Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

It cannot escape the notice of the most superficial | works on a hinge, is intended to exclude as much light observer, that, from the 21st of December until the as possible from the surface of the ground-glass; and 21st of June, the arc in the heavens described by the when the instrument is in use it is brought down halfsun gradually enlarges; that luminary rising earlier way to B. and setting later in proportion as the space it occu The rays of light from an object placed at n, pass pies above the horizon increases. Arrived at its ex- through the lens G, and reaching the looking-glass o treme northern boundary, the sun, from day to day, are reflected upwards on the ground-glass L, and an rises more towards the south, and on the 21st of De- image of the object is seen on its upper surface. cember its return to the north recommences.

This image may be traced with a black-lead pencil, A fact we must not omit here to mention, will be but it is almost impossible to transfer it from the required for the illustration of succeeding parts of our glass. To obviate this inconvenience, Sir D. Brewster subject. We allude to the periods of the bighest recommends the employment of a partially opaque and lowest temperatures; which do not occur just varnish to the surface of a piece of smooth glass. when the sun has reached its respective southern and This varnish can be marked with the finest lines of a northern limits; but in both cases about four or five pencil, and an impression of the sketch conveyed to weeks afterwards. Thus, the warmest weather gene- paper, by slightly pressing it on the drawing with rally happens in July or August, and the coldest in the hand: one of the simplest and the best of the varJanuary or February.

nishes he used was that of skimmed milk, perfectly It will be understood that in speaking as we have freed of all remains of cream. done of the sun, we have been describing appear Another form is the following:—the frame-work ances only. The earth is the body actually in motion, of this Camera Obscura is made of thin mahogany, whilst the sun is stationary; and the apparent advance

Fig. 3. and retirement of the sun through a certain portion of the heavens is occasioned by the earth's motion in the contrary direction.

[graphic]

Fig. 1.

B

A

THE CAMERA OBSCURA. The Camera Obscura, or dark chamber, is an optical instrument, for the purpose of making drawings of objects, which was invented rather "earlier than the telescope. If a room be made entirely dark, and a convex lens of two or three feet focus be placed in a hole in the shutter, a beautiful image of all the objects before will be formed in the room behind it, and this image may be received on sheet of white paper held behind it, but the image will necessarily be and so contrived as to fold up; the inside of this, reversed. Suppose

and of all these instruments, must be painted black. A, Fig. 1, to be the

A is the mirror, B the lens, c a white surface on which object, c the shutter,

the image is received; the draughtsman passes his with the lens in the

head through an opening on one side, and his hand centre, and B the

with the pencil through another, a green curtain sur. image received on a

rounding him to exclude the light. white screen. If it is

When a Camera Obscura is intended to allow required to trace the

several persons to see the picture at the same time, it outline of this pic

is made on a large scale, and great care is taken in ture a different arrangement must be made.

preparing the table on which the picture is to be reThe most usual form in which the Camera Obscura ceived. The outer portion of the image transmitted is made on a small scale is the following: A, B, C, D, is a by the lens when thrown upon a flat surface, is always

distorted, especially when the table is large. To Fig. 2.

remedy this in some degree, the table is hollowed out like a saucer, the curve being decided by that of the lens itself: thus, A being the

Fig. 4. centre of the circle which forms the outline of the lens, B will

form also the centre of the inN....

tended curve of the table; ac-
cording to this rule, therefore,
the curve cd would represent
a section of a table adapted to
receive the picture through a lens

of the same curvature as B. small oblong mahogany box, with the side removed to show the internal arrangement; a smaller box, E F, the Camera Obscura in the Observatory at Clifton,

There is a very excellent table of this description in slides easily in and out at one end. In the end of

near Bristol. this box, at G, a convex lens is placed, whose focus is rather greater than the length of the larger box. H is a looking-glass placed at an angle of forty-five degrees

LONDON: with respect to the bottom of the box: that is, if a per

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. pendicular line were drawn from 1 to K, D, B, K, I, would

PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTHLY PARTS form a square : on the top of the box at L, a square piece of ground glass is placed. The cover m, which Sold by all Booksellers and Newsreaders in the Kingdom.

