More Castellieri
by  Richard F. Burton, and Messiers Antonio Scampicchio (L.L.D.) of Albona, and Antonio Covaz of Pisino (Deputy to the Diet, etc.)

[From The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. VII, Trubner & Co. (London, 1878), p.(London, 1878), 341-363.]


[341] I HAVE obtained the consent of Dr. Antonio Scampicchio, and associated his name with my own, in these pages, of which many are translated from his letters and notes. He has also at my especial request, been good enough to write out for me the rustic Slav songs common about Albona, of which short specimens conclude the next section, and to translate into Italian my first paper, "Notes on the Castellieri." I have also ventured to add to these pages the name of Sig. Antonio Covaz of Pisino, Deputy to the Istria Diet; most of the excursions in the southern peninsula were undertaken by his advice, and many of the most important details come from his practised pen.

 The little Istrian peninsula, which still preserves its classical name Istria or Danube-land, and is shaped on the map like a greatly reduced Africa, as the poet says, is geographically distinct from the rest of the Austrian world.

To north, west, south and south-east, this Xth. Regio of old Rome is bounded by the Gulf of Trieste, by the Adriatic, and by the Quarner or Quarnero. Sinus Flanaticus (not Fanaticus) of which the Florentine Francesco Berlingeri says: - [342]

"E Flanatico Capo e punta escorta.
Per le molte tempeste ora e Carnaro
Da naufraga detta gente morta."

The eastern frontier, which connects the isosceles triangle with south-eastern Europe, and separates it from the adjoining province Unter-Krain, is strongly marked by a sub-range of the mountains primarily named Albia, Alpionia, and Okra, the foot-hills, called by the Slavs Verchia, and now Monte della Vena: viewed from the summits to the east, they appear a long blue-green line, trending from N.N.W to S.S.E. with the Trieste-Fiume high-road running along their western fort-hills.

From the Tricorno, or Dreiherrnspitze, the Latin Tullum, Slav Triglava, corrupted Terglou, the apex (9036) feet of the Julian (not the Carnian) Alps extends to the south-east a massif, broken by the Adelsberg-Laibach river-valley cut by the Vienna-Trieste Railway, and again rising to its culminating point (5,322 feet), Mons. Albinus or Albianus, Mont Albiano, Monte Albio, or Neviso; the German (Krainer) Schneeberg, and the Slav Sneznik, both signifying the same thing. The Vena, which must be considered as the western buttresses and foot-hills of the great knot, begins north-west or near Trieste, (1) with the Monte Tajano, the Slav Slavnik, which may mean the "glorious," the two paps rising immediately behind the great Austrian Emporium; it trends S.S.E. to Monte Oscale, or rather Monte Sia (1,238 mètres), near Sijane, and then bending with many a curve due south, and eventually to S.S.W., it subtends the eastern arm of the triangle; culminates in the monarch of Istrian mountains (1,394 mètres), Monte Maggiore, and finally sinks into the Quarnero at the Punta Negra near Albona.

From this chain with a double name, Vena and Caldiera, the surface of the Istrian peninsula falls gently westward in subridges and foot-hills and gradual inclines, till it meets the tepid blue waves of the Adriatic. The complexion area, variously estimated at 3,410 to 4,945 square kilometres, is physically divided into three regions, bands running parallel with the Vena range; the upper or Okran of dove-grey nummulite; the central, sub-Okran, or Pedemontan, of variously-tinted eocenic sandstones; and the lower or maritime, where the monotony of growths, light green and dark green, are relieved by the bone-white chalk, barren of petrifactions, and the fire-bleached fertilising dolomite.

I have often travelled through and round the Istrian peninsula by land and sea, and few pictures known to me are more [343] amene and interesting. The scenery is Italian, yet not quite Italy, because it has a cachet of its own. The port-towns are pure Romano-Venetian, but with a peculiar type, suggesting fragments of the sea Cybele, built not among the waves, but upon rocky headlands. The inner towns preserve the wild and romantic aspect of mediaeval fortresses in the Apennines. Both are cities in miniature, the village being unknown; and both may be of immense antiquity; here pre-historic remains are brought to light; there we find classical inscriptions and reliefs built up in the walls. Nor is the people less picturesque than its surroundings; there is a regular Italo-Istrian type, with short and straight features, pale-olive skin, and black hair, often curly; tall and slender figures, like the Guanche Spaniards of Teneriffe, and chests and haunches comparatively narrow. Small as it is, the peninsula is held by a dozen different races, mostly Italo-Venetian and Slavs, introduced between A.D. 600 and 1657. The Austro-Germans are found at Trieste, Capodistria, Pola, and the other Government establishments. The Slavenes or ancient Wends (Krainer Slavs), hold most of the northern regions. The Cici, mostly charcoal burners, and generally held to be Wallachs of ancient date, now Slav speakers, but retaining vestiges of an older tongue, are settled in High or Eastern Istria, at the head of the Rjeka (upper Timavus River), and extending into the middle regions; whilst more modern Wallachs occupy the Valarsa and Bedo, Susgueirzza and the lands to the north and north-east of the Lago di Cepić (Lacus Arsice) Istria's only lake. Fianona is known to have been captured and occupied by Uzkoks, (Uscoichi, the "Jumpers," or pirates of Sign, Signia, or Zengg, the Senia of the Gallic Senones; and Serbo-Croats hold the ancient Albonese Republic and that part of old Liburnia which extends from Fiumara to Fiume. The Morlaks (Morlacchi) (2) occupy the Polisana and the country extending from Dignano to Pisino; they are the worst of the race, bandits when they can be, and at all times assassins. Finally, a single village, Peroi, (3) near Pola, as has been said, is Montenegrin, and its population is dying out, they say, from persistent intermarriage. A very polyglottic peninsula! Even Trieste is trilingual: the Government speaks Austro-German; the citizens Veneto-Italian, and the suburbans Slovene.

Each of those races has not only its own dialect, but its peculiar costume, its habits and manners, its favourite industry, and its political prepossessions. As a rule, they are remarkable [344] for hard work, orderly conduct and civility, and even courtesy, to strangers.

As in the Crimea, the principal productions are salt and wine, the climate being somewhat too dry for cereals; the salinas are mostly on the northern coast, and the vine is everywhere. A few head of cattle, sheep, and goats are bred on the barren uplands; a little grain, especially the hardy maize (fromenton, kukuruz) on the damper lowlands; and pisciculture, which like viticulture, is being civilised and developed, occupies the coast.

