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know not whether it may not be one of those defiles of which Procopius speaks, when he mentions Roscianum, the village Rossano, towards which I was proceeding. He says, Lucani montes usque in Bruttios pertinentes in angustum invicem coeuntes duos dumtaxat hic aditus, et hos angustiores efficiunt, quorum alter Petra Sanguinis dicitur, Lambulam alterum accolae nuncupant. Ad litus Ruscia est promontorium Thuriorum—“The Lucanian mountains reaching to the country of the Bruttii, coming together to a narrow point form here two defiles, and these very much contracted; the one of which is called the Rock of Blood, the other Lambula by the natives. On the shore is Rossano, a promontory of Thurii.” At all events it might very easily have proved a bloody spot to me. Another half-hour placed me in the village of Rossano, where I proceeded to the house of the judge, to whom the Prince of Satriano had furnished me with a letter. I confess that I did not like the appearance of the inhabitants as I passed through the streets of Rossano, and was sadly disappointed when I found that the judge was performing his duties in some other part of his district. I left the letter, and proceeded to search for a lodging. The first locanda that I entered was so miserable, and the landlady so forbidding in looks, that I shuddered at the idea of passing the night under her roof. When I inquired if Rossano possessed no other lodging-house, she was highly offended at my being dissatisfied with her accommodation, and loaded me with abuse, though it was utterly lost on me, as I did not understand a syllable of her tirade. Here, however, I could not remain; and as she had brought a crowd around me, I found that there was another locanda, to which one of the inhabitants conducted me. There was not much to choose between them, but I had no alternative. I felt, however, little at my ease, and was proceeding to wait on the syndic, as the head magistrate of the village, when I was stopped by a person, who inquired if I had not left a letter at the house of the judge. I acknowledged that I had done so, and he said that the lady of the judge hoped that I would remain during the night at her house. I can assure you that I was much delighted to receive the invitation, and accepted it without hesitation. The old lady received me with great kindness, but was in perfect horror at the idea of my proceeding tomorrow without a guard ; and as all her friends concurred with her that the country was unsafe, I agreed, rather to get rid of their importunities than from personal fears, to wait on the lieutenant of gendarmes and request that he would send a couple of men with me. On proceeding to the guard-house, judge of my surprise on being introduced to my old plague, the lieutenant, who had threatened to arrest me at Pizzo. He professed himself glad to see me, and ordered his servant to produce wine. I stated at once the object of my visit, and inquired if he thought there was any real danger. He assured me that there was no doubt about it, but that he durst not send two men, as it would be only sacrificing their lives as well as my own. He would send half a dozen, if I would remain one day longer at Rossano. It would appear that to-morrow is the birthday—name-day, or some such thing, of the king—and therefore a holiday to all the troops. I thanked the lieutenant for this offer, and said that I should inform him to-morrow if I intended to accept it, though I had no such intention. However, he has induced me to give up one part of my plan—a visit to Lungobucco, in the Sila, where a lead mine has been lately opened by a company of English capitalists. It yould be vain to hope to escape if I proceeded in that direction.
%. this vicinity I hear of nothing but robberies and murders, and they hold up their hands in amazement that I should have ventured to approach Rossano, except under a strong guard. The principal proprietors are completely blockaded, and dare not move a step beyond the precincts of the village, unless in company with others, and strongly armed. It seems that there is a comitiva, or band, of twenty individuals, who are spread in all directions, carrying terror and dismay into the bosom of the inhabitants. They have lately waylaid several, and one of them has had to pay five thousand piastres—upwards of eight hundred pounds sterling. About a month ago they killed a boy fifteen years of age (this is the poor boy, no doubt, of whom Signor di Caria told me), because his family was unable to pay the ransom they demanded. They have committed upwards of twenty murders in this neighbourhood, and yet the government has only lately sent a small force under my friend, the lieutenant of gendarmes, to make an attempt to suppress such a disastrous state of matters
Murder seems to have been the chronic state of the Silva Sila, io the outskirts of which I am now passing, from the earliest times. In the year B.C. 138, I find a curious trial going on at Rome, arising from the murder of some of the rich proprietors in this district. The Publicani, a joint-stock company for the farming of the public revenues of the Roman state, had taken on lease from the censors of B.C. 142, P. Scipio Africanus and L. Mummius, the pitcheries of the Silva Sila. It was then, as now, covered with forests, and supplied the state with pitch and timbers for ships. Some of the slaves employed by the company, and even the freemen, were charged with being implicated in the murders, so that the directors felt that they themselves might be blamed if they were found to have employed servants who could be guilty of such enormities. The senate issued a special commission to examine the matter, and the celebrated C. Laelius was employed to defend the company, which Cicero says (Brut. c. 22) that he did with great ability. He appeared twice for them, and so ably was he thought to have maintained their cause, that the members of the company attended Laelius to his house—a mode of showing respect which was usual at Rome. Through his exertions and that of Servius Galba, the company and members implicated in the charge were acquitted. Here, then, we find still the same insecurity for life and property to exist, and I do not hear that it has ever been otherwise. While I was seated at the window in conversation with the lieutenant,
the funeral of an old man passed ; he was stretched at length on an uncovered bier, with a book in his hand, and followed by a number of women dressed in black dominoes, with white handkerchiefs over their heads. I met at the house of my hostess an intelligent Albanian priest, Don Angelo Masci, and I find that they have a college at Bisignano, a small village a short distance from Rossano. They originally belonged to the Greek Church, but have long ago conformed to the Latin. Their library contains several manuscripts in the Albanian language, and, among others, a granmar written by one of the professors, and a volume of native songs collected by a person called Varibobba.