[graphic]

PRICE SIXPENCE.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE CITY OF ROME. PART VII.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THE BATHS OF TITUS.

some entire parts, in constructing his baths; this fact is

abundantly shown by certain irregularities which the present “ This name," says Dr. Burton, "by no means answers to ruins display. A number of apartments belonging to the the immensity of the building which once covered great baths, were discovered in the sixteenth century; they had part of the Esquiline Hill, and should more properly be lain hidden for centuries under a mass of ruins. It is said styled the Palace of Titus. This is, in fact, the name that Raffael studied their fresco ornaments, and imitated which Pliny gives to it." The present ruins extend from them in painting the ceiling of the Vatican; and he is the base of the Esquiline Hill near the Coliseum, to one accused of having had the rooms filled up again that his of its summits at the Church of SS, Martino e Silvestro, thefts might not be discovered. It is certain that they and to another at S. Pietro in Vincoli. The site is, to a were open in his time, and that they were subsequently great extent, occupied by gardens, in various parts of filled up; and appearances seem to justify the supposition which are to be seen fragments, all once belonging to the that they were filled up purposely, and not by the gradual same great edifice. The house of Mecænas had previously accumulation of soil." But there are other modes of acstood on the same spot, to which, indeed, the Golden House counting for the filling up, without charging it upon Raffael; of Nero had extended from the Palatine Hill. Titus em- the owners of the land, may have wished to clear it for the ployed the materials of both of these edifices, and even of purposes of cultivation, and these subterranean chambers VOL. XII.

363

would afford most convenient receptacles for the superin a height of thirty feet, which must, of course, make them cumbent rubbish. According to one account, they were appear still narrower than they are. Many of them are filied up to prevent their becoming the hiding-places of without any trace of windows, as is the case with the most banditti. If the fact be true, it furnishes an impressive perfect remains of chambers in the Baths of Caracalla. comment upon the state of the modern, as well as of the As the ancients were acquainted with the use of glass even ancient city, at that period. In the year 1777 a new exca for windows, it is presumed that the object of omitting vation was made; but the chief merit of clearing away

windows here was to render the rooms as cool as possible the rubbish which concealed the chambers is due to the by excluding the external air. French, who carried on the work with great spirit during “ In such rooms as these," says Dr. Burton, “in the their secupation of Rome. The building seems to have Baths of Titus, lamps must always have been used; and originally consisted of two stories : of the upper one but it may be observed, that there is scarcely a passage in an little remains; of the lower there are more than thirty ancient author, where mention is made of a banquet, but rooms perfectly accessible.

*the golden lamps,' hanging from the roofs,' are always We passed," says the author of Rome in the Nineteenth added. According to the hours which the ancients observed Century, describing a visit to the Baths, -"the mouths of for their meals, (the cæna, or last meal, being at about three nine long corridors, converging together like the radii of o'clock,) there would have been no need of lights had there the segment of a circle, divided from each other by dead been windows to the rooms; which affords another proof walls, covered at the top and closed at the end. They must that they were frequently constructed without them.' Inalways have been dark. They are supposed to have been deed, Grecian architecture seems to derive a peculiar chaentrances to the baths, and they are supposed to have served racter from the absence of such apertures; if any objection for substructions to the theatre above, which is supposed to is to be made to the chaste and simple models which ancient have formed a part of the upper story, of which not a trace Greece has left us, it is that there is a heaviness and a want remains; and the whole of these suppositions have their of relief in the vast masses of solid masonry. The modern source in the inflammable imaginations of Roman anti- Italian architects have gone into the contrary extreme; quaries. Nothing is certain about them, excepting that their aim seems to have been to break every portion of the they are not worth looking at. In one of them are piled building into as many parts as possible; and in the pediup pieces of broken amphore, marbles of various kinds, ments of their windows they have been particularly profuse and other heterogeneous fragments found in the excavations of ornament. The difference is probably to be traced to by the French, among wbich are some pots of colours. the fact of the ancients having had few windows in their They were analyzed, but nothing new discovered.