There are mines of lignite coal at Carpano, Pedena, and other places; pyrites, alum, and vitriol at S. Pietro di Sovignano; silex (saldame) for glass works about Pola; mineral springs, cold at Isola, near Capodistria, and hot at S. Stefano, near Pinguente; while clays for fire-proof bricks, and quarries of excellent stone, freestones, lithographic limestones, and marbles are found almost wherever they are wanted. The harbours were declared free-ports in 1861. The roads are tolerable and often good; diligences traverse the country, and a branch railway, opened on the Imperial and Royal birthday (18th August, 1876), bisects it, running from Divaca on the Süd-Bahn or Great Southern, to Canfanaro, on the southern edge of the gorge-like Canale di Leme); here it forks; one line running westward to Rovigno, the other south to Pola. Almost every village has its inn, and these are no longer what they were a few years ago:-

"Nasty, dusty, fusty,
Both with smoke and rubbish musty."

(As old Richard Brathwait's "Itinerary" complained). Spring and autumn are delightful, as might be expected in these latitudes, with an altitude ranging from sea-level to an average of over a thousand feet, and the traveller should know that a fortnight can be spent in Istria with pleasure and profit.

In this paper I propose to take the "Lloyd's" steamer from Trieste to Fiume, landing at the places where pre-historic finds invite, and returning to whence we came by carriage through the heart of the country, via Pedena, Pisino, Corridico, and Pinguente.

Leaving Trieste, we steam across the Bay of Muggia, where the new Port of the great Emporium should have been; the old Muglia, Mugila, Mugla, or Monteamulio, rich in antique remains where Mgr. Tomasini, Bishop of Cittanuova (nat. 1595, ob. 1654), and Petroni place one of the tria Oppida, Mutila, Faveria and Nesactium, destroyed by the Romans (Livy, lib, LI, passim). "We then open a sister form, the Bay of Capodistria; the classical Ægida, afterwards Capraria and Justinopolis; once [345] the head-quarters, as its name shows, of Veneto-Istrian jurisdiction; then a favourite garrison of the French invader, who by a fine causeway converted it from an island, to a headland; and now a kind of Triestine suburb, well known for its ergastolo or reformatory prison. Artistically speaking it was a mistake - valdè deflendus - to exchange the picturesque ruin on the Castle - Mound for the huge square yellow pile, which catching the eye from every approach, forms the marking feature of the venerable miniature city.

Thence the course lies past Isola of old Halicetus, the lump of limestone in a region of sandstone, to the headland of Pirano, which much resembles that of Serafend or Sarepta, although introduced into the Argo of the Venetian Pietro Contarini.

Et Muglam, et Machium, quin Calligynaeca Pyrhenum, it is comparatively modern, and the jibe "Piranese pirati," n (4) excites great indignation. The approach is charming from the south and west. The quaint homes of the old town hug the tongue-tip and the western strand; the large new buildings, tinted in " blonde's colours," salmon and tender-green, affect the tongue-root. St. George, with huge belfry and detached baptistery, resting like S. Francesco d'Assisi, upon tall arched buttresses, caps the bluff cliff east of the point, and the well-wooded shoulders of the mainland, whose high, bare, and scarred sea-face looks down upon the waves, support romantic mediaeval ruins, a battlemented wall, and shells of towers which suggest a stage-scene. The background is glorious; the purple-blue edge-line of the Carso or limestone-plateau, apparently overhanging Trieste, and above it, in the far background, the "King Mountain," more familiarly called Na-nos, or "the Nose," with its aquiline bridge bearing in winter sparkling snows.

We now cross the mouth of the third great bight, known near the town as the Rada di Pirano; to the east is the Porto Rose, a corruption of Porto Glorioso; and inland or southwards, as La Dragogogna, more commonly La Dragogna. This, the Italianized incremental of Draga, a valley or seabight, is believed to be, like Largone, a corruption of "Argaion," the Thracian name of the indentation, from the number of white (argos) streams that feed it. We should be grateful to the Slavs, who by slight changes so as to make them significant in their own tongues - the Italians call it bisticcio or punning - have embalmed so many classical names instead of barbarizing them like the Germans.

The north-western shoulder of the Istrian triangle is called [346] Point Salvore, and here the redoubtable Bora or Nor-Nor-Easter is first felt by ships coming from the Southern Adriatic. The term is popularly explained as denoting the escape of a king (Salvo Rè), Otho IV, son of Frederick Barbarossa, who in A.D. 1179, fought the Venetians in Porto Rose. The word, however, is bastard Latin, Salburium, from sal; Salbera being still used by the Venetians. Two "old men" of whitewashed stone show the deep-water channel between them. On the west of the baylet are the ruins of a square Venetian tower, and a deep moat upon the rising ground, suggests that it had once been an entrenched camp. Opposite lies the dwarf mole, whence a newly-made ramp leads to the church. This ledge is a thick stratum of débris underlying the grass; a stick can hardly scratch it without turning up bones, fragments of pottery, especially clay spindle-whorls, bits of glass and coins, mostly of the lower Roman Empire and of the Venetian Republic. The church of S. Giovanni, which existed in Otho's days, was dowered with many indulgences by Pope Alexander III, as the first two lines of its inscription tell us:

"Heus, populi, celebrate locum, quern tertius olim
   Pastor Alexander donis cœlestibus auxit etc., etc."

It was restored in 1826, at which time, probably its celebrated battle-picture, by Tintoretto, found its way to Vienna. The comfortable parsonage shows signs of agriculture, apiculture, and sericulture, but the wintry blasts are a grievance. The south- westernmost point dons the usual maritime tricolor, the terra rossa (red soil), veiled in spring by smooth turf, the sun-bleached slabs of limestone, and the brown-black edging where the sulphates of the sea water tarnish the component oxide of iron. Here are the lighthouse (Fresnel system) and steam-horn, the former built in 1817, and the latter wanting more power to its voice.

Beyond the Lighthouse, we turn due south, along a coast here almost clear of islands. The first object of interest is the drowned city of Siparia, whose site is now denoted by the Sicche (shoals) di Sipar. It was destroyed probably by the gradual submergence of the coast levels, about A.D. 740, when Arupinum, the island bearing Old Rovigno, disappeared. In 1770, when, according to the Abbé Laugier, a dangerously low ebb-tide on this coast threatened Venice with a flow in proportion (una fiera marea), the ruins, covering some two miles, showed their mosaic floors, and well-built walls pierced with doors and windows.

The land here belongs to Dr. F. Venier of Pirano; and the Government Engineer, Sig. Righetti, was kind enough to act as guide when we visited it (15th October, 1876), in company with [347] Baron Pino di Friedenthal, Statthalter of Trieste. At the Punta Catoro, the southern spit of land projecting westward, with a neck only twenty feet broad, we inspected the Roman villa uncovered in 1875; it might have been a balneum, only there were no water tubs. We then rowed to the bottom of the bight past the shell of the three-storied Venetian building called the Castello di Sipar, and landed on the slippery rocks of Zambrattia, two fisher-houses and a chapel belonging to the Venetian Counts Rotta. A long "leg," up a rough limestone lane, to the manor-house "Roumania," beautified by some fine old almond-trees; and a second leg to the south, up a broken avenue, placed us upon the shallow dome of bush-clad hills, where stands the Castellier di Roumania. The position is north (mag.), with a little easting, from Umago, and viewed from the sea abreast, it appears a second distance of rounded hill, feathered at the horizon-line, with filmy trees. Here the land, being calcareous, well preserves the shape of the pre-historic rampart, a double concentric circle, the interior diameter measuring two hundred and twenty feet (English), with a circumference of seven hundred and eighty five; the thickness of the inner vallum is twenty-two feet and a-half; and the moat, which is distinctly traceable, between twenty and twenty-five feet. It must be very old; the "black malm" (terricio nero), which characterises such places; (5) and the cotti (potsherds) have been buried by the decay of the vegetation, grass, oak-shrub, and the Spina Marrucca (6) (Paliurus aculeatus).

