314-354

Basilica of St. Agnes, Mausoleum of Constantina     Rome

1   b




circus/basilica     5032

1999.03.31
contributing sperm for egg fertilization
...going to feature Constantina, the daughter of Constantine (the Great) as the first architect of sacred Christian sites. I don't know if I can do this now because I may have gotten my facts messed up with regard to Constantina being instrumental in building S. Agnes (outside the Walls). I read somewhere that it was her project, and because of that I've surmised this whole scenario where it was she, and not her Emperor father, who was behind the initial Christian building within Rome.
I was set to tell the Constantina story and the St. Agnes (martyrdom) story, and I was going to play up the whole reversal (inversion) motif. I particularly liked entertaining the notion that Constantina constructed her own practice.

2000.11.20
9 November 1778
Piranesi, as far as I can tell, was the most recent past architect/theorist to give architectural homage to Helena. Four plates in the Antichita Romane vol. III depict Helena's (ruined) mausoleum in Rome plus her sepulcher (which is now in the Vatican Museum). In vol. II of the Antichita Romane there are four plates that depict (what is today called) Santa Costanza, (originally the mausoleum of Constantina, the daughter of Constantine, and the grand daughter of Helena and Eutropia), plus Constantina's sepulcher (which is now also in the Vatican museum in the same room as Helena's sepulcher). Piranesi also offers a reconstructed plan of the original Constantinian basilica (it was quite huge) built over the catacomb where St. Agnes was buried, to which Santa Costanza was originally attached.

2001.09.08
Re: Sarcophagi
I do not have information on the Constantine and Julian sarcophagi, but two closely related sarcophagi are in the Greek Cross gallery of the Vatican Museum, namely, the sarcophagus of Helena (Constantine's mother) and the sarcophagus of Constantina (Constantine's daughter, and Julian's sister-in-law -- Julian was married to Constantine's youngest daughter Helena). It appears that Helena, Constantina, and Fausta and Crispus comprise at least the few (or only?) members of Constantine's family that were not buried at Constantinople.
Helena was buried at Rome in what is today called the Tor Pignattara. Constantina too was buried at Rome in what is today Santa Costanza. Interestingly, I read a short webpage a couple of years ago that recent excavations and probes at Santa Costanza revealed a slightly earlier structure below Constantina's mausoleum (c. 354, now Santa Costanza). Both Helena's and Constantina's mausoleums were built co-joining original 'Constantinian' Basilicas, St. Petro et Marcello and St. Agnes respectively. Additionally, both basilicas, like all the original Constantinian churches of Rome with the exception of the first (today's St. John Larteran), were built over catacombs or cemeteries. With regard to the new discoveries at Santa Costanza, I wonder if the slightly earlier structure under Santa Costanza might be were Fausta (Constantine's damnatio memoriae[d] wife, and the mother of Constantina) was buried after her suspicious death likely near or at Rome sometime summer 326.

2002.04.10
ideas
...Santa Costanza and the story of the double columns and then all the "double" column/Augusta connections.


2003.08.30
Re: FW Evolutionary theory and architecture
Aside from strictly religious (temple and church) architecture, the case can be made that classical Roman architecture, in general, reached its climax during the reign of Maxentius, and ended 28 October 312, when Maxentius lost his life in battle with Constantine at the Milvian Bridge--Maxentius became (usurpative) emperor of Italy and North Africa 28 October 306, and Constantine attributes his Christian conversion to events that occurred the eve of 28 October 312. The architecture built in Rome under Maxentius is of the utmost refinement, e.g., the Circus of Maxentius manifests the most precisely designed of all Roman circuses. [Incidentally, the Circus of Maxentius plays a key role in the manifestation of two Ichnographia Campus Martius.] Records indicate that it may have been only a month after Constantine's triumph at the Milvian Bridge that the first Christian Basilica in Rome, first named after Constantine and today St. John Lateran, began construction. The architecture of Rome executed under Constantine (312-330) further includes (at least), St. Peter's at the Vatican, separate Basilicas of St. Lawrence, Agnes, and Peter et Marcellinus, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (which is all that remains today of Elegabalus' Sessorian Palace, where Helena took up subsequent residence in Rome), the Arch of Constantine (which reused pieces of the Arch of Trajan), the Baths of Constantine, the Baths of Helena, and the Mausoleum of Helena (whose ruins exhibit construction very similar to the ruins of the great Constantinian Bath of Treves (Trier, 306-312), which were the largest Roman Baths outside Rome).


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