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The Author of the following Remarks, who resided many years at Rome, committed them to writing for his own private amusement. But, having shown them to several of his friends, in whose taste and learning he has much confidence, he now ventures to present them to the Public. He pretends not to elegance of style: accuracy of observation is his great object. He has pointed out the sources from whence knowledge of the Roman Antiquities is to be drawn. He has corrected many mistakes that various authors, lave fallen into, and carefully cited his authorities. Though he is far from thinking that he has exhausted his extensive and difficult subject, yet he flatters himself that these Remarks, imperfect as they are, may prove useful to those who shall hereafter visit Rome, as well as to
lover of the fine arts, and of classical learning; and that they will not be unacceptable even to persons who have already examined the Antiquities of that renowned city.
These Remarks could easily have been lengthened out; but, in a work of this kind, the Author preferred conciseness, and wished to say no more than what was necessary : at the same time he hopes his ideas will be found to be sufficiently clear. Such as they are, he submits them to the examination of the candid Public.
The Work might, no doubt, have admitted of an extensive number of engravings; which, however, would have greatly increased its price, and thereby rendered it, though more splendid, less universally useful. The Author, therefore, has given only such, as were indispensably necessary for illustrating to the eye, what he could not do so clearly by words. They are all of them taken from accurate original drawings, * excepting only those of the Pantheon and Vespasian's Amphitheatre, which are copied, the one from Desgodetz, and the other from Fontana. With regard to other engravings, which might have been, but are not here given, the curious reader is referred, at the proper places, to the different authors, by whom they have been published.
In the course of the Work, the Author frequently uses the modern Roman measure called a palm, employed by their architects; it is equal to 8,779 English inches.
* Plates I. and III. are delineated by the ingenious Mr. John Myddelton, from maps, plans, and drawings in the Author's collection. Perhaps by comparing the Plan of Ancient Rome, Plate III. with one of Modern Rome, the reader will be enabled to find out more easily the situation of the Antiquities mentioned in these Remarks. The best Plan of Modern Rome is that by Giambattista Nolli.
ed by Romu
The foundation of Rome, like that of most cities of great Rome foundantiquity, is wrapt up in fable.* The Roman Records were, lus. in a great measure, destroyed by the Gauls,, 120 years after the expulsion of their kings; and their oldest Historian, Quintus Fabius Pictor, lived 164 years after this loss. Uncertainty, therefore, must necessarily attend many of the events related in the first 500 years of their history.
Rome,t situated in the 41° 53 and 54" of north latitude, was, according to Varro, founded by Romulus, in the third year of the sixth Olympiad, that is, 431 years after the destruction of Troy, and 753 years before Christ.
* Datur hæc vedia antiquitati, ut miscendo humana divinis, primordia urbiuin angustiora faciat.”—T. Liv. I. 1. præf.
+ Rome in the Greek, which was the same as the Pelagian language, sig. nified strength.Plut. Life of Romulus.
Although Romulus may justly be called the founder of Rome, yet, before his time, it seems to have been inhabited, and was named Saturnia :
“ A patre dicta meo quondam Saturnia Roma est.”*
The same is confirmed by Pliny+_" Saturnia ubi nunc Roma est." But it appears that Rome had a concealed name, which superstitious and political reasons made unlawful to be revealed. I Angerona is supposed to have been this name, and the secret divinity who presided over the fate of Rome. She was represented, like Harpocrate, with her finger on her mouth, the emblem of secrecy and mystery. S
Could we give credit to the History of the beginning of this celebrated city, what a series of wonders does it present to us! What an high idea must we have of the abilities of Romulus ! He civilized and reduced into a regular society, a set of men, drawn together by the love of novelty ; many of whom had fled from the places of their birth, to escape the punishment due to their crimes; who lived on pillage, and breathed nothing but anarchy and unlimited liberty. How surprising is it that, from the union of such men, an empire should arise, the citizens of which were as illustrious by their virtues, as by their bravery and universal conquest !
* Ovid. Fast. l. 6. v. 31. + Plin. l. 3. c. 5.
§ “Nam propterea ipsi Romani et deum, in cujus tutela urbs Roma est, ut ipsius urbis Latinum nomen ignotum esse voluerunt . . . . . Sunt qui Angeronam quæ digito ad os admoto silentium denuntiat.”--Macrobius, 1. S. c. 9.