$ Isola Tiberina. ROME. II.R.ontheTiber(L.B.). 197
has been called the Ponte de' Quattro Capi from the four-headed
hermae on the balustrades, is the oldest bridge now in Rome, built
in B.C. 62 by L. Fabricius, as the inscription records.
This bridge crosses an arm of the river to the Isola Tiberina
(PI. II, 16), on which is a small piazza and the church of —
S. Bartolomeo, erected, perhaps on the site of an ancient tempie
ofJEsculapius, about the year 1000 by the Emp. Otho III. in honour
of St. Adalbert of Gnesen, and erroneously named St. Bartholomew.
The emperor had desired the Beneventans to send him the relics of
this saint, but received those of St. Paulinus of Nola in their stead.
The present church, the campanile excepted, is modernised and
uninteresting ; facade by Martino Lunghi the Younger, 1625.
The Interior contains fourteen ancient columns ; in the choir,
remains of an early mosaic. In the centre of the steps leading to the
presbyterium is the mouth of a well of the 12th cent., with sculptures in
which a figure of Christ with a book in his hand, and the heads of two
side-figures are alone distinguishable.
In the small Garden op the Monastery (visitors ring at the entrance
to the right by the church) is seen part of the ancient bulwark of travertine
which gave the island the appearance of a ship. An obelisk represented
the mast. The figure of a snake hewn on the bow of the ship is a
reminiscence of the story that the Romans, when sorely afflicted by the
plague, sent for jEsculapius from Epidaurus in B.C. 293, and that a
snake, a reptile sacred to the god, concealed itself in the vessel, and on
reaching the harbour escaped to this island, which was dedicated to
jEsculapius in consequence. That the god was worshipped here has been
proved by the discovery in the island of limbs in terracotta, which were
presented by sick persons as votive offerings.
The island was connected with Trastevere by the ancient Pons
Cestius (Gratianus ; PI. II, 18), which was built by Augustus (?),
restored by the Emperors Valentinian and Gratian, and recently
entirely rebuilt. A few paces along the right bank ofthe Tiber, cross-
ing the Lungo Tevere dell' Anguillara, bring us to the Via Lun-
garina (p. 322).
III. The Southern Quarters (Ancient Rome.)
This part of our description of Rome embraces the southern por¬
tion of the city, beginning with the Capitol, and extending east-
wards as far as the Lateran : i. e. the hills of the Capitol, Palatine,
Aventine, Caelius, and the S. slope of the Esquiline. This was the
most important quarter of the Republican and Imperiai city, but
lay waste and deserted from the early part of the middle ages down
to our own times. Recently it has lost much of its characteristic
aspect owing to the construction of new quarters, consisting largely
of tenement houses of the most Philistine appearance. It was at
one time hoped that a considerable part of it, however, extending
from the Forum Romanum and the Fora of the Emperors to the
Circus Maximus, the Thermae of Caracalla, and the Porta S. Sebas¬
tiano, could be protected from the hand of the modera restorer, but