buildings, and the moderns having many. In such struc“Having passed these corridors, we entered the portal of tures as the Palace of Titus, where many ornaments, both what is called the House of Mecænas. It is known that in painting and sculpture, were assembled, it might be the house and gardens of Mecænas stood in this part of thought that much of the effect would be lost by their being the Esquiline Hill, which, before it was given him by never seen except by the light of lamps. With respect to Augustus, was the charnel-ground of the common people. sculpture, however, it is well known that there is no greater The contlagration in Nero's reign did not reach to them ; test of the excellence of the work, than to view it by torchand it is believed, that a part of them was taken by Nero light; the rising of the muscles, and all those delicate into his buildings, and by Titus into his baths. Antiquaries touches of the chisel, which are scarcely observed on the think they can trace a difference in the brick-work and smooth surface of the white marble, are thrown into a much style of building, between what they consider as the erection stronger light and shade in this manner. It is not unof Augustus's and that of Titus's age; and on these common for parties to visit the Vatican at night, and view grounds, the parts they point out as vestiges of the House the statues by torch-light. The effect is certainly very of Mecænas are, the entrance, which leads into a range of good; and some pretend to discover that the modern prosquare and rootless chambers, (called, on supposition, the ductions appear greatly inferior to the ancient on such Public Baths,) and the wall on the right in passing through

occasions. We know that there were formerly some of the them, which is partially formed of reticulated building in finest specimens of sculpture in the Baths of Titus, and patches. From these real or imaginary classic remains, the paintings on the walls still remain." we entered a damp and dark corridor, the ceiling of which These paintings on the walls consist chiefly of what we is still adorned with some of the most beautiful specimens now call arabesques; the figures are all very small, and that now remain of the paintings of antiquity. Their arranged in patterns and borders. They consist of birds, colouring is fast fading away, and their very outline, I beasts, &c., among which some green parrots may be seen should fear, must be obliterated at no very disiant period; very distinctly; the ground is generally a rich dark red. so extreme is the humidity of the place, and so incessantly At the end of one of the rooms is a large painting of some does the water drop fall*. By the light of a few trembling building, in which the perspective is said to be correctly tapers elevated on the top of a long bending cane, we saw giren; this seems to disprove the charge which has been at least twenty feet above our heads, paintings in arabesque, brought against the ancient painters of not understanding executed with a grace, a freedom, a correctness of design, the rules of perspective. None of these paintings can, and a masterly command of pencil, that awakened our however, be justly regarded as specimens of ancient art; highest admiration, in spite of all the disadvantages under they were intended solely as decorations to the apartments, which they were viewed. . ... Leaving the painted corridor, and were doubtless the work of ordinary house-painters. which is adorned with these beautiful specimens of ancient To judge of the proficiency of the ancient painters from art, we entered halls, which, like it, must always have been such remains as these, would be as unfair, to use Dr. dark, but are still magnificent. The bright colouring of Burton's remark, as to estimate the state of the arts in the crimson stucco, the alcove still adorned with gilding, England from the sign-posts. Where the walls of the and the ceilings beautifully painted with fantastic designs, rooms are bare, the brick work has a most singular appearstill remain in many parts of them; but how chill, how ance of freshness; the stucco also is very perfect in many damp, how desolate are now these gloomy halls of imperial parts; but the marble, of which there are evident traces on luxury! No sound is to be heard through them, but that the walls and floors, is gone. of the slow water-drop. In one of these splendid dungeons, we saw the remains of a bath supposed to have been for the private use of the emperor. In another we were shown the crimson-painted alcove where the Laocoon was found In one of the gardens forming a portion of the large tract in the reign of Leo the Tenth. The French, who cleared of ground over which the ruins of the Baths of Titus are out a great many of these chambers, found nothing but the spread, is a building supposed to have been connected with Pluto and Cerberus, now in the Capitol, a work of very in these baths, and commonly called the Sette Sale di Vesdifferent sculpture."

