Press enter after choosing selection

Foreign Correspondence

Foreign Correspondence image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Bomb, Jan. 17, 1873. FniENt) Poní): Having given á tticf aïtetch of some of tho more itiipo-bniit milis in tho exeávatéd por'.ion of the ancient Porubl, wiúcli, thoiigh sd sadly wrecked and d!s-" figured, preseut to the eye a scene of raro pioturcsqueness itnd beauty, it only remains to add that scattored about wíthin the sanie liinitèd area is a rast quantity of the fragmenta of these oricri Éíjilendid edificas: Man of thcm still ehibit iri perfectly sharp outline the details of beautiful soulptufo with which column and frieze and architrave and pediment vvere once ornamented, and of such amazing proportions that wo are lost in wonder at the magnifiennee they indícate. - Broken statuary of eliastc beauty, l'orming parts of Hfo-size and eolossal human ñgures - aS also reinailis of decorations of animáis and reliëfs inil itisoriptions - arö standing everywherej separa ted froui the less valuable dirt and debris which has been carted away. Of courso all objects not hopc'lessly destroyed or imperfect; if not too cumbrous, bavo been oarofully reötoréd alld deposited in the Cupitoline and Tatioan Museums. Among those that have been set up' iri tho Porum is, appanuitly, the sectioli of ft heavy balustrade and entire iu itself, though otlier sections udjoined it undoubtedly, of which ölie-half of another has been fouud uite perfect. It is about ten feet long by fivc in height, aild in ten inches in thickness, of grayish uiarble. Upon ono side are lütgo bas reliëfs of a boar follbwed by a ranl ah'd bèHiiid this a biíll, EÚI executed in theliighest style of art, a!id portraying splondid specimens of the asintáis represented, fit coinpetitors for first prizc8 at oiif modern fairs. Bspecially is taia trüe oí' ÍHo' böaf and b'iill, and strange to say they do not resemblo anything of their kind we have see alivöiii Italy; tbè hogs here reseinbling what werd termed tliö wild switie in Indiana, witli long snout andlogs, and tho eatflü íntiiiiably beárirfg the great wide-spreading horns of the Texas vild c:itt!e. Upon thu reverso sido is a Sfntatioii oí a prcés?ion ot peop'le, embïaCing a varie'y ot' expressiorl tind nttitude, an i óf th'c Sa-ma fhio tforkriianshipïho upper portion of eithor side shows the pi-'diments of two templos and of other buildingB. Eetíveen ttlS èolumn of Phótas afid tho Via Sacra ttppear tho bases eiflier of similar colamos or of statues to eminent Romans, auven in nnrrfbéf, following along this street and opposito the Basilica Julia. They are of vcry solid construction, about fourteen foet square and six high, and throngfr an aroli forroed by the fifth países the brancli sewer across the Forum. The spaoe fronting tho Eostrum and tho Arch of Severus appears to have been quite open, with the exception of the columrf of fhocas, whioh is coinparativtjly modern, and the bases referred to, as far eastwa.rd on ono sido as tho Basilica 6f Julia extended on the other erchï of tho Via Sacra. TUis was the great place of the popular assemuliei which eonld bé eddressed either 'rom the Itostrriin near the Avcli of Severus or in eariier tiices fre'm the m'oTe n;ient llostrum situated npon its north side, as is suppoged, a portion underneath :he modern street and not yet excavafed. This being the present condition of tho excavated area, it roraains to brlefly indicato from our positiou upon tbo elevated street before named tho ancient ruins that are to be seen about this open space. ÁX our luft (as we look from this point toward the Temple of Castor and Pollux) the street continúes for some six rods and passes in front of the Mamortine Prison, whioh lies beneath the present church of Bi Cfiuseppe di ialaguarni. lt is intercsting as tho place whoro Catalino'a coconspirators, Jugurtha, and othor notcd prisoners, have been èonfined ; but moro particxilarly as the lugendary prison where St. Peter Was confined and iiorü which he was miraculously released. - Marble slabs givo the history as unquestiojable,' th'o'ugh some pëople have seriously dispirted the claim that St. Peter was over in Honre at all: It öo'risrstS of 'two chambers,' and beneath theother and both below the church. A 'spring is exhibited which tho saint oaused fco ftovf when wator a? ïïcodeiï fot tlia baptism of the jailorsan'd.'more wSWÏBtfifl still,' , in the hard tufa Wall, protcctod by iron barsfrom