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around which sweeps the great chain of the Alps, forming n continuous barrier from the shores of the Mediten-anenn near Msssilia to the head of the Adriatic at Trieste (Tcrgestc). From the western extremity of this vast mountain chain, where the ranges of the Maritime Alps abut immediately on the sea-shore, branches oti' the inferior, but still very considerable, chain of the Apennincs, which, after sweeping round the Ligurian gulf, stretches in an unbroken line directly across to the shores of the Adriatic, and then, turning abruptly to the SE, divides the whole peninsula throughout its entire length, until it ends in the promontory of Lent»petra, on the Sicilian sea. [Arunrvrncs]

The precise limits of Italy can thus only be doubtful on its northern frontier, where the massive ranges of the Alps, though presenting, when viewed on the large scale, a vast natural barrier, are in fact indented and penetrated by deep and irregular valleys, which render it often difficult. to determine the natural boundary; nor has this been always adopth a the political one. Along the coast of Liguria, between Massilia and Genua, the Maritime Alps send down successive ranges to the sea, forming great headlands, of which the most striking are: that between Nolt'andFiMlc,commonly regarded by modern gwgraphers as the termination of the Maritime Alps; and the promontory immediately W. of M0— naco, which still bears the remains of the 'I‘ropacn Augustj, and the passage of which presents the greatest natural difiicultics to the construction of a road along this must. This mountain headland would probably be the best point to fixns the natural limit of Italy on this side, and appears to have been commonly regarded in ancient times as such; but when Augustus first extended the political limits of Italy to the foot of the Alps, he found it convenient 10 any them somewhat further W., and fixed on the river Varus as the boundary; thus including Nicaea, which was a colony of Mnssilia, and had previously breu considered as belonging to Gaul. (Strab. iv. pp. HS, 184, v. p. 209; Plin. iii. 4. s. 5, 5. s. 6, 7; Mela. ii. 4. §9; Ptol. iii. 1 § 1; Lucan, i. 404.) Though this demarcation does not appear to have been always followed; for in the Itinerary of Antonimu (p. 296) we again find the Alpis Maritima (meaning the mountain headland above described) filed as the boundary between Italy and Gaul: it was generally adopted, and has continued without alteration to the present day.

The extreme NI'J. limit of Italy, at the head of the Adriatic Gulf, is equally susceptible of various determination, and here also Augustus certainly tnmsgreaaed the natural limits by including Istria within the confines of Italy. (I’lin. iii. I8. 9. 22; Stub. v. p. 209, vii. p. 314.) But here, also, the reasons of political convenience, which first gave rise in this extension. have led to its subsequent adoption, and Llilfill is still commonly reckoned a port of Italy. The little river F ormio, which flows into the Adriatic lwi‘ecn Trieste and Capo d'lslria, was previously ratablisbed an the boundary of Italy on this side: but the range of the Julian Alps, which, after "spine round the broad plain of the Frimsl, anddenl! approaches close to the Adriatic, near the sources 0i the Timavus, and presents a continuous mountain

_ 'er from thence to Trieste, would seem to constitute the true natural limit.

Even between these two extremities, the chain of "19 All! does not always form so simple and clearly"kad a frontier as might at first be upected. It


would not, indeed, be diflicult to trace geographically such a line of boundary, by following the water-shod or line of highest ridge, throughout: but the imperfect. knowledge of the Alps possessed by the ancients was scarcely snfiicient for such a purpose; and this line was not, in ancient, any more than in modern times, the actual limit of diti'ercnt irrationalities. Thus, the Rhaetiaus, who in the days of Strabo aud Pliny were not comprised in Italy, inhabited the valleys and lower ridges of the Alps on the 8. side of the main chain, down quite to the borders of the plains, as well as the northern declivities of the same mountains. Hence, a part of the Southern Tirol, including the valley of the Adiye above Trent, and apparently the whole of the l'aL tcline, though situated on the southern side of the Alps, were at that time excluded from Italy : while, at a later period, on the contrary, the two provinces of Ithactia Prima and Rhaetia Sccunda were both incorporated with Italy, and the boundary, in consequence, carried far to the N. of the central line of geographical limit. In like manner the Cottian Alps, which formed a separate district, under a tributary chieftain, in the days of Augustus, and were only incorporated with Italy by Nero, comprised the valleys on both sides of the main chain; and the provinces established in the latter periods of the Empire under the names of the Alpes Cottiae and Alpes Maritimae, appear to have been constituted with equally little reference to this natural boundary. (Walckcnaer, Géogr. do: Guides, vol. ii. pp. 21—86, 361. 395.)

