Pagan and Christian Rome

Pagan and Christian Rome

Pagan and Christian RomeThe vast empire of the Romans brought them into contact with many different peoples and belief systems. Initially the Romans had their own indigenous religion, but it came to be heavily influenced by Greek beliefs and philosophy. Eastern Mystery Religions including the cult of Isis from Egypt also became extremely popular in Rome.

Although pagan Rome had its tutelary deities and religious practices which were believed to be essential to the welfare and success of the Empire, the Empire was relatively tolerant of the worship of other gods. Within a polytheistic system, there was always room for more gods, even if some of them were Emperors-turned-gods. As long as proper devotion was given to the gods and temples favored by the Roman state, the Roman emperors and state security apparatus did not concern itself too much with private beliefs.

The Roman wars against the Jews and in particular the suppression of the Jewish revolt brought Rome into conflict with the monotheistic religion of the Old Testament, but even then the conflict between Rome and the Jews was mainly political. As long as they obeyed Roman over lordship, the Romans did not particularly care about their beliefs, through from the pagan, Roman perspective, they were not orthodox. In fact, there were large Jewish populations in Rome and other major Roman cities.

This attitude of tolerance towards religious belief, despite the autocratic nature of the Roman state, changed when Christianity began to make inroads. Unlike Judaism, Christianity actively sought to convert the entire population. So, whale the Romans could tolerate unorthodox beliefs when they were restricted to a small racial minority, they became deeply concerned when their soldiers, their relatives, their servants became converted to this new religion of Christianity, a religion which did not tolerate the old gods but actively denounced them and all that they stood for as agents of the devil.

The Roman reaction was brutal. Christians were tortured and publicly executed in the most barbaric ways. They provided entertainment to the masses by being eaten alive by wild beasts and otherwise destroyed. Ironically, the Christians' willingness to die for their faith, often very bravely, ended up winning them new converts. Stories of miracles worked by the martyred Christians also resulted in many converts and more and more people abandoned the old religion.

Christianity scored a signal success when the Emperor Constantine the Great made it the empire's official state religion, even though he was probably not devout himself. His reasons were many, including the need to unify the empire's diverse people under a single religion.

This book traces the transformation of Rome, the center of the Empire, from a pagan city to the capital of Christianity.


The early adoption of Christianity not confined to the poorer classes.--Instances of Roman nobles who were Christians.--The family of the Acilii Glabriones.--Manius Acilius the consul.--Put to death because of his religion.--Description of his tomb, recently discovered.--Other Christian patricians.--How was it possible for men in public office to serve both Christ and Cæsar?--The usual liberality of the emperors towards the new religion.--Nevertheless an open profession of faith hazardous and frequently avoided.--Marriages between Christians and pagans.--Apostasy resulting from these.--Curious discovery illustrating the attitude of Seneca's family towards Christianity.--Christians in the army.--The gradual nature of the transformation of Rome.--The significance of the inscription on the Arch of Constantine.--The readiness of the early Church to adopt pagan customs and even myths.--The curious mixture of pagan and Christian conceptions which grew out of this.--Churches became repositories for classical works of art, for which new interpretations were invented.--The desire of the early Christians to make their churches as beautiful as possible.--The substitution of Christian shrines for the old pagan altars at street corners.--Examples of both.--The bathing accommodations of the pagan temples adopted by the Church.--Also the custom of providing public standards of weights and measures.--These set up in the basilicas.--How their significance became perverted in the Dark Ages.--The adoption of funerary banquets and their degeneration.--The public store-houses of the emperors and those of the popes.--Pagan rose-festivals and their conversion into a Christian institution.

The victory of Constantine the Great over his rival to the throne of Rome, led to Christianity becoming the state religion of the Empire.
The victory of Constantine the Great over his rival to the throne of Rome,
led to Christianity becoming the state religion of the Empire.

It has been contended, and many still believe, that in ancient Romethe doctrines of Christ found no proselytes, except among the lowerand poorer classes of citizens. That is certainly a noble picturewhich represents the new faith as searching among the haunts ofpoverty and slavery, seeking to inspire faith, hope, and charity intheir occupants; to transform them from things into human beings; tomake them believe in the happiness of a future life; to alleviatetheir present sufferings; to redeem their children from shame andservitude; to proclaim them equal to their masters. But the gospelfound its way also to the mansions of the masters, nay, even to thepalace of the Cæsars. The discoveries lately made on this subject arestartling, and constitute a new chapter in the history of imperialRome. We have been used to consider early Christian history andprimitive Christian art as matters of secondary importance, and hardlyworthy the attention of the classical student. Thus, none of the fouror five hundred volumes on the topography of ancient Rome speaks ofthe basilicas raised by Constantine; of the church of S. MariaAntiqua, built side by side with the Temple of Vesta, the two worshipsdwelling together as it were, for nearly a century; of the Christianburial-grounds; of the imperial mausoleum near S. Peter's; of theporticoes, several miles in length, which led from the centre of thecity to the churches of S. Peter, S. Paul, and S. Lorenzo; of thepalace of the Cæsars transformed into the residence of the Popes. Whyshould these constructions of monumental and historical character beexpelled from the list of classical buildings? and why should weoverlook the fact that many great names in the annals of the empireare those of members of the Church, especially when the knowledge oftheir conversion enables us to explain events that had been, up to thelatest discoveries, shrouded in mystery?

It is a remarkable fact that the record of some of these events shouldbe found, not in church annals, calendars, or itineraries, but inpassages in the writings of pagan annalists and historians. Thus, inecclesiastical documents no mention is made of the conversion of thetwo Domitillæ, or Flavius Clemens, or Petronilla, all of whom wererelatives of the Flavian emperors; and of the Acilii Glabriones, thenoblest among the noble, as Herodianus calls them (2, 3). Theirfortunes and death are described only by the Roman historians andbiographers of the time of Domitian. It seems that when the official_feriale_, or calendar, was resumed, after the end of thepersecutions, preference was given to names of those confessors andmartyrs whose deeds were still fresh in the memory of the living, andof necessity little attention was paid to those of the first andsecond centuries, whose acts either had not been written down, or hadbeen lost during the persecutions.

As the crypt of the Acilii Glabriones on the Via Salaria has becomeone of the chief places of attraction, since its re-discovery in 1888,I cannot begin this volume under better auspices than by giving anaccount of this important event.[2]

In exploring that portion of the Catacombs of Priscilla which liesunder the Monte delle Gioie, near the entrance from the Via Salaria,de Rossi observed that the labyrinth of the galleries convergedtowards an original crypt, shaped like a Greek G (Gamma), anddecorated with frescoes. The desire of finding the name and thehistory of the first occupants of this noble tomb, whose memory seemsto have been so dear to the faithful, led the explorers to carefullysift the earth which filled the place; and their pains were rewardedby the discovery of a fragment of a marble coffin, inscribed with theletters: ACILIO GLABRIONI FILIO.

[Illustration: Tablet of Acilius Glabrio.]

Did this fragment really belong to the G crypt, or had itbeen thrown there by mere chance? And in case of its belonging to thecrypt, was it an isolated record, or did it belong to a group ofgraves of the Acilii Glabriones? The queries were fully answered bylater discoveries; four inscriptions, naming Manius Acilius ... andhis wife Priscilla, Acilius Rufinus, Acilius Quintianus, and ClaudiusAcilius Valerius were found among the débris, so that there is nodoubt as to the ownership of the crypt, and of the chapel which opensat the end of the longer arm of the G.

The Manii Acilii Glabriones attained celebrity in the sixth century ofRome, when Acilius Glabrio, consul in 563 (B. C. 191), conquered theMacedonians at the battle of Thermopylai. We have in Rome two recordsof his career: the Temple of Piety, erected by him on the west side ofthe Forum Olitorium, now transformed into the church of S. Nicola inCarcere; and the pedestal of the equestrian statue, of gilt bronze,offered to him by his son, the first of its kind ever seen in Italy,which was discovered by Valadier in 1808, at the foot of the steps ofthe temple, and buried again. Towards the end of the republic we findthem established on the Pincian Hill, where they had built a palaceand laid out gardens which extended at least from the convent of theTrinità dei Monti to the Villa Borghese.[3] The family had grown sorapidly to honor, splendor, and wealth, that Pertinax, in thememorable sitting of the Senate in which he was elected emperor,proclaimed them the noblest race in the world.

The Glabrio best known in the history of the first century is ManiusAcilius, who was consul with Trajan, A. D. 91. He was put to death byDomitian in the year 95, as related by Suetonius (_Domit_. 10): "Hecaused several senators and ex-consuls to be executed on the charge oftheir conspiring against the empire,--_quasi molitores rerumnovarum_,--among them Civica Cerealis, governor of Asia, SalvidienusOrfitus, and Acilius Glabrio, who had previously been banished fromRome."

The expression _molitores rerum novarum_ has a political meaning inthe case of Cerealis and Orfitus, both staunch pagans, and a religiousand political one in the case of Glabrio, a convert to the Christianfaith, called _nova superstitio_ by Suetonius and Tacitus. Otherdetails of Glabrio's fate are given by Dion Cassius, Juvenal, andFronto. We are told by these authors that during his consulship, A. D.91, and before his banishment, he was compelled by Domitian to fightagainst a lion and two bears in the amphitheatre adjoining theemperor's villa at Albanum. The event created such an impression inRome, and its memory lasted so long that, half a century later, wefind it given by Fronto as a subject for a rhetorical composition tohis pupil Marcus Aurelius. The amphitheatre is still in existence, andwas excavated in 1887. Like the one at Tusculum, it is partly hollowedout of the rocky side of the mountain, partly built of stone andrubble work. It well deserves a visit from the student and thetourist, on account of its historical associations, and of theadmirable view which its ruins command of the vine-clad slopes ofAlbano and Castel Savello, the wooded plains of Ardea and Lavinium,the coast of the Tyrrhenian, and the islands of Pontia and Pandataria.

