« PrécédentContinuer »
28. Describe the character and reign of Philip V.
The successive interventions of the Romans in affairs of
31. How many kings of other families or nations reigned in Macedonia during the Third Period?
32. Describe the Thracians.
36. Tell the story of Mithridates V.
37. Describe Cappadocia.
38. Tell in brief the history of Armenia, B. C. 301-A. D. 114.
41. How was Judæa governed, B. C. 323-168?
42. Describe its condition under the Syrian kings.
The origin and history of Pergamus.
The early history of Pontus.
The rise and reign of the Maccabees.
The character of Herod, and the great events of his reign. 45. How were his dominions distributed B. C. 4-A. D. 44? 46. Describe the last twenty-six years of Jewish history. 47. How many battles have been described at Bethhoron? 48. How many at Thermopyla?
49. How many at Mantinea?
50. How many at Salamis in Cyprus?
51. How many at Chæronea?
2 78-81, 83.
76, 79, 81-83, 85, 86.
100, 101. 101.
HISTORY OF ROME, FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE FALL OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE, A. D. 476.
GEOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ITALY.
1. ITALY, bounded by the Alps, and the Adriatic, Ionian, and Tyrrhe ́nian seas, is the smallest of the three peninsulas of southern Europe. It is inferior to Greece in the number of its harbors and littoral islands, but excels it in the richness and extent of its plains and fertile mountainsides, being thus better fitted for agriculture and the rearing of cattle than for maritime interests. Still, from its long and narrow shape, Italy has an extended coast-line; the slopes of the Apennines abounded, in ancient times, with forests of oak suitable for ship-timber; and the people, especially of Etruria, were early attracted to the sea.
2. The Alps, which separate Italy from the rest of Europe, have had an important effect upon her history. At present they are traversed securely only by five or six roads, which are among the wonders of modern engineering. In early times they formed a usually effectual barrier against the barbarous nations on the north and west. The Apennines leave the Alpine range near the present boundary between Italy and France, and extend in a south-easterly and southerly direction to the end of the peninsula, throwing off lateral ridges on both sides to the sea, and forming that great variety of surface and climate which is the peculiar charm of the country. A multitude of rivers contribute vastly to the fertility of the soil, though, from their short and rapid course, they are of little value for navigation. Varro preferred the climate of Italy to that of Greece, as producing in perfection every thing good for the use of man. No barley could be compared with the Campa'nian, no wheat with the Apulian, no rye with the Falerʼnian, no oil with the Vena’fran.
3. NORTHERN ITALY lies between the Swiss Alps and the Upper Apennines, and is almost covered by the great plain of the Po, which is one of the most fertile regions of Europe. It comprised, in the most (245)
ancient times, the three countries of Ligu ́ria, Upper Etruria, and Vene'tia. The second of these divisions, together with some portions of the Ligurian and Venetian territories, was conquered, in the sixth century before Christ, by a Celtic population from the north and west, and was thenceforth known as Cisalpine Gaul. The region north of the Apennines does not belong to Roman or even Italian history until about the time of the Christian Era, when it became incorporated in the territories of Rome.
4. The peninsula proper is divided into the two regions of central and southern Italy, by a line drawn from the mouth of the Tifer'nus, on the Adriatic, to that of the Sil'arus, on the western coast. CENTRAL ITALY comprised six countries, of which three, Etruria, La'tium, and Campania, were on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and three others, Um′bria, Pice'num, and the Sabine country, on the Adriatic. Etruria was, in the earliest times, the most important division of Italy proper. It was separated from Liguria by the river Macra; from Cisalpine Gaul, by the Apennines; and from Umbria, the Sabine territory, and Latium, by the Tiber.
