Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/455

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Tarpeian?—fittest goal of Treason's race,
The Promontory whence the Traitor's Leap[1]
Cured all ambition?[2] Did the conquerors heap
Their spoils here? Yes; and in yon field below,
A thousand years of silenced factions sleep—
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
And still the eloquent air breathes—burns with Cicero![3][4]


The field of Freedom—Faction—Fame—and Blood:

Here a proud people's passions were exhaled,

    Capitol; and did the temple stand in the citadel?" Excavations which were carried on in 1876-7 by Professors Jordan and Lanciani enabled them to identify with "tolerable certainty" the site of the central temple and its adjacent wings, with the site of the Palazzo Caffarelli and its dependencies which occupy the south-east section of the Mons Capitolinus. There are still, however, rival Tarpeian Rocks—one (in the Vicolo della Rupe Tarpea) on the western edge of the hill facing the Tiber, and the other (near the Casa Tarpea) on the south-east towards the Palatine. But if Dionysius, who describes the "Traitor's Leap" as being in sight of the Forum, is to be credited, the "actual precipice" from which traitors (and other criminals, e.g. "bearers of false witness") were thrown must have been somewhere on the southern and now less precipitous escarpment of the mount.]

  1. The State Leucadia——.—[MS. M. erased].
  2. [M. Manlius, who saved the Capitol from the Gauls in B.C. 390, was afterwards (B.C. 384) arraigned on a charge of high treason by the patricians, condemned, and by order of the tribunes thrown down the Tarpeian Rock. Livy (vi. 20) credits him with a "fœda cupiditas regni"—a "depraved ambition for assuming the kingly power."]
  3. There first did Tully's burning accents glow?
    Yes—eloqnently still—the echoes tell me so

  4. [Compare Gray's Odes, "The Progress of Poesy," iii. 3, line 4—

    "Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."]