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The Spirit of Rome   By: (1856-1935)

Book cover

First Page:

THE SPIRIT OF ROME

BY

VERNON LEE.

CONTENTS.

Explanatory and Apologetic

I. First Return to Rome II. A Pontifical Mass at the Sixtine Chapel III. Second Return to Rome IV. Ara Coeli V. Villa Cæsia VI. The Pantheon VII. By the Cemetery

SPRING 1895.

I. Villa Livia II. Colonna Gallery III. San Saba IV. S. Paolo Fuori V. Pineta Torlonia

SPRING 1897.

I. Return at Midnight II. Villa Madama III. From Valmontone to Olevano IV. From Olevano to Subiaco V. Acqua Marcia VI. The Sacra Speco VII. The Valley of the Anio VIII. Vicovaro IX. Tor Pignattara X. Villa Adriana XI. S. Lorenzo Fuori XII. On the Alban Hills XIII. Maundy Thursday XIV. Good Friday XV. Asphodels XVI. Nettuno XVII. Torre Astura

SPRING 1899.

I. The Walls II. Palazzo Cenci III. Monte Cavo IV. A River God V. The Pantheon VI. Santi Quattro Coronati VII. Beyond Pont Molle

SPRING 1900.

I. Outside the Gates II. Latter Day Rome III. Santa Balbina IV. The Catacombs V. The Rione Monti VI. Amphoræ VII. Mass at the Lateran VIII. Stage Illusion IX. Santa Maria in Cosmedin X. Inscriptions XI. Palazzo Orsini, formerly Savelli

SPRING 1901.

I. Quomodo Sedet II. Villa Falconieri III. Porta Latina

SPRING 1902.

I. The Rubbish Heap II. The Excavations III. The Meet IV. V. Monte Mario VI. Via Ostiense VII. Palace Yards

SPRING 1903.

I. Return to Rome II. Palm Sunday III. Mondragone IV. San Saba V. A Convent VI. Colonna Gardens VII. Palo VIII. Fiumicino IX. Via Ardeatina X. San Teodoro

WINTER 1904.

I. Palo II. A Walk at Dusk III. Tusculum IV. St. Peter's V. The Crypts VI. San Stefano VII. Via Latina

SPRING 1905.

I. Rome again

Postscript

THE SPIRIT OF ROME.

LEAVES FROM A DIARY.

DIS MANIBVS SACRVM.

TO ALL THE FRIENDS LIVING AND DEAD REAL AND IMAGINARY MORTAL AND IMMORTAL WHO HAVE MADE ROME WHAT IT IS TO ME.

EXPLANATORY AND APOLOGETIC.

I was brought up in Rome, from the age of twelve to that of seventeen, but did not return there for many years afterwards. I discovered it anew for myself, while knowing all its sites and its details; discovered, that is to say, its meaning to my thoughts and feelings. Hence, in all my impressions, a mixture of familiarity and of astonishment; a sense, perhaps answering to the reality, that Rome it sounds a platitude is utterly different from everything else, and that we are therefore in different relations to it.

Probably for this reason I have found it impossible to use up, in what I have written upon places and their genius, these notes about Rome. I cannot focus Rome into any definite perspective, or see it in the colour of one mood. And whatever may have happened there to my small person has left no trace in what I have written. What I meet in Rome is Rome itself. Rome is alive (only the more so for its occasional air of death), and one is too busy loving, hating, being harassed or soothed, and ruminating over its contradictions, to remember much of the pains and joys which mere mortals have given one in its presence.

A similar reason has prevented all attempt to rewrite or alter these notes. One cannot sit down and attempt a faithful portrait of Rome; at least I cannot. And the value of these notes to those who love Rome, or are capable of loving it, is that they express, in however stammering a manner, what I said to myself about Rome; or, perhaps, if the phrase is not presumptuous, what Rome, day after day and year after year, has said to me.

Autumn , 1903.

THE SPIRIT OF ROME.

I.

FIRST RETURN TO ROME.

Strange that in the confusion of impressions, not new mainly, but oddly revived (the same things transposed by time into new keys), my most vivid impression should be of something so impersonal, so unimportant, as an antique sarcophagus serving as base to a mediæval tomb... Continue reading book >>




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