Xiphilinus states that, in the year 95, some members of the imperialfamily were condemned by Domitian on the charge of atheism, togetherwith other leading personages who had embraced "the customs andpersuasion of the Jews," that is, the Christian faith. Manius AciliusGlabrio, the ex-consul, was implicated in the same trial, andcondemned on the same indictment with the others. Among these thehistorian mentions Clemens and Domitilla, who were manifestlyChristians. One particular of the case, related by Juvenal, confirmsthe account of Xiphilinus. He says that in order to mitigate the wrathof the emperor and avoid a catastrophe, Acilius Glabrio, afterfighting the wild beasts at Albanum, assumed an air of stupidity. Inthis alleged stupidity it is easy to recognize the prejudice so commonamong the pagans, to whom the Christians' retirement from the joys ofthe world, their contempt of public honors, and their modest behaviorappeared as _contemptissima inertia_, most despicable laziness. Thisis the very phrase used by Suetonius in speaking of Flavius Clemens,who was murdered by Domitian _ex tenuissima suspicione_, on a veryslight suspicion of his faith.

[Illustration: Map of the Via Salaria.]

Glabrio was put to death in his place of exile, the name of which isnot known. His end helped, no doubt, the propagation of the gospelamong his relatives and descendants, as well as among the servants andfreedmen of the house, as shown by the noble sarcophagi and thehumbler loculi found in such numbers in the crypt of the Catacombs ofPriscilla. The small oratory at the southern end of the crypt seems tohave been consecrated exclusively to the memory of its first occupant,the ex-consul. The date and the circumstances connected with thetranslation of his relics from the place of banishment to Rome arenot known.

Both the chapel and the crypt were found in a state of devastationhardly credible, as though the plunderers had taken pleasure insatisfying their vandalic instincts to the utmost. Each of thesarcophagi was broken into a hundred pieces; the mosaics of the wallsand ceiling had been wrenched from their sockets, cube by cube, themarble incrustations torn off, the altar dismantled, the bonesdispersed.

When did this wholesale destruction take place? In times much nearerours than the reader may imagine. I have been able to ascertain thedate, with the help of an anecdote related by Pietro Sante Bartoli in§ 144 of his archæological memoirs: "Excavations were made underInnocent X. (1634-1655), and Clement IX. (1667-1670), in the Montedelle Gioie, on the Via Salaria, with the hope of discovering acertain hidden treasure. The hope was frustrated; but, deep in thebowels of the mound, some crypts were found, encrusted with whitestucco, and remarkable for their neatness and preservation. I haveheard from trustworthy men that the place is haunted by spirits, as isproved by what happened to them not many months ago. While assembledon the Monte delle Gioie for a picnic, the conversation turned uponthe ghosts who haunted the crypt below, when suddenly the carriagewhich had brought them there, pushed by invisible hands, began to rolldown the slope of the hill, and was ultimately precipitated into theriver Anio at its base. Several oxen had to be used to haul thevehicle out of the stream. This happened to Tabarrino, butcher at S.Eustachio, and to his brothers living in the Via Due Macelli, whosefaces still bear marks of the great terror experienced that day."

There is no doubt that the anecdote refers to the tomb of the AciliiGlabriones, which is cut under the Monte delle Gioie, and is the onlyone in the Catacombs of Priscilla remarkable for a coating of whitestucco. Its destruction, therefore, took place under Clement IX., andwas the work of treasure-hunters. And the very nature of clandestineexcavations, which are the work of malicious, ignorant, and suspiciouspersons, explains the reason why no mention of the discovery was madeto contemporary archæologists, and the pleasure of re-discovering thesecret of the Acilii Glabriones was reserved for us.

These are by no means the only patricians of high standing whose nameshave come to light from the depths of the catacombs. Tacitus (_Annal_.xiii. 32) tells how Pomponia Græcina, wife of Plautius, the conquerorof Britain, was accused of "foreign superstition," tried by herhusband, and acquitted. These words long since gave rise to aconjecture that Pomponia Græcina was a Christian, and recentdiscoveries put it beyond doubt. An inscription bearing the name of????????C G???????C has been found in the Cemetery ofCallixtus, together with other records of the Pomponii Attici andBassi. Some scholars think that Græcina, the wife of the conqueror ofBritain, is no other than Lucina, the Christian matron who interredher brethren in Christ in her own property, at the second milestone ofthe Appian Way.

Other evidence of the conquests made by the gospel among thepatricians is given by an inscription discovered in March, 1866, inthe Catacombs of Prætextatus, near the monument of Quirinus themartyr. It is a memorial raised to the memory of his departed wife byPostumius Quietus, consul A. D. 272. Here also was found the name ofUrania, daughter of Herodes Atticus, by his second wife, VibulliaAlcia,[4] while on the other side of the road, near S. Sebastiano, amausoleum has been found, on the architrave of which the nameURANIOR[UM] is engraved.

In chapter vii. I shall have occasion to refer to many Christianrelatives of the emperors Vespasian and Domitian. Eusebius, inspeaking of these Flavians, and particularly of Domitilla the younger,niece of Domitian, quotes the authority of the historian Bruttius. Heevidently means Bruttius Præsens, the illustrious friend of Pliny theyounger, and the grandfather of Crispina, the empress of Commodus. In1854, near the entrance to the crypt of the Flavians, at TorreMarancia (Via Ardeatina), a fragment of a sarcophagus was found, withthe name of Bruttius Crispinus. If, therefore, the history ofDomitilla's martyrdom was written by the grandfather of BruttiaCrispina, the empress, it seems probable that the two families wereunited not only by the close proximity of their villas and tombs, andby friendship, but especially by community of religion.

I may also cite the names of several Cornelii, Cæcilii, and Æmilii,the flower of Roman nobility, grouped near the graves of S. Cæciliaand Pope Cornelius; of Liberalis, a _consul suffectus_,[5] and amartyr, whose remains were buried in the Via Salaria; of JalliaClementina, a relative of Jallius Bassus, consul before A. D. 161; ofCatia Clementina, daughter or relative of Catius, consul A. D. 230, notto speak of personages of equestrian rank, whose names have beencollected in hundreds.

A difficulty may arise in the mind of the reader: how was it possiblefor these magistrates, generals, consuls, officers, senators, andgovernors of provinces, to attend to their duties without performingacts of idolatry? In chapter xxxvii. of the Apology, Tertullian says:"We are but of yesterday, yet we fill every place that belongs to you,cities, islands, outposts; we fill your assemblies, camps, tribes anddecuries; the imperial palace, the Senate, the forum; we only leave toyou your temples." But here lies the difficulty; how could they fillthese places, and leave the temples?

First of all, the Roman emperors gave plenty of liberty to the newreligion from time to time; and some of them, moved by a sort ofreligious syncretism, even tried to ally it with the official worshipof the empire, and to place Christ and Jupiter on the steps of thesame _lararium_. The first attempt of the kind is attributed toTiberius; he is alleged to have sent a message to the Senaterequesting that Christ should be included among the gods, on thestrength of the official report written by Pontius Pilatus of thepassion and death of our Lord. Malala says that Nero made honestinquiries about the new religion, and that, at first, he showedhimself rather favorable towards it; a fact not altogether improbable,if we take into consideration the circumstances of Paul's appeal, hisabsolution, and his relations with Seneca, and with the converts _dedomo Cæsaris_, "of the house of Cæsar." Lampridius, speaking of thereligious sentiments of Alexander Severus, says: "He was determined toraise a temple to Christ, and enlisted him among the gods; a projectattributed also to Hadrian. There is no doubt that Hadrian orderedtemples to be erected in every city to an unknown god; and becausethey have no statue we still call them temples of Hadrian. He is saidto have prepared them for Christ; but to have been deterred fromcarrying his plan into execution by the consideration that the templesof the old gods would become deserted, and the whole population turnChristian, _omnes christianos futuros_."[6]

The freedom enjoyed by the Church under Caracalla is proved by the_graffiti_ of the Domus Gelotiana, described in my "Ancient Rome."[7]The one caricaturing the crucifixion, which is reproduced on p. 122 ofthat volume, stands by no means alone in certifying to the spreadingof the faith in the imperial palace. The name of Alexamenos, "thefaithful," is repeated thrice. There is also a name, LIBANUS, underwhich another hand has written EPISCOPUS, and, lower down, LIBANUSEPI[SCOPUS]. It is very likely a joke on Libanus, a Christian pagelike Alexamenos, whom his fellow-disciples had nicknamed "the bishop."It is true that the title is not necessarily Christian, having beenused sometimes to denote a municipal officer;[8] but this can hardlybe the case in an assembly of youths, like the one of the DomusGelotiana; and the connection between the _graffiti_ of Libanus andthose of Alexamenos seems evident. In reading these _graffiti_, nowvery much injured by dampness, exposure, and the unscrupulous hands oftourists, we are really witnessing household quarrels between paganand Christian dwellers in the imperial palace, in one of whichCaracalla, when still young, saw one of his playmates struck andpunished on account of his Christian origin and persuasion.

Septimius Severus and Caracalla issued a constitution,[9] whichopened to the Jews the way to the highest honors, making theperformance of such ceremonies as were in opposition to the principlesof their faith optional with them. What was granted to the Jews by thelaw of the empire may have been permitted also to the Christians bythe personal benevolence of the emperors.