injury, is shown an indentation said to have been made by tho jailof beating bis her.d against the rock. Nothifi'g appeafa a'bcvc rroirrtd cf any otlipr ancient ruins until tho present church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda is reached, noarly opposile tho castern ond cï the fxcavatioh. This is jtst roat"tl m it wen within tho still oxisting external side walls and fine pórtico of tlie Toraple dedicated by Antouinus, in A. D. 141, to lis Vifo Faustina, whose rejjutation while living sötfrcely wstified deification when dead. Thö porch formécT by ten lotty éoluiíins of cipolrn,' a species of variegatod green marble, eacti a si block, fii'ty i'eet high, and six of hioh t'orin the front, has fortunatuly boon left uucíisttirbed ttf. fót-irt' thte poïtrco to tho churcli, vl:ilo tho arohilrave beariiig the inscription and tho friezo continued around tlio sidbs still shows with great distinctness the auctet reliëfs af candelabra aWl grilfins wHbh' extended' BÏtotog the entire length. ïho' carth has been excavated to tho base of tfh'fl pillars, cxposing abont twelve feet a'dditioc'al to complete their fine proportions. This is one ot the few temples which is wcll enough preserved to show its extornal appearanco quito perfectly. A'cross the street beyond this is the the ohurchóf SS. Cosmo e Dïuniano, incorporated like the former within au ancient temple.' In front is seen the upper portions of two cipolin colutons porting its Staal] poroh nnd a part of the circular wnll of llio arlcient building. - Two columns of iecl porphyry and the very inassive bronze doorB resernbling those of the Pantheon are probably parts of the ancietit Temple, íínd nbout ferty feot furthcr on aro two other cipolin columns projecting about ten fcet abo8 tlis surface, which are in rangfl with the two forrner and are supposed to have belouged to the former Temple. It is variöusly believed to havo been the Templo of Peace or of Romulus and Remup. Boyond lliis a fow steps we havo in view tht threo imposÏDg colossal arches of the eb-oalled Basilica of Gonstantine foniiorly callcd the Temple of Peace. - Thest) arches aro feally the vaat concate ends and beginiiings of the over-arching 'walls to threo immenso halls of which the lower portion was composed. Their span and heighi are about 100 feet, aid {he inferior richly decorated with graduatèd squaro panels several inches in depth, aiid once, no doubt, finished in fine stucqo. All this grand structure, except these noble arches and tho bases upon which the continuatioi förward to the Via Sacra rested has long since disappeared. But tho grandeur of the ancient design has pronipted tho arohitectB of St. Potcr's to make thé' vaulting öf thaPchürck pi-ecisely oí equal span: - Following tho Via Sacra, which turiied here eastward along the Velea, once the name by whick the more elevated surface WáB called, the eye falls upon the Arch of Tittis, which stands upon the top of tins faeight and spanned the Yia Sacra as it turned here again eastward toward the Colosscum. It was erected to Titua, A. D. 81, by Dornitian, or rather, as tho inBCription records, Vf tho Senate and people of Home, to comrnemorftte bis conqucst of Jerusiilum. It is erhbell'ishcd upon its interior with fine reliëfs, on one sidé tppreaentiifg the triumphal processidfi in wliich appear the captive Jews, tho golden candlestick s i th its seven branches and the table of shew bread ; on the other ariother porilön of tho procession showing the Emperor standing in int triumphal chüriot and being crownod by Yictofy; Öti iñi way to' lÜë Teinjilo of Jupiter, dra wn by four horses abrcast and accompanied by a long retinue of followrs. Upon tbe exterior fftfeae are other : loada has twb böihpti&U nólumns ovet twonty foot in height on pedestals nearly ten feet high. GrcTwning íhe Prfti,rií which ascends nortlivWird aro Iha expansivo' aríd intereating ruins of the palaces c'f the Caesars, a desoription of whioty except in a very Way, woulcf bc útterly irrrroïdUe; uch 3 llieir xtent and endlcss iutricacy of eonstrr.ction, and irt a líírpo part sberranoan aíso. We enter these gróunds enclosed by a Wftll, by a gatoway íiearly opposite froin tbo Basilica of Constanino. Tho Palatino is concoeded by all o hato beofí íhe sito of ths inost ancient city, tha Roma Quadrata, asit wascalled. ind whero Eomulus and Remus enacted he parts assigned therri in its otígifl. - However difficult the tasíí rüa'y be found o believe all