The Lloyd's steamer stops, though not long enough to land, at Umago and Cittanova. They are the normal second-class ports of this coast, built on rocky spits, almost sea-girt, and defended by walls, which in classical and mediaeval days had a sacrosanct character, being annually lustrated and placed under the protection of the god, and their successors the saints. These "honours of the city" are still garnished with bastions or with round towers, and pierced with what the Arabs call a Bab-el-Barr (land-gate) [348] and a Bab-el-Bahr (water-gate.) The body of the place consists of a huge church, which could lodge half the population, of a belfry, often detached, whose bells were to the citizen what the tuba was to the soldier; of a small bilious-yellow masonry box labelled Sanità (health office); of a dwarf mole, locally called La Porporella, projecting from a neat quay of cut stone; of a marina or old town, a dull mass of grey-white houses with dingy tile roofs; and of a few big brand-new tenements on the claret-case model, showing the "new town," which belongs to this our age of great cities. Cittanova, besides its pier, owns a modern promenade with infant trees, apparently never visited by a promenader; the lands are rich, especially those belonging to the Counts Righi; yet the saying is, "Cittanova, chi porta trova," you find only what you carry, in the way of food. Of old Amonia, where Bishop Tomasini, whilome Eminensis, would place, despite Pliny and Ptolemy, debated Nesactium, its position promises better things. It stands at the northern jaw of the Porto Quieto, the gape of the valley of the same name, the largest and most important of the four great quaquaversal features which drain the peninsula; and here, if anywhere, is the stream which the Captain commanding the First Periplus of the Orbis Veteribus Notus, mistook for a branch of the Ister. Here, about the Val and Porto Quieto, Istria looks her best. The regular slope from east to west, shows,

"A ripple of land, such little hills the sky
Can stoop to tenderly, and the wheat fields climb."

The rounded outlines are clothed with vivid green during spring and early summer, and the slopes are studded with vineyards and oliveyards; the clumps and scrub patches, mostly of oak, ilex, and thorns, and dotted with whitewashed villages. The gradual rise, which resembles a "rake" or stage slope, sets off the mountain back-ground of Lower Krain; we shall see Nanos of the snowy nose almost as far south as Parenzo; then Monte Maggiore appears in ermine to the south-east, and northwards tower the glorious peaks and pinnacles of the eastern or Julian Alps fronting Trieste: stedfast forms played over by the changing suns and clouds.

The principal settlements are Buje to the north, and Castellier, with its towering campanile, to the south of the Val Quieto. The former, connected by diligence with Trieste, from its position at the edge of a commanding height, is popularly known as La Spia {Specula Vedetta), or the look-out, and it was one of the nine Istrian bishoprics, under the title Evelensis. Mgr. Tomasini (p. 294) that accounts for its Slav name. When the people of a certain "gradina" near the Val Quieto were flying [349] from their enemies, they rested on this hill, and one of them said, Tote boglie state, "here better we stay." Hence Boglie, Buglie and Buje, a derivation not faultless, but at any rate better than that proposed by Giovanni Battista Bivago-Bugia in Africa.  

The next halt is at Parenzo, fifteen years ago a "deserted town," now the seat of the Istrian Diet. Its "Basilica Eufrasiana" or cathedral, which in ecclesiological interest "perhaps yields only to Rome and Ravenna," has been copiously described by a host of writers, amongst ours by Neale and Freeman. Before the date of the historian's visit (1875), the seaboard of Istria, like that of Dalmatia, was almost a terra incognita to Great Britons; the war of 1876 has now made it a favourite trip. The new town stands at the root of the spear-headed rock-tongue that projects boldly to the W.N.W. It is of unusual size and importance; and it is the seat of the Istrian Diet, and the centre of economic energy. An Aenological Department has lately been established under two officials, paid partly by imperial, and partly by provincial funds.

About Parenzo and Rovigno, the grape is mostly of one kind; in other parts of the peninsula, the peasant will plant red and white in a single field. The phylloxera has affected many vineyards near Rovigno, and the unprogressive people, who will not believe in the sulphur-cure, have uprooted their infected vines like the Madeirans during the öidium attack of 1865. On the Isola S. Andrea, further south, the French plant was introduced, but it did not prosper. As a rule, the small proprietor is utterly ignorant of viticulture; he looks only to quantity, not quality; he mixes various sorts, he uses the unripe as well as the rotten, he neglects his produce during the delicate process of fermentation, and he is too careless to rack it off the lees. Hence the yield may be good vinegar, but it is execrable wine. Many of the wealthier landowners have turned their attention to improvements, and the result is a sound and wholesome article. In the Zaole Valley, an hour's walk from Trieste, a Swiss proprietor, M. Collioud, who not only grows his grapes, but also buys them from the neighbouring cultivators, can command for his red wine a florin and a half (three francs) per bottle, and for an arna, which yields about eighty bottles, we pay thirty florins or three pounds. It is clear and palatable, but it has not the petit gout rosé of the French vin ordinaire, which is remarked by every traveller from Italy, when he tastes it at Modane. My conviction is, that first-rate light wines are not to be made south of Germany and France; where the suns scorch, and the rains are rare, the inevitable result is to develop alcohol.

Opposite Parenzo, where the seaboard-profile breaks into [350] lumpy hillocks, contrasting with the long sweeping curves and lines further north, begins the false-coast of islets, reefs and crags, which fringes the peninsula to its southern apex. As is shown by the ossiferous breccias, which are found even upon the smaller features, they were once part of the mainland, which still sinks in the Istrian and Dalmatian shores, whilst Italy rises, as is proved by the Adriatic ports, Ravenna, Venice, and Rimini. The general aspect is a shallow dome, with a base of white cretaceous lime, capped by green turf, bush and trees; almost every one has its own plants, as though it were a separate continent, and all are valuable as breakwaters, forming the safe and commodious roads of Parenzo, Rovigno, and Fasana, with northern and southern entrances. At least three have been inhabited in pre-historic days, one, Scoglio Marafor (=Martis Forum) opposite Parenzo, retains its classical name, and many of the others show villages or convents, churches or chapels, the latter in preservation, or in ruin retaining only the cypresses.