While Italy is bounded on the N. by the great natural barrier of the Alps, it is to the chain of the Apcnnincs, by which it is traversed in its entire length, that it mainly owes its peculiar configuration. This great mountain chain may be considered as the back-bone or vertebral column of the Italian peninsula, which sends down olisets or lateral ridges on both sides to the sea, while it forms, throughout its long course, the water-shed or dividing ridge, from which the rivers of the peninsula take their rise, A detailed description of the Apcnnincs has already been given under the article APENNINUS: they are here noticed only as for as they are connectcd with the general features of the physical geography of Italy.

1. NORTHERN harm—The first part of the chain of the Apennincs, which extends from the point of theirjnnction with the Maritime Alps along the N. shore of the 014qu Genoa, and from thence across the whole breadth of Italy to the Adriatic near Ariminum, constitutes the southern boundary of a great valley or plain, which extends, without interruption, from the foot of the Apennines to that of the Alps. This broad expanse of perfectly level country, consisting throughout of alluvial soil, is watered by the great river Padus, or Po, and its numerous tributaries, which bring down the waters from the flanks both of the Alps and Apenninm, and render this extensive plain one of the most fertile tracts in Europe. It extends through a space of above 200 gong. miles in length, but does not exceed 50 or 60 in breadth, until it approaches the Adriatic, where the Alps beyond Vicenza trcnd nuny rapidly to the northward, sweeping in a semicircle round the plains of the Fn'uh' (which are a more continuation of the great plain of the Po), until they again approach the Adriatic near Trieste. At the same time the Apenninea also, as they approach towards the Adriatic, gradually recede from the banks of the Padus; so that Ariminnm (Rimim’), where their lowest slopes first descend to the sca~ shore, is distant nearly 60 geog. miles from the mouth of that river, and it is almost as much more from thence to the foot of the Alps. It is this vast plain, together with the hill-country on each side of it, formed by the lower slopes of the mountains, that constituted the country of the Cisulpine Gnuls, to which the Romans gave the name of Gnnus CISALI'INA- The westernmost part of the same tract, including the upper basin of the P0, and the exten' sive hilly district, now called the Monfmuto, which stretches from the foot of the Apemrines to the south hunk of the P0, was inhabited from the earliest periods by Ligurisn tribes, and was included in LmURIA, according to the Roman use of the name. At the opposite extremity, the portion of the great plain E. and N. of the Adigc (Athcsis), as well as the district now called the Friuli, was the land of the Veneti, and constituted the Roman province of Vr-zrvs'rm. The Romans, however, appmr to have occasionally used the name of Gallia Uisalpina, in a more la: and general sense, for the whole of Northern Italy, or everything that was not comprised within the limits of Italy as that name was understood prior to the time of Augustus. At the present day the name of Lombardy is frequently applied to the whole basin of the Po, including both the proper Gullia Cisalpins, and the adjacent parts of Liguria and Venetia.

The name of Non'rrrenrv ITALY may be conveniently adopted as a geographical designation for the same tract of country; but it is commonly understood as comprising the whole of Liguria, including the sea-coast; though this, of course, lies on the S. side of the dividing ridge of the Apennines. In this sense, therefore, it comprises the provinces of Liguria, Gallia Cisalpins, Venetia and Istria, and is limited towards the S. by the Moors (Magi-a) on the W. crust, and by the Rubicon on that of the Adriatic. In like manner, the name of CENTRAL ITALY is frequently applied to the middle portion, comprising the northern half of the peninsula, and extending along the W. coast from the mouth of the Mucrs to that of the Silarus, and on the E. from the Rubicon to the Frento: while that of Sourrrsruv ITALY is given to the remaining portion of the peninsula, including Apulia, Calahria, Lucania, and llruttiurn. But it must be borne in mind that these names are merely geographical distinctions, for the convenience of description and reference, and do not correspond to any real divisions of the country, either natural or political.

