We necessarily visited the Forum, where Caesar was assassinated, and also the Tarpeian Rock. We saw the Dying Gladiator at the Capitol, and I think that even we appreciated that wonder of art; as much, perhaps, as we did that fearful story wrought in marble, in the Vatican--the Laocoon.
"Meet me on the Tarpeian Rock tomorrow evening, dear, at sharp
Manchegan Nero, look not down From thy Tarpeian Rock
Upon this burning heart, nor add The fuel of thy wrath.
There the Capitol thou seest, Above the rest lifting his stately head On the Tarpeian rock
, her citadel Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine, The imperial palace, compass huge, and high The structure, skill of noblest architects, With gilded battlements, conspicuous far, Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires.
And I know that there are too many forms of conservatism in this country, too many potential blockages and thromboses, too many fanatics who swore as one, before Macron's election, to spurn the banker who would be president and to fling him from the Tarpeian Rock
. I know that there are too many populists on the left (notably the bitter Melenchon) and on the right (the pathetic Nicolas Dupont-Aignan skittering away from the cameras Friday night after leaving the cathedral in Reims, where France's kings were crowned), who, under a fig leaf of scorn for finance, betray the true spirit of France.
Plutarch continues in his Lives by discussing the significance of the Tarpeian Rock
This sparked a war with the Sabines, and during the war Tarpeia, the daughter of a Roman general, betrayed Rome to the Sabines in exchange for what the Sabines "wore on their left arms." Tarpeia allegedly craved the Sabines' golden jewelry, but the Sabines also bore their shields on their left arms; they crushed her to death with their shields, and her body was hurled from Tarpeian Rock
, a place that became an execution site for Roman traitors.
At the Tarpeian Rock
, (13) from which, during the early Republic, traitors to the Republic were thrown in execution for their crimes, Miriam incites Donatello to throw down her "pagan ghost." Here, a violent solution to the antagonistic heights/depths dichotomy of Rome clearly links action and place.
The hill upon which Nero was said to be standing, was, according to one legend, the Tarpeian rock
. Both Fernando de Rojas and Cervantes in Part II of his novel allude to a Spanish romance in which Neto stands upon this particular hill to watch the fire.