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-ide of which they lie was not within the town, for at " Cic. Contra RuU. ii. 35.

\"eii we tind tombs distinctly within the ancient '*' Strabo, v. p. 230.

392 The Roman Campagna.

theatre there/ The games at which this awful catastrophe occurred were a speculation
entered into by a freedman, Atilius, who hoped to make a large sum of money by the
avidity with which the Romans, after Tiberius had retired to Caprea, rushed into their
favourite amusements, from which they had been so long debarred.^

Crustumerium is classed with Fidenae by Dionysius as a colony of Alba, and he
places it higher up the river than Fidenae.^ This indication of its site is
confirmed by Varro, who states that the ager Crustuminus lay on the
Via Salaria ; by Pliny, who speaks of the Tiber as beginning to divide the Crustumerian
from the Veientine territory at a point sixteen miles from Rome ; and by Livy, where
he mentions that the Allia flows down from, the Crustumerian hills at the eleventh
milestone.'* We must, therefore, look for the site of Crustumerium somewhere between
the eleventh and the sixteenth milestone on the Salarian road. Gell fixed upon
Monte Rotondo as the site, but Nibby has shown that this places it too near
Nomentum. Abeken committed the same error by placing it at Settebagni, only
two miles from Fidenae. It is more probable that Cluverius was right in thinking
that the remains found at Marcigliana Vecchia belonged to Crustumerium.^

The fertility of the soil of the ager Crustuminus was celebrated ; and hence the
great number of Roman colonists who settled there, and the consequent friendly
relations of the city with Rome, which depended on it for supplies of corn.^ " The
country in this neighbourhood still retains its peculiar suitability for the growth of
pears, noticed by so many ancient writers, for even at the present day the district
around Monte Rotondo is overrun with wild pear-trees. The pears are very small,
but of good flavour, and are most frequent in the direction of Moricone. It is
impossible not to recognise in them the ancient pears of Crustumerium. * Crustumia
pyra,' says Servius, 'sunt ex parte rubentia;' and whoever visits the country in the
month of July will not only be struck by the number and fertility of the trees, but
also with the peculiarity of the redness on one side of the fruit." ^

Crustumerium was captured for the third time and finally deprived of its independence
in 499 B.C.®

The Via Nomentana, which led to the ancient city of Nomentum, can now only
be traced for nine miles across the Campagna. There is, however, little

Nomentum. , , , -.t • i i i i

doubt that JN omentum was situated on the same spot as the modern town
of Mentana, a small place, with a castle on a height, just beyond the fourteenth
milestone from Rome. In accordance with this, the Tabula Peutingeriana gives the
distance from Rome as fourteen miles. The name Mentana, by which the place is
still known, can be distinctly traced as a corruption of the old name Nomentum.
It was first called Civitas Nomentana, and then Castrum Numentanum and Lamentanum,
whence Mentana.^ The ancient town seems to have extended into the level ground

' Hor. Ep. i. 2, 7, " Gabiis dcscrtior atquc Fidcnis IJormann, p. 247 ; Cluverius, It. Ant. p. 658.
vicus ;" Juvenal, vi. 57, x. 100. « Livy, i. 1 1 ; Dionys. ii. 53 ; Cic. Pro Flacc. 29.

'' Tac. Ann. iv. 62 ; .Suet. Tib. 40. 7 q^.]]^ p ,g, . y^rv. ad Gcorg. ii. 88 ; Plin. N. H.

3 Dionys. ii. 53. xv. 53, xxiii. 115.

* Varro, R. R. i. 14 ; Pliny, N. H. iii. 53 (Sillig reads * Livy, ii. 19.

xvi millia for the common reading xiii) ; Livy, v. 37. " Jiormann, p. 249, who quotes Muratori, R. L Scr.