pasiano," the Seven Halls of Vespasian,"—though for The height of the rooms in the Baths of Titus is very what reason it would be difficult even to conjecture. The great, or as Dr. Burton expressed it, prodigious; and they name was given to it when only seven halls had been are comparatively very narrow. Mr. Williams assigns them opened; there are nine now, and as they form an upper

story, it is supposed that there are nine others below them • Dr. Burton's account is, on this head, very different. He says in the lower story which is buried. These halls communithat, “ Notwithstanding the depth of soil which has accumulated on cate with each other by means of arches in the partition the top of the building, and which serves for gardens, there are paintings on the ceiling which may be called extremely perfect. The

walls; and the arches are not placed opposite to one damp seems to have had little or no effect upon them, which is another so as to afford a straight view through the whole probably owing to the excellence of the Roman brickwork;" building in the direction of its length, but are so arranged

TIE SEVEN HALLS OF VESPASIAN.

as to afford a diagonal view through it. The general figure | point to another. These aqueducts were very extensively of the building is that of an oblong, which has a curve in the used by the Romans, not only at Rome itself but at many place of one of the longer sides. The partition walls run of their great cities in the three divisions of the globe from this curve across the breadth of the figure. The with which they were acquainted. “The boldness of the longest of them has a length of 137 feet; the width of all enterprise, the solidity of the execution, and the uses t: is the same--17. feet.

which they were subservient, rank the aqueducts among There is no doubt that this building was an immense the noblest monuments of Roman genius and power. The reservoir. The walls are coated with a very hard plaster, aqueducts of the capital claim a just pre-eminence; but on which are seen three distinct deposits, one above the curious traveller, who, without the light of history, should other, formed by a sediment from the water. These de- examine those of Spoleto, of Metz, or of Segovia, would posits are now so extremely hard that it is difficult to sepa- very naturally conclude, that those provincial towns had rate a small portion from the wall. Dr. Burton accounts formerly been the residence of some potent monarch. The for the three distinct coatings in a very ingenious manner. solitudes of Asia and Africa were once covered with flou

“Of the five great aqueducts which brought water into rishing cities, whose populousness, and even whose existence, Rome, the Aqua Julia supplied the Esquiline and Palatine was derived from such artificial supplies of a perennial Hills. Consequently the Baths of Titus were fed from this stream of fresh water." stream, and the Sette Sale may have formed the reservoir. Both within and without the walls of Rome, fragments Now it is known that the Aqua Julia was a union of three of aqueducts may still be seen. The first was constructed streams: the Aqua Martia brought to Rome, U. C. (in the in the year 441 of Rome, when Appius Claudius the Censor year of the city,) 608 or 640, by Q. Martius Rex; the brought a stream from a ance of seven miles, which was Aqua Tepula, which was brought Ů. Č. 627; and the Aqua called from him, Aqua Appia. We have a detailed account Julia, properly so called, which was introduced U. C. 721, of the state of the aqueducts of Rome in the reign of by M. Agrippa. Each stream originally entered the city Nerva, written by Frontinus his engineer. He tells us by itself; but, as the others were brought, they were suc

that nine different “waters" came into Rome then. A cessively turned into the same aqueduct, and came on one

