The Youthful Wanderer eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about The Youthful Wanderer.

is situated on the east side of the Forum, with its front toward the Capitol.  To this, “Caesar, in addition to other alterations made by him, transferred the tribune of the orators.  This was now named the Rostra Julia, and from it, on the occasion of the funeral of the murdered dictator on the 19th or 20th March, B.C. 44, Mark Antony pronounced the celebrated oration which wrought so wonder-fully on the passions of the excited populace.  A funeral pyre was hastily improvised, and the unparalleled honor accorded to the illustrious dead of being burned in view of the most sacred shrines of the city.  A column with the inscription ‘parenti patriae’ was afterwards erected here to commemorate the event.  At a later period Augustus erected this temple in honor of ‘Divus Julius,’ his defied uncle and adopted father, and dedicated it to him in B.C. 29, after the battle of Actium.  At the same time he adorned the rostra with prows of the captured Egyptian vessels.”—­Baedeker.

The Baths of Caracalla.

As an example of the magnificence of the ancient Roman baths, we may take the Thermae of Caracalla which could accommodate 1,600 bathers at a time!  This establishment, now the largest mass of ruins in Rome, except the Colosseum, was 720 feet long and 372 feet wide.  A flight of 98 steps lead to the roof which (the roof) has now tumbled down.  This structure covered over six acres of ground, and had its porticoes, race course, &c., surrounded by a wall.  The total area of the grounds is nearly 27 acres!

The Baths of Diocletian, erected in the 4th century, were 6,000 feet in perimeter and its number of daily bathers were 3,000.

The Pyramid of Cestius.

“The Egyptian pyramidal form was not unfrequently employed by the Romans in the construction of their tombs.”  That of Cestius, who died within the last thirty years before Christ, is 116 feet high and 98 feet square at the base.  It is constructed with bricks and covered with marble blocks.

Upon the Cemetery of St. Lorenzo, “the great modern burial-ground of Rome,” I saw one or several small monuments or head stones which were in the form of pyramids.  Here, as in Catholic burial-grounds generally in Europe, crosses take the place of memorial stones, except some of the latest interments are marked by marble slabs and monuments.

The Catacombs

or underground burial-places of Rome, are not quite as interesting as many suppose who have read large chapters and heard long addresses upon the subject.  The passages are almost innumerable, intersecting each other in every direction and ranging in some places many stories above each other, but still, as you pass along in the dim light of a little taper, it appears much like a subterranean stone-quarry containing pigeon-holes for the dead.

The Temple of Vesta.

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The Youthful Wanderer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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