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supernatural, is forced upon every individual who has seen or felt the immediate effect of the usual causes of sickness; and yet the Romans neither studied of their own accord the laws of health, nor did they receive an impulse from the Greeks who had ever since Hippocrates a rational study of medicine, free from the superstitious practices of the vulgar. With the growing influence of Greek learning and art, some Greeks skilled in medicine found their way to Rome, but a genuine Roman like Cato the censor would have nothing to say to them. He and most of his countrymen continued to apply their old spells, prayers, sacrifices, or such quack medicines as those described in Cato's receipt book, among which cabbage (brassica) in every form, boiled, baked, dried, powdered, decocted, and mixed with other equally potent herbs, was the panacea for every

conceivable ailment.

In the arts of painting and sculpture the Romans had in themselves even less of creative genius than in poetry. They were still more deficient in the plastic sense than in imagination. Besides, the great works of Greek sculptors did not require to be translated into Latin. They could be bodily brought over from Syracuse and Tarentum, from Corinth and Ambracia, and placed in the Roman temples, on public places, and in private houses. They were rare ornaments, prized because they were in fashion, because they were highly valued by connoisseurs in art, but certainly not because their new owners delighted in their artistic beauty or could even appreciate them.' If that had been the case, the Greek works of art

1 Bernhardy, Röm. Literat. § 12: The daily contemplation of the great masterpieces of Greek sculpture produced very scanty results. To possess such works of art became indeed a passion of the great. But much was wanting from a true and genuine taste and appreciation of the elevated style of Greek plastic art. Ibid. note 32: 'Greek art remained always merely decorative in Rome, whether it was employed to give splendour to the great public games or to ornament the great houses of the nobles.' 'In general the Romans, like all amateurs, delighted especially in such works of art as were remarkable for the skill of the execution, for truthfulness to nature, and for striking effects.' 'On the whole, therefore, the Romans have been merely preservers of works of ancient art; very few of them fully comprehended the

CHAP.

XIV.

Painting

and sculp ture.

BOOK

VI.

Roman architecture.

would have touched the Roman soil like a living seed, and would have inspired enthusiasm and emulation. But nothing of the kind followed. The example of the old painter Fabius was not much imitated by his countrymen. Of course we cannot discover how far the Romans took part in the execution of works of art, and of all the ornamental objects which with the increase of wealth necessarily found a ready market in Rome. It is not impossible that here and there Romans had a share in their production and evinced taste and skill; but unless we have distinct grounds for attributing any such works to Roman design or execution, we are justified in believing that they were the productions of foreigners.

The sole exception in the arts is architecture. But even this was developed in Rome not so much in its artistic aspects as in its technical execution, i.e, in that department where the skill of the builder and not the art of the architect is called into operation. The application of the arch, the construction of sewers, aqueducts, bridges, and roads, everything relating to the technicalities of masonry and engineering, was carried out in a grand and splendid style, but the great models of Greece were not improved by the modifications which they experienced in Italy.

beauty of forms and the value of art for intellectual culture.' 'Except a few amateurs and pretentious enthusiasts, the Romans confined themselves to giving orders to artists, and were content to collect and preserve them for modern times,'

CHAPTER XV.

THE CITY OF ROME DURING THE PUNIC WARS.

CHAP.

XV.

Earliest

Roman

We have but very scanty materials at our disposal to form an idea of the external appearance of the city of Rome at the time of the three wars with Carthage. Doubtless it was very different from the Rome of the Samnite wars. Only buildings. a few isolated monumental buildings still bore testimony to the proud and enterprising spirit of those men who laid the foundation of the eternal city. The old town walls, built in the time of the kings, were still standing, and the solid sewers which had for ages drained the forum and the adjacent low parts of the town. The wooden bridge, probably often renewed and repaired, and the bridges to the island in the Tiber, still sufficed for the daily traffic.

