The illustrated exhibitor: a tribute to the world's industrial jubilee — London, 1851

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War was their ruling passion, and their ultimate aim was
the conquest of the world. The trunk of a tree stripped
of its branches, and bearing the arms of the van-
quished, proclaimed the achievement of the victor, and at
the same time incited the young Roman to exertion in his
country's cause. It is re-
corded that, about 3.50
years before the Christian
era, equestrian statues
were erected at Rome, in
honour of Gamillus and
Moenius, for their victo-
ries over the Latins ; and
about the same period a
bronze statue of Apollo,
made of the spoils taken
from the Samnites, is said
to have been dedicated in
the Capitol. The monu-
ments of good art, how-
ever, were, with very few
exceptions, either brought
from Greece, or executed
at Rome by Grecian
artists; and it is a fact
well established that
neither during the nou-
rishing time of the Ro-
man commonwealth, nor
through the whole race of
the emperors, to the cap-
ture of the city by Alaric
the Goth, in the 410th
year of our era, did the
Romans themselves ever
make any efforts in the
arts which did honour to
their genius.

When the power and
greatness of Rome were
extended in all directions,
a rage arose, generated by
some caprice of fancy,
and probably nurtured by
the facilities offered for
its gratification, for col-
lecting specimens of sculp-
ture. No decided taste,
however, discovered itself
till about the commence-
ment of the century pre-
ceding the Christian era,
when the accumulation of
such vast quantities of art
from the plundered cities
of Greece, seems to have
aroused in the Romans
some feeling of admira-
tion favourable to the ex-
istence, at least, of art in
their own country; and during this century we find trie
names of various distinguished sculptors, either residents
at Rome or practising their art in other parts of Italy.

The Romans early availed themselves of the talents of
their Grecian colonists, in the production of beautiful


medals commemorative of their individual or nation"!
honour. The Roman mint was established about 200
years before the Christian era, and the art of coining Wa
carried to great perfection until the reign of AuoustiT
from which period it gradually declined. The device of

Britannia, since used upon
British coins, first ap-
peared upon Roman me-
dals, struck in the time of
Claudius, to commemorate
the subjugation of Britain
by that emperor.

Julius Caesar intro-
duced, or first patronised
to an extent equivalent to
an introduction, the cus-
tom of erecting statues to
public men ; and gratified
his taste for the fine arts
by collecting gems, sta-
tues, and pictures. When
his power was fully esta-
blished, his patronage ex-
tended itself even to re-
mote places; and he em-
bellished not only Rome,
but many cities of Gaul,
Spain, Greece, and Asia

The age of Augustus,
like that of Alexander,
was favourable to the en-
couragement of the arts.
After rendering his capital
the mistress of the world
by arms, he aspired to
make it the seat of ele-
gance and knowledge. He
not only collected from
every part of Greece sta-
tues of the deities, of ex-
quisite workmanship, hut
caused also those of many
eminent individuals to be
sculptured; and these
were placed either in their
own private residences or
in the public squares and
edifices for the embellish-
ment of the imperial city.
It has been questioned
whether many magnifi-
cent buildings had been
erected previous to this
period; and the few facts
which we are enabled to
glean from the pages oi
ancient writers, lead us to

infer that the architectural
splendour of Rome must
be dated from the age of Augustus. His example was imi-
tated by the wealthy Romans, who spared no expense
adding new and admirable productions to their sever,
collections of statues and of paintings,. .

In nothing did the Romans more strikingly display then
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