writer of the age of Diocletian makes the number nineteen, course of arches into Rome. Now it seems not im- and another of the sixth century reduces it to fourteen. probable, that the Aqua Martia or Tepula, (whichever was The Gothic chieftain Vitiges broke down parts of them the earliest,) formed the first deposit. It would seem also without the walls, in order to deprive the city of water when by another stream being brought in, that the first niust he besieged it. Of the fragments yet remaining, “ some," have proved deficient; or while the second work was going says Mr. Woods, "are of stone, others of brickwork, but on, the water might have been withdrawn, and thus we have the former cannot be traced for any continuance; and while the first deposit. Then, when the two streams were let in, two or three are sometimes supported on one range of another deposit began to be formed, which would not in- | arches, in other places almost every one seems to have a corporate with the first, but lie over it. Lastly, when the range to itself. It is curious to trace these repairs, executed Aqua Julia was being introduced, (after an interval of perhaps fifteen centuries ago; the execution of the bricknearly a century,) the same temporary withdrawing of the work, in most instances, or, perhaps, in all, shows them to water might have taken place, and thus the second deposit be decidedly prior to the age of Constantine, and the prinwould have hardened. After this, the third was formed cipal restorations, in all probability, took place when the by the three streams united. To allow this, we must assume upper water-courses were added. They generally consist that the Sette Sale were not built as a reservoir for the of brick arches, built within the ancient stone ones, someBaths of Titus, but long antecedent, which is not at all times resting on the old piers, but more often carried down contrary to the appearance of the building. It is, indeed, to the ground, and in some cases the whole arch has been natural to suppose, that when Agrippa brought the aqueduct filled up, or only a mere doorway left at the bottom. Someto the Esquiline Hill, there was a reservoir constructed for times this internal work has been wholly or partially de it. It seems to have been the custom with most of the stroyed; and sometimes the original stone-work has disapaqueducts. The remains of a reservoir for the Claudian peared as the owner of the ground happened to want bricks Aqueduct, are still to be seen, near the temple of Minerva or squared stones. In one place the ancient piers have Medica; and what is called the Castello dell'Acqua been entirely buried in the more recent brick-work; but the Giulia, is always allowed to have been a reservoir, though brick-work has been broken, and the original stone-work it is disputed for what water. The Piscina Mirabile, near taken away, presenting a very singular, and at first sight, Baiæ, and the Labyrinth near Pozzuoli, are also instances wholly unaccountable, appearance; in other parts, the of this custom prevailing."

whole has fallen apparently without having had these brick Our engraving in page 80 exhibits a view in the “Seven additions, for a range of parallel mounds mark the situation Halls."

of the prostrate piers.

Three of the aqueducts of ancient Rome have been AQUEDUCTS.

repaired and restored so as to afford the modern city an “I do not know anything more striking," says Simond, abundant supply of water. These are, first, the Aqua " than these endless arches of Roman aqueducts, pursuing Viryo, which was formed by Agrippa, (the minister of with great strides their irregular course over the desert; Augustus,) and which entered Rome on the north, at the they suggest the idea of immensity, of durability, of sim Porta Pinciana, after a course of twelve miles, subterraneous plicity, of boundless power, reckless of cost and labour, for about eleven, and on arches above ground for the reall for a useful purpose and regardless of beauty. A river | maining one mile; second, the Aqua Alsietina, called also in mid-air, which had been towing on ceaselessly for fifteen, Sabatina, Augusta, and Trajana, which was brought by for eighteen hundred, or two thousand years, poured its Augustus from the Lake Sabatinus (now Bracciano) on the cataracts into the streets and public squares of Rome when west of Rome, and which entered the city at the Porta she was mistress, and also when she was the slave of nations; Janiculensis, (now Porta S. Pancrazio) after a course, nearly and quenched the thirst of Attila and of Genseric as it had all subterraneous, of twenty-two miles; and third, the before quenched that of Brutus and Cæsar, and as it has Aqua Claudia, which was begun by Caligula and finished since quenched that of beggars and of popes. During by Claudius, being brought from the mountains near those ages of desolation and darkness, when Rome had | Subiaco, on the south-east of Rome, and entering the city almost ceased to be a city, this artificial river ran to waste at the Porta Prenestina, (now P. Maggiore,) after a course among the ruins, but now fills again the numerous and of forty-six miles, for more than ten of which it was raised magnificent fountains of the modern city. Only three upon arches *. vut cf eleven of these ancient aqueducts remain entire, The Aqua Virgo was restored by Pope Nicholas the and in a state to conduct water ;-what then must have Fifth; it now supplies the Fountain of Trevi, and is called been the profusion of the supply in ancient Rome !" Acqua Vergine. The Aqua Alsietina was restored by The term aqueduct, or more correctly aquæduct, composed

* For the last 6) miles of its course the arches of this aqueduct of two Latin words, signifies in its literal and more extended

were continuous, and supported the channel of the Anio Novus, sense, a duct, or conduit of water; and in this sense the

besides that of the Aqua Claudia, both of which streams come from pipes which carry the water under our streets are aqueducts. the country near Subiaco. The Anio Novus had a course of more But the application of the word has been restricted by than sixty miles ; for the first twelve miles it was carried on arches ; usage to a peculiar kind of conduits,--those raised partly, it then went under ground, and emerging, when it came within six if not entirely, above the surface of the ground, for the

miles and a half of Rome, was carried to the city on the same range

of arches as supported the Aqua Claudia, but in a channel above purpose of conveying water in a slightly descending stream that. At the Porta Maggiore ihe two channels of this aqueduct inay over valleys and plains, from one comparatively high be observed.

