Reflections In Rome -- By: James Lindsay

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 065:260 (Oct 1908)
Article: Reflections In Rome
Author: James Lindsay


Reflections In Rome

Reverend James Lindsay

No city ministers so much to thought and meditation, to instruction and veneration, as does Rome. To every people and nation, indeed, the history and monuments of Urbs Roma minister in unique and signal ways. The associations of Rome are overpowering in character, as well as in number. They crowd upon the mind at every turn and step: here are colossal ruins of wrecked perfection; there are basilicas, palaces, and towers, that teem with suggestions of suffering, pathos, and heroism, beyond the power of words to describe: everywhere indelible traces of a past, peerless and unparalleled. The origin of Rome—the date of her foundation!—is shrouded in mythological haze, which archaeologists and historians alike have in vain sought to penetrate. The life of the Eternal City has, historically, been one of change, from the time when the brooding East overcame the militant West, and that imperium Romanum, which to a Nietzsche is still type of all that is admirable, was broken, up to this day; its position, geologically, has been in the center of a volcanic region, the extinction of whose fires is comparatively recent. But no city could have been more fortunate in her site than Rome, with her seven Pliocene hills, suited as it preeminently was to the races that dwelt in and around her. Rome, city of cypress and palm, of pine and acanthus, of orange and oleander, of odoriferous blossom

and juicy vine, of pillared dome and silvery fountain, of portico and column and nymph and triton, of graceful arch, discrowned mausoleum, and colossal aqueduct, teems with life in the present no less than with glories of the past.

From the Janiculum Hill, the panoramic view is magnificent, reaching, as it does, over not only the Eternal City itself, but also over the broad undulating plain of the deserted Campagna, with the Etruscan Hills and Mount Soracte on the left, the Sabine Mountains in front, and the Alban Hills on the right. The ascent to the Janiculum is made by the Via Garibaldi, which, with the monument to Garibaldi, testifies to the honor in which this national hero is held, as does the Via Cavour to the city’s appreciation of Cavour’s genius. These twain, but not without Mazzini, were the regenerators of Italy. The Capitol, with its temples, carries abounding fascinating associations with the government and institutions of ancient Rome. The sacred buildings on the Capitoline Horace calls the sacras arces.1 Capitol, Palatine, and Forum, where varied civilizations were cradled, and power, pomp, and pleasure bore sway, have all perished, leaving thought and memory to muse and learn from their decl...

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