HISTORY. The Middle Ages.
exercised over the greater part of Europe by the pope and the em¬
peror, continuai feuds raged both at Rome and elsewhere between
the temporal and spiritual powers, and between the nobility and
the populace. The great monuments of antiquity were now doomed
to utter destruction, and their fate is thus described by the historian
Gregovorius (see p. lxxxii; iii. 565) : — 'Charlemagne had already
set the example of carrying off ancient columns and sculptures to
adora his cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle, and the popes, who regarded
the greatest monuments of Rome as the property of the state,
possessed neither taste, nor time, nor ability to take measures for
their preservation. The plundering of ancient buildings became the
order of the day. The priests were indefatigable in transferring
antique columns and marbles to their churches; the nobles, and
even the abbots, took possession of magnificent ancient edifices
which they disfìgured by the addition of modera towers; and the
citizens established their work-shops, rope-walks, and smithies in
the towers and circuses of imperiai Rome. The fisherman selling
his fìsh near the bridges over the Tiber, the butcher displaying
his meat at the theatre of Marcellus, and the baker exposing his
bread for sale, deposited their wares on the magnificent slabs of
marble which had once been used as seats by the senators in the
theatre or circus and perhaps by Caesar, Mark Antony, Augustus,
and other masters of the world. The elaborately sculptured sarco-
phagi of Roman heroes were scattered in every direction and con-
verted into cisterns, washing-vats, and troughs for swine; and the
table of the tailor and the shoemaker was perhaps formed of the
cippus of some illustrious Roman, or of a slab of alabaster once
used by some noble Roman matron for the display of her jewellery.
For several centuries Rome may be said to have resembled a vast
lime-kiln, into which the costliest marbles were recklessly cast for
the purpose of burning lime ; and thus did the Romans incessantly
pillage, bum, dismantle, and utterly destroy their glorious old city'.
Leo IV. (847-855) encircled the 'Leonine City' with a wall
and erected other useful structures; but the ravages of the Sara-
cens in the city and its environs soon prevented farther progress.
When at length these barbarians were finally subdued by John X.
(914-928), the city was repeatedly besieged and captured by German
armies during the contest for the imperiai supremacy; and sub-
sequently, in consequence of incessant civic feuds, the whole city
was converted into a number of distinct fortified quarters, with
castellated houses, in the construction of which numerous monu¬
ments of antiquity were ruthlessly destroyed for the sake of the
building materials they afforded. Every temporary re-establishment
of peace was invariably followed by new scenes of devastation, as
when the senator Brancaleone dismantled no fewer than 140 of the
strongholds of the warlike nobles about the middle of the 13th cent.