תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

it has already produced results which throw an entirely new light on the first development of high art, the origin of letters, the early religion and ethnography of the Greek lands, the most ancient connections between Europe and Egypt. To ensure the execution of the still extensive programme before us, the “Cretan Exploration Fund” needs contributions to the amount of at least £3,000. So much impressed was the British Association with the scientific importance of the undertaking, that at its recent meeting, after hearing reports of the results of the late excavations, it made the exceptional grant of £145 towards the furtherance of our scheme. In this field, at least, British Archaeological enterprise has been fortunate enough to obtain a strong lead, and it rests with the public to see that it is maintained.

Subscriptions may be paid either to Mr. George Macmillan (as hon. treasurer), at St. Martin's Street, London, W.C., or into the account of “ The Cretan Exploration Fund," at Messrs. Robarts, Lubbock, and Co.'s, Lombard Street, E.C.

A. J. EVANS,
D. G. HOGARTH,

DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM ROMANUM. The Archaic Inscription.—The archaic inscription (see pp. 376 and 377) found in the Forum under the Niger Lapis, upon a cippus of tufa 3 ft. high, is boustrophidon, or written from right to left, then left to right. The upper part of the inscription was unfortunately knocked off by the Gauls, in 390 B.C. It tapers off slightly from the base, and so had the appearance of an obelisk. It is not exactly square,

and the edges are bevelled, the south-west corner being inscribed, as though there was not room on the face of the cippus for the law. The inscription commences at the lower right-hand corner of the west side, and reads up perpendicularly, so it was and is necessary to stoop and twist about in order to read it.

The inscription has nothing whatever to do with the other memorials found, neither with the Niger Lapis, nor with Romulus. It is part of a sacrificial law of Numa's, and has reference to the institution of the Suovetaurilia. It is the oldest Latin inscription existing, and its interest is paleographical rather than topographical. The letters are deeply and well cut, averaging 3 in. high.

Historical Pedestals.— Further explorations made during May show that the black marble pavement, found January 10th, in the Forum, rests on dumping 5 ft. above a platform of tufa 1 ft. high, but at a

[blocks in formation]

R. to L.

Quoi hor

West side, 1 ft. 11 ins. high.

1 ft. 51 ins.

sakros es

R. to L.

ed sorm

e iasias

R. to L.

regei lo

North side, 1 ft. 10 ins. high.

1 ft. 7 ins.

L, to R.

devam

quos re

"1078

[ocr errors]

To love
{ SAKPOSES L to R.
moose
FIASIAS L.to R.
od 17079
DAVAM
79 Soy Q R.to L.
In Kyrrlo

drawid Fast side, 2 ft. high. I GIODIO YXMAN

Y L. to R.
IVATOO A17 ANAT

X 19 TIM
vyp ýol Ad L. to k.
v 1 + 10J4v
ODIOVESTOD
{ CUINO1101 }{

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

different plane. Remains of two blocks of tufa with mouldings exist on the east end, forming part of a pedestal 9 ft. long, 4 ft. 3 in. wide, and 1 ft. 7 in. high. A similar base exists at the west end, there being a space of 3 ft. 3 in. between the two. Close by, at a different angle, is a square base of tufa, upon which is a truncated column of tufa, 2 ft. 87 in. high. These pedestals were, we believe, occupied by the Lion of Faustulus, Dionysius, i, 87; the Lion of Quintilius, Festus and Acron quoting Varro; the column of Hostus Hostilius, Livy, i, 12, 22; Dionysius 3, 2, erected before the union of the Palatine and Capitoline hills into one city, 748 B.C. Thus we have another extraordinary proof of the truth of the written history of Rome.

In the dumping between the black marble pavement and the tufa platform, six bronze statuettes were found, one of them being that of an Augur, the others Lares; a terra-cotta statuette, and numerous small

Prof. Luigi Ceci reads it : quoi hordas ueigead.

Interpretation by Prof. Luigi Ceci, of the Rome University. Qui fordas consecret, consecrato

ueigētod sakros sesed

Sacellum versus (oc. ad sacellum).

sordas, sakros sed

sordas (sc. qui sordas consecret, consecrato) seorsum a sacello.

[blocks in formation]

quoi voviod, sacer diove estod

qui volo (sc. qui volo nequam sit dolo malo), sacer Jovi esto.

terra-cotta vases and bronze fragments have been extracted, but the removal of the dumping is not yet completed : this is done by underpinning the black marble above so as to preserve it.

Bones of ox, sheep, and boar have been found here. This points to the site of the sacrifice of the Suovetaurilia, as represented on the reliefs of Marcus Aurelius close by, performed by Camillus when he purified the city after he had delivered it from the Gauls (“Next, Camillus sacrificed to the Gods and purified the city, in a form dictated •by the Pontiffs.”—Plutarch, in Camillus), instituted by Servius Tullius, Livy, i, 44, and performed by Constantine in 316 A.D., as recorded in relief on his pedestal in front of the Rostra Vetera.

The Rostra Vetera.—Recent explorations have brought to light some remains in the Forum, which we have demonstrated to have been the substructures of the original Rostra.

