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in this vicinity. On one of the rings were the letters PHV, without any device to determine to what epoch it belonged. Caulon, or Caulonia, one of the earliest Greek colonies founded on these shores, stood somewhere in the neighbourhood. It was destroyed by Dionysius the Elder, B. c. 389, and its inhabitants removed to Syracuse; it must again, however, have risen from its ruins, as we find it espousing the cause of Pyrrhus, and subsequently attacked by the Romans during the second Punic war. It is said to have stood on an elevated situation, which would suit very well with Castel Vetere, if it were not stated at the same time that it was near the sea, while Castel Vetere is at least four miles distant. Besides, no ancient remains, cameos, or coins have been discovered here, while at a place called Calamona, about one mile from the sea and three from Castel Vetere, many sepulchres are visible, and coins of various Greek colonies have been found there. Near this spot, on a hill called Foca, are the remains of buildings, and from a personal inspection of the ground I should be inclined to place the site of the ancient Caulonia there. When I visited it the site was covered with the prickly pear, and hedged round by the gigantic aloe. Beneath it stretches a plain nearly two miles in breadth, through which flows the small stream Alaro, which there is little doubt is the ancient Sagras. It was on the banks of this river that the inhabitants of Croton sustained a memorable defeat from the Locrians; and so extraordinary was the result that it gave rise to a proverbial expression, “more true than the event that happened at the Sagras.” In talking to the inhabitants of the country, I could hear of no other level piece of ground within twenty miles where two large armies could be drawn up. There is a spot in the plain called “Sanguinaro,” which may be considered a corruption of “sanguinarius,” the Latin word for “bloody.” During our conversation, the Baron Musco said of a child belonging to one of his friends in Naples, that it was “un fanciullo della Madonna,” —“a child of the Madonna;” and on inquiring what he meant, he said that it was a custom in this country, when a woman loses her child in birth, to take a foundling and bring it up in its stead; this is called taking a child from the Madonna. This morning, mounting my mule, I proceeded on my journey, undecided whether I should seek Squillace by the sea-coast or try to reach it through the mountains. I crept slowly through the plain of the Sagras, where the battle is thought to have taken place, and then leaving the sea crossed a hilly country for several miles. On either side of me I saw small villages perched on heights. Intending to visit the iron mines worked by government here, I received from my friends of Castel Vetere a letter of introduction to the overseer, Capitano Natzi, who resided at a village called Pazzano. Being disappointed in finding him, I pushed forward to the mines, which were about three miles in the mountains. My road lay up a deep glen, with the mountains rising on both sides to a great height, and thickly covered with wood. The scenery was most magnificent, and I determined to bid defiance to the brigands and penetrate through these passes. On reaching the mines by a road which was kept in a good state of repair, I could perceive no appearance of any human being, but after much hallooing a little boy came forward. I proposed to accompany him into the mine, though we had no light, as I found that the workmen were now employed in the shaft. He attempted to frighten me by extraordinary stories of a spirit who haunted the mine, and had a great antipathy to strangers. To this I of course paid no attention, but tying a strong cord round his arm to prevent his escape, I ordered him to precede me, and threatened summary punishment if he dared to play any trick. As we were proceeding to enter, one of the head workmen came up, and I then found no further difficulty. There are four shafts, of which only one is productive. The vein is three to four feet in breadth, and I found that they had penetrated about half a mile into the mountain, and that the vein is descending. The southern part of Italy is rich in mines, which were worked in former times. In the vicinity of Locri there were four silver mines, and in the district of Caulon there were several at Bivonica, Argentaria, Fiumara, and Stilo. In the territory of Amantea, at Monte Cocuzzo, there were mines of rubies and emeralds, but no attempt has been made in the present day to derive any advantage from them. The government claims the possession of all the mineral riches of the kingdom, and one of its greatest errors is that it will neither itself attempt to explore, nor give permission to others to do so. The miners recommended that I should keep along the coast. I was so charmed, however, with the appearance of the mountains and the coolness of the air, that I resolved to face the brigands. Accordingly I proceeded to ascend the mountain-range, which was covered with magnificent oaks, beeches, and gloomy pines, that had borne the blast of many a winter. Every step presented new beauties, and opened to the eye fresh objects of admiration. There was a wildness in the scenery, and a gloom in the darkly-wooded mountains, that overpowered the mind. All was silent save the sound of some distant waterfall, or the low moaning of the breeze through the aged forest. At times the piercing scream of the eagle startled the ear, or some wild goat