With the islands begins a melancholy and almost deserted tract which stretches to near Pola. Much of the land is uncultivated, showing bush and scrub scantily clothing the grey white rock and red soil, which the three rainless months of summer bake to terra cotta; here water often costs as much as wine. The necessary, supplied only by the winter showers, is allowed to form perennial ponds and swamps (lame lagi and paludi) that poison the air; hence even in the Roman days votive tablets were inscribed PRO FEBRIBVS, against tertians. The pools cannot be drained, because wanted for watering cattle, and the province has not yet attempted to grow eucalyptus. Since pauper huts instead of handsome villas are remarked upon the best "stanzie" (estates), (7) and "La Torre" has been allowed to fall in ruins, no one sleeps a-field. At 6-7 A.M. you see the labourers with their carts and beasts leaving the towns, in which fear of fever compels them to night. We may say of this land as of the Campagna di Roma, 

"Lontan da Città
Lontan da Sanità."

Passing the Canale di Leme (Culleus Lemenis), a sea-arm seven miles deep, we touch at Rovigno, which, after Trieste, is the largest and most populous of Istrian towns. It stands upon a tall rocky headland, trending as usual to the N.N.W.; and it begins conspicuously with its pre-historic modern Duomo, whose prodigious attached belfry has won many a wager from priests proud of and ready to back their own Campanili. The [351] northern or back-bay (Porto val di Bora) is dangerous; not so the southern, formed by the Isola di S. Caterina; this sea-holm which, from above, appears three-lobed, and on paper a lance head pointing landwards, bears an old steeple and some two hundred and eighty species of plants, including the asphodel and the Avena hirsuta. The old town, lately a fishing village, with streets and alleys, closes and wynds, high and narrow, stepped and foul; with open drains and slimy green tanks, has half a dozen churches and chapels in as many piazzette; a large monastery, with about a dozen Minori Osservanti, and a big white penitentiary. The new town at the Riva or marina shows a chief piazza, with cafés and telegraph office; a neat quay, pierlet and Sanità, and, to the extreme south, a barrack-like and bran-new tobacco-manufactory, employing some five hundred hands. The railway station is in Back Bay, as usual here, so far from the centre that the unregulated carriage-hire will cost more than the fare. The pretence is to leave room for the towns to grow; the real object is that the line, laid out by Imperial engineers, should serve chiefly, if not solely, for Imperial purposes. Let us hope that the effect will be that proverbially ascribed to faithfully studying the ingenuous arts.

There is indeed room for improvement. The Rovignese, numbering some eleven thousand, are the most turbulent and troublesome of the Italo-Istrians, even the women being fond of using the knife.

They speak a dialect of their own, which Dante terms barbaro incongruo e crudele. They are of peculiar type, dark and red-cheeked; their unfriends derive them from the Roman cohort, which was doomed, after the Crucifixion, to wander Cain-like over earth, till Arupinum gave a shelter. Hence are explained such street names as Gerusalemme, Betlehemme, and Calvario - which, by-the-by, suggest the ecclesiastic, rather than the anti-ecclesiastic tendency.

Their pride has lately had a queer fall: they applied for a bishop to the Government, and the latter supplied them with a "Boja;" hence the hangman is now called, in cruel waggery, the "Vescovo di Rovigno" (Episcopus Arupini).

The environs of the unpeaceful city are not without pre-historic interest. On April 30th, 1874, guided by one Pietro Genovese, a treasure-seeker, who made no secret of his craft, I accompanied MM. Tommasini and Marchesetti to inspect a sepulchre lately opened near the Canale di Leme. Twenty minutes' walk past Back Bay, led us to the Lago di Ran (frog-lake), a foul tank which spreads wide after rain, and which contracts in the "dries" with copious malaria. To the north of it [352] rises Monte Ricco (8), where there are old latomiae of good stone facing west, and where a Roman cemetery has supplied lachrymatories and sarcophagi. About thirty minutes' walk north-east of the Frog Lake, and bearing three hundred and forty-five degrees (Mag.) from Orsera, the tall town on the northern jaw of the Culleus Limenis is Monte Longo, where the usual limestones, nummulitic and hippuritic, become distinctly dolomitic. Descending by a ladder a rude shaft twenty-nine feet deep, we found a cavern-doorway nine feet high by four feet wide, with signs of a door, square bevel-holes in the rock sides for bars, and two uninscribed cippi at the threshold-flanks. A tunnel, twenty-four feet long, and very low, till lately cleared by the "Tesoriero," led to a vaulted circular room, whose ceiling still bore marks of the small pick, like the caves of the kings near Jerusalem; an upper spiracle admitted the air; one of the shallow lateral bays was marked with a cross, and a hollow sound suggested that grave vaults might be below. A single rough cippus stood inside. The yield had been sepulchral lamps, inscribed with the maker's name, or adorned with the dolphin, and two spindle-whorls of clay, which the fishing population unanimously declared to be net-weights. The general aspect was that of the Etruscan Sala, in which the annual Silicernium (death-feast) was eaten, and the learned Prof. Carlo di Courbi, has found in the Istrian peninsula other traces of the mysterious Rasne or Rasenna.

Allow me to offer a few words upon the Tesoriero or treasure-hunter of Istria. Although by no means ashamed to own that he has tried his luck - and failed - he is beginning to suffer from the jibes of men, and thus he will presently decline and die out. As in Syria and Egypt, the Maghrabi (north-west African) is the successful magician, so here the "Grego" is the adept: there are everywhere legends of Greeks landing by night, marching to the local ruin: consulting a plan in writing on parchment, and disappearing with their booty. Doubtless during the Byzantine occupation, and during the general stampede which followed the fall of Constantinople (A.D. 1453), many Hellenes fled to the Adriatic shores - hence possibly the tradition. Like the Eastern alchemist, the gold-hunter demands from his dupe fat capons and turkeys, barrels of wine, and perhaps the favours of some fair member of the family. "II Diavolo di Pedena," who is still quoted, used to appear in fiendish form, and, with the most terrible of voices, assure his victim that the profits would be cent. per one (if largesse): hence the "devil" was imprisoned, not for "unlawfully using certain subtle crafts, devices, &c.," but for truffa (raising money on false pretences), and his employer [353] bore through life the title of Cento per uno. Rhabdomancy is also practised, but the magic "Baguette" (bacchetto magico), hazel-rod, is thrown, I am told, upon the ground, instead of being held by the forked end as in northern Europe.

Beyond Rovigno, the Monte Aureo (Punta di Monte Auro) has been identified with Mons. Taurus, and the Isola di S. Andrea, with its castelliere and its old convent, now manufactures hydraulic lime.