that enters into ita early listory, it is quite impossible to walk over this ground arrd amid its' anoient halls - now looking down into the Iower anijages of interminable rooms and cavorn0U3 apartmenta 75 or 100 íetít deep- now azing irp' ari equal heiglit sí sorae -#ast aroh or brolíen wall vr'hich1 tías Jefíed fimo and tli'c' ítord so long- without feeling inclined to yield a more Hffitdy assent to theoi-ies arta tradiíioñs whicb &ad here their visible physical coinoidenoes. That hete Roinutlus lived-thore Bvander -here Cicero, and t'uere Iris' fee' tha Tfïuiuvir Antony; that a particular use wás assigned to this room, and that these are tho actual walls which formed the palace of Caligula- all this does not so much , concern tho general traveler. He sees before Kiiri th'e sffll e-cisting, u-mrrtelligible ruins, and accepts the explanation which study bas assrghed to eaobf, -wéïï ea'tisfted that all raay have been and probably was agreeable to these oonclusions. The Palatine forma an elevated area for the most part of about forty or fifty acres, nearly quadrangular in foriu, botmded by four modern streets, two of which correspond to the ancient Via Sacra and the Appian way. For niany years it has been occupïed only by two conven'ts' aria the adjoiiiirig vincyards, ith' the cxception of tha buildings connected with tho Dii'ector's office. Over a very largo portfon óï theso gYound's exrplcrrations have been made by oxeavatious and valuablo discoveries havo been the result. Entering the gatoway we ascend a long flight of steps to tho Director' ïfouse. We ciescend now about twenty feet into an cient street, with lts pavement oí írregu. lar, alate-colored flat stoties, the Clivus Victoriie, not moro thaa fit'ty feet wkle. Hcre we íind on either hanrct (Ï ltfbjWnth ot romrs, Urge, small, and of all sbapes: Hero,' too, we eco tire arches of the bridge whiCh Caligula construoted trom his padace over thu wesL eud of tho Forum to the Templa of the Capitoline Júpiter- a work that must have bbónnbtoníy of jreat magnitude on account of its olevation and lengt, but not less remarkable for its arohiteotural ir.erit, fot on ascendin to that part of it still existing we find süll in its place a portioh of tbe fino marblo opea werk báláfetrad'o wlvich ran along its sirfos an'rf gfcVe it an; appearance of WgirtnfeSB and uleganoe. In .dditions wMch Nero mado, extending tho palaoe upon tho Forum and northward, a part of tbis liridgo has b"on embraoed, ns it wore, in'tbe loW'ev chambera of t:lic' piilace, and aíong"it3 sido ara smull arohod roertfs wliich by th bcautiful mosaio floors ir.'parti öolored marblo3and Tarying patterrrs point unmistoably tó tbc gre ai Iixury of a palaco in which fháse sniall íowor rooms, tho more' basement, were thus fitted up. " Emerging from thia región of m!nglcd impenetrable vaultS,' arches, düapidatod roomaand lurking pitfalls extending about n vo como into the open space which ovorioblts thë lew región south of the Forum, and over the Forura itself to theCapitolino. Here we notice at onco that these palatial edificos once extended far bevond their -present abrupt termination. Bulow, just at oi right, we see in the solid concrete foundations of the Temple of the Dioscuri, and adjoining the S. Maria Tjiberatrice ohurch, aro extensivo walls, now heañf leveled to the gtound, supposod to bo the remains of the Temple of Vesta, erected by Numa Pompilius in this part of tho Forum, and wheto in tho 16th century the statriës 'o twelte Yesial Yirgins were discovered. As we pass elong thiá projecting l?dge of the ruins, nearly midway upon the western slope of íhe hill, with thë ïüins ete,ndin at oar right but below and all aloug at our left wè tidtico a difforenco in tho kind of construction, meeting with what is designated as "opus reticulatum." This consists oí tho body of properly fonneu cement into which, as a facing, three cornered or pointed portions of brick or atone are thrust to a uniform surface, and this kind of work having entirely disappeared after the construction of walls iaícl wp oí' brick and cement in courses, enables archeologists to fix tho period of an ereotion as anterior to tho introduction of brick or at least very soon after. And so also after ttie use of brick ib waá a constant practica to itóeit at intervals a course of square bricks which would cover the width o the wall and effectually bind it together and these square bricks were alway stampei with the namo of the