54. Pliny's Thuscum, or Tuscan Villa (fig. 7.), now Frascati, and in 1826 the property of Lucien Bonaparte, was situated in a natural amphitheatre of the Apennines, whose lofty summits were then, as now, crowned with forests of oak, and their fertile sides richly covered with rich cornfields, vineyards, copses, and villas. Pliny's description of this retreat, though well known, is of importance, as showing what was esteemed good taste in the gardens and grounds of a highly accomplished Roman nobleman and philosopher, towards the end of the first century, under the reign of Trajan, when Rome was still in all her glory, and the mistress of the world in arts and in arms.