» Cell, p. 188 ; Nibby, i. p. 535 ; Abckcn, p. 79 ; ii. i, p. 504.

r/ie Roman Ca)npag)ia. ^g^

round the hill. Three approaches led to the citadel, one towards the west from the
Via Salaria, and the others at the north and south from the Via Nomentana. The
neighbouring district, like that of Crustumerium, was noted for its fertility, and especially
for its wine.^ At the peace of 338 it obtained the full civitas Romana, together with
Lanuvium and Aricia ; and there seems to be some reason fur supposing that it
continued to flourish as a municipal town down to a later date than the neighbouring
cities of P'idenai and Crustumerium, for Martial, in several passages, mentions the
place as a quiet country residence frequented by many of those who wished to avoid
the expense and excitement of Baiai and other crowded watering-places.^

The Via Nomentana, according to Livy, was once called the Via Ficulensis, which
shows that Ficulea must be placed upon that road.'' Dionysius says that the Ficulnei
lived near the Corniculan hills ; but, as we do not know the position of those hills
accurately, this evidence does not give us any assistance in determining the site.*
In Varro the Ficulcates are mentioned with the F'idenates as a suburban people ; and
it seems likely, therefore, that Ficulea was somewhere between Nomentum
and the Anio, on the Via Nomentana.^ Cicero also appears to reckon it
among the suburban places of Latium. He held an interview with Atticus there,
probably at the Villa of Atticus, mentioned above as near Nomentum.^' From these
hints as to its locality it may be concluded that F'iculea lay on the Via Nomentana,
between Fidenai, Crustumerium, Corniculum, Nomentum, and the Anio. Nibby,
relying on the evidence of two inscriptions found in the Tenuta Cresarini, places
it on a hill in the Tenuta di Casanuova, nine miles from Rome, and one mile
beyond the Casale della Ca:sarina." This hill is surrounded on three sides by brooks
which afterwards unite and form the Fosso di Casal de' Pazzi. The name commonly
given to it is Monte della Creta.^

The foundation of Ficulea is ascribed by Dionysius to the Aborigines, which mav
be interpreted to mean that its origin is lost in obscurity, and that it was not a Latin
colony. Livy calls it Ficulea Vetus. Two important facts only are related of the
early history of this cit}-. It was taken by Tarquinius Priscus in 614 H.c, and it joined
the Gauls before the battle of Allia.'' In Pliny's time, however, it was still reckoned
among the towns of Latium, perhaps on account of a colony settled there by Cassar.^"
In the fifth century the two towns of Nomentum and Ficulea were united into one
parish, so that they must have become insignificant places at that time.'^

In the campaign of Tarquinius Priscus against the cities in this district of Latium,
Livy relates first the capture of Collatia and then of Corniculum, Ficulea, Cameria,
Crustumerium. Amcriola, Mcdullia. and Nomentum. Dionj-sius sketches the progress

1 Columella, iii. 3 ; Pliny, xiv. 23, 48. •'• N'arro, L. L. vi. iS.

3 Livy, viii, 14 ; Mart. vi. 43, .\. 44, xii. 57 ; Corn. • Cic. \A .Alt. .\ii. 34 ; Corn. .Ncp. .\tt. loc. cit.

Nepos, Att. 15. See Mommscn, R. H. i. p. 105. • .Marini. Atti, p. 42 ; Zoega, Bassoril. 32, 33.

Propertius says "ultima prxda Nomentum," speaking' *■ Nibby, Analisi. vol. ii. p. 46. Cell thinks that

of the time of Cossus ; Propcrt. v. 10, 26. the citadel was at Torre Lupara, Topogr. p. 247.

» Livy, iii. 52, In Mart. vi. 27, 2, Ficeliic is more " Dionys. i. 16 ; Livy, i. 38 ; N'arro, loc. cit.

probably a place or street on the Quirinal hill at i" Frontin. De Coloniis. p. 105. cd. Paris, 1614;

Rome than an allusion to Ficulea. Soe above, p. 251, Nibby. An. ii. p. 45.

note 8. •• Dionys. i. 16. See above, p. 352. " Hoist, ad Cluv. p. 660, 35.