2. Can'rrun. harm—The country to which this name is applied difl'ers essentially from that which lies to the N. of the Apennincs. While the latter presents a broad level basin, bounded on both sides by mountains, and into which the streams and rivers converge from all sides, the centre of the Italian peninsula is almost wholly filled up by the broad mass of the Apennines, the ofi'sets and lateral branches of which, in some parts, descend quite to the sea, in others leave a considerable intervening space of plain or low country : but even the largest of these level tract; is insignificant as compared with the great plains of Northern Italy. The chain of the Apennines, which from the neighbourhood of Ariminum assumes a generally SE. direction, is very far from being uniform and regular in its character. Nor can it be regarded, like the Alps or Pyrenees, as forming one continuous ridge, from which there


branch ofl‘ lateral arms or ranges, separated by deep intervening valleys. This is, indeed, the me, with tolerable regularity, on the eastern side of the mountains, and hence the numerous rivers which descend to the Adriatic pursue nearly parallel courses at right angles to the direction of the main chain. But the central mass of the mountains, which comprises all the lofriest summits of the Apennines, is broken up and intersected by deep longitudinal valleys, sometimes separated only by narrow ridges of moderate elevation, at others by rugged ranges rising abruptly to a height equal to that of the lofticst summits of the chain. The number of these valleys, occurring in the very heart of the Apennines, and often almost entirely enclosed by the mountains, is a feature in the physical geography of Italy which has in all ages exercised a material influence on its fortunes. The upland valleys, with their fine summer pasturnges, were a necessary resource to the inhabitants of the dry plains of the south; and the peculiar configuration of these valleys opened out routes through the heart of the mountain districts, and facilitated mutual communication between the nations of the peninsula.

It is especially in the southern part of the district we are now considering that the Apenninea assume this complicated and irregular structure. Betrvoen the parallels of 44° and 42° 30' N. lat. they may be regarded as forminga broad mountain chain,which has a direction nearly parallel with the line of coast of the Adriatic, and the centre of which is nowhere distant more than 40 geog. miles from the shore of that see, while it is nearly double the same distance from that of the 'l‘yrrheninn. Hence there remains on the \V. side of the mountains on extensive tract of country, constituting the greater part of Etruris and the S. of Umbria, which is wholly distinct from the mountain regions, and consists in part at {811516 plains, in part of a. hilly, but still by no means mountainous, district. The great valleys of the Arno and the Tiber, the two principal rivers of Ccntrsl Italy, which have their sources very near one another, but flow the one to the W. the other K0 the 5., may be considered as the key to the geography of this port of the peninsula. Between them lies the hilly tract. of Etruria, which, notWithstanding the elevation attained by some isolated summits, has nothing of the character of a mountain counlry, and a large part of which, as well as the portions of Urnhria bordering on the valley of the Tiber, may be deservedly reckoned among the most fertile districts in Italy. South of the Tiber, again, the brood volcanic plains of Lutium expand between the Ape!!— nines and the sod; and though these are interruplf’d by the isolated group of the Alban hills, and all“ more by the rugged mountains of the Volscians, which, between Tcn'acina and (Jacki, descend quite to the sea-shore, as soon as these are puss‘Bd‘ the mountains again rceede from the sea-coast, and leave a considerable interval which is filled up by the luxuriant plain of Curnpnnia.

Nothing can he more striking than the contrast presented by difl'crent parts of the countries thus comprised under the name of Central Italy. The snow still lingers in the upland pasturesof Ssmniurn and the AM, when the corn is nearly ripe m the plains of the Roman Cmnpagna. The elevated districts of the Peligni, the Veslini, and the Marsh were always noted for their cold and cheerle climate, and were better adapted for panning” than the growth of corn. Even at Cameoli, only 40 mile!

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distant from the Tyrrhenian sea, the olive would no longer flourish (Ovid, Fast. iv. 683); though it grows with the utmost luxuriancc at Tibur, at; a distance of little more than 15 miles, but on the southern slope of the Apennines. The richness and fertility of the Campanian plains, and the beautiful shores of the Bag of Naples, were proverbial; while the Samnite valleys, hardly removed more than a day’s journey towards the interior, had all the characters of highland scenery. Nor was this contrast confined to the physical characters of the regions in question: the rude and simple mountaineers of the Sabine or Marsic valleys were not lms difl‘erent from the luxurious inhabitants of Etruris and Campunia; and their frugal and homely habitsof life are constantly alluded to by the Roman poets of the empire, when nothing but the memory remained of those warlike virtues for which they had been so distinguished at an earlier period.