Livy, viii, 14, tells us that in 338 B.C. : "a suggestum (pulpit) was erected in the Forum, and propitiously adorned with the prows of the captured fleet of the Antiates ; the same was called a Temple and Rostra." This seems to have been the rebuilding, or an addition to an earlier suggestum, for he uses the word Rostra in anticipation, when he speaks of the statues of the four murdered ambassadors being placed in the Rostra in 438 B.C. Varro, L.L., 4, says : 6. The Rostra was in front of the Curia” (St. Adriano). Cicero, pro L. Flaccus, 24, says: “The senate-house commands and surveys the Rostra.” Ascanius, Cicero pro Milone, says: “There indeed the Rostra was not in that place where they are (it is) now (the Rostra Julia was an innovation), but on the Comitium, almost adjoining the Curia.” Dion Cassius, 43, 49, also says the same thing, referring to another change; the Rostra of his day was the new one (Rostra ad Palmam), erected by Severus on the south side of his arch. Ascanius, pro Milone, says: “that when the body of Clodius was cremated and the senate-house burnt down, that the tribunes M. Plancus and P. Rufus had to flee from the Rostra on account of the heat.” This also shows that the Rostra could not have been far from the Curia, or senate-house.

The marble slabs on the south side of the Niger Lapis have been found to stand on a hemicycle wall of travertine stone, 6 ft. wide, as revealed by the excavations made towards the end of April, the curve of which is 86 ft. long. The upper part of this construction is composed of blocks of travertine, the lower part of the west half of tufa, and 23 ft. of the eastern half is of opus incertum ; 3 ft. in front of this is another curved wall of opus incertum. Both these walls show traces of having been coated with stucco. This construction is a work peculiar to the second century B.C. In the front centre of this curved wall, and 2 ft. below the top of it, are the remains of an irregular platform of tufa stone, so constructed that it has the appearance of a triangle jutting out from the curved wall, the south point of this platform being 12) ft. from the centre of the hemicycle wall. The west side of this platform also shows construction of opus incertum-repairs. The north side of this platform has been traced under the Niger Lapis. believe that this tufa platform is the original suggestum, and that the hemicycle wall is the substructure of the Rostra. It answers topographically to all the passages above cited, as being on the Comitiuni and in front of the Senate-house. Frontinius, Ep. 1, 2, says: top of the Rostra is but little superior to the Forum and Comitium, rather lower (down) even are the prows of the ships of the Antiates.”

This lower platform is spoken of by Livy, 8, 33, in B.c. 323, as where private citizens had liberty of speech. “Papirius ordered Fabius to

- The

be taken down from the Rostra to the lower part.' “Cæsar, when Prætor, had ordered Q. Catulus to speak from the lower place; he now brought Vettus on to the Rostra” (Cicero, Ad. Alt. ii, 24, 3). “Whether it speaks from a lower, or an equal, or a superior place” (Cicero, De Oratore, 3, 6). This lower place in the Rostra Julia is an exedra, recently cleared out; there Cæsar's body was cremated. Upon this lower platform, close up to the curved wall, are three blocks of peperino (Alban) stone, upon which are two circular indentations, 2 ft. in diameter, 11 ft. apart. The first is 1 ft. to the east of the meridian line; this is probably the site of the sun-dial of Marcus Philippus, 163 B.C. ; and the more easterly marks that of M. Valerius Messala, of 262 B.C., which Pliny (7, 60) says was brought from Catania, in Sicily, but was not exact. This was owing to the fact that Catania is about 4 degrees south of Rome. The south point of the tufa platform in front of the curve is south-south-west, 45 ft. west of due south, as proved by an observation made by the authorities on May 2nd. Pliny's description (7, 60) of how “the Accensus (cryer) of the consuls proclaimed the hour of noon, as soon as from the Senate-house he caught sight of the sun between the Rostra and the Græcostans (which was to the right of the Curia) exactly tallies with this spot, as we have often demonstrated. This discovery finally does away with the erroneous opinion held by so many, that the Rostra ad Palmam, on the south side of the Arch of Severus, was the Rostra Vetera; and which we have always maintained was made by Septimius Severus when he laid out the Forum anew after the earthquake and tire of A.D. 192. The last historical notice of this Rostra is by Spartianus, when he tells us that Didius Julianus addressed the people in A.D. 193 from the Rostra in front of the Curia.

A denarius of M. Palikanus, of the Lollia gens, represents this Rostra ; he was an orator (Cicero, Brutus, 62), and tribune of the people, B.c. 69, when Pompey restored the Tribunitial power; hence the head of Liberty on the obverse of the coin. Five arches are represented as springing from columns, supporting a curved parapet, on which is a square desk or table. The prows of three vessels are shown obtruding from the base of the columns outwards, the concave of the curve being towards the spectator, giving the idea that a person could see through the arches from the Senate side towards the Forum.

From this Rostra, Cicero made many of his famous orations, and upon it his head and hands were exposed after his murder, which more people came to see than went to listen to his voice.

S. RUSSELL FORBES.

« הקודםהמשך »