Consul fo the year of their manufacture. It is eas ily seen h'ow nseful this faot has been in identifying the dates of tlioso' e3iflces in which these square bricks' appear to bea uniformly the same stamp. We soon reach or:e of tho most interesting discovcries on the Palatirie, and one for which wo are chiefly indebted to tho late Emporor Napoleon III., who had purchased this portion of tho grounds arid caused extensive excavations to be made. The house of Jiilia, as it is oalled, is situated in what appsars to havo been a depression of the hill, and though an older edifico tlian tho palaces erected about it by Tiberius and others seenis not to havo been distiirbed". Great care h".s been usod in tho preservation of this building in the condition in which it was found after the earth and fragmenta with which it was filled alid cóvered to á depth of about twenty fefct had bcoñ very carefully removed. We descended the ariciefit stairivaj', abont thrce fejt wido', and iurning to the left in the small sq-uare vestibule at the bottom; enter through the old and quito uninjured döoraj: ititc' the priroip'al room of this ptivate dwellmg. It is about twenty, by twenty-four reet in sizo, witH a floor of beautiful mosaic, a larga portion of which is as bright irí cclbrs atíd as' íreslí as if but nineteen years instead of nineteen contuvies had elapsod sinoe ifc was laid. - The walls show traeos of its painteJ dcooration, and near one end stands thesriiall altát ét ÜfhÜin iho fcousehold god3 were propitiáted in' ttíe tfaily sacrifice. - Opposite the entrance and adjoining this room aro three emallor apartments, each of which has a boautiful mosaio pavement, laid in different designs, and all dooorated with mural paintings of great beauty, aml pronottnooci to be ns aAinirablé as have boen foün'd in Pompeii or olewhero. In the room at the loft long wreaths cï fowefs' ctcpend m graceful cCTvos long the iides and end, and froiu the lowest poiut hang humorous tnasks and oth'ef obfecti, indic'Stirfg pefhaps the use of tHïs apartirient for c'onvivial purposes; The riext and lárg'er room was ev-ideritly the most sUmptuoüs of {hese priI vate apartments.' Upon oiïewall appca'fa a delineation of tho story of Io under the constant watch of the hundred-eyed Argus, with Morcury stealing from behind a rook and about to release her. - Large buildings with aïcWtectiiral decc; rations are presented, with mythologioal sketches in tho window-oponings. On the samo wall various sraall pictures of Roman life aro seen, drawn in panels somewhat abovo the larger represcntations, and with great spirit and expression. Upon the other walls are sacrifices being offcred and similar sinall panel picturos, whilo tho princiiial spaoe is occupied by tho soeno of rovenge by Polypheius against his more suocessful rival Ácis foí the' affectirti of Cfalatpa. ■ Oí corree fheáo b-jílilirrgs are not fresh and brüiiant in colors as íliey onco wero, but are etiil sufficientl ƒ distinot to give a very good idea of fheir former beauty, both as to ekboutiob and colorína;. It ia remarkatle ttiat thej have been so' perfectly proservod under Bueh cirenmstances, scarcely exhibiting even tho scratchos and abrasión whieh would appear tcthaV e been inevitable In tho robín' at the left the walls seeni to have been marked ofl iilto largo panels with red,', brown, anc green, and the spaces are filled with an omalous wtnged figures and faney sketches bet 'ween therai. 'Ai one end of the atrium, or largo room, is the Tricliuium or sleeping room. Tho walls are painted red and upon them aro skctclied landscapes, the heads of tbo wild boar and stag, vasos with flowers and fr'uits. - A flilte m'osat'c fíbor is ih' this room also. - The only apparont ncooss to tho upper rooms whioh this building probably poseessecï is a narrow stairWay rbout two feet wide. Tn ono of the rooms aro to be sccn tho leadon jiipea which wero found laid along the uarrow halV in the rear to convoy water for the uso of the inmn,ïe3. The portions preservcd a're in all ro'-fle 25 feet long.'iö' three pieces,'and' about threo inobe3 iñ' diameter. But whatgives them especial interest and valno is tlvo fact that each baars in distinei letfering tho name Julia Aug., afl'd also tho namo of the Consul. It appears to have been' a provisión of Boman law1 that these leaden water condüits shoukí béaf only the name of the proprietor of tho edifico in which they wero laid. Henee the bons is idontifiecTas that of Julia, and tho affix "Aug." togethër with' the name of tL Consul havo led ío tho conclusión tha' dié Julia was idcntioal with Li via, the nicthcr of Tiberius, whom Augustus took s his wifo, and who was sometimos alled by tho narao of Julia. In further jroof of this ia tho fa,ct tiiat thoro are ;wo long subterranoan galleries reaching i-om thishouso to tho palaca of Augustus n one sido and of ïiborias on tho other. 