Paul the Fifth in 1610, and is now called Acqua Paola; it wars. Its principal ornament was the magnificent pillar supplies the fountains of St. Peter's. The Aqua Claudia or column which still remains erect and nearly perfect; but was partially restored in 1587 by Sixtus the Fifth, from another very famous one was an equestrian statue of Trajan whose conventual name of Fra Felice (or Brother Felix) it in gilt bronze. Its whole length is supposed to have been is now called the Acqua Felice; it supplies the fountain of about 1150 feet, and its general width 470 feet. Along Termini.

the sides were rows of columns; at one extremity stood Of the oldest aqueduct of ancient Rome, the Aqua the temple of Trajan, and on the opposite one, a triumphal Appia, only a sn portion ose to the city was raised arch. About the centre stood the large and splendid upon arches; and of these arches no remains exist. The “Ulpian Basilica." The whole of its area-even that part Aqua Martia (which we have already mentioned in describ-exposed to the open air—was paved with marble. ing the “ Seven Halls of Vespasian,") had a course of This Forum served, amongst other purposes, to use the sixty miles, for the last seven of which it was raised upon language of Sir J. Hobhouse, to perpetuate the memory of arches; and of these arches considerable remains exist. the good and great—or of such as in the declining ages Near the gate of S. Lorenzo may be seen a fragment of could pretend to that distinction. We know that Marcus this aqueduct with its three water-courses; and at some Aurelius erected statues in this Forum to all those who fell distance from the walls, the line of arches may be traced in the German war, and that Alexander Severus transfor nearly two miles. "Some," says Forsyth,“ have pro- ferred thither those of other celebrated personages from posed the restitution of this aqueduct: but Rome,' say other sites. The same place was devoted to the labours the Romans, has more water than it wants.' — Give it of artists and literary heroes; here the poets and others then to the Campagna.'—The Campagna has no inhabit- recited their compositions, perhaps in the Ulpian library ; ants to drink water.'-—' And why has it no inhabitants ? and here their images were allowed a place amongst conbut for want of good water as well as good air.''

querors and monarchs. The sight of this Forum would Again, he asks, “Why do these aqueducts cross the furnish a singular supplement to ancient history, and rescue Campagna in courses so unnecessarily uneven, long, and from oblivion many who were as much the delight and indirect? Several motives have been alleged, all of which admiration of their contemporaries, as Cicero and Virgil." may have influenced the ancients; but their chief motive, Ammianus Marcellinus tells us, that when the Emperor in my opinion, was to distribute part of their water to the Constans entered Rome, A.D. 356, “and came to the Forum Campagna itself

, and to diffuse it there like the veins in a of Trajan, a structure which I conceive to be unique in the vine-leaf. Besides this general circuit, the Romans bent world, and deserving the admiration even of celestial beings, their aqueducts, into frequent angles like a screen ; not so he was struck with astonishment, casting his thoughts over much to break the force of their currents as to give stability its gigantic edifices which it is impossible to describe, or to the arcades."