would dart away to its secret recess. I afterwards heard that the woods abounded in foxes, weasels, polecats, squirrels, and even wolves are scattered over them. While I was thus quietly admiring the beauties of nature I was alarmed at the appearance of a large body of armed men, reclining under the trees. The gleam of their muskets first attracted my eye, and I soon perceived by a movement among them that my approach was not unobserved. . Several ponies and mules were quietly grazing beside them, while panniers and cloaks lay scattered on the ground. I cannot say that I did not begin to repent having allowed my admiration of scenery to lead me into this dangerous rencontre, I had sufficient time, before I reached them, to recal to my recollection all the barbarities that the brigands of the mountains are accused of having committed. As I approached the spot where they were assembled, a person, who seemed by his dress and superior bearing to be the Robin Hood of the party, stepped forward, and relieved me from all anxiety by addressing me in French. He said that he saw by my appearance that I was a foreigner, and requested me to join their party at dinner, an invitation which I was noways loth to accept. I found that they belonged to the iron-foundry at Mongiana, and were employed in marking trees to be cut down for charcoal. They were guarded by a body of wild-looking peasantry, whom I should not have cared to encounter in my solitary ride. They told me I had only to proceed a few miles farther to reach Mongiana, the village where the K
foundry was situated, but that I had acted with great foolhardiness in advancing into this part of Calabria without a guard. They never ventured beyond their village unless protected by a body of armed men, nor does it appear that they were safe from attack even then, as is well illustrated by the following story which they told me: “A short time ago, when the government ordered all the arms in the country to be collected in the capital of each province, a band of twelve brigands had marched through some village in the vicinity, and proceeding to the house of the curate had carried him off to their fastnesses, regardless of the excommunications of the Church. They fixed on a large sum for his ransom, and despatched a shepherd to convey the information to the village. As the curate was beloved by his parishioners the money was collected, and the poor clergyman released from his unpleasant thraldom.” This may give you some idea what degree of security there is in travelling through this country, and I confess that I shall not be sorry when I have left it. In the distance, my companions pointed to a village called Fabrizia, the inhabitants of which are said to be of a ruder and wilder character than their neighbours. If a father be slain, and the years of his son preclude immediate vengeance, the bloody shirt is preserved as a memorial, and is presented to the son when he arrives at the age of manhood. It is thus that the feuds between rival families never cease, but are transmitted from one generation to another. When the only son of a family dies here, the father and mother tinge their under-clothing with legnuolo, and wear them till they are destroyed by age. I found the iron-foundry of Mongiana to be of considerable size, but foolishly erected at a great distance from the mines. It was intended that the foundry should be surrounded by wood, from which charcoal might be procured, as no mineral coal has yet been discovered in this vicinity. On leaving Mongiana, I proceeded across a level plain several miles in extent, which had none of the characteristics of an Italian climate. The fields were covered with green grass, or the grain was just springing up, while the coolness of the air made me feel that I was less warmly clothed than the climate required. It was a miniature table-land on the top of the Apennines, which I could perceive grew narrower as the mountains proceeded to the south, till they became nearly perpendicular at the spot where I had crossed them near Gerace. The temperature is very cold during the winter season, and snow continues more or less from the end of November till the beginning of April. Crowds of peasants were returning from the fair of Serra. They were much taller, and of a more masculine frame of body, than the inhabitants of the sea-coast, and their women rivalled them in strength and height. Having reached the small village of Serra, I found it to consist principally of wooden houses of the most miserable description. The frequent earthquakes to which they are subject render it the only material to which they can have recourse with any degree of safety. Serra possesses nothing to interest a stranger, and is only worthy of a visit from the picturesque nature of the scenery with which it is surrounded. Everything betokened a temperate climate; the vine was no doubt there, producing grapes, but the cold weather sets in too early to admit of their reaching such maturity as to enable wine to be made, while apricots and peaches never ripen. There are several small churches built, like the houses, principally of wood; the belfries have a strange appearance from this circumstance. At no great distance are the ruins of the monastery of St. Stefano del Bosco, the most ancient of the Carthusian establishments in the kingdom, having been founded by St. Bruno himself, and where his remains were deposited. It was levelled to the ground in less than three minutes by the earth
quake of 1783, and all its magnificence passed away like as it had never been.
