« PreviousContinue »
very to which he looks forward must, if onr conjecture with respect to the nature of the disorder be correct, imply on his part an expectation that they will gradually renounce the liberal and, as we conceive, scriptural sentiments which they entertain on these subjects at present, and embrace in their stead the morose, illiberal, and mystical dogmas of the Genevan reformer.
Art. II. A Description of the Antiquities and other Cu
riosities of Rome. By the Rev. Edward Burton, M.A. Student of Christ Church, 8vo. pp. 590. Murray. London. Parker. Oxford. 1821.
MR. BURTON passed four months in Rome in the year 1818-19. By the opportunities which he enjoyed during this personal visit, and subsequently by a diligent perusal of the account of modern travellers, and the labours of the Italian antiquaries, he has produced the most interesting manual with which we have hitherto met, as a guide to the fireside explorers of the marvels of the Eternal City. His volume indeed displays less enthusiastic love of the arts and of literature than those of Mr. Eustace; nor is it by any means so sparkling and antithetical as that of Mr. Forsyth. Than the last, however, it is decidedly more good humoured ; and to the scholar, we think, it is more satisfactory than either. As for Mr. Hobhouse if he should be inclined to complain that Mr. Burton has borrowed some of that unwieldiness of manner which distinguishes the "Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto of Childe Harold,” he must, at least, confess that the charge of plagiarism stops here, in limine. Beyond their common heaviness there is no similarity between the two authors: and even in this their resemblance proceeds from very opposite causes. Mr. Burton is evidently indifferent as to his mode of expression. He overflows with knowledge of his subject, and lets his words fall into any •rder which they chuse to assume; little solicitous of their arrangement so as they clearly convey his meaning. The intention of the Illustrator on the other hand, as
we suspect, is to be obscure. He builds up an inverted pyramid of huge and cumbrous wordiness on a very slender basis of learning; and ostentatiously inlays the mis-shapen mass with arabesques of his own peculiar fancy in religion and politics,
While we incidentally happen to be on this subject our readers perhaps may be amused if we recal to their remembrance, one or two of Mr. Hobhouse's notable discoveries in Rome, before we proceed to the direct examination of Mr. Burton's work. We may never have so good an opportunity again: and indeed it is but a part of the debt owing to this latter gentleman for the mass of sound information which he bas afforded us, to point out to what extent the hardihood of a certain shew of scholarship may carry a pretender, until scholarship without shew comes to set him right.
" " The name of the Roman Forum,' says Mr. Hobhouse, seems to have been obliterated in the earliest times, and when it re-appears, the modern denomination by a singular coincidence shews that time had accomplished the repented vow of Totila." "Totila,' continues the note, said he would make Rome a sheep walk, unaoßotor. The coincidence would be more striking, if, as the Latin translation interprets it, and as Mr. Gibbon has apparently copied from that translation, the Gothic King had used the words, . in gregum pascua,'a pasture for cattle.' » Hist. III. 243.
Now we say nothing of this “puny whipster,” this “hungry Græculist,” this overgrown sixth-form boy taxing Gibbon with the use of a Crib! Gibbon, who drew from stores of learning almost inexhaustible; who never mistranslated without well knowing that he did so, and even then only when Christianity stood in his way. In the present instance he had no such temptation; and therefore, as usual, he is right. The passage in the “ Decline and Fall," is as follows: " the world was astonished by the fatal decree that Rome should be changed into a pasture for cattle,” (VII. 369.) And into what else was it to be changed, whether we look to the Latin or the Greek authority? What else is greyum pascua ? Or what else unrobotes ? Unless in the Lexicons of those vv. DD. who, with Mr. Hobhouse, do not distinguish very nicely between the compounds of βοσκω and βαινω. . But perhaps to make " the coincidence more striking," Il Campo Vaccino should be rendered a sheep walk.
A still more ingenious statement regards Trajan's column: and for this we shall quote Mr. Hobhouse's words at length.
-And apostolic statues climb To crush the imperial urn whose ashes lay sublime." « Sextus Quintus raised the statue of St. Peter on the summit of the column of Trajan: a liberty has in the above verses been taken with the probable position of the urn of Trajan, in compliance with a tradition that the ashes of the Emperor were in
the head of a spear which the colossal statue raised on the pillar held in his hand. But the remains of Trajan were buried in a golden urn under the column and continued in that depository in the time of Theodoric,” Hist. Ill. 214.
Whether the ashes " lay sublime,” or low we pretend not to decide; our only business is with “ the head of the spear;" and Mr. Hobhouse cites his authority for this in a note adjoined to the passage with all due pomp of circumstantial reference.
« τα δε το Τραϊανου οστά εν τω κιόνι αυτά κατετέθη. Dion. Hist. Rom. Lib. LXIX tom. II. p. 1150 Edit. Hamb. 1760, sunt qui in pila quam tenebat colossus cineres conditos dicunt, quo fundamento adhuc requiro.' See Comment to Lib. LXVIII. tom. II. p. 1133, of the Scylandro Leunclavian version.”
Now the plain fact is, that the ashes, as our readers will already bave seen and as Mr. Burton tells us, were supposed to bave been deposited in a golden ball held in the hand of a colossal statue ; and so Ainsworth would have told Mr. Hobhouse if he had looked out pila pilæ ; instead of pilum pili. But thus it is with men of genius : they prefer the hazardous facility of a guess, to the patient drudgery of thumbing a dictionary, till they are sure of their word, its sense, its declension, and its gender.
