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but history passes over them unnoticed. This had been erected to the honour of Hercules, who was regarded by the Romans as the giver of health (Lyd. de Mens. p. 92). The gens Pomponia was numerous, but none of them are mentioned with the cognomen of Noetus. What, however, makes Casinum most interesting to the scholar is that it was the residence of M. Terentius Varro, whose vast and varied erudition in almost every department of literature earned for him the title of the “most learned of the Romans.” He was the intimate friend of Cicero, being born B.C. 116, and died at the advanced age of eightynine, B.C. 28, having lived through the most stormy period of Roman history. I am not much given to sentiment, yet I could not stroll over the site of his villa without feeling that it was a spot sacred to the scholar. After the destruction of the hopes of the senate at Phursalia, B.c. 48, he yielded to fate, and was received into favour by Caesar; but before this was known, his villa at Casinum had been seized and plundered by Antony—an event which Cicero severely reprobates in his second Philippic (cc. 40, 41), contrasting the ennobling pursuits witnessed within its walls with the base excesses and foul debauchery of its captor. The remains are found at a spot called Monticelli, in the middle of the plain, where are seen brick walls of reticulated structure along the banks of a stream, the waters of which he had to confine by a strong embankment, which still remains, after a period of nearly two thousand years, to prove the solidity and strength of Roman works. The monastery of Monte Casino has been so often described by travellers, that I shall merely say that it stands on the summit of a lofty hill, up which a road winds for a couple of miles. The slopes are covered with a species of wild grass and dwarf shrubs, having not much of an Italian aspect, but the view from the top stretches away over a beautiful country. It was founded by St. Benedict, A.D. 529, on the site of a Temple of Apollo, the marble pillars of which may very probably be those which are now adorning the chapel of the monastery. Near the top of the ascent there is a large stone with an indentation, like the print of a knee, enclosed by an iron grating. The legend is that St. Benedict knelt here, as he approached the temple, to offer up a prayer for strength to contend against the pagans, and that the imprint of his knee was miraculously made on the hard stone, as may be still seen. I have always thought that the system of monasteries, though pernicious in their abuse and defective in their intellectual arrangements, contained much that was interesting to the imagination, and actually contributed at the time of their erection to increase the happiness of life. Not only so, but I believe that we owe to them the commencement of the intellectual and moral education of Europe, and that they carried it on successfully to a certain point. Besides, as they made the hierarchy a stronger bulwark against the violence of the great and the oppression of the throne, these establishments were for a long time of incalculable advantage to the world. * . At almost all periods of the middle ages the order of St. Benedict, to whom this monastery belongs, stands foremost amongst the cultivators of learning and of the arts. They were unquestionably the pioneers and builders of European civilisation, and always stood high above all the other orders of monks. Monte Casino has been called the Sinai of the middle ages. It gave birth to a numerous body of communities, which spread over Europe, and of which not the least famous were our British monasteries, such as Yarrow, Bury St. Edmund's, Whitby, Reading, St. Alban's, Croyland, all of which were distinguished for the labour they bestowed on the collection and transcription of books. It is to this system of transcription that we are indebted for all that remains of ancient learning, and the monks of Casino set an example which was closely followed by all the communities that were affiliated to it. To them we owe the works of Homer, Tacitus, Cicero, Terence, Horace, Seneca, Virgil, and Lucan. On presenting myself at the gate, as a foreigner who was travelling through their beautiful country, and anxious to examine whatever was worthy of attention, I was received with great civility, and everything I wished to see was placed at my command. It was the manuscripts, which are little known in England, that I was more particularly desirous to examine; and the following notes may not be uninteresting to you who are fond of antiquarian subjects. The most ancient codex is of Origenes, according to the version of St. Jerome, written in uncial characters, A.D. 569. I understood it to be Homiliae Origenis, xxviii., in Jeremiam et Ezechielem, translated at Constantinople, after the completion of the Eusebian Chronicle, A.D. 380. A codex of the eleventh century, a treatise on veterinary surgery, by Constantinus Africanus, whose date is not certainly known, but may probably be the same person as Sex. Julius Africanus, a Christian writer at the beginning of the third century, called by Suidas a Libyan (s. v. 