A little south is the rock of S. Giovanni, in Pelago, a two-lobed form, over whose central depression the wrecked ship of a pious skipper was miraculously carried into smooth water; hence the chapel dedicated to the Evangelist. Point Barbariga, of old Cissana, shows ruins identified with the old Thracian city Cissa: a purple manufacture (Baphium) is noted in the "Notitia utriusque Imperii." The maritime lands are still barren and sun-browned. They improve about Dignano (Adinianum or Atinianum), and yet there is hardly a tree between that village and the shore. Presently we shall enter the regions of evergreens, the ilex and terebinth, the cistus (three species), the arbutus and erica (arborea); the phillyrea (latifolia); the myrtle and the oleander, the wild caper being the most common of the dozen varieties. Here the people, as has been said, are Morlaks; they are distinguished like the Cici by their long Gace (braghe or tights) of white woollen stuff, which they appear never to change. Gareis says of them, "Der Slave hier ist unwissend, aberglaubisch (superstitious), misstrauisch, und besitzt eine ziemliche Portion von Faulheit." 

We leave to starboard the Brioni Islands (Insulæ Pullariæ, Pliny iii, 30), whose two main features, the Scogli Grande and Minore, contain more than one castelliere (Kandler); an ossiferous breccia has lately been found about four hundred yards east of the new Pharos at Point Peneda. We pass between the little Prellarian archipelago and the mainland by the Canale di Fasana, which, it is said, would have formed a far better harbour for ironclads, than Pola, haunted by the Biscia or Teredo.

As we approach this new Portsmouth, which owns its existence as "principal station of the I. R. Marine" (1853), to the unfortunate "Archduke Max," we remark that Strabo (V. 1, § 9) is still correct when he asserts "Pola is situated in a gulf forming a kind of port, and containing some small islands (not the Brioni of our translations), fruitful, and with good harbours." Passing fortified Punta Cristo, and within it Sanci, we find a host of quasi-modern works on the northern jaw crossing fire with the Brioni batteries, and with the defences of the southern Point "Compare." And now, as Berlingeri says - [354]

"Pola poi s'appruova
Pesta da' Colchi privi d'ogni Speme
Prender Medea, che da lor non si truova:
Oh. quanto il nome suo a lei conviene!
Che appresso a lor 'Città d'esuli' importa
E il nome suo vetusto ancor ritiene."

On such a day as this, Sir Humphry Davy thought the harbour "one of the most glorious visions in the world;" it is equally admired by Turnbull in 1840; and Neale found the entering a "moment never-to-be-forgotten." But since those days it has greatly changed by the growth of a new Pola, numbering some twelve thousand inhabitants, and almost equalling that of the Augustan age. As we steam past the Battery Island, we remark that the Scoglio (degli) Olivi (map delle olive or oliveninsel), alias S. Floriano, which anciently supported the mausoleum of Rasparaganus, king of the Sarmatian Rhoxolani (A.D. 120) and where, a score of years ago, goats browsed, now boasts of the most modern appliances in slips and balance-dock. The marking features are the citadel, the Roman capitol or hauteville, which presided over the other six hills, and below it the Franciscan convent (built A.D. 1285) now a military magazine; while ranged along the shoreline are the columned Palazzo Stabile, or "Festungs-Commando-gebäude;" the cathedral, "of marvellous interest," with the several riding-school windows; the large new barracks opened in 1875, the Rena or amphitheatre which, fronted by houses which did not exist in Davy's day, has now lost all its grand isolation, and the little railway station in the valley of S. Pietro, vulgarly Valle Lunga.

Several antiquarian discoveries have lately been made at Pola, and the finds have been deposited in the local museum, the Temple of Rome and Augustus, facing the Piazza, which was once the Forum. And there are improvements since I visited the Arsenal in 1873. The '"Coliseum," whence Mr. Neale "turned sorrowfully away after thinking of the Christian martyrs," has been defended (1875) by iron railings seawards, and a solid wall inland. The municipality has also enclosed the funereal gateway of the Sergii, or Minerva-gate, which opened upon the Via Flavia, the latter once a line of sepulchres like the Appian Road; its modern name is Porta Aurata or Aurea, and vulgarly "Porta Rata." But the Roman single archgate to the East, opening on the military road to Albona, and now bridging the citadel-moat, is still, despite the complaints of Gareis (p. 72) and others, the common cess of the neighbourhood; in this matter the Slavs of Istria are incorrigible. At last (October, 1876) the "Maximilian's Monument" has been finished, with the legend "Von der Kriegsmarine in dankbarer [355] Erinnerung;" but it is hardly worthy of the gallant Austrian navy, or of the Prince which raised it to its present rank. And, what concerns the traveller far more, the two inns have been brushed up; and they are no longer "filthy pot-houses;" where the people are civil, but charge exorbitantly.

South of Pola, the shore is subtended by a line of lumpy hills, green and bush-grown, to the north and southwards of naked limestone. From the offing we see over the nearest distance the bare head of Monte Goly (Monte Calvo or Bald mountain) and the dark flank of Punta Negra, while the whole is crowned by the wall, jagged-edged and crateriform, of Monte Maggiore, capping an elevated plain. "We pass Medolino, the townlet S.S.E. of Pola and in the Agro Polense, identified by Coppo and most antiquaries with the Mutita deteta by the Romans. The fine quarries are reached by a good highway from Pola, a restoration of Vespasian's Via Flavia; and near the modern settlement is rising ground about the old castle, where the old Thracian city probably stood. We steam outside the once dangerous lump of limestone called the Scoglio Porer, with its lighthouse and buoys distinguishing the channel from the Secca Pericolosa. Thence the course doubles the southern apex of Istria, the low dome "Punta di Promontore" (Polaticum Promontorium); in a Venetian map of 1572, it is called Punta di Compare, the former term being assigned to a north-eastern headland. Crossing the Golfo di Medolino, whence Pola lies completely open to a land attack, we pass the Punta Merlera (Point Scallop), and the various projections between it and the Arsa mouth, known as Le Merlere; it is a good description of these hogsbacks with black-green vegetation based upon ruddy calcareous soil, with chalky-white snouts, gnawed, burnt and blackened by the ever restless Quarnero.

Our course now shifts to the N.E. We shall presently return to the fjords known as the Valle di Bado and the Canale del Arsa, where, as has been said, Augustan Istria ends and Liburnia begins. We sight the lone tower of S. Giovanni in Bosca (S. Ivanaz), over the gloomy Punta Negra, the Pax tecum of some maps. This, the last buttress of the Caldera-Sissol range, has been provided with a small lighthouse. The next feature is the little port of Rubaz, to which we shall return; it is separated by a rounded massif Monte Usir, from the Fjord of Fianona. The latter is a long inlet, ending seawards in a "swatch," or long narrow gorge, which suggests the action of an ancient river.

At the southern end of the now shrunken Lake Apich [Cepich], there was till lately a "Katabathron," like that of Aphalons, an Argostoli sufficiently strong to work a mill, but the mouth filled up, and the building is in ruins. Since then we have, or [356] rather we had, a lake with two outlets, the submarine and the subaërial, the latter being the important and well-defined Valarsa.

