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The Via Valeria is supposed, on the authority of a passage in Livy, (IX. 23.) to have been made by M. Valerius Maximus, who was censor with C. Junius Bubulcus A. U. C. 447. It commenced, as Strabo informs us, at Tibur, where the Via Tiburtina terminated, and led through the territories of the Æqui and Marsi to Corfinium; (V. 238.) but the Itineraries make it extend as far as Hadria in Picenum. That of Antoninus furnishes us with the following statement of stages and distances.
From Corfinium a cross-road led into Samnium by Sulmo and Mount Palenus. The stations in the
The Via Sublacensis, so called from its being the road to Sublaqueum, now Subiaco, is traced in the Table, but in a very unintelligible manner. It appears to have branched off from the Via Valeria at the station called Laminas, now Ferrata; and though the distance between that place and Subiaco is at most seven or eight miles, twenty-three are assigned in the Table, and that number distributed between three intermediate stations b. There is then probably some error in the Table, and as that Itine
z Holsten. Adnot. p. 153. Ital. Ant. i. p. 785.
a Id. p. 154.
rary carries the road beyond Sublaqueum to Marrubium, I am inclined to think that some of the apparently superfluous stations belong to that part of it. The stations of the Itinerary being thus reformed, might be supposed to stand in the following order:
Origin of Rome-Extent of the city within the walls of Romulus, Servius Tullius, and Aurelian-Its division by Augustus into fourteen regions-Description of these and the most remarkable buildings and monuments contained in each.
It would require much greater space than the limits of this work will allow of, to examine at length the authenticity of the sources from which the Roman history, such as it has been handed down to us, is derived; nor is it indeed necessary, since the investigation has been already made by others much more capable of doing justice to so interesting a subject. I shall therefore content myself with offering a few detached remarks, rather than a laboured discussion on the question, referring the reader at the same time to such works as have been written expressly with that view, and are best calculated to direct his judgment on this point a.
a The advocates for the veracity of the early Roman history are Ryckius, whose dissertation has already been quoted; Nardini, in the first chapter of his Roma Antica; and the Abbé Sallier, Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscript. t. viii. On the opposite side are ranged, with fearful preponderance, Cluverius, Gronovius, and other earlier critics; de Pouilly, Mém. de l'Acad. de
Inscript. t. viii.; Beaufort, Incertitude des cinq premiers siecles de l'Histoire Romaine; and the History of Rome by Mr. de Niebuhr, an eminent German scholar, whose work is deservedly held in great estimation on the continent, and has been twice noticed in the Quarterly Review, July 1822, and June of the present year.
Allowing then a considerable degree of doubt and uncertainty to pervade the first records of the Roman history, from the alleged foundation of the city to its capture by the Gauls, for that is a point which Livy himself does not scruple to concede, (VI.1.) we must yet regard even this dubious period as luminous and authentic, when compared with the times which preceded the foundation of Rome. Few sober-minded critics indeed will be disposed to indulge in scepticism, so far as to imagine that every thing which relates to the kings of Rome is fictitious and apocryphal. It appears to me that there are certain facts recorded in the early history of that city, which rest on too undisputed a basis, too universal a consent of authorities, to be easily set aside. Where these are borne out by the succeeding and indubitable parts of the history, and exhibit a connected account of the growth and progress of the constitution of this great city, surely it would be injudicious to reject them, except in the case of evident contradiction or striking improbability. Great uncertainty exists, no doubt, on many points; but after all it is more in matters of detail than of real importance, and especially in the relation of those petty events and circumstances with which Livy and Dionysius have perhaps, without due discrimination, endeavoured to dress up the meagre chroniclers who preceded them, and to infuse some spirit into the dry records of the pontifical volumes. Let us retrench, if it must be so, the gaudy decorations and fanciful ornaments with which these historians have embellished their work, but let us not at the same time overthrow the whole fabric. We may prune what is exuberant or decayed, and weed what is rank and unprofitable;