"You must have heard of this city from others," wrote a visitor to Rome in the middle of the fifteenth century. "There are many splendid palaces, houses, tombs and temples here, and infinite numbers of other edifices, but they are all in ruins. There is much porphyry and marble from ancient buildings but every day these marbles are destroyed in a scandalous fashion by being burned to make lime. And what is modern is poor stuff . . . . The men of today, who call themselves Romans, are very different in bearing and conduct from the ancient inhabitants . . . . They all look like cowherds."
- From The Borgias and Their Enemies 1431 - 1519 by Christopher Hibbert