Central lurly, as the term is here used, comprised the countries known to the Romans as E'rmrntn, Unnma (including the district adjoining the Adriatic previously occupied by the Galli Senones), Pica:zwu, the land of the Saurxr, Vss'nm, MARS], Pluoxr, Marmuctxr, and Faun-mm. all SA.“rntm, together with LATIUM (in the widest sense of the name) and CAMPANIA. A more detailed account of the physical geography of these several Mions,aswell as of the people that inhabited them, will be found in the respective articles

3. Sotrrnnnn lTALY, according to the distinction above established, comprises the southern part of the peninsula, from the river Silarus on the “I, and dis Frento on the 1-1., to the lapygian promontory on the Ionian, and that of Leucopetra towards the Sicilian, out. It thus includes the four provinces or districts of Aroma, CAMBIHA (in the Roman sense of the name), Lucama, and linemen. The physical geography of this region is in great part determined by the chain of the Apennines, which, from the frontiers of Samnium, is continued through the heart of Lucania in a broad "ms of mountains, which is somewhat narrowed as it enters the Bruttian peninsula, but soon spreads 0"! again sufficiently to fill up 'almost the whole of that district from shore to shore. The extreme IWthern mass of the Apennines forms, indeed, a. detached mountain range, which in its physical Characters and direction is more chscly contracted with the mountains in the NE. of Sicily than with the pmper chain of the Apennines [Avassixus]; i" that the notion entertained by many ancient writers that Sicily had formerly been joined to the mainland at lthcgium, though wholly false with reference to historical times, is undoubtedly true in ‘Hedogiml sense. The name of the Apennines is, hmrever, universally given by geographers to the “'th range which terminate in the bold pro111'me of Leucopetra (Capo dell‘ Armi).

East of the Apennincs, and S. of the Frento. there “Itr'nlsnbroad plain from the foot of the mountains lo the sen, forming the greater part. of Apulin, hf the tract now known as Paglia piano ; while, but this. an extensive tract: oi hilly country (not, hovererJising to any wtlsidcrublu elevation) branches "5 imm the Apennines near Venusia, and extends “mg the frontiers of Apulia and Lucunia, till it Ippruachca the sea between Egnntiu and Brundu~ mm. The remainder of the peninsula of Cuhibria “51mph, though it may be considered in some

as l continuation of the same tract, presents


nothing that can be called a range of hills. much less of mountains, as it is erroneously represented on many maps. [Canarsnnu] Between the central mass of the Apennines (which occupies the heart of Lucauia) and the gulf of T arentum, is another broad hilly tract, gradually descending us it approaches the shores of the gulf, which are bordered by a strip of alluvial plain, varying in breadth, but nowhere of great extent.

The Apennines do not, attain to so great an elevation in the southern part of the ltulinn peninsula us in its more central regions; and, though [articular summits rise to a considerable height, we do not hem meet with the same broad mountain tracts or upland valleys as further northward. The centre of anania is, indeed, a rugged and mountainous country, and the lofty groups of the Monti della Maddalena, S. of Potcnza, the Mte. Pollinu, on the frontiers of llruttium, and the 511141, in the heart of the latter district, were evidently, in ancient as well as modern times, wild and secluded districts, almost, inaccessible to civilisation. But the coasts both of Lucania and Brutrium were regions of the greatatt. beauty and fertility; and the tract extending along the shores of the 'l'nrentine gulf, though now wild and desolate, is cited in ancient times as an almost proverbial instance of a beautiful and desirable country. (Archil. up. Athen. xii. p. 523.) The peninsula of Calabria or Messapia, as already remarked by Strnbo, notwithstanding the absence of streams and the apparent sridity of the soil, is in reality a district of great fertility, as is also the tract. which extends along the coast of the Adriatic from Egnatia to the mouth of the Aufidus; and, though the plains in the interior of Apulia are dry and dusty in summer. they produce excellent com, and are described by Strnho as “ bringing forth all things in great abundance." (Strab. vi. p. 284.)