3 t

-.0)4 The Roman Campagna.

of the Roman victories from Crustumerium, after which he names Nomentum, Collatia,
and Corniculum.^ The rest of the cities he speaks of as taken by a
ConiHu nm. ^^^^^^^ expedition of the Latins, specifying Fidenae and Cameria, and
designating Ficulea, Ameriola, and MedulHa as "some other small towns and
strongholds." In these enumerations it is plain that Dionysius begins from the Tiber,
while Livy follows no topographical arrangement. The only conclusion which can be
drawn from them is that Corniculum was not far from Collatia ; and this agrees well
enough with the statement that Ficulea lay near the hills of Corniculum.-

These considerations will show that the conmion opinion, which places the Montes
Corniculani at Monticelli and S. Angelo, cannot be correct, and that we must look for
them much nearer Rome, in the hills near the ninth and tenth milestones from Rome,
on the Via Nomentana.^

Three others of the cities in the list above mentioned — Cameria, Ameriola, and Medullia

present an unsolved question in topography.* Bormann infers from the account given in

Dionysius of the march to Cameria by the Consul Virginius from Rome in one night,
that the citv was about twenty miles from Rome at the furthest. Most of the writers on
the Campagna place it at Palombara, at the foot of Monte Gennaro, and Ameriola at one
of the hills a mile to the north of S. Angelo.^

Medullia seems to have been connected with the Sabines more than the other two
towns, for we find it in B.C. 492 leaving the Roman alliance and joining the Sabine
confederation.*' Hence there is perhaps some reason for placing it, as Gell and Nibby
do, upon one of the hills under Monte Gennaro, near S. Angelo di Capoccia." In Gell's
map it is marked at La Marcellina, at the foot of the steep descent from Monte Gennaro.

Ascending the Anio to the point where it issues from a valley dividing the yEquian

/, ^ from the Sabine mountains, we find the river winding round a considerable

Tibtirandits hill, partly clotlicd with groves of olive, and rising to the height of 830 fect.^

neighbourhood. ^^ ^j^^ ^^^j^ ^^ ^j^j^ j^jjj ^.j^^ ^.j^^j. j^^^ forced a passage for itself through the

limestone rocks, which threaten to impede its exit from the upper valley, and falls in a
tremendous cataract, down a precipitous cliff of 326 feet in height, to the lower level. The
water is strongly charged with carbonate of lime, which is constantly being deposited in the
shape of masses of travertine in the channels through which the stream runs, especially
where the water, in consequence of the violent agitation caused by its rapid descent, parts
with the carbonic acid gas contained in it. The course of the stream is from time to time
blocked up by its own formations of stone, and the water is forced to open new passages for
itself From this cause the city of Tibur, which stands on the hill close to the point where
the river falls to its lowest level, has always been subject to violent and dangerous

1 Livy, loc. cit. ; Dionys. i. 16. - Dionys. loc. cit. pician ijens : Juv. viii. 38 ; Livy, iii. 31, &c. ; Tac.

'The idcnlificalion with Monticelli has arisen Ann. xiii. 52. MediiUinus to the Fuiian; Livy, iv. 25.

from the absurd notion entertained by Kircher and '■> Bormann, Alt. Chor. p. 260.

Volpi, that Corniculum must be a hill with a horn- " Dionys. vi. 34.

shaped point, and also from an inscription found at Nibby, ii. p. 327 ; Gell, p. 313.

Monticelli, which, however, only shows that the error ^ 'J"hc epithet " 'I'ibur superljum," in yl'.n. vii. 630,

arose at an early period. See Bormann, p. 256. alludes to the pride of the Tiburtines, not to the height

* In Tac. Ann. xi. 24 Camerium. There was of their city, as 15ormann thinks. " Supinum," Hor.

another town of the same name in Umbfia ; Livy, ix. ()d. iii. 4, 23, refers to the sloping part of the hill to-

36. The agnomen Camcrinus belonged to the .Sid- wards the south-west, where there are no precipices.




Rome and the Campacna ^ n

>Ji.XIV, p;i95. "*

TJic Rovian Campagna. 395

inundations.^ The great inundation of 1.S26 proved so formidable, that it was at once
resolved to divert the course of part of the river, and provide it with an artificial outlet.
This was effected by boring two tunnels through Monte Catillo, on the east of the city,
through which any excess of water can be allowed to pass and fall harmlessly into the lower
valley. A part of the river water is always allowed to pass through these tunnels, and
forms at their lower end a magnificent cascade. Another part passes under the bridge
called Ponte S. Grcgorio, and then rushes through a fantastic grotto of travertine blocks,
called by the local guides Grotta di Xettuno, and joins the stream from the tunnels at
the bottom of the valle\-.