When Elagabalus collected, or tried to collect, in his own privatechapel the gods and the holiest relics of the universe, he did notforget Christ and his doctrine.[10] Alexander Severus, the best ofRoman rulers, gave full freedom to the Church; and once, theChristians having taken possession of a public place on which the_popinarii_, or tavern-keepers, claimed rights, Alexander gavejudgment in favor of the former, saying it was preferable that the_place_ should serve for divine worship, rather than for the sale ofdrinks.[11]

[Illustration: Portrait Bust of Philip the Younger.]

There can scarcely be any doubt that the emperor Philip the Arab(Marcus Julius Philippus, A. D. 244), his wife Otacilia Severa, andhis son Philip the younger were Christians, and friends of S.Hippolytus. Still, in spite of these periods of peace and freedom ofthe Church, we cannot be blind to the fact that for a Christiannobleman wishing to make a career, the position was extremelyhazardous. Hence we frequently see baptism deferred until mature orold age, and strange situations and even acts of decided apostasycreated by mixed marriages.

The wavering between public honors and Christian retirement isillustrated by some incidents in the life of Licentius, a disciple ofS. Augustine. Licentius was the son of Romanianus, a friend andcountryman of Augustine; and when the latter retired to the villa ofVerecundus, after his conversion, in the year 386, Licentius, who hadattended his lectures on eloquence at Milan, followed him to hisretreat. He appears as one of the speakers in the academic disputeswhich took place in the villa.[12] In 396, Licentius, who had followedhis master to Africa, seduced by the hopes of a brilliant career,determined to settle in Rome. Augustine, deeply grieved at losing hisbeloved pupil, wrote to call him back, and entreated him to turn hisface from the failing promises of the world. The appeal had no effect,and no more had the epistles, in prose and verse, addressed to him forthe same purpose by Paulinus of Nola. Licentius, after finishing thecourse of philosophy, being scarcely a catechumen, and a very unsteadyone at that, entered a career for public honors. Paulinus of Noladescribes him as aiming not only at a consulship, but also at a paganpontificate, and reproaches and pities him for his behavior. Afterthis, we lose sight of Licentius in history, but a discovery made atS. Lorenzo fuori le Mura in December, 1862, tells us the end of thetale. A marble sarcophagus was found, containing his body, and hisepitaph. This shows that Licentius died in Rome in 406, after havingreached the end of his desires, a place in the Senate; and that hedied a Christian, and was buried near the tomb of S. Lorenzo. Thissarcophagus, hardly noticed by visitors in spite of its greathistorical associations, is preserved in the vestibule of theCapitoline Museum.

[Illustration: Inscription found near the Porta del Popolo, 1877.]

As regards mixed marriages, a discovery made in 1877, near the Portadel Popolo, has revealed a curious state of things. In demolishing oneof the towers by which Sixtus IV. had flanked that gate, we found afragment of an inscription of the second century, containing thesestrange and enigmatic words: "If any one dare to do injury to thisstructure, or to otherwise disturb the peace of her who is buriedinside, because she, my daughter, has been [or has appeared to be] apagan among the pagans, and a Christian among the Christians" ... Herefollowed the specification of the penalties which the violator of thetomb would incur. It was thought at first that the phrase _quod interfedeles fidelis fuit, inter alienos pagana fuit_ had been dictated bythe father as a jocose hint of the religious inconsistency of thegirl; but such an explanation can hardly be accepted. A passage ofTertullian in connection with mixed marriages leads us to the trueunderstanding of the epitaph. In the second book Ad Uxorem, Tertulliandescribes the state of habitual apostasy to which Christian girlsmarrying gentiles willingly exposed or submitted themselves,especially when the husband was kept in ignorance of the religion ofthe bride. He mentions the risks they would incur of betraying theirconscience by accompanying their husbands to state or civilceremonies, thus sanctioning acts of idolatry by the mere fact oftheir presence. In the book De Corona, he concludes his argument withthe words: "These are the reasons why we do not marry infidels,because such marriages lead us back to idolatry and superstition." Thegirl buried on the Via Flaminia, by the modern Porta del Popolo, musthave been born of a Christian mother and a good-natured pagan father;still, it seems hardly consistent with the respect which the ancientshad for tombs that he should be allowed to write such extraordinarywords on that of his own daughter.

We must not believe, however, that gentiles and Christians livedalways at swords' points. Italians in general, and Romans inparticular, are noted for their great tolerance in matters ofreligion, which sometimes degenerates into apathy and indifference.Whether it be a sign of feebleness of character, or of common sense,the fact is, that religious feuds have never been allowed to prevailamong us. In no part of the world have the Jews enjoyed more freedomand tolerance than in the Roman Ghetto. The same feelings prevailed inimperial Rome, except for occasional outbursts of passion, fomented bythe official persecutors.

[Illustration: Inscription in a tomb of the Via Severiana at Ostia.]

An inscription was discovered at Ostia, in January, 1867, in a tomb ofthe Via Severiana, of which I append an accurate copy.

The tomb and the inscription are purely pagan, as shown by theinvocation to the infernal gods, Diis Manibus. This being the case,how can we account for the names of Paul and Peter, which, takenseparately, give great probability, and taken together give almostabsolute certainty, of having been adopted in remembrance of the twoapostles? One circumstance may help us to explain the case: thepreference shown for the name of Paul over that of Peter; the formerwas borne by both father and son, the latter appears only as a surnamegiven to the son. This fact is not without importance, if we recollectthat the two men who show such partiality for the name of Paul belongto the family of Anneus Seneca, the philosopher, whose friendship withthe apostle has been made famous by a tradition dating at least fromthe beginning of the fourth century. The tradition rests on afoundation of truth. The apostle was tried and judged in Corinth bythe proconsul Marcus Anneus Gallio, brother of Seneca; in Rome he washanded over to Afranius Burro, prefect of the prætorium, and anintimate friend of Seneca. We know, also, that the presence of theprisoner, and his wonderful eloquence in preaching the new faith,created a profound sensation among the members of the prætorium and ofthe imperial household. His case must have been inquired into by thephilosopher himself, who happened to be _consul suffectus_ at thetime. The modest tombstone, discovered by accident among the ruins ofOstia, gives us the evidence of the bond of sympathy and esteemestablished, in consequence of these events, between the Annei and thefounders of the Church in Rome.

Its resemblance to the name of the Annei reminds me of anotherremarkable discovery connected with the same city, and with the samequestion. There lived at Ostia, towards the middle of the secondcentury, a manufacturer of pottery and terracottas, named AnniusSer......, whose lamps were exported to many provinces of the empire.These lamps are generally ornamented with the image of the GoodShepherd; but they show also types which are decidedly pagan, such asthe labors of Hercules, Diana the huntress, etc. It has been surmisedthat Annius Ser...... was converted to the gospel, and that theadoption of the symbolic figure of the Redeemer on his lamps was aresult of his change of religion; but to explain the case it is notnecessary to accept this theory. I believe he was a pagan, and thatthe lamps with the Good Shepherd were produced by him to order, andfrom a design supplied to him by a member of the local congregation.

[Illustration: Lamp of Annius Ser......, with figure of the GoodShepherd.]

Another question concerning the behavior of early Christians hasreference to their military service under the imperial eagles, and tothe cases of conscience which may have arisen from it. On this I mayrefer the reader to the works of Mamachi, Lami, Baumgarten, Le Blant,and de Rossi,[13] who have discussed the subject thoroughly. Speakingfrom the point of view of material evidence, I have to record severaldiscoveries which prove that officers and men of the _cohortesprætoriæ_ and _urbanæ_ could serve with equal loyalty their God andtheir sovereign.

In November, 1885, I was present at the discovery of a marblesarcophagus in the military burial-grounds of the Via Salaria,opposite the gate of the Villa Albani. It bore two inscriptions, oneon the lid, the other on the body. The first defiesinterpretation;[14] the second mentions the name of a little girl,Publia Ælia Proba, who was the daughter of a captain of the ninthbattalion of the prætorians, and a lady named Clodia Plautia. Theywere all Christians; but for a reason unknown to us, they avoidedmaking a show of their persuasion, and were buried among the gentiles.

Another stray Christian military tomb, erected by a captain of thesixth battalion, named Claudius Ingenuus, was found, in 1868, in theVigna Grandi, near S. Sebastiano. Here also we find the intention ofavoiding an open profession of faith. A regular cemetery of Christianprætorians was found in the spring of the same year by MarcheseFrancesco Patrizi, in his villa adjoining the prætorian camp. It isneither large nor interesting, and it seems to prove that the gospelmust have made but few proselytes in the imperial barracks.

* * * * *

We must not believe that the transformation of Rome from a pagan intoa Christian city was a sudden and unexpected event, which took theworld by surprise. It was the natural result of the work of threecenturies, brought to maturity under Constantine by an inevitablereaction against the violence of Diocletian's rule. It was not arevolution or a conversion in the true sense of these words; it wasthe official recognition of a state of things which had long ceased tobe a secret. The moral superiority of the new doctrines over the oldreligions was so evident, so overpowering, that the result of thestruggle had been a foregone conclusion since the age of the firstapologists. The revolution was an exceedingly mild one, thetransformation almost imperceptible. No violence was resorted to, andthe tolerance and mutual benevolence so characteristic of the Italianrace was adopted as the fundamental policy of State and Church.

The transformation may be followed stage by stage in both its moraland material aspect. There is not a ruin of ancient Rome that does notbear evidence of the great change. Many institutions and customs stillflourishing in our days are of classical origin, and were adopted, ortolerated, because they were not in opposition to Christianprinciples. Beginning with the material side of the question, thefirst monument to which I have to refer is the Arch of Constantine,raised in 315 at the foot of the Palatine, where the Via Triumphalisdiverges from the Sacra Via.

