Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.7 Str. 5.3.9 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.3.11

5.3.8

These advantages accrued to the city from the nature of the country; but the foresight of the Romans added others

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besides. The Grecian cities are thought to have flourished mainly on account of the felicitous choice made by their founders, in regard to the beauty and strength of their sites, their proximity to some port, and the fineness of the country. But the Roman prudence was more particularly employed on matters which had received but little attention from the Greeks, such as paving their roads, constructing aqueducts, and sewers, to convey the sewage of the city into the Tiber. In fact, they have paved the roads, cut through hills, and filled up valleys, so that the merchandise may be conveyed by carriage from the ports. The sewers, arched over with hewn stones, are large enough in some parts for waggons loaded with hay to pass through; while so plentiful is the supply of water from the aqueducts, that rivers may be said to flow through the city and the sewers, and almost every house is furnished with water-pipes and copious fountains. To effect which Marcus Agrippa directed his special attention; he likewise bestowed upon the city numerous ornaments. We may remark, that the ancients, occupied with greater and more necessary concerns, paid but little attention to the beautifying of Rome. But their successors, and especially those of our own day, without neglecting these things, have at the same time embellished the city with numerous and splendid objects. Pompey, divus Cæsar, and Augustus, with his children, friends, wife, and sister, have surpassed all others in their zeal and munificence in these decorations. The greater number of these may be seen in the Campus Martius, which to the beauties of nature adds those of art. The size of the plain is marvellous, permitting chariot-races and other feats of horsemanship without impediment, and multitudes to exercise themselves at ball, [Note] in the circus [Note] and the palœstra. The structures which surround it, the turf covered with herbage all the year round,

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the summits of the hills beyond the Tiber, extending from its banks with panoramic effect, present a spectacle which the eye abandons with regret. Near to this plain is another surrounded with columns, sacred groves, three theatres, an amphitheatre, and superb temples in close contiguity to each other; and so magnificent, that it would seem idle to describe the rest of the city after it. For this cause the Romans, esteeming it as the most sacred place, have there erected funeral monuments to the most illustrious persons of either sex. The most remarkable of these is that designated as the Mausoleum, [Note] which consists of a mound of earth raised upon a high founda- tion of white marble, situated near the river, and covered to the top with ever-green shrubs. Upon the summit is a bronze statue of Augustus Cæsar, and beneath the mound are the ashes [Note] of himself, his relatives, and friends. Behind is a large grove containing charming promenades. In the centre of the plain, [Note] is the spot where this prince was reduced to ashes; it is surrounded with a double enclosure, one of marble, the other of iron, and planted within with poplars. If from hence you proceed to visit the ancient forum, which is equally filled with basilicas, porticos, and temples, you will there behold the Capitol, the Palatium, with the noble works which adorn them, and the piazza of Livia, each successive place causing you speedily to forget what you have before seen. Such is Rome. 5.3.9

Of the other cities of Latium, some are distinguished by a variety of remarkable objects, others by the celebrated roads which intersect Latium, being situated either upon, or near to, or between these roads, the most celebrated of which are the Via Appia, the Via Latina, and the Via Valeria. The former of these bounds the maritime portion of Latium, as far as Sinuessa, the latter extends along Sabina as far as the Marsi, whilst between these is the Via Latina, which falls in with the Via Appia near to Casilinum, [Note] a city distant from Capua [Note] 19 stadia. The Via Latina commences from the Via Appia, branching from it towards the left, near to Rome. It passes over the Tusculan mountain, between the city of Tusculum [Note] and Mount Albanus; it then descends to the little city of Algidum, [Note] and the Pictæ tavern; afterwards the Via

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Lavicana joins it, which commences, like the Via Prænestina, from the Esquiline gate. This road, as well as the Esquiline plain, the Via Lavicana leaves on the left; it then proceeds a distance of 120 stadia, or more, when it approaches Lavicum, an ancient city now in ruins, situated on an eminence; this and Tusculum it leaves on the right, and terminates near to Pictæ in the Via Latina. This place is 210 stadia distant from Rome. Proceeding thence along the Via Latina there are noble residences, and the cities Ferentinum, [Note] Frusino, [Note] by which the river Cosa flows, Fabrateria, [Note] by which flows the river Sacco, [Note] Aquinum, [Note] a large city, by which flows the great river Melfa, [Note] Interamnium, situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Garigliano and another, Casinum, also an important city, and the last of those belonging to Latium. For Teanum, called Sidicinum, [Note] which lies next in order, shows by its name that it belongs to the nation of the Sidicini. These people are Osci, a surviving nation of the Campani, so that this city, which is the largest of those situated upon the Via Latina, may be said to be Campanian; as well as that of Cales, [Note] another considerable city which lies beyond, and is contiguous to Casilinum. [Note]



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.3.7 Str. 5.3.9 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.3.11

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