A third portion of the .\nio is diverted just above the bridge into canals, apparently
of ver)' ancient date, which, passing completely through the centre of the town, are used as
the motive-power of water-mills and factories of various kinds, and then fall again into the
main stream at various points of the romantic cliffs on the western hillside. These form
the wreaths of "snow-white foam " so celebrated as the cascades of the Anio, and explain
perfectly the expression of Horace : —

" O Iicadlong Anio 1 O Tibumian groves I
And orchards saturate with shifting streams.''

and Ovid's apostrophe to the Anio : —

" Nee te prieterco, qui per cava saxa volutans
Tiburis Argei spumifcr arva rigas." '

The history of Tibur pretends to go back much further than that of Rome itself
Dionysius places. a colony of Siculi or Sicani, and afterwards of Aborigines, on the site even
long before the Argive founders, mentioned by Virgil, the three grandsons of Amphiaraus
and sons of Catillus — Tiburtus or Tiburnus, Cora.x, and Catillus — drove them out antl
established themselves there, and gave their city the name of Tibur.^

In Virgil's account of the war between Turnus and .Tineas, we find Tibur taking the
Rutulian side ; and besides the three heroes, sons of Catillus, he mentions two other
Tiburtinc chiefs, Venulus and Remulus.'* I'Vom this time down to the battle at the
Lake Rcgillus, Tibur does not appear in the Roman legends. The kings of Rome did
not, apparently, carry their conquests so far up the Anio. At the Lake Rcgillus the
Tiburtincs fought with the Latins against the Romans,'' but they never seem to have
become very prominent members of the Latin League, holding themselves somewhat
aloof. For a hundred and fifty years after the defeat of the Tarquins we hear nothing
of Tibur, but at the time of the Gallic invasion of 357 H.C. it again appears as the ally
of the Gauls, and on this account incurred the lasting hatred of the Romans, who forced

' Sec I'liny, Kp. viii. 17: "Anio magna ex parte Tiburis udi.' Propcrt. v. 7,81: " Pomosis .\nio qua

ncmora quibus inumbratur fregit ct rapuit, subruit spumifcr incubat ar>'is."

montcs, et docidcntium mole pUiribus locis clausus, a Sohnus, p. 35, 1. 9, cd. Mommsen. Dionys. i. 16.

dum amissum iter quicrit, impulit tecta ac se super Hor. Od. i. 18, 2; ii. 6, 5, "Tibur .\rgco positum

ruinas ejecit atquc cxtulit." This inundation was in colono." Ov. Fasti, loc. cit. ; Virg. .Kn. vii. 672.

the year A.D. 105. "Argiva juvcntus."

■ Ov. Am. iii. 6, 45 ; Hor. Od. i. 17, 13, Coning- * A'.n. vii. 630, viii. 9, compared with xi. 741, 757,

ton's translation. Sec also Od. iv. 2, 31 : "Circa and ix. 360. Tibur is called a colonv of Alba by the

nemus uvidique Tiburis ripas;" Od. iii. 29, 6: Auct. Or. C.en. Kom. 17.

" Udum Tibur ;" Od. iv. 3, 10 : " Qua; Tibur aijua- * Uionys. v. 61 ; Livy, ii. 19.
fertile prxfluiint." Ovid, Fasti, iv. 71: " Mctnia

3 ^- ^


The Roman Campagna.

it to surrender in 351 B.C., and for a long time afterwards declined to admit its citizens
to the full franchise of Rome. ^


Ikit few traces of the ancient walls of the city arc left. Nibb}- is, however, probabl}'
right in saying that there can be no question aljout their course along the northern and

' Cicero, Pro Balbo, x\iii. 53, shows that sonic Niebiihr, Eng. trans, vol. iii. ]i. 264 ; Bormann, p.

persons were exceptions, proving the rule. Tlic 237; (iriitcr, p. 499, 12. See Bimscn's Bcschreibiing,

I'r.Ttor's letter, said to have been found near the vol. iii. p. 659 ; Donaldson, Varron. \). 259. But

Cathedral at Tivoli, and ascribed by Niebuhr to the Mommscn, Corp. Insc. Lat. vol. i. p. 107, entertains

.Second Samnite war, is thought by Bormann to no doubt of its genuineness,
have been a for-^erv of Nicodcinus, Hist. Tib. iii. 2.

