
the Alps to the south eastward, and on them seems formed that land,
shaped somewhat like a leg, which is called Italy.

Round the streams that flowed down from these hills, valleys of fertile
soil formed themselves, and a great many different tribes and people
took up their abode there, before there was any history to explain their
coming. Putting together what can be proved about them, it is plain,
however, that most of them came of that old stock from which the Greeks
descended, and to which we belong ourselves, and they spoke a language
which had the same root as ours and as the Greek. From one of these
nations the best known form of this, as it was polished in later times,
was called Latin, from the tribe who spoke it.

[Illustration: THE TIBER.]

About the middle of the peninsula there runs down, westward from the
Apennines, a river called the Tiber, flowing rapidly between seven low
hills, which recede as it approaches the sea. One, in especial, called
the Palatine Hill, rose separately, with a flat top and steep sides,
about four hundred yards from the river, and girdled in by the other
six. This was the place where the great Roman power grew up from
beginnings, the truth of which cannot now be discovered.

[Illustration: CURIOUS POTTERY.]

There were several nations living round these hills - the Etruscans,
Sabines, and Latins being the chief. The homes of these nations seem to
have been in the valleys round the spurs of the Apennines, where they
had farms and fed their flocks; but above them was always the hill which
they had fortified as strongly as possible, and where they took refuge
if their enemies attacked them. The Etruscans built very mighty walls,
and also managed the drainage of their cities wonderfully well. Many of
their works remain to this day, and, in especial, their monuments have
been opened, and the tomb of each chief has been found, adorned with
figures of himself, half lying, half sitting; also curious pottery in
red and black, from which something of their lives and ways is to be
made out. They spoke a different language from what has become Latin,
and they had a different religion, believing in one great Soul of the
World, and also thinking much of rewards and punishments after death.
But we know hardly anything about them, except that their chiefs were
called Lucumos, and that they once had a wide power which they had lost
before the time of history. The Romans called them Tusci, and Tuscany
still keeps its name.

The Latins and the Sabines were more alike, and also more like the
Greeks. There were a great many settlements of Greeks in the southern
parts of Italy, and they learnt something from them. They had a great
many gods. Every house had its own guardian. These were called Lares, or
Penates, and were generally represented as little figures of dogs lying
by the hearth, or as brass bars with dogs' heads. This is the reason
that the bars which close in an open hearth are still called dogs.
Whenever there was a meal in the house the master began by pouring out
wine to the Lares, and also to his own ancestors, of whom he kept
figures; for these natives thought much of their families, and all one
family had the same name, like our surname, such as Tullius or Appius,
the daughters only changing it by making it end in _a_ instead of
_us_, and the men having separate names standing first, such as
Marcus or Lucius, though their sisters were only numbered to distinguish

[Illustration: JUPITER]

Each city had a guardian spirit, each stream its nymph, each wood its
faun; also there were gods to whom the boundary stones of estates were
dedicated. There was a goddess of fruits called Pomona, and a god of
fruits named Vertumnus. In their names the fields and the crops were
solemnly blest, and all were sacred to Saturn. He, according to the old
legends, had first taught husbandry, and when he reigned in Italy there
was a golden age, when every one had his own field, lived by his own
handiwork, and kept no slaves. There was a feast in honor of this time
every year called the Saturnalia, when for a few days the slaves were
all allowed to act as if they were free, and have all kinds of wild
sports and merriment. Afterwards, when Greek learning came in, Saturn
was mixed up with the Greek Kronos, or Time, who devours his offspring,
and the reaping-hook his figures used to carry for harvest became Time's
scythe. The sky-god, Zeus or Deus Pater (or father), was shortened into
Jupiter; Juno was his wife, and Mars was god of war, and in Greek times
was supposed to be the same as Ares; Pallas Athene was joined with the
Latin Minerva; Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, was called Vesta; and,
in truth, we talk of the Greek gods by their Latin names. The old Greek
tales were not known to the Latins in their first times, but only
afterwards learnt from the Greeks. They seem to have thought of their
gods as graver, higher beings, further off, and less capricious and
fanciful than the legends about the weather had made them seem to the
Greeks. Indeed, these Latins were a harder, tougher, graver, fiercer,
more business-like race altogether than the Greeks; not so clever,
thoughtful, or poetical, but with more of what we should now call
sterling stuff in them.

