National Geographic : 1916 Oct
Photograph by Von Gloeden CALABRIAN TYPES The olive skin, the ebon eyes, and hair of the native-born son of Italy are as characteristic as his temperament tieth century thoughts and activities are developments of the purpose, ideals, and philosophy of the central Italians, from the days when Roman school - boys scratched caricatures of Christians on the walls of public buildings upon the Pala tine to the beginning of the decadence that followed hard upon the Renaissance in Florence and her compeer cities. First of all the Italian cities to shake the world was Rome, imperial center of civilization, culture, politics, and religion. Two of civilization's five periods devel oped in her and bear forever her stamp and sign. Her first period gave to the world lessons in discipline, centralized government, colonial policy and control, civil law, military science, hygiene, and water supply. The very persecutions of that age stimulated the primitive Chris tians throughout the Empire into banding together until the early Church took defi nite shape. The succeeding Roman Cath- olic Church was the tireless conservator of all learning and culture during the perilous Dark Ages-the inspirer, the civilizer, the sustainer. And after that black night had passed, and men began out of the wreck of the old to build the new, it was still the Church which was able to remodel civilization. GEOGRAPHY'S PART IN ROMAN HISTORY Though the situation of Naples, with its enervating charm, worked nothing but evil to that city, the location and physical character of Rome-hills for defense, a river for navigation, broad surrounding fields for grazing-proved the greatest asset of her people. It had so many nat ural advantages that every warring tribe which captured it was itself captured and quickly became Roman, thus making the city always the strongest in the peninsula, because it was the home and fortress of the strongest people.