While I was at Naples a dispute arose between the Albanians and the congregation of the Greek Church there. The Albanians insisted on their right to be considered as members of that church, and as the government threw the weight of its authority on the side of the Albanians, I need not say that the question was decided in their favour. The dispute arose respecting a sum of money which had been left to the Greek Church, and of which the Albanians wished to participate. Signor Masci accompanied me to the house of a canon of the church of Rossano, who possessed a manuscript of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark in Greek characters, illuminated with small figures at the beginning of each chapter. It is in excellent preservation, and must be of an early date, though I could not discover how it had come into his possession. I intend to proceed to-morrow to Cassano, in the vicinity of which stood the ancient city Sybaris; yet it is a hazardous undertaking. The lieutenant has told me that the whole village of Rossano, as he said of Pizzo, are a set of brigands, and as I know this to be an exaggeration, I trust to find the other statements to be equally so. At all events, I am resolved to face the danger. Rossano is the ancient Roscianum mentioned in the Itinerary of Antoninus, and noticed by Procopius (B. G. iii. 30) during the Gothic wars as a strong fortress, and one of the most important strongholds in this part of Italy. It was taken by Totila A.D. 548, but continued through the middle ages to be a place of importance. Though it stands on a hill, it is overlooked by higher ground, and has now, therefore, lost its 'vantage ground. This has been a day of great anxiety, and I cannot say that I am sorry I am now bidding adieu to Calabria, though I have every reason to be grateful for the kind and hospitable manner with which I have been almost invariably received. Still it is harassing to be constantly in the expectation of being either robbed or murdered, and during several hours of this day I was fully prepared to encounter some such fate. Thank God, however, I have escaped, and I do not intend ever again to throw myself in the way of a Calabrese brigand. This morning I was surprised to find that I had been unconsciously exposed to another danger during the night which had never occurred to me. A severe shock of an earthquake had taken place, and the whole inhabitants of the village had been so much alarmed that they had spent the greater part of the night in the public square, afraid of being buried in the ruins of their houses. Of course no one felt any particular interest in my safety, and I was allowed to sleep undisturbed amidst all their alarm. I have no doubt that I was entirely forgotten, and as there was no disastrous result, I am not sorry that I was allowed to remain quietly in bed. They are constantly subject to shocks in this quarter, but it seems to have been more alarming last night than it had been for several Years. My friends had procured me a muleteer, in whom, they said, I might repose entire confidence; still the old lady continued most urgent that I should remain another day, and accept a guard of gendarmes, I had, however, made up my mind to run all risks, and I left the village Rossano at daybreak. I found a party of the inhabitants, fully armed, proceeding in my direction, but, to my disappointment, they only continued with me a short distance, being on their way to Corigliano. Our road lay through a wood, principally of olive-trees, mixed with myrtles, growing in great luxuriance, and clumps of low brushwood; it was evidently a continuation of that through which I had passed yesterday. It extended for about ten miles, and I was of course anxious that no time should be unnecessarily spent in crossing it. My mule was, however, a sad contrast to the animal I had yesterday, and the muleteer seemed to take matters very coolly. I dismounted, and tried to induce the mule to gó somewhat quicker; but it was true to its nature, and refused to budge beyond a snail's pace. At last I gave up the contest in sheer despair, and quietly awaited the result. When we got clear of the wood, and I saw a level plain of several miles in extent before me, I cannot sufficiently express my delight, as I had been told that my dangers would then be at an end. Here, then, I consider that I bid adieu to Calabria and its dangers; for, though it continues a little farther north, I understand that I shall hear no more of brigands. You may ask what opinion I have formed of the country and its inhabitants. The three Calabrias have been always, in a great measure, separated from the rest of the world. In this respect the district is unique, and the manners of its people have been little influenced by intercourse with their more