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gle campaign than Pompey's three triumphs, and all the
Hunc ego per Syrtes, Libyæque extrema triumphum
Scandere Pompeii, quam frangere colla Jugurthe.
Quis te magne Cato tacitum ; aut te Cosse relinquat ?
Having said so much of St. Peter's, unquestionably the finest piece of modern architecture in Rome, allow me to mention some of the best specimens of the ancient. I shall begin with the Pantheon, which, though not the largest of the Roman temples, is the most perfect which now remains. The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and the temple of Peace, if we may trust to the accounts we have of the first, and to the ruins of the second, in the Campo" Vaccino, were both much larger than the Pantheon. In spite of the depredations which this last has sustained from Goths, Vandals, and popes, it still remains a beauteous monument of Roman taste. The pavilion of the great altar, which stands under the cupola in St. Peter's, and the four wreathed pillars of Corinthian brass which
support it, were formed out of the spoils of the Pantheon, which, after all, and with the weight of eighteen hundred years upon its head, has still a probability of outliving its proud rapacious rival. From the round form of this temple, it has obtained the name of Rotunda. Its height is a hundred and fifty feet, and its diameter nearly the same.
Within, it is divided into eight parts; the gate at which you enter forming one: the other seven compartments, if they may be so called, are each of them distinguished by two fluted Corinthian pillars, and as many pilasters of Giallo Antico. The capitals and bases are of white mare ble; these support a circular entablature. The wall is perpendicular for half the height of the temple: it then slopes forward as it ascends, the circumference gradually diminishing, till it terminates in an opening of about twenty-five feet diameter. There are no windows; the central opening in the vault admitting a sufficiency of light, has a much finer effect than windows could have had. No great inconveniency can happen from this opening. The conical form of the temple prevents the rain from falling near the walls where the altars now are, and where the statues of the gods were formerly placed. The rain which falls in the middle immediately drills through holes which perforate a large piece of porphyry that forms the centre of the pavement, the whole of which consists of various pieces of marble, agate, and other materials, which have been picked up from the ruins, and now compose a singular kind of Mosaic work.
The portico was added by Marcus Agrippa, the son-inlaw of Augustus. It is supported by sixteen pillars of granite, five feet in diameter, and of a single piece each. Upon the frieze, in the front, is the following inscription in large capitals.
M. AGRIPPA L. F. CONSUL TERTIUM FECIT.
Some are of opinion, that the Pantheon is much more ancient than the Augustan age, and that the portico, which is the only part those antiquarians admit to be the work of Agrippa, though beautiful in itself, does not correspond with the simplicity of the temple.
As the Pantheon is the most entire, the amphitheatre of Vespasian is the most stupendous, monument of antiquity in Rome, It was finished by his son Titus, and obtained the name of Colosseum, afterwards corrupted into Coli
seum, from a colossal statue of Apollo which was placed before it. This vast structure was built of Tiburtine stone, which is remarkably durable. If the public buildings of the ancient Romans had met with no more inveterate enemy than time, we might, at this day, contemplate the greater number in all their original perfection; they were formed for the admiration of much remoter ages than the present. This amphitheatre in particular might have stood entire for two thousand years to come: for what are the slow corrosions of time, in comparison of the rapid destruction from the fury of barbarians, the zeal of bigots, and the avarice of popes and cardinals ? The first depredation made on this stupendous building, was by the inhabitants of Rome themselves, at that time greater Goths than their conqueror. We are told, they applied to Theodoric, whose court was then at Ravenna, for liberty to take the stones of this amphitheatre for some public work they were carrying on. The marble cornices, the friezes, and other ornaments of this building, have been carried away, at various times, to adorn palaces; and the stones have been taken to build churches, and sometimes to repair the walls of Rome, the most useless work of all. For of what importance are walls to a city, without a garrison, and whose most powerful artillery affects not the bodies, but only the minds, of men ? About one-half of the external circuit still remains, from which, and the ruins of the other parts, a pretty exact idea may be formed of the original structure. By a computation made by Mr. Byres, it could contain eighty-five thousand spectators, making a convenient allowance for each. Fourteen chapels are now erected within side, representing the stages of our Savior's passion. This expedient of consecrating them into Christian chapels and churches, has saved some of the finest remains of heathen magnificence from utter destruction.
Our admiration of the Romans is tempered with horror, when we reflect on the use formerly made of this immense building, and the dreadful scenes which were act
ed on the arena ; where not only criminals condemned to death, but also prisoners taken in war, were obliged to butcher each other, for the entertainment of an inhuman populace. The combats of gladiators were at first used in Rome at funerals only, where prisoners were obliged to assume that profession, and fight before the tombs of deceased generals or magistrates, in imitation of the barbarous custom of the Greeks, of sacrificing captives at the tombs of their heroes.
This horrid piece of magnificence, which, at first, was exhibited only on the death of consuls, and men of the highest distinction, came gradually to be claimed by every citizen who was sufficiently rich to defray the expense; and as the people's fondness for these combats increased every day, they were no longer confined to funeral solemnities, but became customary on days of public rejoicing, and were exhibited, at amazing expense, by some generals after victories. In the progress of riches, luxury, and vice, it became a profession in Rome to deal in gladiators. Men called Lanistæ made it their business to purchase prisoners and slaves, to have them instructed in the use of the various weapons; and when any Roman chose to amuse the people with their favourite show, or to entertain a select company of his own friends upon any particular occasion, he applied to the Lanistæ; who, for a fixed price, furnished him with as many pairs of those unhappy combatants as he required. They had various names given to them, according to the different manner in which they were armed. Towards the end of the republic, some of the rich and powerful citizens had great numbers of gladiators of their own, who were daily exercised by the Lanistæ, and always kept ready for fighting when ordered by their proprietor. Those who were often victorious, or had the good fortune to please their masters, had their liberty granted them, on which they generally quitted their profession ; though it sometimes happened, that those who were remarkably skilful, continued it, either from vanity or poverty, even after they
had obtained their freedom; and the applause bestowed on those gladiators, had the effect of inducing men born free, to choose this for a profession, which they exercised for money, till age impaired their strength and address, They then hung up their arms in the temple of Hercules, and appeared no more on the arena.
Ne populum extrema toties exoret arena. There were many amphitheatres at Rome, in other towns of Italy, and in many provinces of the empire; but this of Vespasian was the largest that ever was built. That at Verona is the next in size in Italy, and the remains of the amphitheatre at Nimes, in the south of France, prove that it was the most magnificent structure of this kind in any of the Roman provinces. The Romans were so excessively fond of these exhibitions, that wherever colonies were established, it was found requisite to give public shews of this kind, to induce the emigrants to remain in their new country : and in the provinces where it was thought necessary that a considerable body of troops should remain constantly, structures of this kind were erected, at vast labour and expense, and were found the best means of inducing the young officers to submit cheerfully to a long absence from the capital, and of preventing the common soldiers from desertion. The profusion of human blood, which was shed in the arena, by the cruel prodigality of the emperors, and the refinements which were invented to augment the barbarous pleasure of the spectators, are proofs of the dreadful degree of corruption and depravity to which human nature is capable of attaining, even among a learned and enlightened people, when unrestrained by the mild precepts of a benevolent religion. We are told, that the gladiators bred for the use of particular patricians, as well as those kept for hire by the Lanistæ, were, for some weeks before they appeared in the arena, fed upon such succulent diet, as would soonest fill their veins, that they might bleed freely at every