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The jumble of buildings was without any sort of general plan. Apparently a courtyard and the structures about it had been found necessary for housing the beasts and their attendants and had been bought by the management of the Colosseum. When it was overtaxed, as the number of animals exhibited increased, an adjacent property had been acquired and annexed.

I hold no man justified in condemning Commodus because he gloried in clubbing ostriches. The incident I recall occurred when spring had already waned and was merging into summer. The lower tiers of the Colosseum were well filled with senators, nobles and other persons of sufficient importance to be invited. None of the Vestals were present and their box was occupied by Marcia and her intimates.

But what does remain attests an unparalleled grandeur the broken pillars of the Forum; the lofty columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius; the Pantheon, lifting its spacious dome two hundred feet into the air; the mere vestibule of the Baths of Agrippa; the triumphal arches of Titus and Trajan and Constantine; the bridges which span the Tiber; the aqueducts which cross the Campagna; the Cloaca Maxima, which drained the marshes and lakes of the infant city; but above all, the Colosseum.

They are commonly very serious, though they doubtless all have their moments of gayety; and in the Colosseum I saw a French party grouped for photography by a young woman of their number, who ran up and down before them with a kodak and coquettishly hustled them into position with pretty, bird-like chirpings of appeal and reproach, and much graceful self-evidencing.

And after the pillaging of the temples, the theft of the bronze roofs and marble columns, the climax came with the filching of the stones torn from the Colosseum and the Theatre of Marcellus, with the pounding of the statuary and sculpture-work, thrown into kilns to procure the lime needed for the new monuments of Catholic Rome. It was nearly one o'clock, and Pierre awoke as from a dream.

This great palace was completed by Otho, but did not long remain entire, as Vespasian restored to the people the lands of which Nero had unjustly deprived them, and erected in its place the mighty Colosseum, and the magnificent Temple of Peace.

Travertine, usually called Lapis Tiburtinus, a straw-coloured volcanic limestone excavated in the plain below Tivoli, which has the useful property of hardening on exposure, was now used as the principal building-stone instead of the former lavas and tufas; and the Colosseum, entirely constructed of travertine, which was treated in the middle ages as a quarry, out of which were built many of the palaces and churches of Rome, attests to this day the beauty and durability of this material.

From this place Caligula had a bridge erected to Baiae, about 4000 paces in length. He undertook this gigantic work in consequence of a prophecy that was made to him, that he would no more become emperor than he could ride to Baiae on horseback. This prophecy he confuted, and became emperor. Of the amphitheatre and the colosseum not a trace remains.

And we may realize the depth of Rome's abhorrence for the dead tyrant, as we think of how Vespasian and his son Titus pulled down the enchanted palace for the people's sake, and built the Colosseum where the artificial lake had been, and their great baths on the very foundations of Nero's gorgeous dwelling.

And closing up the view is the grandest ruin in the world, the stupendous broken circle of the Colosseum, rising tier above tier into the blue sky, burnt deep brown by the suns of ages, holding the spectator breathless with wonder, and thrilling the mind with the awful associations connected with it. The Forum lies like an open sepulchre in the heart of old Rome.

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