The general form and configuration of ltnly was well known to the ancient geographers. l’olybius, indeed, seems to have had a very imperfect notion of it, or was singularly unhappy in his illustration; for he describes it as of a triangular form, having the Alps {or its base, and its two sides bounded by the sea, the Ionian and Adriatic on the one side, the Tyrrhenian and Sicilian on the other. (Pol. ii. 14.) Strnbu justly objects to this description, that ltnly cannot be called n triangle, without allowing a decree of curvature and irregularity in the sides, which would destroy all resemblance to that figure; and that it is, in fact, wholly impossible to compare it. to any geometrical figure. (Strab. v. p. 210.) There is somewhat more truth in the resemblance suggested by Pliny—and which seems to have been commonly adopted, as it is referred to also by Rutilius (l’lin. iii. 5. s. 6; Rutil. ltin. ii. 17) —to the leaf of an oak-tree, though this would imply that the projecting portions or promontorics on each side were regarded ns more considerable than they really are. With the eXception of the two great peninsulas or promontories of Calabria (hicssapiu) and Bruttium.which are attached to its lower extremity, the remainder of Italy, from the l'rulus and tho Macra southwards, has a general oblong form; and Strabo truly enough describes it, when thus considered, as much about; tho same shape and size with the Adriatic Sea. (Strab. v. p. 211.)

Its dimensions are very variously stated by ancient writers. strabo, in the comparison just cited, calls it little less than 6000 stadia (600 grog. miles) long, and about 1300 studia in its greatest breadth; of these the latter measurement is almost exactly comt, but the former much overstated, as he is speaking there of Italy exclusive of Cisalpine Gaul. The total length of Italy (in the wider sense of the word), from the foot. of the Alps near Aosta (Augusta Praetoria) to the Iapygian promontory, is about 620 geog. miles, as measured in a direct line on a map; but. from the same point to the promontory of Leucopetra, which is the extreme southern point of Italy, is above 660 geog. miles. Pliny states the distance from the same starting-point to Rhegium at 1020 M. P., or 816 gong. miles, which is greatly overstated, unless we suppose him to follow the windings ot' the road instead of measuring the distance geographically. (Plin. iii. 5. s. 6.) He also states the greatest breadth of Italy, from the Venus to the Arsia, at 4l0 M. 1)., which is very nearly correct; the actual distance from the Varus to the head of the Adriatic, measured in a straight line, being 300 geog. miles (375 M. P.), while from thence to the Arsia is about 50 grog. miles. Pliny adds, that the breadth of the peninsula, from the mouths of the Tiber to those of the Aternus, is 136 M. 1)., which considerably exceeds the truth for that particular point; but the widest part of the peninsula, from Ancona across to the Monte Aromtano, is 130 geog., or 162 Roman, miles.


Italy was not less renowned in ancient than in modern times for its beauty and fertility. For this it was indebted in great part to its climate, combined with the advantages of its physical configuration. Extending from the parallel of 80° N. lot. to 46° 30’, its southern extremity enjoyed the same climate with Greece, while its northern portions were on a par with the S. of France. The lofty range of Apennines extending throughout its whole length, and the seas which bathe its shores on both sides, contributed at once to temper and vary its climate, so as to adapt it for the productions alike of the temperate and the warmest parts of Europe. Hence the variety as well as abundance of its natural produce, which excited the admiration of so many ancient writers. The fine burst of enthusiasm with which Virgil sings the praises of his native land is too well known to require notice (Virg. Gem-g ii. 136—176); but even the prosaic Dionysius and Strabo are kindled into almost equal ardour by the same theme. The former writer remarks, that of all countries with which he was acquainted Italy united the most. natural advantages; for that it. did not, like Egypt or Bahylonia, possess a soil adaphxi for agriculture only; but while the Campanian plains rivalled, if they did not surpass, in fertility all other arable lands, the olives of Messas pis, Daunia, and the Sabines, were not. excelled by any others; and the vineyards of Etruria, the Falernian and the Alban hills, produced wines of the most excellent quality, and in the greatest abundance. Nor was it less favourable to the rearing of flocks, whether of sheep or goats; while its pastures were of the richest description, and supported innumerable herds both of horses and cattle. Its mountain sides were clothed with magnificent forests, afl‘ording abundance 01 timber for ship-building and all other

urposes, which could be transported to the coast with facility by its numerous navigable rivers. Abundance of warm springs in different parts of the country supplied not. only the means of luxurious baths, but. valuable medical remedies. Its so”


abounded in fish, and its mountains contained mines of all kinds of metals; but that which was the greatest advantage of all was the excellent temperature of its climate, free alike from the extremes of heat and cold, and adapted for all kinds of plants and animals. (Dionys. i. 36, 37.) Strabo dwells not only on these natural resources, but. on its political advantages as a scat of empire; defended on two sides by the sea, on the third by almost. impassable mountains; possessing excellent ports on both seas, yet. not affording too great facilities of Access; and situated in such a position, with regard to the great nations of Western Europe, on the one side, and to Greece and Asia, on the other,“ seemed to destine it for universal dominion. (Strab. vi. p. 286.) Pliny, as might be expected, is not less enthusiastic in favour of his native country, and Yam adds that of all countries it was that in which the greatest advantage was derived from its natural fertility by careful cultivation. (Plin. 5. s. 6, xxxvii. 13. s. 77; Varr. R. R. i. 2.)