The importance of this arch, from the point of view of the questiontreated in this chapter, rests not on its sculptured panels andmedallions,--spoils taken at random from older structures, from whichthe arch has received the nickname of Æsop's crow (_la cornacchia diEsopo_),--but on the inscription engraved on each side of the attic."The S. P. Q. R. have dedicated this triumphal arch to Constantine,because _instinctu divinitatis_ (by the will of God), and by his ownvirtue, etc., he has liberated the country from the tyrant [Maxentius]and his faction." The opinion long prevailed among archæologists thatthe words _instinctu divinitatis_ were not original, but added afterConstantine's conversion. Cardinal Mai thought that the originalformula was _diis faventibus_, "by the help of the gods," while Henzensuggested _nutu Iovis optimi maximi_, "by the will of Jupiter."Cavedoni was the first to declare that the inscription had never beenaltered, and that the two memorable words--the first proclaimingofficially the name of the true God in the face of imperialRome--belonged to the original text, sanctioned by the Senate. Thecontroversy was settled in 1863, when Napoleon III. obtained from thePope the permission to make a plaster cast of the arch. With the helpof the scaffolding, the scholars of the time examined the inscription,the shape of each letter, the holes of the bolts by which thegilt-bronze letters were fastened, the joints of the marble blocks,the color and quality of the marble, and decided unanimously that theinscription had never been tampered with, and that none of its lettershad been changed.


The arch was raised in 315. Was Constantine openly professing hisfaith at that time? Opinions are divided. Some think he must havewaited until the defeat of Licinius in 323; others suggest the year311 as a more probable date of his profession. The supporters of thefirst theory quote in its favor the fact that the pagan symbols andimages of gods appear on coins struck by Constantine and his sons; butthis fact is easily explained, when we consider that the coinage ofbronze was a privilege of the Senate, and that the Senate was pagan bya large majority. Many of Constantine's constitutions and officialletters speak in favor of an early declaration of faith. When theDonatists appealed to him from the verdict of the councils of Arlesand Rome, he wrote to the bishops: _Meum judicium postulant, qui ipsejudicium Christi expecto_: "They appeal to me, when I myself must bejudged by Christ." The verdict of the council of Rome against thesectarians was rendered on October 2, 313, in the "palace of Fausta inthe Lateran;" the imperial palace of the Lateran, therefore, hadalready been handed over to the bishop of Rome, and a portion of itturned into a place of worship. The basilica of the Lateran stillretains its title of "Mother and head of all churches of Rome, and ofthe world," ranking above those of S. Peter and S. Paul in respect toage.

Such being the state of affairs when the triumphal arch was erected,nothing prevents us from believing those two words to be original, andto express the relations then existing between the first Christianemperor and the old pagan Senate. At all events, nothing is moreuncompromising than these two words, because the titles of _Deussummus, Deus altissimus, magnus, æternus_, are constantly found onmonuments pertaining to the worship of Atys and Mithras. "Thesewords," concludes de Rossi, "far from being a profession ofChristianity engraved on the arch at a later period, are simply a'moyen terme,' a compromise, between the feelings of the Senate andthose of the emperor."[15]

Many facts related by contemporary documents prove that the change ofreligion was, at the beginning, a personal affair with the emperor,and not a question of state; the emperor was a Christian, but the oldrules of the empire were not interfered with. In dealing with hispagan subjects Constantine showed so much tact and impartiality as tocast doubts upon the sincerity of his conversion. He has been accusedof having accepted from the people of Hispellum (Spello, in Umbria),the honor of a temple, and from the inhabitants of Roman Africa thatof a priesthood for the worship of his own family (_sacerdotium Flaviægentis_). The exculpation is given by Constantine himself in hisaddress of thanks to the Hispellates: "We are pleased and grateful foryour determination to raise a temple in honor of our family and ofourselves; and we accept it, provided you do not contaminate it withsuperstitious practices." The honor of a temple and of a priesthood,therefore, was offered and accepted as a political demonstration, asan act of loyalty, and as an occasion for public festivities, bothinaugural and anniversary.

[Illustration: Picture of Orpheus found in the Catacombs ofPriscilla.]

In accepting rites and customs which were not offensive to herprinciples and morality, the Church showed equal tact and foresight,and contributed to the peaceful accomplishment of the transformation.These rites and customs, borrowed from classical times, are nowhere soconspicuous as in Rome. Giovanni Marangoni, a scholar of the lastcentury, wrote a book on this subject which is full of valuableinformation.[16] The subject is so comprehensive, and in a certainsense so well known, that I must satisfy myself by mentioning only afew particulars connected with recent discoveries. First, as tosymbolic images allowed in churches and cemeteries. Of Orpheus playingon the lyre, while watching his flock, as a substitute for the GoodShepherd, there have been found in the catacombs four paintings, tworeliefs on sarcophagi, one engraving on a gem. Here is the latestrepresentation discovered, from the Catacombs of Priscilla (1888).

[Illustration: The Four Seasons, from the Imperial Palace, Ostia.]

The belief that the sibyls had prophesied the advent of Christ madetheir images popular. The church of the Aracœli is particularlyassociated with them, because tradition refers the origin of its nameto an altar--ARA PRIMOGENITI DEI--raised to the son of God by theemperor Augustus, who had been warned of his advent by the sibyllinebooks. For this reason the figures of Augustus and of the Tiburtinesibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar.They have actually been given the place of honor in this church; andformerly, when at Christmas time the _Presepio_ was exhibited in thesecond chapel on the left, they occupied the front row, the sibylpointing out to Augustus the Virgin and the Bambino who appeared inthe sky in a halo of light. The two figures, carved in wood, have nowdisappeared; they were given away or sold thirty years ago, when a newset of images was offered to the _Presepio_ by prince AlexanderTorlonia. Prophets and sibyls appear also in Renaissance monuments;they were modelled by della Porta in the Santa Casa at Loretto,painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel, by Raphael in S. Mariadella Pace, by Pinturicchio in the Borgia apartments, engraved byBaccio Baldini, a contemporary of Sandro Botticelli, and "graffite" byMatteo di Giovanni in the pavement of the Duomo at Siena.

The images of the Four Seasons are not uncommon on Christiansarcophagi. The latest addition to this class of subjects is to befound in the church of S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane. Four medallions ofpolychrome mosaic, representing the _Hiems_, _Ver_, _Æstas_, and_Autumnus_, discovered in the so-called imperial palace at Ostia, wereinserted in the pavement of this church by order of Pius IX. Galenusand Hippokrates, manipulating medicines and cordials, were painted inthe lower basilica at Anagni, Hermes Trismegistos was represented inmosaic in the Duomo of Siena, the labors of Hercules were carved inivory in the cathedra of S. Peter's. Montfaucon describes the tomb ofthe poet Sannazzaro in the church of the Olivetans, Naples, asornamented with the statues of Apollo and Minerva, and with groups ofsatyrs. In the eighteenth century the ecclesiastical authorities triedto give a less profane aspect to the composition, by engraving thename of David under the Apollo, and of Judith under the Minerva.Another mixture of sacred and profane conceptions is to be found inthe names of some of our Roman churches,--as S. Maria in Minerva, S.Stefano del Cacco (Kynokephalos), S. Lorenzo in Matuta, S. Salvatorein Tellure, all conspicuous landmarks in the history of thetransformation of Rome.

I shall mention one more instance. The portrait bust of S. Paul, ofsilver gilt, from the chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum, was loaded withgems and intaglios of Greek or Græco-Roman workmanship, among whichwas a magnificent cameo with the portrait-head of Nero, which had beenworn, most probably, by the very murderer of the apostle.[17]

[Illustration: Ancient Candelabrum in the church of SS. Nereo edAchilleo.]

In the next chapter I shall speak of ancient temples as museums ofstatuary, galleries of pictures, and cabinets of precious objects. Ineed not describe the acceptance and development of this tradition bythe Church. To it we are indebted for the inexhaustible wealth inworks of art of every kind, of which Italy is so proud. But in theperiod which elapsed between the fall of the empire and the foundationof the Cosmati school, the Christians were compelled, by the want ofcontemporary productions, to borrow works of art and decorativefragments from temples, palaces, and tombs. The gallery of theCandelabra, in the Vatican museum, has been formed mostly ofspecimens formerly set up in churches. The accompanying cut representsthe candelabrum still existing in the church of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo,one of the most exquisite and delicate works of the kind. The Biga, ortwo-horse chariot, in the Vatican, was used for centuries as anepiscopal throne in the choir of S. Mark's. In the church of theAracœli there was an altar dedicated to Isis by some one who hadreturned safely from a perilous journey. This bore the conventionalemblem of two footprints, which were believed by the Christians to bethe footprints of the angel seen by Gregory the Great on the summit ofHadrian's tomb. Philip de Winghe describes them as those of a _puerquinquennis_, a boy five years old.[18] This curious relic has beenremoved to the Capitoline Museum.

The indifference with which these profane and sometimes offensiveworks were admitted within sacred edifices is astonishing. The highaltar in the church of S. Teodoro was supported, until 1703, by around _ara_, on the rim of which the following words are now engraved:"On this marble of the gentiles incense was offered to the gods."Another altar, in the church of S. Michele in Borgo, was covered withbas-reliefs and legends belonging to the superstition of Cybele andAtys; a third, in the church of the Aracœli, had been dedicated tothe goddess Annona by an importer of wheat. The pavement of thebasilica of S. Paul was patched with nine hundred and thirty-onemiscellaneous inscriptions; and so were those of S. Martino ai Monti,S. Maria in Trastevere, SS. Giovanni e Paolo, etc. We have onespecimen left of these inscribed pavements in the church of SS.Quattro Coronati on the Cælian, which may be called an epigraphicmuseum.

