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 For he did not (as in the case of other cities) permit the contests to be terminated at his own discretion, but left them (as the custom is) to various chances. Then, as he surveyed the sections of the city and its suburbs, lying within the summits of the seven hills, along their slopes, or on level ground, he thought that whatever first met his gaze towered above all the rest: the sanctuaries of Tarpeian Jove so far surpassing as things divine excel those of earth; the baths built up to the measure of provinces; the huge bulk of the amphitheatre, strengthened by its framework of Tiburtine stone, 1 to whose top human eyesight barely ascends; the Pantheon like a rounded city-district, 2 vaulted over in lofty [p. 251] beauty; and the exalted heights which rise with platforms to which one may mount, and bear the likenesses of former emperors; 3 the Temple of the City, 4 the Forum of Peace, 5 the Theatre of Pompey, 6 the Oleum, 7 the Stadium, 8 and amongst these the other adornments of the Eternal City.
2 Regio here refers to one of the regions, or districts, into which the city was divided.
3 The columns of Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. The platform at the top was reached by a stairway within the column.
4 The double temple of Venus and Roma, built by Hadriian and dedicated in A.D. 135
5 The Forum Pacis, or Vespasiani, was begun by Vespasian in A.D. 71, after the taking of Jerusalem, and dedicated in 75. It lay behind the basilica Aemilia.
6 Built in 55 B.C. in the Campus Martius.
7 A building for musical performances, erected by Domitian, probably near his Stadium.
8 The Stadium of Domitian in the Campus Martius, the shape and size of which is almost exactly preserved by the modern Piazza Navona.
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