At least so it was with that great nation which spoke their language,
and seems to have been an offshoot from them. Rome, the name of which is
said to mean the famous, is thought to have been at first a cluster of
little villages, with forts to protect them on the hills, and temples in
the forts. Jupiter had a temple on the Capitoline Hill, with cells for
his worship, and that of Juno and Minerva; and the two-faced Janus, the
god of gates, had his upon the Janicular Hill. Besides these, there were
the Palatine, the Esquiline, the Aventine, the Cælian, and the Quirinal.
The people of these villages called themselves Quirites, or spearmen,
when they formed themselves into an army and made war on their
neighbors, the Sabines and Latins, and by-and-by built a wall enclosing
all the seven hills, and with a strip of ground within, free from
houses, where sacrifices were offered and omens sought for.

The history of these people was not written till long after they had
grown to be a mighty and terrible power, and had also picked up many
Greek notions. Then they seem to have made their history backwards, and
worked up their old stories and songs to explain the names and customs
they found among them, and the tales they told were formed into a great
history by one Titus Livius. It is needful to know these stories which
every one used to believe to be really history; so we will tell them
first, beginning, however, with a story told by the poet Virgil.



You remember in the Greek history the burning of Troy, and how Priam and
all his family were cut off. Among the Trojans there was a prince called
Æneas, whose father was Anchises, a cousin of Priam, and his mother was
said to be the goddess Venus. When he saw that the city was lost, he
rushed back to his house, and took his old father Anchises on his back,
giving him his Penates, or little images of household gods, to take care
of, and led by the hand his little son Iulus, or Ascanius, while his
wife Creusa followed close behind, and all the Trojans who could get
their arms together joined him, so that they escaped in a body to Mount
Ida; but just as they were outside the city he missed poor Creusa, and
though he rushed back and searched for her everywhere, he never could
find her. For the sake of his care for his gods, and for his old father,
he is always known as the pious Æneas.

In the forests of Mount Ida he built ships enough to set forth with all
his followers in quest of the new home which his mother, the goddess
Venus, gave him hopes of. He had adventures rather like those of Ulysses
as he sailed about the Mediterranean. Once in the Strophades, some
clusters belonging to the Ionian Islands, when he and his troops had
landed to get food, and were eating the flesh of the numerous goats
which they found climbing about the rocks, down on them came the
harpies, horrible birds with women's faces and hooked hands, with which
they snatched away the food and spoiled what they could not eat. The
Trojans shot at them, but the arrows glanced off their feathers and did
not hurt them. However, they all flew off except one, who sat on a high
rock, and croaked out that the Trojans would be punished for thus
molesting the harpies by being tossed about till they should reach
Italy, but there they should not build their city till they should have
been so hungry as to eat their very trenchers.

[Illustration: THE COAST.]

They sailed away from this dismal prophetess, and touched on the coast
of Epirus, where Æneas found his cousin Helenus, son to old Priam,
reigning over a little new Troy, and married to Andromache, Hector's
wife, whom he had gained after Pyrrhus had been killed. Helenus was a
prophet, and gave Æneas much advice. In especial he said that when the
Trojans should come to Italy, they would find, under the holly-trees by
the river side, a large white old sow lying on the ground, with a litter
of thirty little pigs round her, and this should be a sign to them
where they were to build their city.

By his advice the Trojans coasted round the south of Sicily, instead of
trying to pass the strait between the dreadful Scylla and Charybdis, and
just below Mount Etna an unfortunate man came running down to the beach
begging to be taken in. He was a Greek, who had been left behind when
Ulysses escaped from Polyphemus' cave, and had made his way to the
forests, where he had lived ever since. They had just taken him in when
they saw Cyclops coming down, with a pine tree for a staff, to wash the
burning hollow of his lost eye in the sea, and they rowed off in great

[Illustration: MOUNT ETNA.]

Poor old Anchises died shortly after, and while his son was still
sorrowing for him, Juno, who hated every Trojan, stirred up a terrible
tempest, which drove the ships to the south, until, just as the sea
began to calm down, they came into a beautiful bay, enclosed by tall
cliffs with woods overhanging them. Here the tired wanderers landed,
and, lighting a fire, Æneas went in quest of food. Coming out of the
forest, they looked down from a hill, and beheld a multitude of people
building a city, raising walls, houses, towers, and temples. Into one of
these temples Æneas entered, and to his amazement he found the walls
sculptured with all the story of the siege of Troy, and all his friends
so perfectly represented, that he burst into tears at the sight.

Just then a beautiful queen, attended by a whole troop of nymphs, came
into the temple. This lady was Dido; her husband, Sichæus, had been king
of Tyre, till he was murdered by his brother Pygmalion, who meant to
have married her, but she fled from him with a band of faithful Tyrians
and all her husband's treasure, and had landed on the north coast of
Africa. There she begged of the chief of the country as much land as
could be enclosed by a bullock's hide. He granted this readily; and

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Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeYoung Folks' History of Rome → online text (page 1 of 15)