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gold, became the first prey of conquest or fanati- C H A.P.
cism, of the avarice of the Barbarians or the Christians. In the massy stones of the Coliseum, many holes are discerned ; and the two most probable conjectures represent the various accidents of its decay. These stones were connected by solid links of brass or iron, nor had the eye of rapine overlooked the value of the baser metals" : the vacant space was converted into a fair or market; the artisans of the Coliseum are mentioned in an ancient survey; and the chasms were perforated or enlarged, to receive the poles that supported the shops or tents of the mechanic trades f. Reduced to its naked majesty, the Flavian amphitheatre was contemplated with awe and admiration by the pilgrims of the North; and their rude enthusiasm broke forth in a sublime proverbial expression, which is recorded in the eighth century, in the fragments of the venerable Bede: “As long “ as the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand; when “ the Coliseum falls, Rome will fall; when Rome “falls, the world will fall i.” In the modern system of war, a situation commanded by three
E e 2 - hills
* Joseph Maria Suarés, a learned bishop, and the author of 2n history of Praeneste, has composed a separate dissertation on the seven or eight probable causes of these holes, which has been since reprinted in the Roman Thesaurus of Sallengre. Montfaucon (Diarium, p. 23.3.) pronounces the rapine of the Barbarians to be the unam germanamgue causam foraminum.
+ Donatus, Roma Vetus et Nova, p. 285.
I Quamdiu stabit Colyseus, stabit et Roma; quanto cedet Colyseus, cadet Roma; quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus, (Beda in Excerptis seu Collectaneis apud Ducange Glossar. med. et infimae Latinitatis, tom. ii. p. 407. edit. Basil.). This saying must be ascribed to the Anglo-Saxon pilgrims who visited Rome before the year 735, the aera of Bede's death; for ‘i do not believe that our venerable monk ever passed the sta.
hills would not be chosen for a fortress; but the strength of the walls and arches could resist the engines of assault; a numerous garrison might be lodged in the inclosure; and, while one faction occupied the Vatican and the Capitol, the other was entrenched in the Lateran and the Coli
The abolition at Rome of the ancient games must be understood with some latitude; and the carnival sports of the Testacean mount and the Circus Agonalist, were regulated by the law i or custom of the city. The senator presided with
dignity and pomp to adjudge and distribute the
prizes, the gold ring, or the pallium ||, as it was styled, of cloth or silk. A tribute on the Jews
supplied the annual expence S ; and the races, on
* I cannot recover, in Muratori's original Lives of the Popes, (Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. i.), the passage that attests this hostile partition, which must be applied to the end of the xith or the beginning of the xiith century.
+ Although the structure of the Circus Agonalis be destroyed, it still retains its form and name (Agona, Nagona, Navona); and the interior space affords a sufficient level for the purpose of racing. But the Monte Testaceo, that strange pile of broken pottery, seems only adapted for the annual practice of hurling from top to bottom some waggon-loads of live hogs for the diversion of the populace, (Statuta Urbis Romae, p. 186.).
f See the Statuta Urbis Roma", l. iii. c. 87, 88, 89. p. 185, 186. I have already given an idea of this municipal code. The races of Nagona and Monte Testaceo are likewise mentioned in the Diary of Peter Antonius, from 1404 to 1417, (Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xxiv. p. 11 24.).
| The Palium, which Menage so foolishly derives from Pai. marium, is an extension of the idea and the words, from the robe or cloak, to the materials, and from thence to their application as a prize, (Muratori, dissert. xxxiii.).
§ For these expences, the Jews of Rome paid each year 1130 florins, of which the odd thirty represented the - - picces
foot, on horseback, or in chariots, were ennobled by a tilt and tournament of seventy-two of the Roman youth. In the year one thousand three hundred and thirty-two, a bull-feast, after the fashion of the Moors and Spaniards, was celebrated in the Coliseum itself; and the living manners are painted in a diary of the times". A convenient order of benches was restored; and a general proclamation, as far as Rimini and Ravenna, invited the nobles to exercise their skill and courage in this perilous adventure. The Roman ladies were marshalled in three squadrons, and seated in three balconies, which on this day, the third of September, were lined with scarlet cloth. The fair Jacova di Rovere led the matrons from beyond the Tyber, a pure and native race, who still represent the features and character of antiquity. The remainder of the city was divided, as "usual, between the Colonna and Ursini; the two factions were proud of the number and beauty of their female bands; the charms of Savella Ursini are mentioned with praise; and the Colonna regretted the absence of the youngest of their house, who had sprained her ancle in the garden of Nero's tower. The lots of the champions were
E e 3 drawn
pieces of silver for which Judas had betrayed his master to
C H A P. drawn by an old and respectable citizen; and they
descended into the arena, or pit, to encounter the wild bulls on foot, as it should seem, with a single spear. Amidst the crowd, our annalist has selected the names, colours, and devices, of twenty of the most conspicuous knights. Several of the names are the most illustrious of Rome and the ecclesiastical state; Malatesta, Polenta, della Valle, Cafarello, Savelli, Capoccia, Conti, Annabaldi, Altieri, Corsi; the colours were adapted to their taste and situation; the devices are expressive of hope or despair, and breathe the spirit of gallantry and arms. “I am alone like “the youngest of the Horatii,” the confidence of an intrepid stranger; “I live disconsolate,” a weeping widower; “I burn under the ashes,” a discreet lover; I adore Lavinia, or Lucretia,” the ambiguous declaration of a modern passion; “My faith is as pure,” the motto of a white livery ; “Who is stronger than myself?” of a lion's hide; “If I am drowned in blood, what a plea“sant death,” the wish of ferocious courage. The pride or prudence of the Ursini restrained them from the field, which was occupied by three of their hereditary rivals, whose inscriptions denoted the lofty greatness of the Colonna name; “Though sad, I am strong;” “Strong as I am “great;” “If I fall,” addressing himself to the spectators, “you fall with me;”—intimating (says the contemporary writer) that while the other families were the subjects of the Vatican, they alone were the supporters of the Capitol. The combats of the amphitheatre were dangerous and
bloody. Every champion successively encountered
* Muratori has given a separate dissertation (the xxixth) to the games of the Italians in the middle ages.
+ In a concise, but instructive memoir, the abbé Barthelemy (Memoirs de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xxviii. p. 585.) has mentioned this agreement of the factions of the xivth cen: tury, de Tiburtino faciendo in the Coliseum, from an original act in the archives of Rome,