The Roman Cavipagna. 397

eastern sides of the city, where the brow of the hill is steep, and perfectly adapted for
defence by a wall placed on the edge of the rocky valley of the Anio. The citadel
was probably situated in the quarter called Castro Vetere, where the two temples, com-
monly called the temples of the Sibyl and of Drusilla, stand ; for it is plain that some
pains have been taken to isolate this from the remainder of the site. On the western
side, the limit of the ancient walls is marked by the old gate and the fragments of
walls which still exist at the point where the direct road from Rome enters the city by
the modern Porta del Colic. The course of the walls then excludes the Villa d'Este,
and runs across the hill to the Church of the Annunziata and the Porta Santa Croce.
and the citadel built by Pius II. on the site of the ancient amphitheatre. From thence
the walls passed in a straight line dow n to the river, near the Church of S. Bartolommeo.
The ancient town did not extend to the right bank of the Anio.^

The fragments of wall which remain belong to three different epochs. The most ancient
are made of trapezoidal masses of rock, and belong to very early times. Others are
composed of opus incertum, which points to the time of Sjlla. Most of the work near
the Porta del Colle is of this kind, but the gate itself belongs to a third epoch, and
resembles the gates built in Justinian's reign at Rome.- The Porta Barana, or Rarana
of I'rontinus, near Avhich the aqueduct of the Anio Vetus had its source, was
probably on the site of the modern Porta S. Giovanni.-^ Xibb}- .shows that in the tenth
century the neighbourhood of the cathedral still retained the name of the I'orum, and
that the corner of the town near the citadel was called Vesta, and the acropolis itself
Castrum Vetus. The right bank of the Anio bore the name of Oriali, now corrupted
into Rcali, from Aurelii.

The patron deity of Tibur was Hercules, and the epithet Herculeus is constantly
given to the city by the Latin poets.'* Strabo states that Tibur was famous in his time
for two things — its Herculeum and its waterfall ; and Juvenal classes the Tiburtine
Temple of Hercules with the Pra^nestine Temjile of F"ortune.'' With the Temple of
Hercules was united a library, and an extensive portico, in which Augustus used some-
times to hold a court for legal business.*" In the absence of any remains of this
temple, there is no method of determining its situation, except by supposing that it
most likeh' stood where the greater number of inscriptions relating to the cult of
Hercules Victor, the name b)' which the Tiburtine hero was worshipped, have been
found. This leads us to place the Herculeum near the cathedral and the bishop's
palace, in the south-western quarter of the city. At the back of the cathedral
is an old wall of opus reticulatuni, which is generally regarded as having belonged
to a part of the temple." There was, besides the Temple of Hercules \'ictor. a
temple of Hercules Sa.xanus in Tibur; but its site is not known.*

' Nibby, Analisi, iii. p. 187. 2 Ibid. ' Cell. xix. 5 ; Suet. Aug. 72.

3 Frontin. De Aq. 6. ' Nibby pi. ices the chief Temple of Hercules at

■* Piopcrt. iii. 30, (ii. 32) 5, " Herculeum Tibur." the \illa of, and the Temple of Hercules

Mart. i. 12 (13), i, " Itur ad Hcrculei gelidas qua Saxanus at the Cathedral. But can the great temple

Tiburis arces." Sil. Punic, iv. 224. have been outside the walls.' Bonnann is wrong in

* Suet. Aug. 72, Cal. 8 ; Strabo, v. p. 238 ; Juv. xiv. placing the great temple of Hercul.-s on the citadel.

86—90. Statius calls this temple Tiburna domus ; The passage of Juvenal he quotes docs not bear out

Silv. iii. 1,183. Cynthia, the mistress of Propertius, this; Juv. xiv. 86.

lived at Tibur ; Prop. iv. 15 (iii. 16). * See the Inscription in Bormann, p. 226.


TJic Roman Catnpagna.

Two ancient temples are still standing" in tolerable preservation at Tibur. The first
of these is a small round temple, perched on the very edge of the precipitous ravine
through which the Anio dashes. It has been protected against the violence of the
furious torrent by massive substructions, which apparently existed in ancient times.

lilh 1 l-.Ml'l.hs OK VK.Sl'A AM) UK Till. .slliVl,, ll\u;,l.

and have often been renewed. Ten of the eighteen columns which former!}- surroundetl
the cella still remain.

