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124

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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124 KOMAN DAYS.
itself within closed doors, but offered up sacrifices before
the very eyes of all, and invited every one to the sacrifi-
cial feast. It was Tigellinus who arranged the wild noc-
turnal revels on the Tiber and on Agrippina’s lake. And
it was probably the same Tigellinus, who had the super-
intendence and direction of the festivals now held at the
foot of Janiculus, in the circus and gardens of Nero,
where the condemned Christians, sewed in tarred sacks and
hung upon columns, served as torches. He had no doubt
taken care that the stench from the burning human flesh
should disappear in the fires of censers spreading abroad
the fumes of Arabian odors. In such things, the Romans
had grown fastidious.
The fire gave the emperor the desired opportunity to
carry out grandiose plans for building. Rome rose again
more beautiful than before. The height of the houses
was diminished, open courts were constructed, and along
the broad streets which crossed each other at right angles,
ran covered colonnades. And now, too, he could realize
his feverish dream of an imperial palace, the like of which
the world had never seen. The palace grew up with in-
credible swiftness—incredible, when one remembers that
everything, down to the minutest details, was to give proof
of Caesarian riches and Hellenic taste, and display the
most careful work. Tacitus, who in his boyhood must have
seen tJie golden house (" domus aurea,’’) says that " there,
one did not so much admire the gold and precious stones,
for such things were then a usual and vulgar luxury, but
fields and lakes, and the spaces and vistas that revealed
themselves between the groves." Upon the fields, browsed
herds of choice cattle ; in the woods, fluttered birds of
varied splendor, and tamed wild beasts of the most dif-

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