[Illustration: The Templum Sacræ Urbis (SS. Cosma e Damiano).]

In the third chapter I shall have occasion to describe thetransformation of nearly all the great public buildings of imperialRome into places of Christian worship, but it falls within the scopeof this chapter to remark that, in many instances, the pagandecorations of those buildings were not affected by the change. WhenFelix IV. took possession of the _templum sacræ urbis_, and dedicatedit to SS. Cosma and Damianus, the walls of the building were coveredwith incrustations of the time of Septimius Severus representing thewolf and other profane emblems. Pope Felix not only accepted them asan ornament to his church, but tried to copy them in the apse which herebuilt. The same process was followed by Pope Simplicius (A. D.468-483), in transforming the basilica of Junius Bassus on theEsquiline into the church of S. Andrea.[19] The faithful, raisingtheir eyes towards the tribune, could see the figures of Christ andhis apostles in mosaic; turning to the side walls, they could seeNero, Galba, and six other Roman emperors, Diana hunting the stag,Hylas stolen by the nymphs, Cybele on the chariot drawn by lions, alion attacking a centaur, the chariot of Apollo, figures performingmysterious Egyptian rites, and other such profanities, represented in_opus sectile marmoreum_, a sort of Florentine mosaic. This unique setof intarsios was destroyed in the sixteenth century by the FrenchAntonian monks for a reason worth relating. They believed that theglutinous substance by which the layer of marble or mother-of-pearlwas kept fast was an excellent remedy against the ague; hence everytime one of them was attacked by fever, a portion of those marvellousworks was sacrificed. Fever must have raged quite fiercely among theFrench monks, because when this wanton practice was stopped, onlyfour pictures were left. Two are now preserved in the church of S.Antonio, in the chapel of the saint; two in the Palazzo Albani delDrago alle Quattro Fontane, on the landing of the stairs.[20]

[Illustration: Mosaic from the church of S. Andrea.]

Intarsios of the same kind have been seen and described in thebasilica of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, in the church of S. StefanoRotondo, in that of S. Adriano, etc. When the offices adjoining theSenate Hall were transformed into the church of S. Martina, the sidewalls were adorned with the bas-reliefs of the triumphal arch of M.Aurelius, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (first landing, nos. 42,43, 44). One of them, representing the emperor sacrificing before theTemple of Jupiter, is given opposite page 90.

The decoration of the churches, like that of the temples, was mostlydone by private contributions and gifts of works of art. The layingout of the pavement, for instance, or the painting of the walls wasapportioned to voluntary subscribers, each of whom was entitled toinscribe his name on his section of the work. The pavement of thelower basilica of Parenzo, in Dalmatia, is divided into mosaic panelsof various sizes, representing vases, wreaths, fish, and animals; andto each panel is appended the name of the contributor:--

"Lupicinus and Pascasia made one hundred [square] feet.

"Clamosus and Successa, one hundred feet.

"Felicissimus and his relatives, one hundred feet.

"Fausta, the patrician, and her relatives, sixty feet.

"Claudia, devout woman, and her niece Honoria, made one hundred andten feet, in fulfilment of a vow."[21]

Theseus killing the Minotaur in the labyrinth of Crete, and labyrinthsin general, were favorite subjects for church pavements, especiallyamong the Gauls. The custom is very ancient, a labyrinth having beenrepresented in the church of S. Vitale at Ravenna as early as thesixth century. Those of the cathedral at Lucca, of S. Michele Maggioreat Pavia, of S. Savino at Piacenza, of S. Maria in Trastevere at Rome(destroyed in the restoration of 1867), are of a later date. The imageof Theseus is accompanied by a legend in the "leonine" rhythm:--

_Theseus intravit, monstrumque biforme necavit._

The symbolism of the subject is explained thus: The labyrinth, so easyof access, but from which no one can escape, is symbolical of humanlife. At the time of the Crusades, church labyrinths began to be usedfor a practical purpose. The faithful were wont to go over themeandering paths on their knees, murmuring prayers in memory of thepassion of the Lord. Under the influence of this practice the classicand Carolingian name--labyrinth--was forgotten; and the new one of_rues de Jerusalem_, or _leagues_, adopted. The _rues de Jerusalem_ inthe cathedral at Chartres, designed in blue marble, were 666 feetlong; and it took an hour to finish the pilgrimage. Later thelabyrinths lost their religious meaning, and became a pastime foridlers and children. The one in the church at Saint-Omer has beendestroyed, because the celebration of the office was often disturbedby irreverent visitors trying the sport.[22]

In Rome we have several instances of these private artisticcontributions in the service of churches. The pavement of S. Maria inCosmedin is the joint offering of many parishioners; and so were thoseof S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura and S. Maria Maggiore before their modernrestoration. The names of Beno de Rapiza, his wife Maria Macellaria,and his children Clement and Attilia are attached to the frescoes ofthe lower church of S. Clemente; and that of Beno alone to thepaintings of S. Urbano alla Caffarella. In the apse of S. Sebastianoin Pallara, on the Palatine, and in that of S. Saba on the Aventine,we read the names of a Benedictus and of a Saba, at whose expense theapses were decorated.

We cannot help following with emotion the development of this artisticfeeling even among the lowest classes of mediæval Rome.[23] We read ofan Ægidius, son of Hippolytus, a shoemaker of the Via Arenula, leavinghis substance to the church of S. Maria de Porticù, with the requestthat it should be devoted to the building of a chapel, "handsome andhandsomely painted, so that everybody should take delight in lookingat it." Such feelings, exceptional in many Italian provinces, werecommon throughout Tuscany. When the triptych of Duccio Buoninsegna,now in the "Casa dell' opera" at Siena, was carried from his studio tothe Duomo, June 9, 1310, the whole population followed in a triumphantprocession. Renzo di Maitano, another Sienese artist of fame, had thesoul of a poet. He was the first to advocate the erection of a church,"grand, beautiful, magnificent, whose just proportions in height,breadth, and length should so harmonize with the details of thedecoration as to make it decorous and solemn, and worthy of theworship of Christ in hymns and canticles, for the protection and gloryof the city of Siena." So spoke the artists of that age, and theirlanguage was understood and felt by the multitudes. Their lives weremade bright and cheerful in spite of the troubles and misfortuneswhich weighed upon their countries. Think of such sentiments in ourage!

[Illustration: THE TRANSLATION OF S. CYRIL'S REMAINS (Fresco in S.Clemente, done at the order of Maria Macellaria)]

But I am digressing from my subject. Another step of the religious andmaterial transformation of the city is marked by the substitution ofchapels and shrines for the old _aræ compitales_, at the crossings ofthe main thoroughfares. The institution of altars in honor of the_Lares_, or guardian genii of each ward or quarter, is ancient, andcan be traced to prehistoric times. When Servius Tullius enclosed thecity with his walls, there were twenty-four such altars, called_sacraria Argeorum_. Two facts speak in favor of their remoteantiquity. The priestess of Jupiter was not allowed to sacrifice onthem, unless in a savage attire, with hair unkempt and untrimmed. Onthe 17th of May, the Vestals used to throw into the Tiber, from theSublician bridge, manikins of wickerwork, in commemoration of thehuman sacrifices once performed on the same altars.

When Augustus reorganized the capital and its wards, in the year 7B. C., the number of street-shrines had grown to more than two hundred.Two hundred and sixty-five were registered, A. D. 73, in the censusof Vespasian; three hundred and twenty-four at the time ofConstantine. A man of much leisure, and evidently of no occupation,the cavaliere Alessandro Rufini, numbered and described the shrinesand images which lined the streets of Rome in the year 1853. As moderncivilization and indifference will soon obliterate this historicalfeature of the city, I quote some results of Rufini'sinvestigations.[24] There were 1,421 images of the Madonna, 1,318images of saints, ornamented with 1,928 precious objects, and 110ex-votos; 1,067 lamps were kept burning day and night before them,--amost useful institution in a city whose streets have not beenregularly lighted until recent years.

[Illustration: The Shrine and Altar of Mercurius Sobrius.]

As prototypes of a classical and Christian street-shrine,respectively, we may take the _ædicula compitalis_ of MercuriusSobrius, discovered in April, 1888, near S. Martino ai Monti, and the_immagine di Ponte_, at the corner of the Via dei Coronari and theVicolo del Micio. The shrine of Mercury near S. Martino was dedicatedby Augustus, in the year 10 B. C. The inscription engraved on thefront of the altar says: "The emperor Augustus dedicated this shrineto Mercury in the year of the City, 744, from money received as anew-year's gift, during his absence from Rome."

Suetonius (Chapter 57) says that every year, on January 1, all classesof citizens climbed the Capitol and offered _strenæ calendariæ_ toAugustus, when he was absent; and that the emperor, with his usualgenerosity, appropriated the money to the purchase of _pretiosissimadeorum simulacra_, "the most valuable statues of gods," to be set upat the crossings of thoroughfares. Four pedestals of these statueshave already been found: one near the Arch of Titus, at the beginningof the sixteenth century; one, in 1548, near the Senate House; one, inthe same year, by the Arch of Septimius Severus. The fourth pedestal,that recently discovered near S. Martino ai Monti, was raised at thecrossing of two important streets, the _clivus suburanus_ (Via di S.Lucia in Selci), and the _vicus sobrius_ (Via dei Quattro Cantoni),from which the statue was nicknamed _Mercurius Sobrius_, "Mercury theteetotaller."