It is probable that the climate of Italy did not differ materially in ancient times from what it is at the present day. The praises bestowed on it for its freedom from excessive heat in summer may surprise those who compare it in this respect with mom northern climates; but it is to be remembered that ancient writers spoke with reference to the countries around the Mediterranean, and were more familiar with the climate of Africa, Syria, and Egypt, than with those of Gaul or Germany. On the other hand, there are passages in the Roman writers that seem to indicate a degree of cold exceeding what is found at the present day, especially in the neighbourhood of Rome. IIorncc speaks of Soractc as white Will! snow, and the Alhan hills as covered with it on the first approach of winter (Hor. Corm. i. 9, Ep- i- 7W); and Juvcnal even alludes to the Tiber being covered with ice, as if it were an ordinary occurrcflve (vi. 522). Some allowance may be made for poetical exaggeration; but still it is probable that the climate of Italy was somewhat colder, or rather that the winters were more severe than they now are, though this remark must be confined within narrow limits; and it is probable that the change which has taken place is far less than in Gaul or Germany.

Great stress has also been laid by many modern writers upon the fact that populous cities tln-n existed, and a thriving agricultural population was found, on sites and in districts now desolated by malaria; and hence it is inferred that the climate has become much more unhealthy in modern times. But population and cultivation have in themselves, 8 strong tendency to repress the causes of malzmm The fertile districts on the coasts of Southern Italy once occupied by the flourishing Greek colonies am now Instilcntial wastes; but. they become almost desolate from other comics before they grow so unhealthy. In the case of Puestum, a marked dimiuution in the efi'ects of malaria has been perceived, even from the slight amount of population that it” been attracted thither since the site has become theWillem resort of travellers, and the partial cultivntion that. has resulted from it. Nor can it he asserted that Italy,even in its most flourishing-daysv was ever free from this scourge, though particular localities were undoubtedly more healthy thin I: present. Thus, the {liar-mama of Tuscany was with even in the time of Pliny, for its insalnbrity (l’lmEp. v. 6); the neighbourhood of Arden was almost uninhabited from the same cause, at a still earlier

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period (Strab. v. p. 231); and Cicero even extols the situation of Rome, as compared with the rest of Latium, as “a healthy spot in the midst. of a postilcntial region." (Cic. dc Rep. ii. 6.) But the imperial city itself was far from being altogether exempt. Horace abounds with allusions to the prevalence of fevers in the summer and autumn (Ep. i. 7, Sat. ii. 6. 19, Conn. ii. l4. 16), though the dense population must have tended materially to repress them. Even at the present day the most thickly peopled parts of Rome are wholly exempt from malaria. (This question is more fully discussed under the article Lanuzu.)

The volcanic phenomena displayed so conspicuoust in some parts of Italy did not fail to attract the attention of ancient writers. The eruptions of Aenaria, which had occurred soon afier the first settlement of the Greek colonists there, were recorded by Thomas (up. Slmb. v. p. 248); and the fables con‘ nected with the lake Avernna and its neighbourhood had evidently a similar origin. Strabo also correctly argued that Vesuvius was itself a volcanic mountain, long before the fearful eruption of a. v. 79 gave such signal proof that its fires were not, as be supposed, extinct. (Strab. v. p. 247.) This catastrophe, fearful as it was, was confined to Campania; but earthquakes (to which Italy is so subject at the present day) appear to have been not less frequent and destructive in ancient times, and were far from 5“ng limited to the volcanic regions. They are mentioned as occurring in Apulia, l’icenum, Umbria, l-Itruria, Liguria, and other parts of Italy; and though their effects are generally noticed somewhat vaguely, yet the leading phenomena which acwmpany them at the present day—the subsidence of tracts of land, the fall of rocks and portions of mountains, the change of the course of rivers, the In-uptiou of the sea, as well as the overthrow of buildings, and sometimes of whole towns and cities— are all mentioned by ancient writers. (Liv. xxii. 5; .id Obseq. so, so, 105, 106, 122, 8:0.) Slight ihoolts were not unfrequent at Rome itself, though it never suli‘ered any serious calamity from this cause. But the volcanic action, which had at a for distant period extended over broad tracts of Central ['1le and given rise to the plains of the Campagna Ind the Phlegraean Fields, as well as to the lofty W}! of the Alban and Ciminian hills, had ceased 1"“! More the age of historical record; and no

