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Land's End, in the days of "the divine Flavius Constantine Augustus". Here, in this churchyard (as I may remind you), we find the traces of English history in archæological remains from the age of Constantine the Great to that of Victoria, all more or less in situ.
5. The symbol of the labarum of Constantine, the X and the P of the symbol of the early Church, may be seen engraved in granite on a stone over Phillack Church porch.
The great personality of Constantine does, therefore, seem to have impressed itself on Roman Britain and on the Romano-British people. It is true the Anglo-Saxons (strangers coming to England from Teutonic shores) may have had little memory or thought of the great Emperor of York; but it was not so with the Celtic Britons, who dimly retained during long ages the flickering memory of the great Christian Emperor who in his earlier days reigned in the city of York, and who made Roman Britain so prominent in the history of the civilised world. As he stands beneath the glorious Arch of Constantine, or in the Basilica of Constantine at Rome, an Englishman ought to remember that it was the same Emperor, whose archæological monuments there are so glorious, who once reigned in Eboracum, and who was so long remembered in Celtic Britain.
DISCOVERY OF ETRUSCAN TEMPLES
BY DR. RUSSELL FORBES.
(Read 21 Jan. 1891.)
THE Etruscan city of Faleria was of Argive origin, and is now known as Civita Castellana. It was taken by the Romans in 242 B.C., and later a new town, Falisci (Falerium Romanum), was founded four miles to the west. This was in its turn destroyed, and the old site reoccupied in the early Middle Ages. The site is typical,-a tongue of land surrounded by deep ravines, the tip of the tongue being east. From the Station the town is entered on the north side.
TEMPLE OF THE TRINITY.
Through the ravine on the north side of the town runs a stream called the Fossa Sacra. Half a chilometre beyond the town, to the north-east, this is joined by the stream, Rio Maggiore, from Falisci, now S. Maria di Falleri. On the left bank facing the junction of these two streams, below the cliff of the Vigna Rosa, considerable remains of an Etruscan temple were excavated in 1886-7, at a place locally called Celle. Half a chilometre beyond, the Treia stream, which flows in the ravines on the south side of the town, joins the Rio Maggiore; united they flow into
The temple faced towards the south-west, or city, and consisted of three naves, like the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill, which was of Etruscan origin. At the end of the middle nave is a rectangular chamber (sanctuary), in the centre of which is the pedestal for a statue, and behind this an impluvium or cistern. At the back of the temple (outside) is a fountain supplied by an aqueduct cut through the rock. It was found to contain ex-votos,-offerings of small figures in terra-cotta, bronze, and peperino.
The rear wall of the temple is 47 yds. 2 ft. 4 in. long.
TRADITIONS OF CONSTANTINE
BY THE REV. W. S. LACH-SZYRMA.
THE history of Constantine the Great is of extreme interest in connection with York, where he once lived and ruled. Eboracum is in some sense the city of Constantine, who, after he left Roman Britain, became one of the most famous Emperors in the history of the world.
The question before us is, if Constantine was such a prominent personage in Roman Britain (so prominent, indeed, that old-fashioned writers assumed-incorrectly, as criticism shows-that he was of British descent, forgetting that Helena was more probably a Dalmatian than a Briton), might we not expect that some traditions of him, or remains of his rule, might still be found, if not among the Anglo-Saxon, at least among the Celtic populations of Britain? I shall mainly confine my inquiry to the most Celtic county of England, i.e., Cornwall, at the other end of Britain from the city of York, and show that there are traces, besides those of historic record, of Constantine's influence in the Far West.
1. In the Middle Ages there must have been very lively memories among the miners (to whose descendants Constantine is now but a name) of Constantine's history and conversion. It is true that books were then scarce, education (in the sense of the "three R's") very rare, the Cornish language, and not the English, the tongue of the people; and yet Constantine's name and life must have been a common topic, about four hundred years ago, in hundreds of miners' cottages. The way of teaching religious history then was different from that used now. It was not by books nor tracts, but by the drama. As in Athens in the days of Sophocles, so in Cornwall, the drama, with its matchless power of appealing both to the eye and ear, was the great vehicle of historical instruction. Perhaps Shakespeare, in a later age, aimed that it should be so in England, and in his King John, his
Henry IV, V, VI, VIII, and other historic plays, wanted to set forth to the people the story of England's past by the drama, now mainly an amusement, but then a vehicle of instruction. One of the chief plays in the Cornish language was the drama of Constantine, or, as it calls itself, the Life of St. Sylvester.
This drama is not accordant, it is true, with trustworthy evidence as to Constantine's real history. It represents him as a persecutor, which he was not; but possibly there was a certain confusion of mind, mixing him up with the later Diocletian persecutions, and holding him blameable for them. Sometimes these historic traditions are worth considering as throwing a light on what common people thought at the time of the historical events referred to.
The story of Constantine having suffered from leprosy, and it being proposed by the doctors of the time that a bath in the blood of children might cure it, is a quaint mediæval legend here included. Constantine is represented as indignantly refusing it, and willing to suffer himself rather than make others suffer. For his unselfishness he is rewarded by cure and conversion to Christianity.
So goes the Cornish legend of him,-a reflection of traditions current in the Middle Ages, but of which we do not seem to get contemporary evidence. The drama has certain passages of rude power, and must have been impressive when acted.
2. But this is not all. The name Constantine was popular in Cornwall during the Middle Ages. One of the western parishes, near Falmouth, was and is dedicated to a St. Constantine; but it seems not to be the Roman Emperor, but a Cornish King called by his name. Still King Constantine may have been so named from the celebrity of the Emperor.
3. The name of the family of the Cossentins is probably a corruption of Constantine. Legend asserts they are the descendants of the old Cornish kings.
4. Archæological remains exist showing the activity of Constantine or his officers in Britain. The Constantine Stone in St. Hilary Churchyard brings before us the evidence of the occupation of Cornwall, even in sight of the