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throne,” says the historian Dion,1 « he was strong in body, he was vigorous in mind ; age had impaired none of his faculties ; he was altogether free from envy and from detraction ; he honoured all the good and he advanced them ; and on this account they could not be the objects of his fear, or of his hate ; he never listened to informers ; he gave not way to his anger ; he abstained equally from unfair exactions and unjust punishments; he had rather be loved as a man than honoured as a sovereign ; he was affable with his people, respectful to the senate, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country.”
Stanza cxiv. line 5. The name and exploits of Rienzi must be familiar to the reader of Gibbon. Some details and inedited manuscripts relative to this unhappy hero will be seen in the Illustrations of the IVth Canto.
Stanza cxv. lines 1, 2, and 3. The respectable authority of Flaminius Vacca would incline
Τα τε γαρ σώματι έβρωτο - και τη ψυχή ήκμαζεν, ας μήθ' υπό γήρως αμβλύνεσθαι. και όυτ' εφθάνει, όυτε κιθήσει τινά, αλλά και πάνυ πάντας τους αγαθους ετίμα και εμαγάλυ.ε: και διά τούτο όυτε εφοβέιτό τινα αυτων, όυτε εμίσει διαβολαις τε ήκιστα επίστευε και οργή ήκιστα έδoυλόυτο" των τε χρημάτων των άλλωτρίων ίσα και φόνων των αδίκων απέρχετο φιλούμενος τε ουν επ' αυτούς μάλλον ή τιμώμενος έχαιρε, και τότε δήμω. μετ' επιεικέιας συνεγίνετο, και τη γηρουσία σεμνοπρεπώς ωμίλει αγαπητός μεν πάσι φοβερός δε μηδενί, πλήν πολεμίοις ων. 1xviii. cap. vi. & vii. tom. ii. p. 1123, 1124, edit. Hamb. 175',
Hist. Rom. lib.
us to believe in the claims of the Egerian grotto." He assures us that he saw an inscription in the pavement, stating that the fountain was that of Egeria dedicated to the nymphs. The inscription is not there at this day; but Montfaucon quotes two lines ? of Ovid from a stone in the Villa Giustiniani, which he seerns to think had been brought from the same grotto.
This grotto and valley were formerly frequented in summer, and particularly the first Sunday in May, by the modern Romans, who attached a salubrious quality to the fountain which trickles from an orifice at the bottom of the vault, and, overflowing the little pools, creeps down the matted grass into the brook below. The brook is the Ovidian Almo, whose name and qualities are lost in the modern Aquataccio. The valley itself is called Valle di Caffarelli, from the dukes of that name who made over their fountain to the Pallavicini, with sixty rubbia of adjoining land.
There can be little doubt that this long dell is the Egerian valley of Juvenal, and the pausing place of Umbritius, notwithstanding the generality of his commentators have supposed the descent of the satirist and his friend to have been into the Arician grove, where the nymph met Hippolitus, and where she was more peculiarly worshipped.
The step from the Porta Capena to the Alban hill, fifteen
1 « Poco lontano dal detto luogo si scende ad un casaletto, del quale ne sono Padroni li Cafarelli, che con questo nome è chiamato il luogo; vi è una fontana sotto una gran volta antica, che al presente si gode, e li Romani vi vanno l'estate a ricrearsi ; nel pavimento di essa fonte si legge in un epitaffio essere quella la fonte di Egeria, dedicata alle ninfe, e questa, dice l'epitaffio, essere la medesima fonte in cui fu convertita." Memorie, &c. ap. Nardini, pag. 13. He does not give the inscription.
? " In villa Justiniana extat ingens lapis quadratus solidus in quo sculpta hæc duo Ovidii carmina sunt
Ægeria est quæ præbet aquas dea grata Camænis
Illa Numæ conjunx consiliumque fuit. Qui lapis videtur ex eodem Egeriæ fonte, aut ejus vicinia isthue comportatus.” Diarium. Italic. p. 153.
miles distant, would be too considerable, unless we were to believe in the wild conjecture of Vossius, who makes that gate travel from its present station, where he pretends it was during the reign of the Kings, as far as the Arician grove, and then makes it recede to its old site with the shrinking city.' The tufo, or pumice, which the poet, prefers to marble, is the substance composing the bank in which the grotto is sunk.
