Old Calabria By Norman Douglas














































































 - 

It was here, yesterday, that I came upon an unexpected sight - an army of
workmen engaged in burrowing furiously into - Page 60
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It Was Here, Yesterday, That I Came Upon An Unexpected Sight - An Army Of Workmen Engaged In Burrowing Furiously Into The Bowels Of Mother Earth. They Told Me That This Tunnel Would Presently Become One Of The Arteries Of That Vast System, The Apulian Aqueduct.

The discovery accorded with my Roman mood, for the conception and execution alike of this grandiose project are worthy of the Romans.

Three provinces where, in years of drought, wine is cheaper than water, are being irrigated - in the teeth of great difficulties of engineering and finance. Among other things, there are 213 kilometres of subterranean tunnellings to be built; eleven thousand workmen are employed; the cost is estimated at 125 million francs. The Italian government is erecting to its glory a monument more durable than brass. This is their heritage from the Romans - this talent for dealing with rocks and waters; for bridling a destructive environment and making it subservient to purposes of human intercourse. It is a part of that practical Roman genius for "pacification." Wild nature, to the Latin, ever remains an obstacle to be overcome - an enemy.

Such was Horace's point of view. The fruitful fields and their hardy brood of tillers appealed to him; [Footnote: See next chapter.] the ocean and snowy Alps were beyond the range of his affections. His love of nature was heartfelt, but his nature was not ours; it was nature as we see it in those Roman landscapes at Pompeii; nature ancillary to human needs, in her benignant and comfortable moods.

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