Among a large number of temples and altars the most prominent were the Capitoline temple of the three chief deities, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, and upon the Aventine the temple of Diana, the federal sanctuary of the Romans and Latins; besides these the plebeian temple of Ceres on the same hill, and on the market the round temple of Vesta with the hearth of the united community. Next to this was the old royal palace (regia) which served since the beginning of the republic as the official residence of the supreme pontifex. The number of temples had increased so enormously in course of time that we can scarcely understand how space could be found for them in Rome. The greater part of them, however, we may fancy to have been buildings of modest appearance and small dimensions. In the same manner as they often owed their foundation to a whim of an individual, to a vow or a victory, it seems to have in many

BOOK
VI.

Date of Roman public

cases been dependent upon the caprice of individuals or families whether they should be kept up and repaired or allowed to fall into decay. Hence it happened that a large number of them were left in a half-ruinous condition, and as much neglected as some of the old national deities themselves.

It is by no means so easy as is generally supposed to ascertain at what time many of the Roman temples were buildings. built. In general we find that the annalists are anxious to ascribe their erection to as early a time as possible, in order to enhance the glory and nobility of the family that founded, built, or consecrated them.' If we bear in mind the Gallic destruction, we shall be much inclined to doubt the age of public buildings outside the capitol which were at a later time considered to be older than that period. It seems that, if not first erected after that famous conflagration, most of them must have been restored, so that they may be looked upon as newly built. One of these edifices is the Curia. Although it bears the name of Hostilia, which is meant to connect its construction with the third Roman king, it cannot have been the original building. For this building can scarcely have escaped the general devastation of Rome by the Gauls, unless the devastation was much less than has been represented. Of private houses, none of course dated from a time earlier than the Gallic invasion. They were most probably without exception very plain and modest, mostly built of wood, and therefore exposed to destruction in the conflagrations which so often raged in Rome. It was not before the conquests in the East that the Roman nobles began to cultivate a taste for private dwellings of a more imposing and substantial kind. On the whole the outward appearance of Rome in the second century B.C. must have been paltry and mean. But it gradually improved. The old wooden booths that lined the marketplace on both sides, and had formerly served in part for On the temple of Apollo, see vol. i. p. 250, n. 2; on that of Bellona, vol. i. p. 561, n. 1.

butchers' stalls, were exchanged on the northern side for stone structures which became offices for moneychangers.

CHAP.

XV.

The appearance of the market was still more improved Basilicas. when in the year 185 B.C. Cato bought some of the booths, and built the first basilica (the basilica Porcia), to which subsequently two more basilicas were added, one (usually called the Emilia) in the year 180 B.C. by the censors Æmilius and Fulvius, and another (the basilica Sempronia) in the year 170 B.C. by the censor Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. These buildings, destined principally for mercantile transactions, were a kind of exchanges, but were also employed for other purposes, especially for judicial proceedings. The old forum, however, still remained in use for the transaction of public and legal business, and was still the centre of life in the town. The plebeian popular assemblies were likewise usually held there, and sometimes in the open space before the Capitoline temple of Jupiter. Lastly, the forum was used as an arena for gladiatorial fights.

Besides the great forum there were market-places for Markets. special articles; a cattle market (forum boarium), a fish market (forum piscatorium), and a vegetable market (forum olitorium). We do not know whether these markets were sufficient for the wants of the town, but probably private shops of all sorts were scattered about the different quarters.

By means of the extensive sewers, which had been Sewers and aqueducts. begun in the regal period, and repaired and enlarged during the republic,' the forum and the adjoining parts had been rendered dry and habitable. But the town was by no means safe from periodical inundations. On the contrary, Rome was exposed to great danger from floods every spring and autumn. Houses in the low parts were on such occasions undermined, and often fell. The fre

1 Mommsen (R. Gesch. i. p. 808) is of opinion that probably most of what remains of the great sewers dates not from the regal period, but from repairs made subsequently. 2 Liv. xxxv. 9, 2. Orosius, iv. 11.

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