The modern topographers find in the grotto the statue of the nymph and nine niches for the Muses, and a late traveller has discovered that the cave is restored to that simplicity which the poet regretted had been exchanged for injudicious ornament. But the heedless statue is palpably rather a male than a nymph, and has none of the attributes ascribed to it at present visible. The nine Muses could hardly have stood in six niches; and Juvenal certainly does not allude to any individual cave. Nothing can be collected from the satirist but that somewhere near the Porta Capena was a spot in which it was supposed Numa held nightly consultations with his nymph, and where there was a grove and a sacred fountain, and fanes once consecrated to the Muses; and that from this spot there was a
* De Magnit. Vet. Rom. Ap. Græv. Ant. Rom. tom. iv. p. 1507.
2 Echinard. Descrizione di Roma e dell'agro Romano corretto dall' Abate Venuti in Roma, 1750. They believe in the grotto and nymph. “ Simulacro di questo fonte, essendovi sculpite le acque a pie di esso." 3 Classical Tour, chap. vi. p. 217. vol. ii. 4 « Substitit ad veteres arcus, madidamque Capenam,
Hic ubi nocturna Numa constituebat amicæ.
descent into the valley of Egeria, where were several artificial
It is clear that the statues of the Muses made no part of the decoration which the satirist thought misplaced in these caves ; for he expressly assigns other fanes (delubra) to these divinities above the valley, and moreover tells us that they had been ejected to make room for the Jews. In fact, the little temple, now called that of Bacchus, was formerly thought to belong to the Muses, and Nardini' places them in a poplar grove, which was in his time above the valley.
It is probable, from the inscription and position, that the cave now shown may be one of the “ artificial caverns," of which, indeed, there is another a little way higher up the valley, under a tuft of alder bushes: but a single grotto of Egeria is a mere modern invention, grafted upon the application of the epithet Egerian to these nymphea in general, and which might send us to look for the haunts of Numa upon the banks of the Thames.
Our English Juvenal was not seduced into mistranslation by his acquaintance with Pope: he carefully preserves the correct plural
“ Thence slowly winding down the vale, we view
The Egerian grots; oh, how unlike the true !" The valley abounds with springs, and over these springs, which the Muses might haunt from their neighbouring groves, Egeria presided: hence she was said to supply them with water ; and she was the nymph of the grottos through which the fountains were taught to flow.
The whole of the monuments in the vicinity of the Egerian valley have received names at will, which have been changed at will. Venuti' owns he can see no traces of the temples of Jove, Saturn, Juno, Venus, and Diana, which Nardini found, or hoped to find. The mutatorium of Caracalla's circus, the temple
Lib. iii. cap. iii. 2 “ Undique e solo aquæ scaturiunt." Nardini, lib. iii. cap. iii. 3 Echinard, &c. Cic. cit. p. 297-29€.
of Honour and Virtue, the temple of Bacchus, and, above all, the temple of the god Rediculus, are the antiquaries' despair.
The circus of Caracalla depends on a medal of that emperor cited by Fulvius Ursinuš, of which the reverse shows a circus, supposed, however, by some to represent the Circus Maximus. It gives a very good idea of that place of exercise. The soil has been but little raised, if we may judge from the small cellular structure at the end of the Spina, which was probably the chapel of the god Consus. This cell is half beneath the soil, as it must have been in the circus itself, for Dionysius' could not be persuaded to believe that this divinity was the Roman Neptune, because his altar was under-ground.
Stanza cxxvii. line 1. “ At all events," says the author of the Academical Questions, “ I trust, whatever may be the fate of my own speculations, that philosophy will regain that estimation which it ought to possess. The free and philosophic spirit of our nation has been the theme of admiration to the world. This was the prond distinction of Englishmen, and the luminous source of all their glory. Shall we then forget the manly and dignified sentiments of our ancestors, to prate in the language of the mother or the nurse about our good old prejudices ? This is not the way to defend the cause of truth. It was not thus that our fathers maintained it in the brilliant periods of our history. Prejudice may be trusted to guard the outworks for a short space of time while reason slumbers in the citadel : but if the latter sink into a lethargy, the former will quickly erect a standard for herself. Philosophy, wisdom, and liberty, support each other; he who will not reason, is a bigot; he who cannot, is a fool; and he who dares not, is a slave.” Preface, p. xiv, xv. vol. i. 1805.
Antiq. Rom. lib. ii. cap. xxxi.