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312

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Pencil Sketches in Rome - 3. The Colosseum

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3 1
2
ROMAN DA YS.
to go in a solemn procession, with psalms, to the dese-
crated place, there before their contemporaries and pos-
terity to protest against the violation of the sacred ob-
ject. But a preliminary notice that the Italian police
would strike in without mercy, cooled off their zeal.
The matter stood simply thus : Signor Rosa, director
of the excavations which on the part of the Italian gov-
ernment and for the good of science are being carried on
in Rome, had assembled his working forces in the Colos-
seum, to discover its subterranean secrets, and the exca-
vation which was undertaken straight across the arena, in
the direction of the little axle of the ellipse, required the
removal of the cross. That the cross, after the close of
the investigations, wuU take its old place again, admits of
no doubt : the great talk about insult to the faith, was
only an outburst of the papal party’s ill-will. This was,
for all who wished to see, so plain, that the worthy Tras-
teverines who, draped in their cloaks, assembled in the
Colosseum, shrugged their shoulders at such an attempt
to hoodwink them, and thought that " // Capitale,’’ their
favorite newspaper, was right in its continual warnings
against " dark stratagems."
The excavations go on still, and promise a respectable
harvest for knowledge of the past. On the south-eastern
side of the sand plain, they had discovered, during the
last days I was in Rome, the lowest and original bottom
of the amphitheatre, about sixteen feet below the present
arena. I saw vaults and corridors that crossed each
other and among them two that lead far into the foun-
dation walls of the amphitheatre, and concerning the
purpose of which, disputes are likely to arise. Signor
Rosa who favors the view received in the guidebooks as
indubitable, that the Flavian amphitheatre was also used

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