At the head of this fjord stands the grim townlet of Fianona, the Slav "Plomin," looking like the nest of pirates and smugglers that it was, and contrasting strongly with the comparatively open settlements, and their riant surroundings. It clings to the southern flank of Monte Zucchero, Sissol, or Mala Uzka (2,600 feet), a mountain of highly-contorted outlines, which, after a slight depression connects northwards with Monte Maggiore. Upon this block, near the chapel of Santa Barbara, is the traditional site of an ancient castle called Lisborna or Lesborna (Liburnia?)  

Off Fianona we enter the narrow Canale di Farasina, which parts Eastern Istria from the north-western end of bleak and barren Cherso Island, whose snows sometimes, as in Iceland, descend to the sea. Here we open the glorious Gulf of Fiume, no mean rival, especially when both wear their winter suits, to the Bay of Naples. We steam along the Liburnian shore, under the shadow of Monte Maggiore, the Saint Angelo of our Adriatic Parthenope, which adds grandeur to the picturesqueness of the scene. It is this culminating point of Istria (4,400 feet), the Mons Major of the Romans; the Monte Caldera, Caldier, Caldeera, Caldaro, or Caldar of the Italo-Istrians, and the Vela Uzka of the Slavs; some derive the latter name from the village to the west; others translate it the "big narrow," from the shape of the culminating spine, and opposed to the " little narrow" (Mala Uzka) Sissol. Very rich and luxuriant are the eastern slopes and fort-hills of this monarch of Istrian mountains; the amenity of the climate and the extreme beauty of the vegetation made this section of the Liburnian coast a favourite with the conquerors of the world.

Still, hugging the shore, whose tall limestone walls are pierced with many a cave bored by the blue-rocks, we pass Bersetz town, remarking its fine bathing sands, where boats ride at anchor through the winter. We admire the eccentric cities of the high road to Fiume, whose white ribbon in long line stripes the dark green, without the slightest regard for levels. Beyond the tall town of Moschienizza opens its draga which, under the name Val di Sara, runs up to the southern base of Mons Major. Here we expect to see the water power made useful, and are told that "it is proposed." The mouth divides the Commune from that of Lovrane (Lauretum) where the evergreen which named it, has apparently yielded the palm to the edible chesnut: this Marrone is looked at in a variety of ways. Baytree town, famed for its battle in A.D. 695, being upon the sea-board, has been [357] defended from pirates by walls and two fortlets; now we remark only its mole and Mandracchio (inner port). From this point we strike nearly due east, and with a glance at the high-placed church of Saint Peter; at the beautiful grounds of the Abbazia Villa; at tall Castura, at low-lying Voleska and its portlet Priluka, where the tunny enters the chamber of death, we make old Tersatica Fiume.  

We have then, in little more than twenty-four hours, passed round the three sides of the Istrian peninsula. The Lloyd's steamers stop at Pola between five and ten P.M., and thus they double the southern point during the dark. By taking the carriage-road to Trieste, in an eight hours' drive, you may encircle Adriatic Istria.

Istria is small in stature, great in fame. Its climatal and jetturic accidents have made it, like Syria and Palestine, a manner of earth's epitome. The mountainous region bounding the east suffers from the cold of England; the lowlands to the south and west enjoy the tepid warmth of Italy; the aloe flourishes at Rovigno, and the bush feathers Monte Maggiore, distant only thirty direct miles. In Roman days the peninsula was a meeting-place of nations, being traversed by two great highways; the great south-eastern connecting York and Aquileja with Constantinople and the Levant; and the. eastern line between Ancona, Pola, the rival of Ravenna, Zara and the Danube to Pannonia. Hence it was the chosen abode of Emperors, like Vespasian, and of patrician families like the Crassi (Licinii) the Sergii (Castro Polæ), and a host of clarissimi viri and of elarissimæ faeminæ, whose villas not only lined the shore, but extended to the centre. Hence, too, the attention paid to it by the poets, the geographers and the historians of antiquity. Of late years it has been unduly neglected.


Rubaz, the marina or port of Albona, is a settlement with half-a-dozen houses, including a little inn; it has a stone-reveted quay, a dwarf mole of good masonry, and two stepped landing-places. A life-boat, the "Felis" has been presented to it by a patriotic citizen, and the civil "deputate" (health-officer) Sig. Lorenzo Dominić, by his friends called the Admiral, takes a pleasure in showing us everything. The harbour is connected, by a good carrozzabile made by the commune, with its town Albona, the latter looking from afar like a huge mediaeval castle eyried on a mountain-top, with the tall belfry acting land-mark. The road runs up the left side of a rugged ravine, called in the town part the Valle di Ripenda, from the district (comune) [358] which subtends the seaboard; about half way up, a bridge spanning a northern branch influent which drains the upper bed, and which rolls a cataract after rains; separates Ripenda from Albona; and here the main gorge becomes the Valle d'Albona.

The steep and stony flanks are seamed with paths; and in places the Fiumara works mills under difficulties; during summer the bed is bone-dry, and in winter it pours a furious flood after heavy rains.

The Ripenda-Albona ravine is sunk in the normal series of Istrian limestones (eocene nummulitic), and forcibly reminds the traveller of similar features in the Anti-Libanus. Below the nummulites, hippurites, and radiolites (Rudisten-Kalk), lies on both sides of the valley, with a sharp dip, a band of limestone full of the bivalve (perna), which polishes like marble; the thickness varies from eighteen inches to two feet. The eocenic sandstone appears on either side. About half way up (five hundred feet), we find on the left flank a quarry of sandy marl (grès marnées), which strikes to the N.N.W.; burnt and mixed with sand, it forms, like the Santorin earth, a fine hydraulic cement. Formerly it was fired on the spot, but the forno did not pay, and now it is shipped raw to the Rovigno works.

Reaching the Col, we bend from north-west to south-west, and stand upon the Altipiano (plateau) of Albona, a swelling ridge of extreme fertility, broken westward by two great gorges; the first is the Val di Carpano, a copy of the Ripenda-Albona ravine, draining the prison, and the second is the Valarsa (Val d'Arsa), in former times the subaërial drain of the Lacus Arsiæ, the now stagnant Cepich, which breeds fatal fevers. The inland view also has its attractions. Almost due north stands Monte Maggiore, simulating a cold Vesuvius; like the Julian Alps seen from Trieste, it is a local barometer, whose cap of clouds promises rain. A little further east rise the belfries of Pedena and Galignana, thrown in relief by the pure blue sky. The narrow plateau, of red calcareous soil, is covered with vineyards, and three villas now represent the three towers that defended the northern approach. Along the eastern side of the rock-mound, here bluff, there sloping, upon which Albona stands, we easily trace the now grassy ramp of Roman days, and we see the classical arch (9), at present blocked up, which pierced the tall ivy-clad walls of the oldest fortress.