Enough of this, which however by contrast will be advantageous to Mr. Burton. We think this gentleman's volume not only well adapted to the purpose for which it immediately professes to be written, but that it may be read also with great use as a running commentary on the Roman historians. Thus in treating on the population of the ancient city we find a clear exposé of every thing which is known relative to that intricate subject, the Census.
The vast difference in some of Livy's numbers is reasonably accounted for. At first it is clear that the census included those only who were capable of bearing arms. Slaves therefore with women and children must not be reckoned in the computation; though from the particular exception of widows and widowers (may not these words orbos orbasque be rendered orphans of both sexes ?) in one passage (Liv. III. 3.) it may be argued that all women were not excluded. In the six years which elapsed between the fourth and the tenth year
of the Punic war we find a frightful, but by no means an incredible dimination of numbers. Rome had lost 133,205 citizens: four years afterwards the Census gives an increase of no less than 76,892; and this rapid advance while
the same calamity was acting as a drawhack, might stagger our belief, if we were not told that the Censors went to the armies, and there numbered the naturalized allies. The last Census which we find in the History of Livy, u.c. 579 gives 269,015 (XLII. 10.) In the Epitome of the cx vth. Book, the numbers just before the battle of Munda, u. c. 707 are stated to be only 150,000. Brotier thinks that this sum which is manifestly too small, includes not the whole population, but only such as were privileged to have a public allowance of corn : and Mr. Burton adduces it very fairly as an additional proof that the Epitomes of Livy, are not by the hand of that historian.
Tacitus (Ann. XI. 25.) makes the citizens of Rome in the time of Claudius amount to 5,984,072 ; tbis must be received of all who in any place held the right of Roman citizenship, or else we must admit that after the reign of Angustus the Census extended to the suburbs ; for it cannot be doubted that the reading in Pliny which gives xil miles as the circumference of the walls must be reduced to vul; the corruption is plain to the eye and might readily take place; and we agree with Gibbon, that " it is easier to alter à text than to remove hills or buildings.” Now a circuit of eight miles, particularly when we call to mind the vast number of deiached mansions, the insulæ ; the public edifices and gardeus which existed in Rome, could never contain six million inhabitants ; but we may easily include that number within the city and the suburbs which in some direction, as towards Ocriculum extended forty miles.
We have given these facts with some variation from Mr. Burton's statement, in order that we may add his inferences from then, since we think he has decided the question as to the real mode of enumeration. He excludes minors, slaves, and mechanics, although residing in Rome; sometimes also such citizens as were absent on military service. The allies although possessed of the freedom of the city, he thinks might be reckoned or not, as the senate and people pleased. The original purpose of the Census was not so much to ascertain the direct numbers of the population, as to determine what portion of it could bear arms, and contribute in different gradations to the support of the State. Hence though none but Roman citizens could be included in it, all Roman citizens were not always included in it.
“ To be a citizen of Rome, that is, to have a vote in the Co. mitia, three things were necessary; that the person should be domiciled, that he should belong to one of the thirty-five tribes, and that he should be capable of filling the public offices. The Jus Latii
and the Jus Italiæ, which were privileges granted to the allies, were short of actual citizenship, and did not make a person a full citizen, or cause his name to be taken in the Roman census. Sigonius says, that the very act of being enrolled upon the censor's list conferred all the rights of citizenship; and slaves with the consent of their masters sometimes entered their names, and thus became free citizens. But no persons could vote in the Comitia, nor could they be taxed for the relief of the State, unless they resided in Rome ; so that it was optional with the censors to take the provinces into their survey, or not. After the extraordinary census in 549, we have seen that 12,000 of the allies were ordered to quit Rome, although their names had been adinitted with the rest : for the cities, to which they belonged, complained of their absence; and the only way, by which the Romans could exclude them from the census, was by making them cease to reside in Rome. Another decree followed, that their names should in future be taken in their respective cities ; and these numbers were sometimes transmitted to the Roman censors, though not taken into the general account *.
“ As the citizens of Rome became to be dispersed in various provinces, the numbers teturned by the census naturally fluctuated, because there was no fixed rule as to what constituted residence. In U. C. 658, the Licinia Mucia Lex was passed, which ordered all the inhabitants of Italy, who were Roman citizens, to be enrolled in their respective cities t; but no mention is made of the provinces out of Italy. In 662, by the Lex Julia all the inhabitants of Italy were made to belong to some tribe, and became full citizens. This will fully account for the vast increase, which we find in the reign of Augustus, compared with former returns. А census was held in the different towns, and transmitted to Rome: sonue authors have added these to the Roman census, and some bave not ; which may account for the different enumerations of the same return; and we are therefore authorized in concluding from the whole, that at first the census only included the citizens resident in Rome, but was extended, if required, to citizens in foreign service: in later times all the free inhabitants of Italy were numbered in their respective cities, and the census transmitted to Rome." P. 64.
It has been remarked that no jockey was 'ever satisfied with the horses at St. Mark's in Venice; and spirited as it is, we doubt whether the head in the Elgin marbles ever had a counterpart in nature. We have no objection however to a Hipperoic style of sculpture, provided always that the animal is represented with qualities above his instinct,
* Vide Liv. lib. xxix. c. 57. + Vide Cicero de Officiis lib. iij. et pro Balbo, 21, 24.