VIEW OF TIVOLI FROM THE TEMPLE OF VESTA.
Tivoli, the ancient Tibur, is eighteen miles to the east from Rome, romantic in its waters, its hills, its herbage, or its ruins, and uniting a singular mixture of all that is beautiful in each; still presenting all those charms which once attracted the most powerful, the most wise, and the most refined of the heroes, sages, or poets of Rome; although, comparatively, its attractions and renovating air invite in vain their indolent modern successors, who prefer the less lovely Frascati, distinguished in our own times as giving the dignity of cardinal bishop to one, who, but for the bigotry of his ancestor, might have worn the crown of England.
Tivoli was distinguished as ancient, in the verse of Horace:—
“Tibur, Argeo positum colono,
sit meae sedes utinam senectae;
Sit modus lassus maris et viarum,
*) Tibur, founded by the Greek settler, be the seat of my old age, be my destination when I am tired of the sea, travel and war service.
and was said to have been well peopled at the epoch of the foundation of Rome; but situated at no great distance, it was one of those nearer rivals which the rulers of the rising capital deemed it necessary to crush; and accordingly Camillus, though not without some difficulty, put an end to its struggles for independence.
The fall in the view is the first and most considerable. The Teverone, the Latin Anio, by which it is formed, takes its rise in the mountain of Trevi, in the country of the ancient Hernici *), on the frontiers of Bruttium; and advancing among the hills of Tivoli, slowly enters the town, majestically expanding its surface before arriving at the base of the beautiful circular temple of the Sibyl, where its resounding waters pour in a fine sheet down the steep to the depth of fifty feet, and seem to attempt to reascend in clouds of spray, intermingling their mistiness with the arched iris, and forming altogether a scene of subdued wildness, which eludes alike the powers of the pen or art of the pencil.
*) The Hernics were an ancient Italic people related to the Sabines. They originally lived near Rome, but settled early in the valley of the river Trerus (Sacco). In 486 BC, the Hernicians joined the Roman-Latin League. In 241 BC, all the Hernicians were granted full Roman citizenship.
Source: Italian scenery from drawings made in 1817 by Elizabeth Frances Batty (1791-1875). London: Published by Rodwell & Martin, 1820.