Following the modern communal road, which communicates with Fiume and Pisino, as well as with Rabaz, we pass on the right the type of an Istrian chapel, della Madonna, whose long [359] tiled porch, supported by thin monolithic colonnettes, received under its slabs the dead, before the new cemetery was laid out south of the town. High above us to the left are the old palaces which form the enceinte of the ex-republican capital; three square bastions have also been converted into dwelling-houses, and a long curtain of tall tenements, with fourteen windows, still belongs to the Depanghes, Manzini and Negri families. The Borgo or new town, whose chief square (Piazza del Borgo) contains the Loggie of Venetian days, and the modern Casino di Società, is approached by new buildings; conspicuous amongst which is that of Sig. G. de Furlane, detto il Capetto, with one half by no means reflecting the other.

We find rooms in the old hostelry, "Albergo al Cittadino" of Francesco Vladissovich: there is a new establishment in the upper town, but it wants the fair view of its ancient rival. Albona, by the Greeks called Alouon, and the Slavs Labin, has been frequently described, and it has its monographer. The latter was "Bartolomeo Giorgini" of Asola, who calls himself an Aromatario (apothocary); domiciliated in the town; he printed his twelve chapters in 1733. He places the city in north latitude 44° 40', and "grade" 37° 30' (Ptolemy, east longitude 36°), in the fourteenth parallel, and at the extremity of the seventh climate, with a maximum length of day of fifteen hours twenty-four minutes. The territory measures sixteen by a maximum of ten (Italian) miles, and its circumference of seventy is bounded north by the Lago di Cesliano, and south and west by the Arsa. The founders may have been the Colchians, who, in B.C. 1222 (= A.M. 2731, and A.U.C. 500) "settled in Japidia, which they called Istria." But he places, without any reason, the first Albona at Starigrad ("old town"), six miles from the present site, and eight miles from the sea: the people, finding the air bad and water scarce, removed to the present hill-top. After the capture of Istria by the "Rerum domini," Albona, as is shown by frequent inscriptions, was a republic, and a municipium with the Ædiles. and Duumviri, and a Concilium Decurionale. She is said, on very imperfect grounds, to have embraced Christianity in A.D. 65. The territory suffered severely from the Marcomanni and Quadi (A.D. 373); from the Visigoths (A.D. 380); from the Heruli (A.D. 487); from the Ostrogoths, under Theodoric the Great (A.D. 489); and from the Longobards (A.D. 526). After belonging for thirty-two years to the Empire of the East, she in common with Istria, was united by Carolus Magnus with the Western Empire (A.D. 788-909) and finally, under Frederick Barbarossa (A.D. 1172), she was transferred to the Patriarchate of Aquileja.

About the fourteenth century, the "oppidum" had been reduced [360] to a mere castle, about half the size of the present "Old Town." After various sufferings from the Saracens and other barbarians, it was happily united (A.D. 1420) with the then Regina del Mare, of which men wrote dominium Venetorum non deficiet usque ad finem mundi. It retained its liberties, was ruled by its Podestàs, or Rettori, and obtained for arms a cross gules on a field argent; moreover, the extent was more than doubled, thus forming a new Old Town: the enceinte being strengthened by a curtain and five square towers, which still remain, except that to the northeast, fallen a few years ago. In 1587-1600, the chief entrance of the new or south-western town-not to be confounded with the Borgo or suburb outside the walls-was further protected with two propugnacula or haluarte, round towers of which the Terrione is a specimen, and with a Revellino, here meaning the flanking wall: they were furnished with twelve ænea tormenta (bronze patereros), for which Doge Marino granted one thousand gold sequins. Over the inner gate, where stands the now secularised chapel of San Fior (Bishop of Cittanova, A.D. 524), was placed the Lion of Saint Mark, with a movable ball of stone in mouth. On the night of January 19th, 1599, Albona was attacked by seven hundred to a thousand Uzkoks or pirates of Signa, sent by the Archduke Ferdinand of Gratz to worry Venice by harrying Istria; they were beaten off wiith a loss of seven, and they seized the dependency of Fianuma, then unfortified.  

I must refer readers to Giorgini's volume for the discovery, about A.D. 1817, at a place called Calich (one MS. gives Calick), of the "giant of Albona," whose bones where three times the size of the biggest man; and concerning the origin and the armorial bearings of the families Battiala and Negri, Luciani and Scampicchio, Coppe and Frankovich, Ferri, Dragogna, Munzini, Manzoni, and Tagliapietra.

The Museo Scampicchio had acquired since my last visit, three fragments of stone implements, two found at Pisino, and one in diggings south of Albona, near the smaller Cistern. These hardly deserve illustration, but I forward a tracing of a bronze (copper?) dagger blade, it was dug up by the treasure-seeking family, Cento per uno, a little north of the Pervodraze farm-house, about fifteen minutes' walk to the south-west of Cunzi. The sides, which converge with the slightest catenary curve, are sharp, and the raised surface, with a margin of one-eighth to a quarter of an inch, want the ornamental lines and points which distinguish the most finished weapons. The "part wanting" has been rubbed off probably by the rude trials of the treasure-seeker, and it is suspected that the handle was thrown away.

[361] My first step was to the Castelliere di Cunzi, the type of its kind, where one seems to stand in the presence of proto-historic man. Again we enjoyed the view from the Krizniberg, (10) or cross hill, one of many little heights which, however, was not occupied by the old race. We explained the water supply of the Istrian settlement, which stood on a limestone plateau overlying the "Tasello," like the heights south of Albona, and from the junction of these formations the element is plentifully supplied. Again I saw no trace of the dreaded vipera del Corno, the gat of the Slavs, which is described as a unicorn with a red tail. We gathered quantities of Cotti, pot-sherds whitened by the deposit of lime in the walls. The earthenware in the Castellieri is mostly of one kind, thick, massive, and heavy. The fracture shows a dark and often an almost black core, the result of imperfect baking with thorn fire in the open air, such being the general custom of barbarians. The reddish-yellow outer coat is dotted with bright points of silex, or of limestone; these diminish in the improved forms, of which specimens were collected at Corridico; and they entirely disappear from the Roman pottery, so abundant on the Istrian seaboard. Finally, the unbroken specimens are all of the rudest shape, ignoring the wheel, and the lips and handles are equally coarse, massive and irregular.