The _immagine di Ponte_, in the Via dei Coronari, the prototype ofmodern shrines, contains an image of the Virgin in a graceful nichebuilt, or re-built, in 1523, by Alberto Serra of Monferrato, fromdesigns by Antonio da Sangallo. Its name is derived from that of thelane leading to the Ponte S. Angelo (Canale di Ponte). The house towhich it belongs is No. 113 Via dei Coronari, and No. 5 Vicolo delMicio.

Monumental crosses were sometimes erected instead of shrines. CountGiovanni Gozzadini has called the attention of archæologists to thissubject in a memoir "Sulle croci monumentali che erano nelle vie diBologna del secolo XIII." He proves from the texts of historians,Fathers, and councils that the practice of erecting crosses at thejunction of the main streets is very ancient, and belongs to the firstcentury of the freedom of the Church, when the faithful withdrew theemblem of Christ from the catacombs, and raised it in opposition tothe street shrines of the gentiles. Bologna has the privilege ofpossessing the oldest of these crosses. One bears the legend "In thename of God; this cross, erected long since by Barbatus, was renewedunder the bishopric of Vitalis (789-814)." This class of monumentsabounds in Rome, although it belongs to a comparatively recent age.Such are the crosses before the churches of SS. Sebastiano, Cesareo,Nereo ed Achilleo, Pancrazio, Lorenzo, Francesco a Ripa, and others.

The most curious and interesting is perhaps the column of Henry IV. ofFrance, which was erected under Clement VIII. in front of S. Antonioall' Esquilino, and which the modern generation has concealed in arecess on the east side of S. Maria Maggiore. It is in the form of aculverin--a long slender cannon of the period--standing upright. Fromthe muzzle rises a marble cross supporting the figure of Christ on oneside, and that of the Virgin on the other. It was erected by Charlesd'Anisson, prior of the French Antonians, to commemorate theabsolution given by Clement VIII. to Henry IV. of France and Navarre,on September 17 of the year 1595. The monument has a remarkablehistory. Although apparently erected by private enterprise, the kingsof France regarded it as an insult of the Curia, an official boast oftheir submission to the Pope; and they lost no opportunity of showingtheir dissatisfaction in consequence. Louis XIV. found an occasion forrevenge. The gendarmes who had escorted his ambassador, the duc deCrequi, to Rome, had a street brawl with the Pope's Corsicanbody-guards; and although it was doubtful which side was to blame,Louis obliged Pope Alexander VII. to raise a pyramid on the spot wherethe affray had taken place, with the following humiliatinginscription:--

"In denunciation of the murderous attack committed by the Corsicansoldiers against his Excellency the duc de Crequi, Pope Alexander VII.declares their nation deprived forever of the privilege of servingunder the flag of the Church. This monument was erected May 21, 1664,according to the agreement made at Pisa."

The revenge could not have been more complete; so bitter was it thatAlexander VII. drew a violent protest against it, to be read andpublished only after his death. His successor, Clement IX., a favoritewith Louis XIV., obtained leave that the pyramid should be demolished,which was done in June, 1668, with the consent of the Frenchambassador, the duc de Chaulnes. Whether by stipulation or by the goodwill of the Pope, the inscription of the column of Henry IV. was madeto disappear at the same time. We have found it concealed in a remotecorner of the convent of S. Antonio.[25] The column itself, and thecanopy which sheltered it, fell to the ground on Thursday, February15, 1744; and when Benedict XIV. restored the monument in thefollowing year, he severed forever its connection with theseremarkable historical events, by dedicating it DEIPARÆ VIRGINI. Havingbeen dismantled in 1875, during the construction of the Esquilinequarter, it was reërected in 1880, not far from its original place, onthe east side of S. Maria Maggiore,--not without opposition, becausethere are always men who think they can obliterate history bysuppressing monuments which bear testimony to it.

One of the characteristics of ancient sanctuaries, by which the wearypilgrim was provided with bathing accommodations, is also to be foundin the old churches of Rome. We are told in the "Liber Pontificalis"that Pope Symmachus (498-514), while building the basilica of S.Pancrazio, on the Via Aurelia, _fecit in eadem balneum_, "provided itwith a bath." Another was erected by the same Pope near the apse ofS. Paolo fuori le Mura, the supply of water of which was originallyderived from a spring; later from wheels, or noriahs, established onthe banks of the Tiber. Notices were written on the walls of thesebathing apartments, warning laymen and priests to observe thestrictest rules of modesty. One of these inscriptions, from the bathsannexed to the churches of SS. Sylvester and Martin, is preserved insection II. of the Christian epigraphic museum of the Lateran. It endswith the distich:--


"There is no harm in seeking strength and purity of body in baths; itis not water but our own bad actions that make us sin." These versesare not so good as their moral; but inscriptions like this prove thatthe abandonment of such useful institutions must be attributed not tothe undue severity of Christian morality, but to the ruin of theaqueducts by which fountains and baths were fed. However, even in thedarkest period of the Middle Ages we find the traditional "kantharos,"or basin, in the centre of the quadri-porticoes or courts by which thebasilicas were entered. Such is the vase in the court of S. Cæcilia,represented on the next page, and that in front of S. Cosimato inTrastevere; and such is the famous _calix marmoreus_, which formerlystood near the church of SS. Apostoli, mentioned in the Bull of JohnIII. (A. D. 570), by which the boundary line of that parish wasdetermined. This historical monument, a prominent landmark in thetopography of mediæval Rome, was removed to the Baths of Diocletian atthe beginning of last year.

In many of our churches visitors may have noticed one or more roundblack stones, weighing from ten to a hundred pounds, which, accordingto tradition, were tied to the necks of martyrs when they were throwninto wells, lakes, or rivers. To the student these stones tell adifferent tale. They prove that the classic institution of the_ponderaria_ (sets of weights and measures) migrated from temples tochurches, after the closing of the former, A. D. 393.

[Illustration: Kantharos in the Court of St. Cæcilia.]

As the _amphora_ was the standard measure of capacity for wine, the_metreta_ for oil, the _modius_ for grain, so the _libra_ was thestandard measure of weight.[26] To insure honesty in trade they wereexamined periodically by order of the ædiles; those found _iniquæ_(short) were broken, and their owners sentenced to banishment inremote islands. In A. D. 167, Junius Rusticus, prefect of the city,ordered a general inspection to be made in Rome and in the provinces;weights and measures found to be legal were marked or stamped with thelegend "[Verified] by the authority of Q. Junius Rusticus, prefect ofthe city." These weights of Rusticus are discovered in hundreds inRoman excavations.[27]

The original standards were kept in the Temple of Jupiter on theCapitol, and used only on extraordinary occasions. Official duplicateswere deposited in other temples, like those of Castor and Pollux, MarsUltor, Ops, and others, and kept at the disposal of the public, whencetheir name of _pondera publica_. Barracks and market-places were alsofurnished with them. The most important discovery connected with thisbranch of Roman administration was made at Tivoli in 1883, when three_mensæ ponderariæ_, almost perfect, were found in the portico orperibolos of the Temple of Hercules, adjoining the cathedral of S.Lorenzo. This wing of the portico is divided into compartments bymeans of projecting pilasters, and each recess is occupied by a marbletable resting on "trapezophoroi" richly ornamented with symbols ofHercules and Bacchus, like the club and the thyrsus. Along the edge oftwo of the tables runs the inscription, "Made at the expense of MarcusVarenus Diphilus, president of the college of Hercules," while thethird was erected at the expense of his wife Varena. The tables areperforated by holes of conical shape, varying in diameter from 200 to380 millimetres. Brass measures of capacity were fastened into eachhole, for use by buyers and sellers. They were used in a veryingenious way, both as dry and liquid measures. The person who hadbought, for instance, half a modius of beans, or twenty-four_sextarii_ of wine, and wanted to ascertain whether he had beencheated in his bargain, would fill the receptacle to the proper line,then open the valve or spicket below, and transfer the tested contentsagain to his sack or flask.

The institution was accepted by the Church, and _ponderaria_ were setup in the principal basilicas. The best set which has come down to usis that of S. Maria in Trastevere, but there is hardly a churchwithout a "stone" weighing from five or ten to a hundred pounds. Thepopular superstition by which these practical objects were transformedinto relics of martyrdoms is very old. Topographers and pilgrims ofthe seventh century speak of a stone exhibited in the chapel of SS.Abundius and Irenæus, under the portico of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura,"which, in their ignorance, pilgrims touch and lift." They mentionalso another weight, exhibited in the church of S. Stephen, near S.Paul's, which they believed to be one of the stones with which themartyr was killed.

In 1864 a _schola_ (a memorial and banqueting hall) was discovered inthe burial grounds adjoining the prætorian camp, which had been usedby members of a corporation called the _sodalium serrensium_, that is,of the citizens of Serræ, a city of Samothrake, I believe. Among theobjects pertaining to the hall and its customers were two measures forwine, a _sextarium_, and a _hemina_, marked with the monogram ofChrist and the name of the donor.[28] They are now exhibited in the_sala dei bronzi_ of the Capitoline museum.