Writer seems to have suspected that the Alhan lalrc had once been a crater of eruption, or that the “silex” with which the Via Appin was Fred was derived from a stream of basaltic lava. [Lanna] The volcanic region (in this geological sense) of Italy consists of two separate tracts of WW7,“ considerable extent; the one comprising ""2"er pnrtof Old Latium (or what is now called the Cmpllgna of Rome), together with the southern Witt“ Etrurin; and the other mcupyin); a. large PM“ Of Campania, including not only Vesuvius “Id 1116 volcanic hills around the lake Avernns, but ll"- l’mid and fertile plain which extends from the so vfc'apci to the banks of the Liris. These ll") tracts of volcanic origin are separated by the Widen mountains, a series of calcareous ranges l"writing oil from the Apennines. and filling up the “Pm from the banks of the Liris to the borders of “It Pontine marshes, which last fonn a broad strip of alluvial soil, extending from the volcanic district dthb Roman Campagna to the 1‘10le Circcllo. VOL. n.


The volcanic district of Rome, as we may term the more northern of the two, is about 100 miles in length, by 30 to 35 in breadth; while that. of Campania is about 60 miles long, with an average, though very irregular, breadth of 20. North of the former lie the detached summits of Mle. Amialn and Rndicqfimi, both of them compascd of volcanic rocks; while at a. distance of 60 miles E. of the Campanian basin, and separated from it by the intervening mass of the Apennines, is situated the isolated \wwlcaiiic peak of Mt. Vultur (Voltore), a mountain whose regular conical form, and the great crater-shaped basin on its northern flank, at once prove its volcanic character; though this also, as well as the volcanoes 0f Lat-ium and Etruria, has displayed no signs of activity within the historical era. (Daubeny, On Volcanoes, ch. xi.)

It is scarcely necessary to enumerate in detail the natural productions of ltaly, of which a summary view has already been given in the passages cited from ancient authors, and the details will be found under the buds of the several provinces. But it is worth while to observe how large a portion of those productions, which are at- the present day among the chief objects of Italian cultivation, and even import. to its scenery some of its most peculiar characters, are of quite modern introduction, and were wholly unknown when the Greek and Roman writers Were extolling its varied resources and inexhaustible fertility. To this class belong the maize and rice so extensively cultivated in the plains of Lombardy, the oranges of the Ligurian coast and the neighbourhood of Naples, the aloes and cactuses which clothe the rocks on the sea-shore in the southern provinces; while the mulberry tree, though well known in ancient times, never became an important. object of culture until after the introduction of the silk-worm in the 13th century. 0f the different kinds of fruits- known to the ancient Romans, many were undoubtedly of exotic origin, and of some the period of their introduction was recorded; but almost. all of them throve well in Italy, and the gardens and orchards of the wealthy Romans surpassed all others then known in the variety and excellence of their produce. At the same time, cultivation of the more ordinary descriptions of fruit was so extensive, that Varro remarks : “ Arborihus cousita ltalia est, nt tota pomarium vidvatur.” (R. R. i. 2.§ 6.)

Almost all ancient writers concur in praising the metallic wealth of Italy; and Pliny even asserts that it was, in this respect also, superior to all other lands; but it was generally believed that the go— vernment intentionally discouraged the full exploration of these mineral resources. (Plin. iii. 20. 5.24, xxxvii. l3. s. 77; Strab. vi. p. 286; Dionys. i. 37; Virg. Georg. ii. l66.)

It is doubtful whether this policy was really dcsigned to husband their Wealth or to conceal their poverty; but it is certain that Italy was far from being really so rich in metallic treasures as was supposed, and could bear no comparison in this respect with Spain. Gold was unquestionably found in some of the streams which flowed from the Alps, and in some cases (as among the lctymuli and Salassi) was extracted from them in considerable quantities ; but these Workings, or rather washings, appear to have been rapidly exhausted, and the goldworks on the frontiers of Noricum, celebrated for their richness by I'olybius, lutd Called to cxist in the days of Strabo. (Strnb. iv. p. 208.) Silver is cnumernted, also, among the metallic "ensures of


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