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ancient times, the three countries of Liguria, 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 Tifernus, 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, Umbria, 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 Equi, 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 Tiberwhich 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 Calabria 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.
HISTORY OF ROME.
8. Our history in this Book falls naturally into three divisions:
B. C. 753-510.
I. THE ROMAN KINGDOM,
30-A. D. 476.
The records of the First Period, so far as they relate to persons, are largely mixed with fable, and it is impossible to separate the fanciful from the real. The student is recommended to read the stories of the kings, in their earliest and most attractive form, in Dr. Arnold's History of Rome. Under their beautiful mythical guise, these legends present, doubtless, a considerable amount of truth. Our limits only admit a statement of the popular ancient belief concerning the rise of Rome, among the other and older nations which inhabited Italy.
9. Central and southern Italy were occupied, from the earliest known times, by three aces, the Etrus'cans, Italians, and Iapygians. The latter were nearly related to the Greeks, as has been proved by their language and the identity of their objects of worship. They therefore mingled readily with the Hellenic settlers (see & 6), and Greek civilization quickly took root and flourished throughout southern Italy. The Italians proper so called because, when united, they became the ruling race in Italy — arrived later in the peninsula than the Iapygians. They came from the north, and crowded into closer quarters the half-Hellenic inhabitants of the south. They consisted of four principal races: the Umbrians, Sabines, Oscans, and Latins. Of these the first three were closely connected, while the Latins were distinct. The latter formed a confederacy of thirty cities, or cantons, and met every year on the Alban Mount to offer a united sacrifice to Jupiter Latia'ris, the protecting deity of the Latin race. During this festival wars were suspended, as in Elis during the Olympic Games.
10. The Etruscans, or Tuscans, were wholly different in language, appearance, and character from the other nations of Italy. Their origin is wrapped in mystery. Some suppose them to have been Turanian, and thus allied to the Lapps, Finns, and Estho'nians of northern Europe, and the Basques of Spain; others, and the greater number, believe the mass of the people to have been Pelasgi-that race which overspread Greece and Italy at a remoter period than history can reach - but to have been absorbed and enslaved by a more powerful people from the north, who called themselves Ras'ena, while they were named by others Etruscans. History first finds these invaders in Rhæ'tia, the country about the head-waters of the Ad'ige, the Danube, and the Rhine; then traces them to the plain of the Po, where, at a very early period, they formed
a league of twelve cities; and thence south of the Apennines into Tus'cany, which, reduced in limits, still bears their name.
Here they formed a similar but quite distinct confederacy of the same number of cities. For a time their dominion extended across the peninsula, and their fleets commanded both the " 'Upper" and the "Lower Sea," the latter of which derived from them its ancient name, Tyrrhenian. They conquered Campania, and built there a third cluster of twelve cities, of which Cap'ua was the chief; but they lost this portion of their territory in wars with the Samnites. Many relics of Etruscan art exist, in the massive walls of their cities, their castings in bronze, figures in terra-cotta, and golden chains, bracelets, and other ornaments, which prove them to have been a luxurious and wealthy people. Their religion was of a gloomy and superstitious character. They sought to know the will of their gods by auguries drawn from thunder and lightning, from the flight of birds, or from the entrails of slain beasts; and to avert their wrath by sacrifices prescribed and regulated by an elaborate ritual. To learn these rites formed a large part of the education of a young Tuscan noble.
11. The Romans, who were destined to be for nearly twelve centuries the dominant race of Italy and the world, belonged to the Latin branch of the Italian family. A Greek tradition celebrated by Virgil, and believed by most Romans in the days of the empire, traced their origin to a company of Trojan emigrants, led to the shores of Italy by Ene'as, son of Anchises, after the fall of Troy. (See Book III, 14.) But the Latin coast was at that time densely populated, and the new comers, if any such there were, must soon have been absorbed and lost among the older inhabitants.
12. The common legends assigned the building of Rome to Romʼulus, grandson of Nu'mitor, an Alban prince. Numitor had been deprived of his crown by his brother Amu'lius, who also killed the son of the deposed king, and compelled his daughter Silvia to become a vestal. Beloved of Mars, she became, however, the mother of Romulus and Remus, whereupon her uncle caused her to be thrown, with her twin sons, into the Anio, a tributary of the Tiber. The rivers had overflowed their banks; when they subsided, the cradle containing the infant princes was overturned at the foot of the Palatine Mount. Nourished by a wolf, and fed by a woodpecker sacred to Mars, they grew to be hardy young shepherds, and distinguished themselves in combats with wild beasts and robbers.
At the age of twenty they became aware of their royal birth, and having conquered Amulius, restored their grandfather to his throne. But they still loved the home of their youth, and resolved to build a new city on the banks of the Tiber. The brothers, differing in their
choice of a site, consulted the auspices. After watching all night, Remus, at dawn, saw six vultures; but Romulus, at sunrise, saw twelve. The majority of the shepherds voted the decision to Romulus, and it was ever after believed that the twelve vultures denoted twelve centuries, during which the dominion of the city should endure.
13. His shepherd comrades being too few to satisfy his ambition, Romulus offered asylum on the Cap'itoline to homicides and runaway slaves, thus enrolling among his subjects the refuse of the neighboring tribes. To obtain wives for these adventurers, he invited the Latins and Sabines to witness games in honor of Neptune; and when not only men, but women and children were assembled, the runners and wrestlers rushed into the crowd and carried away whom they would. War followed, in which the Latins were thrice defeated. The Sabine king, Titus Tatius, marched with a powerful army upon Rome, obtained possession of the Capitoline fortress through the treachery of the maiden Tarpe'ia, the daughter of its commander, and nearly defeated the forces of Romulus in a long and obstinate battle.
The Sabine women, however, now reconciled to their fate, came between their fathers and husbands, beseeching them with tears to be reconciled, since, whoever should be conquered, the grief and loss must be their own. A lasting peace was made, and the two kings agreed to reign jointly over the united nations, Romulus holding his court on the Palatine, and Titus Tatius on the Capitoline and Quirinal hills. After the death of Tatius, Romulus ruled alone. At the end of a prosperous reign of thirtyseven years, he was reviewing his troops one day in the Field of Mars, when the sun became suddenly darkened, a tempest agitated earth and air, and Romulus disappeared. The people mourned him as dead, but they were comforted by his appearing in a glorified form to one of their number, assuring him that the Romans should become lords of the world, and that he himself, under the name of Quiri'nus, would be their guardian.
14. After a year's interregnum, Numa, a Sabine of wise and peaceful character, was chosen king. He was revered in after ages as the religious founder of Rome, no less than Romulus as the author of its civil and military institutions. The wisdom and piety of his laws were attributed to the nymph Ege'ria, who met him by a fountain in a grove, and dictated to him the principles of good government. The few records of this king and his predecessor belong rather to mythology than to history.
15. Tullus Hostil'ius, the third king of Rome, is the first of whose deeds we have any trustworthy account. He conquered Alba Longa, and transferred its citizens to the Cælian Hill in Rome. This new city then became the protectress of the Latin League, with the right of presiding