The hall of the citizens of Serræ, discovered in 1864, belongs to aclass of monuments very common in the suburbs of Rome. They werecalled _cellæ, memoriæ, exedræ_, and _scholæ_, and were used byrelatives and friends of the persons buried under or near them, in theperformance of expiatory ceremonies or for commemorative banquets, forwhich purpose all the necessaries, from the table-service to thefestal garments, were kept on the spot, in cabinets entrusted to thecare of a watchman. This practice--save the expiatory offerings--wasadopted by the Christians. The _agapai_, or love-feasts, beforedegenerating into those excesses and superstitions so stronglydenounced by the Fathers of the Church, were celebrated over or nearthe tombs of martyrs and confessors, the treasury of the localcongregation supplying food and drink, as well as the banquetingrobes. In the inventory of the property confiscated during thepersecution of Diocletian, in a house at Cirta (Constantine, Algeria),which was used by the faithful as a church, we find registered,chalices of gold and silver, lamps and candelabras, eighty-two femaletunics, sixteen male tunics, thirteen pairs of men's boots,forty-seven pairs of women's shoes, and so on.[29] A remarkablediscovery, illustrating the subject, has been lately made in theCatacombs of Priscilla; that of a _graffito_ containing this sentence:"February 5, 375, we, Florentinus, Fortunatus, and Felix, came here ADCALICE[M] (for the cup)." To understand the meaning of this sentence,we must compare it with others engraved on pagan tombs. In one, No.25,861 of the "Corpus," the deceased says to the passer-by: "Come on,bring with you a flask of wine, a glass, and all that is needed for alibation!" In another, No. 19,007, the same invitation is worded: "Oh,friends (_convivæ_), drink now to my memory, and wish that the earthmay be light on me." We are told by S. Augustine[30] that when hismother, Monica, visited Milan in 384, the practice of eating anddrinking in honor of the martyrs had been stopped by S. Ambrose,although it was still flourishing in other regions, where crowds ofpilgrims were still going from tomb to tomb with baskets of provisionsand flasks of wine, drinking heavily at each station. Paulinus of Nolaand Augustine himself strongly stigmatized the abuse. The faithfulwere advised either to distribute their provisions to the poor, whocrowded the entrances to the crypts, or to leave them on the tombs,that the local clergy might give them to the needy. There is no doubtthat the record _ad calicem venimus_, scratched by Florentinus,Fortunatus, and Felix on the walls of the Cemetery of Priscilla,refers to these deplorable libations.

[Illustration: Sample of a Drinking-cup.]

Many drinking-cups used on these occasions have been found in Rome, inmy time. They are generally works of the fourth century of our era,cut in glass by unskillful hands, and they show the portrait-heads ofSS. Peter and Paul, in preference to other subjects of the kind. Thisfact is due not only to the special veneration which the Romansprofessed for the founders of their church, but also to the habit ofcelebrating their anniversary, June 29, with public or domestic_agapai_. S. Peter's day was to the Romans of the fourth century whatChristmas is to us, as regards joviality and sumptuous banquets. Onone of these occasions S. Jerome received from his friend Eustochiofruit and sweets in the shape of doves. In acknowledging the kindremembrance, S. Jerome recommends sobriety on that day more than onany other: "We must celebrate the birthday of Peter rather withexaltation of spirit, than with abundance of food. It is absurd toglorify with the satisfaction of our appetites the memory of men whopleased God by mortifying theirs." The poorer classes of citizens werefed under the porticoes of the Vatican basilica. The gatheringsdegenerated into the display of such excesses of drunkenness thatAugustine could not resist writing to the Romans: "First youpersecuted the martyrs with stones and other instruments of tortureand death; and now you persecute their memory with your intoxicatingcups."

The institution of public granaries (_horrea publica_) for themaintenance of the lower classes was also accepted and favored byChristian Rome. On page 250 of my "Ancient Rome," I have spoken of thewarehouses for the storage of wheat, built by Sulpicius Galba on theplains of Testaccio, near the Porta S. Paolo, named for him _horreagalbana_, even after their purchase by the state. These publicgranaries originated at the time of Caius Gracchus and his grain laws.Their scheme was developed, in course of time, by Clodius, Pompey,Seianus, and the emperors, to such an extent that, in 312 A. D., therewere registered in Rome alone two hundred and ninety granaries. Theymay be divided into three classes: In the first, and by far the mostimportant, a plentiful supply of breadstuffs was kept at the expenseof the state, to meet emergencies of scarcity or famine, and the wantsof a population one third of which was fed gratuitously by thesovereign. The second was intended especially for the storage of paper(_horrea chartaria_), candles (_horrea candelaria_), spices (_horreapiperataria_), and other such commodities. The third class consistedof buildings in which the citizens might deposit their goods, money,plate, securities, and other valuables for which they had no place ofsafety in their own houses. There were also private _horrea_, built onspeculation, to be let as strong-rooms like our modern vaults,storage-warehouses, and "pantechnicons."

The building of the new quarter of the Testaccio, the region of_horrea_ par excellence, has given us the chance of studying theinstitution in its minutest details. I shall mention only onediscovery. We found, in 1885, the official advertisement for leasing a_horrea_, under the empire of Hadrian. It is thus worded:--

"To be let from to-day, and hereafter annually (beginning on December13): These warehouses, belonging to the Emperor Hadrian, together withtheir granaries, wine-cellars, strong-boxes, and repositories.

"The care and protection of the official watchmen is included in thelease.

"Regulations: I. Any one who rents rooms, vaults, or strong-boxes inthis establishment is expected to pay the rent and vacate the placebefore December 13.

"II. Whoever disobeys regulation No. I., and omits to arrange with the_horrearius_ (or keeper-in-chief) for the renewal of his lease, shallbe considered as liable for another year, the rent to be determined bythe average price paid by others for the same room, vault, orstrong-box. This regulation to be enforced in case the _horrearius_has not had an opportunity to rent the said room, vault, or strong-boxto other people.

"III. Sub-letting is not allowed. The administration will withdraw thewatch and the guarantee from rooms, vaults, or strong-boxes whichhave been sub-let in violation of the existing rules.

"IV. Merchandise or valuables stored in these warehouses are held bythe administration as security for payment of rental.

"V. The tenant will not be reimbursed by the administration forimprovements, additions, and other such work which he has undertakenon his own account.

"VI. The tenant must give an assignment of his goods to thekeeper-in-chief, who shall not be held responsible for thesafe-keeping of merchandise or valuables which have not been dulydeclared. The tenant must claim a receipt for the said assignment andfor the payment of his rental."[31]

The granaries of the Church were intended only for the storage ofcorn. The landed estates which the Church owned in Africa and Sicilywere administered by deputies, whose special duty it was to ship theproduce of the harvest to Rome. During the first siege of Totila, in546, Pope Vigilius, then on his way to Constantinople, despatched fromthe coast of Sicily a fleet of grain-laden vessels, under the care ofValentine, bishop of Silva Candida. The attempt to relieve the city ofthe famine proved useless, and the vessels were seized by thebesiegers on their landing at Porto. In 589 an inundation of theTiber, described by Gregoire de Tours, carried away several thousandbushels of grain, which had been stored in the _horrea ecclesiæ_, andthe granaries themselves were totally destroyed.

The "Liber Pontificalis," vol. i. p. 315, describes the calamitieswhich befell the city of Rome in the year 605; King Agilulf trying toenter the city by violence; heavy frosts killing the vines; ratsdestroying the harvest, etc. However, as soon as the barbarians wereinduced to retire by an offer of twelve thousand _solidi_, PopeSabinianus, who was then the head of the Church, _iussit aperirihorrea ecclesiæ_ (threw open the granaries), and offered theircontents at auction, at a valuation of one _solidus_ for thirty_modii_.

[Illustration: A Granary of Ostia.]

The grain was not intended to be sold, but to be distributed among theneedy; the act of Sabinianus was, therefore, strongly censured, asbeing in strong contrast to the generosity of Gregory the Great. Alegend on this subject is related by Paulus Diaconus in chapter xxix.of the Life of Gregory. He says that Gregory appeared thrice toSabinianus, in a vision, entreating him to be more generous; andhaving failed to move him by friendly advice, he struck him dead. Theprice of one _solidus_ for thirty _modii_ is almost exorbitant; graincost exactly one half this at the time of Theodoric.

The institution has outlived all the vicissitudes of the Middle Ages.Gregory XIII., in 1566, Paul V., in 1609, Clement XI., in 1705,re-opened the _horrea ecclesiæ_ in the ruined halls of the Baths ofDiocletian; and Clement XIII. added a wing to them, for the storage ofoil. These buildings are still in existence around the Piazza diTermini, although devoted to other purposes.

It would be impossible to follow in all its manifestations thematerial and moral transformation of Rome from the third to the sixthcenturies, without going beyond the limits of a single chapter.

The customs and practices of the classical age were so deeply rootedamong the citizens that even now, after a lapse of sixteen centuries,they are noticeable to a great extent. When we read, for instance, ofPopes elected by the people assembled at the Rostra,[32] such asStephen III., in 768, we must regard the circumstance as caused by aremembrance of past ages. Under the pontificate of Innocent II.(1130), of Eugenius III. (1145-1150), and of Lucius III. (1181-1185)the senators, or municipal magistrates, used to sit and administerjustice in S. Martina and S. Adriano, that is, in the classic RomanCuria. Many other details will be incidentally described in thefollowing chapters. I close the present one by referring to a gracefulcustom, borrowed likewise from the classic world,--the use of roses inchurch or funeral ceremonies and in social life.

The ancients celebrated, in the month of May, a feast called_rosaria_, in which sepulchres were profusely decorated with thefavorite flower of the season. Roses were also used on occasions ofpublic rejoicing. A Greek inscription, discovered by Fränkel atPergamon, mentions, among the honors shown to the emperor Hadrian, the_Rhodismos_, which is interpreted as a scattering of roses. Traces ofthe custom are found in more recent times. In the Illyrian peninsula,and on the banks of the Danube, the country people, still feeling theinfluence of Roman civilization, celebrated feasts of flowers inspring and summer, under the name of _rousalia_. In the sixth century,when the Slavs were vacillating between the influence of the past andthe present, the celebration of the Pentecost was mixed up with thatof the half-pagan, half-barbarous _rousalia_. Southern Russiansbelieve in supernatural female beings, called _Rusalky_, who bringprosperity to the fields and forests, which they have inhabited asflowers.