My friend Sig. Erneste Nacinovich, of the Hospitale Santa Dominica (formerly Dubrova), who on our first visit showed us the Starigrad di Prodol, had discovered the remains of another castelliere, about a mile north-east of his father's house, at the place called in the Austrian map "Erschiscze" (pron. Ersiskic). The site belongs to the Comune of Fianona, the gorge of that name bearing 130° (Mag.) from, and close to, the whitewashed "Villa Erschiscze." His attention was aroused by the country folk bringing him two fragments of a massive human skull. Tall limestone rocks weathered to nakedness occupy the centre of the area, and the enceinte was apparently, according to general rule, divided into two unequal parts, by a wall of rough blocks, six still lying on the ground, and trending nearly north and south (Mag.) There are also signs of an entrance. The northern arc of the vallum shows two natural projections, which may have been useful as rude bastions, whilst in the southern face there are three. Excavations in the mound produced the characteristic black earth; pottery, including [362] several fragments with handles, bones of man, beast, and teeth of cattle, sheep or goats, swine, and apparently rabbits.

Late in August 1876, Dr. Scampicchio and I proceeded to examine the cave of Trdacina (pron. Terdazzina), the "place of great cold," on the Strada S. Giovanni (del lago), almost due south of, and almost an hour's easy walk, from Albona. Cav. Luciani has long been of opinion that these features, so abundant in the limestone formations of Istria, would yield troglodytic remains, a theory in which I had little confidence. Immediately on leaving the town, the limestone clifflet capping the sandstone shows signs of occupation; here probably was some defence for the important line leading to Porto Traghet, the Traghetto or Ferry of the Arsa. Immediately below, and to the east of the Hauteville, to the left of the road, lies La Cisterna Grande, of Roman date, solidly built of fine brick, with square pillars, vaults and rounded arches; a little further on is a second, which remains blocked up, and a third, La Cisterna Piccola, or La Zuecca, used by tanners, is under the Campo Santo in the place called Alle Fontane. Also on the left is the chapel of S. Mauro, where were found cinerary urns, and the funerary inscriptions of the Gavillius or Cavilius family, of which one is now preserved in the Loggie of Albona. Further seaward lies S. Gallo, which yielded a stone inscribed "to the Holy Nymphs," on a balneum built for the use of the Municipium; while southermost of all, lies Grasischie, a position commanding the roads to Rabaz, Portolungo and Santo Marina.

Passing to the left the chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena, belonging to the Scampicchio family, we leave on the opposite side that of S. Michele upon a height. We see near us the village Castelliere de S. Antonio di Monte on the right bank of the Albona gorge, all its antiquities having been destroyed, and far below us appears the long bare point of Portolungo, the northern jaw of the fjord immediately south of the Rabaz bight. A wall of large stones across the narrow neck, and another cistern for rain-water, suggests that this was the site of a Roman villa, a common feature on the seaboard of Albona, where the conquerors of the world, having no fear of pirates, enjoyed their bathing, and breathed air 4° (F.) warmer than the temperature of the upper elements. Before, however, proceeding to Trdacina, I will translate the last communication upon the subject of these caverns sent to me by Cav. Luciani, with my own remarks upon his long list.

Doctor Scampicchio sent on half-a-dozen labourers, and whilst they sank their shaft, we measured the cave. Its length is twenty-four mètres, by seven to eight broad, and the average height may be five. One of the Negri family had converted it [363] into an ice-house by paving the floor, by running across the mouth a dry-wall provided with a doorway, and by similarly protecting the smaller and deeper end. Various holes picked in the ceiling and in the sides, showed the familiar signs of the treasure-seeker. But our search was utterly unsatisfactory.

The calcareous red earth was found undisturbed; only the narrowest stratum, about a foot below the level, denoted the black mould, and it was probably due to temporary occupation by shepherds or robbers; a few mouldered bones of beasts, and fragments of old pottery, which might have been transported, formed the sole and the unsatisfactory find. We dug down to the ground rock, one metre or so below the surface; then we gave up Trdacina as hopeless; and with it all hopes of finding troglodytic man in the Istrian peninsula.

I had always doubted, despite the robust belief of my friend Luciani, that a race of cave-dwellers would be found in this region. As a rule (11) the troglodyte affects climates which are either very hot and rainless, as near the Red Sea, or cold, as in the north of France. Moreover, cave-dwellers do not, even in our day, readily give up their cheap and comfortable abodes; this may be seen throughout La Beance, and even at Saint Cime, within an hour's railway-travel from Paris. Again, the perpetual infiltration of rain, which doubtless was more abundant in the days before Istria-land was disforested, must have made them damp and malarious, in fact very uncomfortable compared with those of the chalk. The essentially temperate climate of the fair peninsula, also, would suggest subaërial habitations, and it offered peculiar facilities for building; limestones whose natural fracture saves the trouble of blasting and cutting, and abundance of wood for the rude wigwam. Finally, the large number of the pre-historic or proto-historic "Castellieri," which may amount to a score in the small territory of Albona, is adverse to the existence of a troglodytic race.


  1. Baron Carl von Czoernig (jun.) estimates this apex at 1,700 mètres, in his paper "Der Krainer Schneeberg."
  2. I have offered a few details concerning the Uzkoks and the Morlaks, in "Sosivizka" etc. ("Cornhill Magazine," No. 191, November, 1875.)
  3. See first paper (p. 23), concerning the "little Greek Colony of Peroi. They came from Cernizza of Montenegro in A.D. 1657.
  4. They need hardly be ashamed of this ancient and honourable calling; and perhaps jealousy gave the name. In Paolo Ramusio (de pell, constant.), we read "Histriani pirati," and indeed all this coast has been as famous for sea thieves as that of Western India.  VOL. VII, 2B.
  5. First paper, pp. 15 and 39.
  6. In my first paper (p. 27) misprinted Spina Morocco; in Slav, Draca or Diraka, and in German Judendorn. This Rhamnus has long ago effected a lodgement on either side of the Adriatic, and many a place in Italy is called "The Marrucatone." The bright yellow blossoms and the delicate foliage conceal formidable thorns shaped like partridge-spurs; in winter, when their fierceness is not mitigated by the leafery, they are true "wait-a-bits." According to the learned Dennis ("Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria," vol. ii, p. 251, a book whose reappearance in a second edition the world will welcome), it is probably referred to by Polybius (ii, 28), when describing the battle near Rusellae. The Romans, he tells us, were obliged to strip lest their clothing should prevent their passing through the thickets. Throughout Istria I have found it as troublesome as in Syria; the appearance of the thorn, however, is pretty and picturesque. 2B2
  7. First paper, p. 24.
  8. In the Austrian Government maps, Monte Bicco, probably a misprint.
  9. Near the north eastern entrance, Porta S. Biagio.
  10. See first paper (pp. 18-20), when, however, the misprint Krini-brek occurs. My collaborator has supplied me with a plan of the enceinte, the work of a qualified engineer, Sig. Enrico Soutzek. I am rejoiced to say that it establishes the correctness of the rude sketch facing p. 20. This year the oak-copses will be cleared off, a septennial operation when money is not scarce, and there will be a good opportunity of taking the long-promised photograph. VOL. VII. 2 G
  11. There are exceptions, for instance at Grand Canary, and other places which readily suggest themselves. 2 c 2

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