'Aqpukavós). He wrote a work entitled Kea rot, that is embroidered girdles, which treated of a vast variety of subjects, and among others of medicine. This codex is No. 200. A codex of Dante, No. 512, written in 1367, with an abridgment of the whole poem in the terza rima of Dante, still unpublished, and which is thought to be the work of Pietro, son of Dante. A codex of Boccaccio, “De Claris Mulieribus,” done into Italian by Donato, in obedience to an order of Queen Joanna, of Apulia. It was written in 1455, and at the end there is a letter of the Sultan to Pope Nicolas W., translated from Arabic into Greek, Latin, and Italian, with the answer of the pope. These letters were written after the taking of Constantinople, in 1453. A codex of the twelfth century, No. 2, B. B., written in Latin characters, containing the acts of the Council of Ephesus, A.D. 431, against the dogmas of Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople. The original codex of the chronicle of Leo Ostiensis, and a copy of the same chronicle, with the additions of Petrus Diaconus. A collection of very rare diplomas, referring to the former Abbey of the Benedictines, at St. Angelo, in Formis, once the Temple of Diana Tifatina, near Capua, of the remains of which you may recollect that I gave an account. This collection consists of bulls, and diplomas, on parchment, of Pope Urban II., Pasqual II., of Richard I, Prince of Capua, at the end of the eleventh and beginning of the twelfth centuries. All these diplomas are written in Lombard characters, and contain the portraits of the princes, clothed in the fashion of their country, and surrounded by soldiers, in the act of presenting the diplomas to the abbots. A codex of the AEneid of Virgil, of the fourteenth century, with marginal notes and interlineations. This codex is remarkable, as containing at the commencement of each book the arguments formed from the very words of Virgil, and believed to have been the work of Herennius Modestinus, pupil of the Jurist Ulpian. He lived under Gordian, A.D. 239; and though one of the latest of the great Roman Jurists, he ranks among the most distinguished. A very rare codex of the Iliad of Homer, written on papyrus, No. 603, with notes, which are said to be by Eustathius.
I SPENT a couple of days very pleasantly at San Germano, employing my time partly in examining the library of Monte Casino, and partly in wandering over the ancient remains in its neighbourhood. I was strongly pressed to accompany a party, whom I found bent on mounting to the top of Monte Cairo, a lofty mountain in this quarter, from which I was promised a sight of the Adriatic sea in the distance; this, however, must depend on the clearness of the atmosphere, and I declined to undergo the fatigues of such an ascent for such a problematical pleasure.
I started at daybreak on mule for Aquino, along a dusty plain, partly cultivated with corn, but in a great measure covered with very fine oaks. I had not proceeded far when a party of gensdarmes rode up, and demanded, though with perfect civility, to see my passport. I was a little surprised to find this appearance of insecurity, by a strong body of armed men patrolling the public road, and was sorry to find that it was only too necessary, as I have again got into a part of the country beset by brigands. I am approaching the confines of the Papal and Neapolitan States, and it seems that it enables these parties to cross backwards and forwards, according as they are pursued. The officer in command said that there was not much danger of my being attacked, as it was known that his men were constantly patrolling the road, but that I had better not attempt to pass through the wood leading to Ceprano, as he could not ensure my safety if I did so. I thanked him for his civility, and assured him that I would give it a wide berth. I inquired if he knew of any ancient remains in this quarter, when he said that I should find, about a mile further on, some remnants of two marble statues, one of which was called by the peasants l'uomo morto—“the dead man.” These I afterwards saw, both in a very mutilated state.
I had a letter to the Canon Michelangelo, the vicar-general of the diocese of Aquino, and was received most hospitably and kindly. I found him to be well acquainted with the antiquities of Aquinum, and ready to give me the benefit of his knowledge. He possesses a museum of some value—being rich more particularly in terra-cotta figures, of different descriptions—which had been found here.