The early Christians decorated the sepulchres of martyrs andconfessors, on the anniversary of their interment, with roses,violets, amaranths, and evergreens; and they celebrated the_rosationes_ on the name-days of churches and sanctuaries. Wreaths andcrowns of roses are often engraved on tombstones, hanging from thebills of mystic doves. The symbol refers more to the joys of the justin the future life than to the fleeting pleasures of the earth. TheActs of Perpetua relate a legend on this subject; that Saturus had avision in the dungeon in which he was awaiting his martyrdom, in whichhe saw himself transported with Perpetua to a heavenly garden,fragrant with roses, and turning to his fair companion, he exclaimed:"Here we are in possession of that which our Lord promised!"

Roses and other flowers are painted on the walls of historicalcubiculi. In a fresco of the crypts of Lucina, in the Catacombs ofCallixtus, are painted birds, symbolizing souls who have beenseparated from their bodies, and are playing in fields of roses aroundthe Tree of Life. As the word _Paradeisos_ signifies a garden, so itsmystic representation always takes the form of a delightful field offlowers and fruit. Dante gives to the seat of the blessed the shape ofa fair rose, inside of which a crowd of angels with golden wingsdescend and return to the Lord:--

"Nel gran fior discendeva, che s'adorna Di tante foglie: e quindi risaliva, Là dove lo suo amor sempre soggiorna."[33] _Paradiso_, xxxi. 10-12.

Possibly it is from this allegory of paradise that the rite of the"golden rose" which the Pope blesses on Quadragesima Sunday isderived. The ceremony is very ancient, although the first mention ofit appears only in the life of Leo IX. (1049-1055); and I may mention,as a curious coincidence, that the kings and queens of Navarre, theirsons, and the dukes and peers of the realm, were bound to offer rosesto the Parliament at the return of spring.

Roses played such an important part in church ceremonies that we finda _fundus rosarius_ given as a present by Constantine to Pope Mark.The _rosaria_ outlived the suppression of pagan superstitions, and byand by assumed its Christian form in the feast of Pentecost, whichfalls in the month of May. In that day roses were thrown from theroofs of churches on the worshipers below. The Pentecost is stillcalled by the Italians _Pasqua rosa_.


[1] The relations between the Empire, the Christians, and the Jewshave been discussed by really numberless writers, beginning with theFathers of the Church. I have consulted, among the moderns: Mangold:_De ecclesia primæva pro cæsaribus et magistratibus romanis precesfundente._ Bonn, 1881.--Bittner: _De Græcorum et Romanorum dequeJudæorum et christianorum sacris jejuniis._ Posen, 1846.--Weiss: _Dierömischen Kaiser in ihrem Verhältnisse zu Juden und Christen._ Wien,1882.--Mourant Brock: _Rome, Pagan and Papal._ London, Hodder & Co.1883.--Backhouse and Taylor: _History of the primitive Church._(Italian edition.) Rome, Loescher, 1890.--Greppo: _Trois mémoiresrelatifs à l'histoire ecclésiastique._--Döllinger: _Christenthum undKirche._--Champagny (Comte de): _Les Antonins_, vol. i.--GastonBoissier: _La fin du paganisme_, etc., 2 vols. Paris, Hachette,1891.--Giovanni Marangoni: _Delle cose gentilesche trasportate ad usodelle chiese._ Roma, Pagliarini, 1744.--Mosheim: _De rebus Christianisante Constantinum._--Carlo Fea: _Dissertazione sulle rovine di Roma_,in Winckelmann's _Storia delle arti._ Roma, Pagliarini, 1783, vol.iii.--Louis Duchesne: _Le liber pontificalis._ Paris, Thorin,1886-1892.--G. B. de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana._Roma, Salviucci, 1863-1891.

[2] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1888-1889, p.15; 1890, p. 97.--Edmond Le Blant: _Comptes rendus de l'Acad. desInscript._, 1888, p. 113.--Arthur Frothingham: _American Journal ofArchæology_, June, 1888, p. 214.--R. Lanciani: _Gli horti Aciliorumsul Pincio_, in the _Bullettino della commissione archeologica_, 1891,p. 132; _Underground Christian Rome_, in the _Atlantic Monthly_, July,1891.

[3] See Ersilia Lovatelli: _Il Monte Pincio_, in the _Miscellaneaarcheologica_, p. 211.--Rodolfo Lanciani: _Su gli orti degli Acili sulPincio_, in the _Bullettino di corrispondenza archeologica_, 1868, p.132.

[4] A description of the beautiful villa of Herodes, adjoining theCatacombs of Prætextatus, will be found in chapter vi. pp. 287 sqq.

[5] A _consul suffectus_ was one elected as a substitute in case ofthe death or retirement of one of the regular consuls.

[6] Lampridius, in _Sev. Alex._, c. 43.

[7] In chapter v., p. 122, of _Ancient Rome_, I have attributed these_graffiti_ to the second half of the first century; but after acareful examination of the structure of the wall, on the plaster ofwhich they are scratched, I am convinced that they must have beenwritten towards the end of the second century.

[8] Orelli, 4024, _Digest L._, iv. 18, 7.

[9] See Ulpian: _De officio Procons._, i. 3.

[10] Lampridius, _Heliog._, 3.

[11] See Greppo: _Mémoire sur les laraires de l'empereur AlexandreSevère_.

[12] The name of the villa was _Cassiacum_; its memory has lasted tothe present age. See the memoir of Luigi Biraghi, _S. Agostino aCassago di Brianza._ Milano, 1854.

[13] See _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1865, p. 50.

[14] It contains the words PETRO LILLVTI PAVLO. They are surelygenuine and ancient. I examined them in company with Mommsen, Jordan,and de Rossi, and they attributed them to the beginning of the thirdcentury of our era. The best suggestion regarding their origin is thatthey belong to a person, probably Christian, who used the name Petrusas _gentilitium_, and Paulus as _cognomen_, and who was the son ofLillutus, however barbaric this last name may sound.

[15] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1863, p.49.--Rohault de Fleury: _L'arc de triomphe de Constantin_, in the_Révue archéologique_, Sept. 1863, p. 250.--W. Henzen: _Bullettinodell' Instituto_, 1863, p. 183.

[16] See Bibliography, p. 1. The title of the book may be translatedthus: _On the pagan and profane objects transferred to churches fortheir use and adornment_.

[17] The two busts of S. Peter and S. Paul, described in Cancellieri'sbook, _Memorie storiche delle sacre teste dei santi apostoli Pietro ePaolo_, Roma, Ferretti, 1852 (second edition), were stolen by theFrench revolutionists in 1799.

[18] See _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, part VI., No. 351.

[19] In the Byzantine period this church and the adjoining monasterywere called _casa Barbara patricia_. They are now comprised within thecloisters of S. Antonio all' Esquilino, on the left side of S. MariaMaggiore.

[20] These incrustations, and the basilica to which they belong, havebeen illustrated by Ciampini: _Vetera monumenta_, vol. i. platesxxii.-xxiv.--D'Agincourt: _Histoire de l'art, Peinture_, pl. xiii.3.--Minutoli: _Ueber die Anfertigung und die Nutzanwendung derfärbigen Gläser bei den Alten_, pl. iv.--De Rossi: _La basilica diGiunio Basso_, in the _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1871, p.46.

[21] See Andrea Amoroso: _Le basiliche cristiane di Parenzo._ Parenzo,Coana, 1891.--Mommsen: _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum_, vol. v. parti. nos. 365-367.

[22] See Lovatelli: _I labirinti e il loro simbolismo nell' età dimezzo_, in the _Nuova Antologia_, 16 Agosto, 1890.--Arné: _Carrelagesémaillés du moyen âge_.--Eugène Müntz: _Etudes iconographiques etarchéologiques sur le moyen âge_.

[23] See Pietro Pericoli: _Lo spedale di S. Maria della Consolazione_.Imola Galeati, p. 64.

[24] Published in two volumes with the title: _Indicazione delleimmagini di Maria, collocate sulle mura esterne di Roma._ Ferretti,1853.

[25] The inscription, after all, was very mild in comparison with theviolent formula imposed upon Alexander VII. It read: "In memory of theabsolution given by Clement VIII. to Henry IV. of France and Navarre,September 17, 1595."

[26] The amphora corresponds to 26.26 litres; the metreta to 39.39litres; the modius to 8.75 litres. The pound, divided into twelveounces, corresponds to 327.45 grammes, a little more than 11½English ounces.

[27] See _Antichi pesi inscritti del museo capitolino_, in the_Bullettino della commissione archeologica comunale di Roma_, 1884, p.61, pls. vi., vii.

[28] See de Rossi: _Bullettino di archeologia cristiana_, 1864, p. 57.

[29] See _Acta purgationis Cæciliani_, post Optati opp. ed Dupin, p.168.

[30] _Confess._ vi. 2.

[31] See Gaetano Marini: _Iscrizioni doliari_, p. 114, n.279.--Giuseppe Gatti: _La lex horreorum_, in the _Bullettino dellacommissione archeologica comunale di Roma_, 1885, p. 110.

[32] The place was called _in tribus fatis_, from the three statues ofsibyls described by Pliny, _H. N._ xxxiv. See _Goth._ i. 25.


"Sank into the great flower, that is adorned With leaves so many, and thence reascended To where its love abideth evermore." _Longfellow's Translation._


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