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320

(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 - 4. La Campagna di Roma

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320 ROMAN DAYS.
social problems which even to our own day are of deep
importance.
In the beginning of the fifth century, Alaric with his
Visigoths advanced on Rome. After them, in the course
of seven centuries, came Vandals, Ostrogoths, Longo-
bards, Normans and Saracens. It is said that these
hordes in fact ravaged the Campagna ; but already for a
generation before the migration of the people began to
set towards the walls of Rome, it stood almost bare of
folk, and the fine castles, the stately monuments that
bordered the roads, lay as in a desert. That the barbari-
ans turned the castles into stables, ransacked the graves
in search of treasure, broke off the aqueducts, and hcAved
down the woods for barricades and camp-fires, is quite
certain. But these scourges were but whirlwinds, the
traces of which might quickly have been blotted out by
the industry of peace, if the conditions for such industry
could have been met with. But they were entirely want-
ing, and during the middle ages the " dead hand " of the
church, and the feudal system, were in no wise adapted
to call them into existence.
Had new tribes of agriculturists who knew nothing of
either, of church or barons, as in the olden time de-
scended from the mountains or landed on Latium’s coast,
the Campagna, after a longer or shorter period, would
again have been a blooming land oversprinkled with peas-
ants’ houses, and out of the simple conditions of the new
settlements, could as aforetime the seed of a rational
order of society have sprung up.
But the burdening heritage of many centuries’ misery
lay and yet lies upon the beautiful region, and prevents it
from bearing the harvests, the fertile soil yearns to bring
forth. Garibaldi wishes now to crown his life by lifting

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