Aquinum is interesting to the scholar as the birthplace of the satirist Juvenal, who was born possibly about A.D. 20. He thus speaks of it (iii. 319):
Et quoties te
“And whenever Rome shall send you back to your native Aquinum, anxious to restore your strength, then you may tear me away, too, from Cumae to Helvine Ceres and your patron deity Diana.” It was also the birthplace of C. Pescennius Niger, who was saluted emperor by the soldiers A.D. 193, and was slain the following year. The site is situated about four miles from the left bank of the Liris, and about the same distance from the banks of the river Melpis, now Melfi. It was a populous and flourishing place during the latter period of the Roman republic, being spoken of by Silius Italicus as “ingens Aquinum;” and Cicero, who had a villa here, frequently alludes to it as “frequens municipium.” The modern village, containing only six hundred inhabitants, is about a quarter of a mile to the west of the ancient city. The remains of the walls are formed of massive square stones placed above each other without cement, and show that their circumference must have been about two miles. The site of the old town is now called Civita Vetere. Little of the amphitheatre remains, but its foundations are visible from east to west, measuring about forty feet, and from north to south fifty-four feet. The theatre on the Via Latina, which had evidently run through the town, may also be traced. The extent from east to west sixty-four feet, and from north to south thirty-two feet. There are two churches, which appear to have been ancient temples, called S. Pietro Vetere and Sta. Maria Maddalena. In the walls of the former is an inscription again, as at Casinum, referring to the worshippers of Hercules:
LOCA SEPWLTWRE CWLTORVM
“Ground for the burial of the worshippers of Hercules the Victorious in the Domitian estate, a hundred and twenty paces in front, fifty-six in depth, M. Manimisius and Priscus Priscianus have presented as a public ift.” g Neither of these public benefactors are known to history; but they must have lived after the reign of the Emperor Dominitian A.D. 81–96. In a field near the theatre are found many fluted pillars, a considerable portion of a cornice and frieze, showing that some temple must have been situated in this direction. The diameter of the columns is about five feet. The foundation of the building may be traced for nearly two hundred feet in length, and sixty in breadth. The canon was inclined to consider it the temple of Ceres, mentioned by Juvenal, but no inscription had ever been found to give a clue. He drew my attention to an old Mosaic above the dome of St. Peter's church, representing the Madonna, to which they attach much value; and within are some old sarcophagi, one of which has nine or ten figures,
supported beneath by two heads, and ornamented on each side by a bust. A large tomb had been lately opened, in which two skeletons had been found, placed the one with the head at the feet of the other. Near it a stone had been found with the following words, but it was in a mutilated
The family of Priscianus is again alluded to in the following inscription:
I do not recollect that the name of Ennius is ever found in Roman history, except in the celebrated poet; here, however, we have it on a small tombstone of Aquinum: T. ENNI. T. F AWCTI IN. F. P. XII IN . A . P. XII.
I spent a pleasant afternoon with the Canon Michelangelo, who pressed me to remain with him till next morning; but I determined to go forward without delay. Aquino lies low, and, if I may judge from the pale, sallow looks of the inhabitants, must be unhealthy. It is surrounded b woods, and the overflowing of the streams in its neighbourhood, j are made use of to steep flax, cannot fail to be injurious. As the sun declined the suffocating heat abated, and I rode slowly forward through a country which might be a paradise, but is at present only partially cultivated. I passed the small river Melfa; near the source of which my friend, the canon, told me there were considerable remains of an ancient town called Atina, the “potens Atina” of Virgil (AEn. vii. 630), and which Silius Italicus (viii. 398) calls cold and bleak, “Monte nivoso descendens Atina.”—“Atina descending from its snowy mountains;” and this description, my friend assured me, is as true at the present moment as it was in former times. It stands on a hill, and is surrounded by lofty mountains on all sides. He had often visited it, having drawn up an account of its remains, which he kindly placed at my command. The present village occupies only a small portion of the ancient site; the walls can be traced distinctly, being of polygonal blocks, fitting neatly into each other. There are remains of a temple at a spot called Settignana, said to be of Janus, and near it are some ruins of a villa, which the inhabitants regard as that where Cicero spent the night before proceeding to exile. Cicero (De Divin. i. 28) alludes to this circumstance in these words: “Cum in illá fugā, nobis gloriosa, patriae calamitosa, in villā quádam Campi Atinatis manerem.”—“While I was resting in that villa at Atina, before I started in that flight, glorious to us, but calamitous to our country.” The temple of Diana is supposed to have occupied the site of the pre