for any mortals to imitate. Giving up, therefore, all hopes The constant use of aqueducts by the Romans has been of attempting anything similar, he said that the only thing cited as a proof that they were ignorant of the principle in which he would or could imitate, was the horse on which hydrostatics, that water will always rise to the level of its the emperor sat. Upon which Hormisdas, of the royal source; and their patient industry has been ridiculed, in family of Persia, who was near him, said, ' First order a taking so much trouble to convey upon arches of brick or stable to be built similar to this if you have the means : stone, what might have been brought in pipes underground. may the horse which you purpose forming, be as successful “ How far," says Dr. Burton, “or how long, the Romans as that which we are looking at.' At what period the were really ignorant of this principle, I cannot pretend destruction of this beautiful Forum took place, we are not to say; perhaps, when they first erected arches for this informed; this, however, we learn, that it was not occapurpose, they were not aware that the labour might have sioned by either Alaric or Genseric; for Cassiodorus, who been saved; but it is difficult to deny that many Roman wrote about the year 500, says, when speaking of the most aqueducts were constructed in this manner after the prin- remarkable objects to be seen in the city, that “ The Forum ciple was known. The Meta Sudans, a fragment of which of Trajan is a perfect miracle, if we inspect it even with the still exists near the Coliseum, is said to have been a utmost minuteness." Pausanias mentions among its fountain ; and it is evident that the water which supplied it richest ornaments two statues, one of Nicomedes, king of was not raised by mere mechanical means. Pliny mentions Bithynia, in ivory, and another of Augustus, executed in one hundred and five fountains (salientes) in Rome; and, natural electrum, a substance apparently of a metallic from the Latin term for a fountain, it appears certain that nature, found, although rarely, on the banks of the Po. they resembled those of modern times, and that the water At an early period, however, in the destruction of Rome, was thrown up merely by its own pressure. But another the Forum of Trajan—the noblest structure as it is called passage of Pliny is more decisive, and ought to set the in the ancient city-had partaken of the general desolation; question at rest as to the science of his days; he says, "The and " we may fairly pronounce that long previously to the water, which is wanted to rise to any height, should come twelfth century, the base of the Quirinal had begun to out of lead. It rises to the height of its source.' In assume its ancient form, ere it had been cleared by the another place he observes, the ancients carried their subjects of Trajan." In 1480, this Forum was completely streams in a lower course, either because they were not yet choked up by 200 houses, three towers, and three churches. acquainted with the exact principle of keeping a level, or Paul the Third opened the base of the column, and in because they purposely sunk them underground, that they the time of Flaminius Vacca, an arch was dug from under might not easily be interrupted by the enemy.

ground, perhaps in the pontificate of the same pope, and Although it is thus evident that the hydrostatical principle the flooring of the Forum was discovered, but immediately was not wholly unknown to the Romans, still it is doubted shut up again. “ The late excavation enables us at last to whether they so far understood it as to believe aqueducts tread the floor of ancient Rome. The replacing the fragunnecessary, and, consequently, whether they constructed ments of the columns on their bases, and the judicious their aqueducts rather from reasons of policy than from arrangement of the other marbles, has created an effect ignorance.

little inferior to the wonders of Pompeii. The stranger The aqueducts of ancient Rome discharged their streams must be much struck with the massive Greek dimensions into reservoirs, called castella, from which the water was of the fragments when compared with the space in which distributed throughout the different districts of the city in so many buildings were raised. Here we have a Forum leaden pipes. The remains of some of these castella, or with its porticoes, and statues, and tribunals; a basilica at least ruins which the antiquaries take to be such, are with a double internal portico on every side ; a quadranstill to be seen.

gular court or atrium also adorned with enormous columns; two libraries, a triumphal arch, the great column, and the

portion of a temple, crowded into a space not so considerashe Forum of Trajan is often spoken of as having been ble as one of our smallest London squares," the most wonderful of all the wonders of Ancient Rome. The site of the Forum of Trajan is fortunately identified It was the work of the celebrated architect Apollodorous, by the magnificent pillar still erect; and recent excavations of whom Mr. Woods says, that “every morsel which we see have led to some interesting discoveries. of his works, makes us regret that we do not see more of ment in its original situation, steps, foundations of walls, them.” It occupied the space between the Capitoline and numerous fragments of granite columns, and four of the Quirinal Hills ; and within its circuit were a palace, a Corinthian bases belonging to them, remain in their places; gymnasium, a library, triumphal arch, porticoes, &c., many and these, with the help of several pieces of travertine also of which were ornamented with equestrian statues and unmoved, and evidently intended to receive similar bases, military ensigns gilt-some of them spoils of the Dacian have enabled the directors to put the fragments in proper

[ocr errors]

THE FORUM OF TRAJAN.

“ Marble pave

1

« PoprzedniaDalej »