'hcso passages were lighted froin above. nd wero upon a soalo of amplitude and ompleteness which assist in the forma-ion of somo adequate ideas of tho supertructuro no longcr visible. Tlicy aro about ten feet wido and about tho samo, ïeight, with a fino mosaio pavement of )ut one color and decorated with paintng and stucco, nearly all of which has disap'pearetL ín these long galleriea some twenty-five rods) it is supposed tho Imperial inmates raay havo taVen thei exerciso and reoreation during the Bultry nummer moiiths añd thaí ín önè óf themi ialigula met a violent death. If we go now upon iho higher plateau triown ae the palaöe of the ïlavii yré ind ourselves surroundod by what may 50 termed tho first floor suito of ruaguiücent rooms sho ving little ehè than tho rucea oiwhat they once were. All beow constitutes the Bubstructure inerely.' The whole bears a resemblaricè to tho ordinary Ëoman dwelling, but upon a inore rogal scale, and its erectiou is ascribed to Vespasian. Xho front of the vast. strnctute is indicated by the long; elsyffited terrace projecting from ihè walls óf the building about twenty feet, alóng whioh a colonnade was ereoted. From this terraco we look down upon a portion of ancient Rome. It waa constracted of large bloclis of tufa. This ancient wall ha been uucovered at several points,' expoaing considerable portions, and it appoari to have encircled the Palatine about half way up its slope; two of its three gatea boing identified. Though iiói &t all beautiful it is solidly built, and its great antiquity makes it highly interesting. - At one corner is whát has been termed the Basilica Iovis, the place in which tha Emperor pronounced bis judicial decisions. It ia an ádniitted fact that in subsequont times so súitable was tho form of these Basílicas to religious purposes that churchos of the continent "and Anglicaji churches have generally followod a similar arrangement. Thus irt thia Basilio, eyery part of the ground plan of which is plainly distinguishable, here at the end is a semi-circular reeess iu whih sat tho judgc, in front of which still standa portion of tho m'arblí railing which separated it froin tho ordinary attc-.ul'.nts. - Along at either sido are scen tbo base and one entiro column which s'o jil nbout ten feet from tlie wall dividing tbo ninin llobr into one largo opon spaue frcnting the tribunal, and on each side of this u moro narrow spaco nex't the wall ; to which tho chancel rail, íiave, and sido aisles, closely correspond. Next to this is a largo room called tho Tablium, and believed to have been tho thiüue room, where ambassadors were raccived and foraíal aüdicnce wes allowea to visits ot' statc aád on public occasions. A.t oiio end is a largo, semicircular recesa wliere the Emperor was seated ia state. Upon each side aro eight niches, alteruately circular and square, with a reo tángdlát projection in oaeh circular and a pedestal in each srju'aro niche, on which statues woro evidently once placed. Tha wholo was once paved with alabaster ana Parían inarblo and tho catire sides wittt ;ú (bk Irregularitiei abofe feferred tó' once lined with poliéhed colored marble, portions of which are yet to bo seen iu various parta of this right royal apartinent. The rtíina upon thía platsatí afö thèl most complete oí ány ábove the lower substructures, yet the walls seldom exceecí ten feet in height, and oL roofa of coursi thero are none anywhere. Grana 8 üra; these spacious apartments as far as eiposed to view they are still in part unexcavated upon ons side, bemg covered by ao buildings and groünds of the adjoinng convent to a depth of sixteen feet. - 'he plateau on which the palace of Tierius stood is at aboul; tha saíno leve but is entirely covered by a' beautiful garden of shrubbery and flowers, the only ppearance of its former uses being hero nd thcro a holo cnvcd through into soma of the linciergroUKd róonis öf passages,' andabout whïch railings are placed.- But this tale of the past must be coutinued at soine other time. "Voura ever.


Old News
Michigan Argus