Latium, lying south of Etruria, was chiefly a low plain; but its surface was varied by spurs of the Apennines on the north, and by the Vol'scian and Alban ranges of volcanic origin in the center and south. It included the Roman Campagna, now a solitary and almost treeless expanse, considered uninhabitable from the noxious exhalations of the soil, but during and before the flourishing period of Rome, the site of many populous cities. Several foreign tribes occupied portions of the Latin territory, among whom the Volsci, on the mountains which bear their name, and the Æqui, north of Prænes'te, were best worthy of mention. In the view of history, a cluster of low hills seven east and three west of the Tiber which constitute in later ages the site of Rome, is not only the most important part of Latium, but that which gives its significance to all the
5. Campania was a fertile and delightful region, extending from the Liris to the Silarus, and from the Apennines to the sea. Greek and Roman writers never wearied of celebrating the excellence of its harbors, the beauty of its landscape, the exuberant richness of its soil, and the enchanting softness of its air. The coast is varied by the isolated cone of Vesuvius and a range of volcanic hills, including the now extinct crater of Solfatara. Umbria was a mountainous country east of Etruria. Before the coming of the Gauls, it extended northward to the Rubicon and eastward to the Adriatic; but its coast was wholly conquered by that people, who drove the Umbrians beyond the mountains.
Picenum consisted of a flat, fertile plain along the Adriatic, and a hilly region, consisting of twisted spurs of the Apennines, in the interior. Poets praised the apples of Picenum, and its olives were among the choicest in Italy. The Sabine territory, at its greatest extension, was 200 miles in
GEOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ITALY.
length, and reached nearly from sea to sea. It was inhabited by many tribes, probably of common origin. Beside the Sabines proper, were the Sam'nites, the Frenta'ni, and the Marsi, Mar'ruci'ni, Pelig'ni, and Vesti'ni, who formed the League of the Four Cantons. The Sabine country, though rough, was fertile, and its wine and oil chiefly supplied the common people of Rome.
6. SOUTHERN ITALY included four countries: Luca'nia and Brut'tium on the west, Apulia and Cala'bria on the east. Lucania is a picturesque and fertile country, watered by many rivers. Bruttium is of similar character, and was especially valued in old times for its pine forests, which, from their timber and pitch, yielded an important revenue to the Roman government. Both countries attracted multitudes of Greek colonists, whose cities early rose to a high degree of wealth and civilization. (See Book III, ¿¿ 87, 90.) Apulia, unlike any other division of central or southern Italy, consists chiefly of a rich, unbroken plain, from twenty to forty miles in width, gently sloping from the mountains to the sea. In ancient times it maintained great numbers of horses and sheep, the latter of which were famed for the fineness of their wool. When the plain became parched by summer heats, the flocks were driven to the neighboring mountains of Samnium; while, in winter, the Samnite flocks forsook their bleak and snowy heights to find pasturage in the rich meadows of Apulia. The northern portion of Apulia is mountainous, being traversed by two strong spurs of the Apennines, one of which projects into the sea and forms the rocky headland of Mount Garga'nus.
Calabria, called by the Greeks Iapyg'ia or Messa'pia, occupied the long peninsula which is commonly called the heel of Italy. Its soft limestone soil quickly absorbs moisture, rendering the country arid, and the heats of summer intense. The products of the soil were, however, in ancient times, abundant and of great value. Its oil, wine, and honey were widely celebrated, the wool afforded by its flocks was of the finest quality, and the horses which recruited the Tarentine cavalry were among the most excellent in the world.
7. Italy possessed three islands of great importance: Sicily, noted for its excellent harbors and inexhaustible soil; Sardin'ia, for its silver mines and harvests of grain; and Cor'sica, for its dense forests of pine and fir. The position as well as the valuable productions of these islands, early tempted the enterprise of both Greeks and Carthaginians; and rivalry in their possession first drew these nations into hostility with each other, and with the ultimately victorious power of Rome.
*It should be noticed that the name Calabria is now applied to the other peninsula of southern Italy, that which included the ancient Bruttium. The name was changed about the eleventh century of the Christian Era.