The details of this temple are rather peculiar in st\lc, and sliow an originalit)' ot
invention very rare in Roman architecture. The columns have Attic bases, but the
grooves of the fluting are cut in a stv'Ic which is neitlicr Doric ncjr Ionic' They terminate

' Caninn, ,\rcii. Koiii. Ir.v. xli.

Tliv Rovian Caiiipagna. 399

above in an abrupt horizontal line, and reach at the foot of the column quite down to the
base without any intermediate cylinder. The capitals exhibit a fantastic variety of the
Corinthian order, having the second row of acanthus leaves nearly hidden behind the
first, and a lotus blossom as the decoration of the abacus. The frieze is ornamented with
the skulls of oxen and festoons, in the loojis of which are rosettes and pater.x- placed
alternately. The cella, which is built of oi)us incertum, is partly destroyed, but the lower
iialf of the door and a window still remain. I'Vom the above description it will be seen
that the architecture of the temple appears to belong to the end of the Republican era,
but the inscription on the architrave gives us no further hint of the exact date, as the
whole of it, with the exception of the words L. CICLLIO. L. F., has disappeared. The
most probable ccjiijccture as to the deity to whom it was dedicated is that based upon
the fact that Vesta was worshipped at Tibur, as is shown not only by two inscriptions
found near the spot, but also by the media.'val name of this quarter of the town, as above
mentioned.' The form of the temple also confirms such an opinion.

The second temple stantls quite close to this round building, and is now consecrated as
the Church of S. Giorgio. Its shape was that of a pseudo-peripteral temple, i.e. with the
side columns half sunk in the walls, raised on a meagre base of tufa blocks. It had
a pronaos with four Ionic columns, one of which still remains, forming a support to the
campanile. An inscription dedicated to Drusilla, the sister of Caligula, was found here ;
but no inference as to the name of the temple can be drawn from it. A bas-relief, also
found on the spot, represents the Tiburtine Sybil sitting and in the act of delivering
an oracle. Hence it has been thought that we have in the Church of S. Giorgio the
temple of the Sib}l Albunea, mentioned by Horace, Tibullus, and Lactantius ;'- and
this seems to be the most probable of the various conjectures which have been hazarded
on the subject.

The grove of Tiburnus, mentioned by Horace,"' was probably on the right bank of the
Anio ; but further than this it is impossible to determine its exact position.
There was also a grove dedicated to Diana.'* The Mons Catillus, now Monte
Catillo or Monte della Croce, is the height on the right bank of the Anio. The name
is at least as early as the time of Servius.*

As may easily be imagined, there are numerous remains of ancient villas scattered
about the immediate neighbourhood of Tibur, and the local guides have, to please
travellers but without the slightest evidence in support of their assertions, dubbed them
the villas of Catullus,*' of Horace, of Ventidius, of Quintilius Varu.s, of Maecenas, Sallust,
Piso, Capito, Brutus, Popilius, and other celebrated Romans. The most remarkable
ruins are those to which the name of Maecenas has been attached. The greater part
of these has been now unfortunately concealed by new buildings and by an iron
manufactory, but a fine terrace and parts of the porticoes still remain on the lofty bank

1 Gnitcr, p. 10S9. hood of Liurcntum.

2 Hor. Od. i. 7, 13, "Domus Albunea; resonantis * Hor. Inc. cit. ; Stat. Silv. i. 3, 73.

et praeceps Anio;" Tib. ii. 5, 70; Lact. De fals, * Mart. vii. 28, i. * Scr\'. ad /En. vii. 672.

Rcl. i. 6. The passage of Virgil, .'En. vii. 83, * Catull. Carni. 42. The idea that Maecenas had

" Lucosque sub alta consulit .Albunea," appears to a villa here is founded on the mistaken notion that

refer to some sulphureous springs in the neighbour- Hor. Od. iii. 29 refers to a villa at Tibur.

Online LibraryRobert BurnRome and the Campagna : an historical and topographical description of the site, buildings, and neighbourhood of ancient Rome → online text (page 62 of 79)