civilised neighbours. Enclosed by two seas, having in the middle that lofty range of mountains which I have traversed thrice in different directions, covered for several months in the year with deep snow, without sufficient roads or communications between the different divisions, they have all the productions of the north and south, ice and tropical heat, at the distance of a few miles. Recollect the sudden change of temperature I came upon in a couple of hours, when I penetrated into the mountains of Serra. In what other part of Europe will you find another country like this? Then as to the inhabitants, I met men of the highest intelligence and polish, that would have done honour to any country, and, at the same time, the mass of the population sunk in rudeness and ignorance. It is not merely rudeness, but I heard of a ferocity of character which perpetuates family feuds from generation to generation, and regards revenge as a right and a duty. They seem now to be in the state that the Highlands of Scotland were some five hundred years ago. This disposition, inherited from their heathen progenitors, has never been in any degree softened by the influence of religion, or even of the nobility and persons of note, who are generally absentees. In former times the great feudal barons, no doubt, used to live on their properties, but wholly apart from the people, on whom they had no influence, at least for good. In fact, they composed two distinct worlds. With us, the nobility live a portion of the year on their estates, and take a deep interest in every measure that is likely to benefit themselves or their tenants. Here it is quite otherwise; agents manage everything, and transmit the rents to be spent in Naples. The feudal system subsisted in all its strictness till the beginning of this century. All the principal taxes were laid upon the lower classes, while the nobility and clergy were mostly exempted. It was a law of Joseph Bonaparte that broke up this system. He enacted that “the feudal system and all feudal jurisdiction be abolished, and all towns, villages, hamlets be subjected to the general laws of the country.” These changes,
introduced by the French, had so far taken root, that, on the restoration of the Bourbons, it was impossible to replace things on their former footing; yet some such attempts have been made, and the present government strives to secure for the nobility more favourable rights, and has confirmed the succession in fiefs which the law had done away with.
I soon reached the banks of the Crati, the ancient Crathis, which you may recollect that I crossed at Cosenza on my way to the south. I had some difficulty in fording it from the depth of the stream and the rapidity with which it flows. Indeed, if we had not met with a shepherd, who piloted us across, I should inevitably have been swept away. I tried what effect its waters would have on my hair, as Euripides says that they have the power of giving a golden-red tinge, but, alas! no such beautiful change took place, and I am obliged to remain as nature intended me. The words of Euripides (Troades, 228) are as follows:
αν υγραίνει καλλιστεύων
εύανδρόν τ' όλβίζων γαν. . “ Which is watered by the beautiful Crathis, imparting yellow locks, nourishing and blessing the well-peopled land with its divine stream.”
Ovid (Met. xv. 315) refers to the same curious property in the waters :
Crathis, et huic Sybaris nostris conterminus arvis,
Electro similes faciunt auroque capillos. “ Crathis, and Sybaris near to it in our country, impart an amber and golden hue to the hair.”
I inquired afterwards if any such peculiarity was known to the inhabitants to be in the waters, but they were not aware that they possessed
Grain of every kind wavered over the drier parts of this plain, and my guide said that towards the sea herds of cattle abounded, though I saw none. The marshy ground afforded shelter to wild boars and water-fowls of every species.
A few miles below the spot where I crossed, the Crati is joined by another stream, the Coscile, the ancient Sybaris, having the same name as a celebrated city which stood in this vicinity. This river had the property, according to some authors, of making horses shy that drank of its waters; my muleteer knew of no such power. The exact position of the ancient city of Sybaris has not yet been satisfactorily fixed, though we are told by an ancient historian (Diod. Sic. xii. 9) that the river Sybaris, which originally flowed into the sea by a separate mouth, had its course changed by the victorious inhabitants of Croto that it might flow through and destroy the city. It is natural, therefore, to look for its remains near the confluence of the two rivers. At the same time, you must know that it is said to have been completely destroyed B.C. 510, and we can