YoU will be glad to see that, having reached Catanzaro, I am again in a part of the country somewhat more civilised than that through which I have been lately passing... I am not sorry that I should have spent a couple of days in those wild and mountainous regions, though it was not without risk. I have no doubt that the people are the genuine descendants of the Bruttii, the ancient inhabitants of this part of Italy, as few would think the possession of their country worthy of a contest. These Bruttii are first mentioned in history B.C. 356, and have no high origin to boast of, as they are said to have been the runaway slaves of the Lucani, a more northern tribe. This may likely be a mere scandal on their origin, as shortly after B.C. 335 we find them making common cause with the Lucani against the Greek cities on the coast. Terina, Tempsa, and Hipponium, all of which I have already mentioned, fell into their hands; and after the defeat of Alexander, King of the Molossi, B.C. 326, nearly the whole of the southern parts of the peninsula, as far as the rivers Lao and Crathis, acknowledged their power. They assisted Pyrrhus, B.c. 280, in his invasion of Italy, and this called down the vengeance of the Romans, who overran their country, and obliged them to yield at least a nominal dependence on Rome. Matters continued thus till the second Punic war, B.C. 218, when, after the battle of Cannae, B.C. 216, the Bruttii, as well as all the rest of the south of Italy, joined the standard of the Carthaginian general. In the later period of the contest, when the Romans became decidedly superior, Hannibal maintained himself in this mountainous country for several years. The revolt of the Bruttii was severely punished by the Romans; still we hear of no steps being taken to remove them from their country, as we know to have been the case in other instances. It is not, therefore, unreasonable to suppose that the great body of the nation remained in their mountain fastnesses, and that the present inhabitants are their descendants.
This morning I continued on foot my course to the north without a guide, passing through the village Spatola, famed in this quarter for its cheese, yet still more wretched in appearance than Serra; and as I had heard that it contained a church called Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, I was desirous to ascertain whether there were any ancient remains. Welleius Paterculus (i. 15) mentions that Minervium was colonised at the same time with Scyllacium. I waited on the clergyman, whom I found in a hut nearly devoid of furniture, and you may imagine that he stared when he was made acquainted with the reason that had induced me to call upon him. No one had ever visited his village on the same errand, and I might have spared myself the trouble for any information that I gained. The church, he said, had once possessed an ancient altar, but he could give no account of the manner in which it had disappeared. He had never heard of any ancient remains in this quarter. All the villages through which I passed were equally miserable, though the country was beautiful, and the scenery of a different kind from that which I had traversed yesterday. The descent was gradual, and the mountains had less of an Alpine character. There were magnificent chesnuts and oaks, while the hedges were formed of the holly, the sweetbriar, and woodbine. I was struck by the abundant crop of wild strawberries, and the cherry-orchards in full bearing ; indeed, along this coast I found this fruit most delicious. When I reached San Vito, I determined to strike again into the mountains, that I might visitthe blacklead mine at Olivadi, said to be the only mine of this material in Italy. Again I was warned by the chief magistrate that it was unsafe, and, as it was necessary that I should take a guide, he sent with me one of the armed police. All these villages through which I have passed continue to be built of wood, having an open gallery in front overhung with vines. Our path lay through a thick wood, and as we proceeded, I cannot say that I felt my spirits raised by having the spots pointed out where robberies had lately taken place. We entered a deep glen, which my guide assured me had been the scene of several murders, but my luck still adhered to me, for we met not a single individual. On reaching Olivadi, I was hailed by a sentinel, who ordered me to halt and give an account of my intentions. In this I had no difficulty, and received permission to call on the superintendent of the mine. The examination of the mine scarcely rewarded me for the labour and danger I had undergone. The lead is found in nodules, and, as the mine belongs to government, a very little portion of it had as yet been wrought. On my way to Squillace, I passed through a wood of oaks and chesnuttrees, of the largest size I had yet seen. One of the oaks was twenty feet in circumference, at the distance of three feet from the ground, and a chesnut-tree exceeded thirty-five feet. Of course this is nothing compared with Damory's oak in Dorsetshire, which was sixty-eight feet in circumference, and, according to the common calculation, was two thousand years of age. The Boddington oak, in the vale of Gloucester, was fifty-four feet in circumference. Still, how many generations must have passed away since these trees sprang from the ground ! After passing through the village of Palormiti, I came within sight of Squillace, situated on a rising ground about three miles from the sea, and I was glad when I got safely within its walls. I have been received with much kindness by a friend of the Sotto-Intendente of Gerace, who seemed to take pleasure in showing me whatever is worthy of my attention. Squillace is a city of considerable importance, and, with the exception of Cosenza, has more appearance of commercial activity than any I have yet visited. The ancient Scylacium was situated nearer to the sea, where the ruins of the monastery Vivariense are found. This monastery was built by Cassiodorus, a native of this place, secretary and intimate friend of Theodoric, King of the Goths, towards the end of the fifth century. Cassiodorus spent the latter years of his life within its walls, and close to it the inhabitants point out a fountain, which they call Fontana di Cassiodoro. The remains of the monastery prove that it must have covered a large space of ground. From an inscription that has been