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without much enquiry into the propriety of it; and hence many strange errors were consecrated, and a store of contention laid up for posterity. The learned Panvinio may be placed at the head of another school: under him and Marliano the study of Roman antiquities became an important branch of literature: under Santo Bartoli and his ally Bellori, together with Palladio, Serlio, and others of the architectural department, it became a science; and, finally, was embellished and recommended to the lovers of the fine arts by the genius of Piranesi.
Nardini, doubtless, surpassed all his predecessors in diligence of compiling; and he may be said to have framed the creed of the Roman antiquary : but, in point of learning and just criticism, he was far inferior to the Jesuit Donatus; and had it been desirable to translate any work upon ancient Rome into the English language, perhaps none would have so good a claim upon the author of the following Dissertations as that of Donatus: Boissard is too prolix; Panciroli and Fabricio too short; and even Venuti, though the last, too dull and imperfect.
But besides the authors who have written upon the Topography and Antiquities of Rome in general, there are those who have treated particular branches of the subject.. Justus Ryckius wrote a learned treatise upon the Capitol alone: Gorio produced a folio volume upon a single columbarium: Fabretti and Albert Cassio bestowed many years of labour and much erudition upon the
aqueducts: Bianchini spent his fortune and his life in endeavouring to illustrate the Palatine hill: some have dwelt upon the theatres and circuses: others have described the "thermæ:" and often the fragments of a column, a few bricks, or a mutilated inscription, have given rise to volumes of ephemeral controversy; and this has had the effect of deterring many from studying the monuments of ancient Rome. **
Besides these writings, there are the chroniclers of antiquities, and the collectors of inscriptions; not the least useful class of authors: among the former, Flaminius Vacca takes the lead: Aldoandrini and Santa Bartoli have contributed to the stock; and Ficoroni has worked his " Vestiges" into a quarto volume.
Mazocchi, Marini, and others, have carefully collected the epigrams and dedicatory inscriptions throughout Rome, which had survived the disasters of the middle ages. In this manner a prodigious mass of erudition was accumulated; until, towards the close of the last century, the study of Rome and its antiquities had been carried as far as learning could take it; for it would be difficult to point out a passage in any ancient author, which serves to establish a topographical fact, that had not already been collected by the antiquaries of the two preceding centuries. Something more was now required to give a new impulse and an additional interest to the subject. The system of excavations adopted by the French, and continued by the popes after their restoration, effected this.
Much new light was thrown upon many of the ancient monuments; and the labours of the old antiquaries (scattered over a vast surface) were again dragged from their obscurity. Periodical publications were set on foot, the Academy of St. Luke overwhelmed with dissertations, the artist and the architect resumed the pencil and the compass. With the aid of all those learned treatises, which descend like an inheritance to the Roman" literati," it might have seemed an obvious task for some one of them to have given a complete and interesting account of Rome: but for the execution of a work of this nature, which should serve at the same time as a guide to the stranger, perhaps the antiquaries of Rome are the persons the least adapted; for being deeply engaged in the investigation of what generally eludes the enquiries of common observers, and frequently intent upon a favourite system on which their reputation is made to depend, they will not condescend to instruct the ignorant; and when it is considered that Venuti's "description" has been thought worthy of being reprinted as a good compendium of the antiquities, it will be enough to show the poverty of that class of publications.
It is true there are Itineraries framed with much discrimination, which may serve as elementary books in a cursory view of Rome; such, for instance, as the Itinerary which Professor Nibby has compiled according to the method of Vasi, and which contains as much information as could well be conveyed in so small a compass: it has
also been thought expedient to republish Nardini with notes and illustrations; but, independently of these works being inaccessible to the English reader, they are either too much or too little for arriving at that degree of antiquarian knowledge which a winter resident desires; nor are they of a nature to engage the attention of the generality of readers: the work which must do this ought to be something between the dry researches of an antiquary and the jejune information of an itinerary; it should make the subject subservient to history, and open up as many sources of useful information as it is capable of discovering.
The author of the following Dissertations, finding no such work written in the Latin and Italian languages, had frequently occasion to complain, as well as to hear others complain, of this deficiency; but it still remained to see whether any of our learned English travellers had supplied it.
Who does not admire the inimitable remarks of Forsyth? who does not see that Mr. Hobhouse, had he illustrated the whole of ancient Rome, instead of "Childe Harold's" selections, would have taken away the reproach from our travelling literati? Mr. Burton would have written the work to be desired, had he spent more time in Rome, made a different arrangement for more general topography, and left the churches to “classical tourists." Yet these are the only works, if we except Lumisden, which illustrate, with any degree of learning, the topography and antiquities of Rome, insufficient as guides, incomplete as trea
tises, as the authors themselves would be ready to acknowledge.
The design of the following work, therefore, is to supply the deficiency in this branch of our classical literature; to investigate, with the aid of all that has gone before it, the site of ancient Rome; to give a fair, an impartial account of the ruins; and to settle the claims of conflicting names, without entering into endless discussions, or leaning to particular theories; to connect, as much as possible, the monuments with the history of Rome; and to direct the learned reader to the proper sources for extending his knowledge on the subject and so far, it is hoped, the work may be found useful, even to those who have not visited the "eternal city." It is, however, more especially designed for the use of those who have either seen or intend to see Rome; and on this account it is presented in the form of Dissertations; and the reader is supposed to be stationed on the several localities: the plan of the whole is more fully developed in the third Dissertation.
It is not intended as a substitute for the common itineraries, but rather as a companion to them ; for there is very little said upon the many interesting objects which the modern city presents: an index will, therefore, be appended, to combine with the arrangement of the most popular guidebooks.
Besides an alphabetical index, a third will be added, in which the monuments will be classed in chronological order. The architectural terms oc