Miscellanea of Texts

Regina viarum from the "Selve" of Publio Papinio Stazio (40-96)

Liber Secundus
Villa surrentina Pollii Felicis

6     ….Huc me post patrii laetum quinquennia lustri,

cum stadio iam pigra quies canusque sederet

pulvis, ad Ambracias conversa gymnade frondes,

trans gentile fretum placidi facundia Polli

10   detulit et nitidae iuvenilis gratia Pollae,

flectere iam cupidum gressus, qua limite noto

Appia longarum teritur regina viarum….

(from latin text utilized by A.Traglia in “Opere” of P.P.Stazio)


Second book
Pollio Felice’s Villa at Sorrento

6     …After the quinquennial feasts, which took place in my birth-place,

slackness invaded the stadium with a sleepy rest and a layer

of white dust as the athletes were looking at Ambrace crowns,

I crossed my beloved sea and landed here happy,

10    prompted by the eloquence of gentle Pollio and by the youthful grace

of beautiful Pollia, anxious to direct my steps where

through a well known path the Appia road queen of the long roads, unties.

(from the text “Selve” by P.P Stazio edited by Luca Canali, Armando Dadò Editore).

A poetry of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

The Roman Road.

The Roman Road runs straight and bare
As the pale parting-line in hair
Across the heath. And thoughtful men
Contrast its days of Now and Then,
And delve, and measure, and compare;

Visioning on the vacant air
Helmeted legionnaires, who proudly rear
The Eagle, as they pace again
The Roman Road.

But no tall brass-helmeted legionnaire
Haunts it for me. Uprises there
A mother’s form upon my ken,
Guiding my infant steps, as when
We walked that ancient thoroughfare,
The Roman Road.

A thought of Massimo Pallottino (1909-1995)

A tangible testimony strikes the fantasy much more than memories and traditions which need a reflected intellectual effort.

The antique remain, or simply old, has an immediate charm almost intuitive.

We mean that attraction for archaeology finds its source in the capacity to set one’s foot on grounds which have been trampled down by contemporaries of Socrates or Cesar; hold a cup which touched their lips; see them represented on a stone or on a painting as did the unknown artist which portrayed them.

Secret fluids emanate from these stones, from these objects, from these pictures, cancelling the abyss of time.

A book of Steven Saylor

A Murder on the Appian Way, 1996

 ….”January 52 b.c, Rome shakes, Rome thunders.

Through the intervention of gangs and partisans, the plebeian Publio Caio and his sworn enemy, Tito Milon a noble man, contend the control of the elections.

And when Clodio is murdered on the Via Appia, the town arouses. An ambuscade? An intentional attack?

In this turmoil, only one man will remain honest and upright, Gordiano, who is entrusted by the general to hold an enquiry……”