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DISCOVERY OF ETRUSCAN TEMPLES
AT FALERIA.

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 Tiber.

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.

The central nave is 7 yds. 2 ft. 4 in. wide, and each of the side-naves 4 yds. 1 ft. 4 in. wide. The partition and side-walls are very thick. The temple was probably 55 yds. 1 ft. 8 in. long, according to the Etruscan proportions of Vitruvius (iv, 7). The platform is composed of blocks of tufa, without cement. The chamber at the end is the same width as the central nave, but 8 yds. 2 ft. 8 in. deep. The stream in front evidently destroyed the portico of the temple, which seems to have had three rows of columns, and there were columns on the flanks. The architrave was of wood, and portions of the terracotta (coloured) decorations found are preserved in the Museum in Rome (Villa Papa Giulio). In the end chamber was found a head in peperino, with traces of a bronze wreath and spear-head. The head is very archaic, and represents probably Juno, one of the trinity.

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In these details one cannot fail to be struck with the similarity to the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter, and we believe that we have here another temple to the Etruscan trinity, Menrva, Tinia, Thalna (Minerva, Jupiter, Juno). The temple was restored after the Romans took the town in 242, and probably abandoned when the city was forsaken, and the colony of Falisci founded by Cæsar. "Colonia Junonia quæ adpellatur Faliscos." It is not certain when the original town was destroyed. Livy2 says "the Falisci rebel, and are subdued in six days" (A.U.C. 511). The temple may have been destroyed then, being outside the walls; but we are inclined to think much later, in the civil wars, after which wars the later city was founded. The old city was not existing in Ovid's time. 2 Livy, Ep. xix.

1 Frontinus,

TEMPLE OF JUNO QUIRITIS.

On the east side of the town, within the walls of ancient Faleria, at a place called Lo Scasato, some remains have been uncovered of the Temple of Juno Quiritis, which in its day was celebrated. The decorations and objects recovered are in the Museum, Villa Papa Giulio, Rome.

"Juno is worshipped by the Falisci, who, in honour of her father, Curis, hath also received her surname",1 Quiritis; that is, spear-bearer. Cronus, or Saturn, was the father of Hera (Juno). The priests of Rhea, or Ops (Saturn's wife), were called by the Greeks "Quretes". "Add, too, the ancient Tatius and the Falisci as Juno worshippers, whom I see succumb to the Romans."

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In these passages we have, perhaps, the explanation of Juno's title. Cures was the city of Titus Tatius, who was a devotee of Juno. The Sabine word was Quiris, meaning a spear. There Juno was "Juno Quiritis" (Juno of the Spearmen), and from Cures this custom was introduced into Faleria. "A spear is decreed sacred to Juno, and most of her statues are supported by a spear, and she is surnamed the Quiritis Goddess, for a spear of old was called quiris, wherefore they surnamed Mars' Quiri

nus'."

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1 Tertullian, Apol., 24.

3 Plutarch, Rom. Ques., 87.

2 Ovid, F. vi, 49.

"The Temple of Juno at Faleria is built in the same form as that at Argos. The manner of the ceremonies was the same. Holy women served the temple, and an unmarried girl, called canephoros (basket-bearer), began the sacrifice, with choruses of virgins who sang praises to the goddess in songs of their country."

At Lanuvium (Civita Lavinia), an Argive colony, Juno was worshipped, and called by the Romans Juno Sospita". Cicero describes the Juno of Lanuvium as "represented with the goat's skin, a spear, a shield, and broad sandals. But neither the Juno of Argos nor the Roman Juno are represented in this manner; so that the Argives, the Lanuvinians, and we, ascribe different forms to Juno." A statue as thus described by Cicero (Juno Quiritis by Polykletus) is in the Vatican Museum, and from it we can judge what the statue was like at Faleria.

Notices and inscriptions show that the temple was in use after A.D. 265; so although the city was abandoned by the Romans, the worship was still kept up.

From the temple the Via Sacra leads down to the junction of the Fossa Sacra with the Rio Maggiore. In front of the Temple of the Trinity it divides, one branch going to the left, to the Roman Falisci (the Via Augusta); the other to the right, the Via Flaminia.

In the excavations some few blocks of tufa were found, but the most precious recovery was part of the architectural terra-cotta decorations of the pediment and entablature of the temple. These are now in the Museum at Rome. Amongst them is the figure of a bearded man, winged, and with a tunic, holding in each hand a flaming torch; and a female winged figure, draped, grasping in each hand the paws of a rampant tiger. These figures, twenty-eight in all, like the decorations of both the temples, are coloured. They formed part of the architrave of the side of the temple, and may represent Cronus and Rhea. This entablature has been very cleverly put together in the Museum, and its effect is highly impressive.

An inscription of the time of Antoninus Pius exists at

1 Dionysius, i, 21. 3 Nat. Deo, i, 29.

2

Livy, vii, 14; Cicero, Pro Murena, 41. 4 Gruter, 308-1.

the Church of St. George; another, of A.D. 260, speaks of restorations; another records repairs made to the road leading up to the temple from the Roman town of Falisci; the Via Augusta as far as the stream, and the Via Sacra from the stream up to the temple. Late second century. The Via Augusta, from the Cisnina Gate (at Falasci) as far as to the stream, and the Sacred Way to the Portico in the Grove of Juno the Spear-Bearer, by age decayed, was entirely restored, for the sum of £833:6:8, by the two Publii, Nigrinus Martial, the father, and Dexter his son, and established for the honour and freedom of all. They themselves dedicated the gift. These restorations were evidently executed after the site of the Etruscan city had been abandoned.

We have handed down to us, in Ovid's Amores (iii, 13), a graphic account of the Festival of Juno as he witnessed it, and his remarks agree with what we have stated

above.

"Apple-bearing Falisci3 was my wife's birthplace.

(I accompany her there) that she might be near
The walls conquered by thee, Camillus,*

When the priestesses were preparing to celebrate
With games and (the sacrifice) of a native heifer
The chaste festival of Juno.

My stay there was greatly rewarded in gaining knowledge of the
rites,

Although the way there is by a path difficult to ascend.5

There stands an ancient grove of trees, dark and very shady.
Behold it! You must concede that a deity inhabits the place.
An altar receives the prayers and votive incense of the devout;
An altar without art, made by ancient hands.

From here, when the pipe sounds the solemn tune,

The annual procession passes along the decorated ways.
Snow-white heifers" which Falisca has nourished on the grass
Of her fields are led amidst the applauses of the people;
Even heifers not yet threatening with their foreheads;
And as a minor victim, the pig from his humble sty;

1 C. I. L., xi, 3138.

The poet is speaking of the Roman Falisci.

2 Ibid., xi, 3126.

4 He took the Etruscan town in 392 B.C., when the incident with the schoolmaster occurred.

5 The way up from the stream to the site of the temple is very steep. 6 The poet here speaks of the triple sacrifice called Suovetaurilia, and which was introduced into Rome by Servius Tullius. The three animals are often represented in Roman reliefs. They occur twice on the monument of M. Aurelius in the Forum.

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