c. 750 BC Romulus's first triumphal march
c. 200 BC Monumental [triumphal] arches first occur about 200 BC.
1762 Piranesi's delineation of the Triumphal Way
1824-30 Altes Museum
1929 Villa Savoye
1964 Palais des Congrès
1975 Wallraf-Richartz Museum
1997 funeral of Princess Diana
Campo Marzio - the triumphal way
I will have to do another careful reading of the Plattus text. The strongest thing for me to come out of the essay is the story about the entrance procession of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V in 1536 (nine years after his troops had sacked Rome in 1527). In this procession the route ended at the Vatican/St. Peter's. This very much brings to mind Piranesi's point of origin at the (new) Temple of Mars, which is very close to the actual siting of St. Peter's. Again there may be a symbolic reversal in the route that Piranesi marks.
This story from the Renaissance also made me mindful of the fact that Nero's garden was already the site of Constantine's Old St. Peter's basilica. Therefore, it may not be all that far-fetched to see Piranesi making symbolic reference to the ancient Roman reversal from paganism to Catholicism. In this sense, the porticus Neroniani is closer to Old St. Peter's that to the present basilica.
I will try to do as much supplemental reading/research on the Triumphal Way, especially the reenactments during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Ichnographia book - note 1
This then leads right into my analysis of the Triumphal Way, and here I will lay out my entire theory which culminates with the inherent symbolism of inversion that is found along the entire path. I have today reread the Plattus article, and it is even more helpful than I remembered, especially with regard to its view of the city itself as a stage set that is played upon. In many respects, this section will be an exposition of exactly what I have learned because of finding the Plattus article when I did. This section will end with the notion of the powerful and long-standing tradition of reenactment.
I will pick up the reenactment theme first with Piranesi as triumpator and the Ichnographia as one more Triumphal procession in the long history of the Roman reenactment. From here I will go into my reenactment vs. reconstruction theory, and therefore Vico will also come into play along with everything else involving reenactment.
I will end the dedication addressing my own reenactment-redrawing process, and here I will bring in the theories of Collingwood. In conclusion, I will explain how my initial dedication of the Campo Marzio web pages to my father became for me the cornerstone of my reenactment, and I will finalize it all with mentioning the parallel-comparative association father and son, me and my father, Romulus and his father Mars.
life, death, and the triumphal way
From here I take up the story of the Triumphal Way. The outline of my writing from this point will simply follow the triumphal path on the plan. I will explain the entire route strictly in Roman-pagan-triumphal ritual terms, however. In the course of this I will bring up the essential concept of "reenactment". My story will be about the "reenactment" that Piranesi here designed, especially the well planned sequence of stadia and theaters along the way. Piranesi made best use of what was actually there.
I will conclude the inversion from pagan to Christian storyline by returning to the axis of death and the Arch of Theodosius et al at its tip, and thus when compared with the intercourse building we have depicted the beginning and the end of pagan Rome. To this I will add the Jewish Victory monument and end with the notion that Piranesi has here used architectural plans and urban design to tell the "history" of ancient Rome, however, one has in a sense read both the "positive" and the "negative" image-plan--a story where the first half is the reciprocal of the second half (and vice versa). I am oddly reminded here of the double theaters story from Circle and Oval in St. Peter's Square.
"Mistakes and Inversion - A Prefatory Review"
...Rossi and the Cemetery of Modena and hence lift the "mask" once and for all (because the cemetery is also a reenactment).
The third point (perhaps final) will be to address Piranesi's own mistakes and inversions, particularly the inversion of the Circus Flaminius (which I now know to be also exchanged in location with the theater of Balba, which further shows Piranesi's intentional "mistakes" to make a specific point). I will make the point that Piranesi makes the mistakes, first to call attention to specific points, and second to highlight the notion of inversion. Piranesi is indeed being theatrical, which is only natural because of the whole notion of reenactment. I will at this point discuss the Ichnographia's Triumphal Way and how Piranesi redesigns (reenacts) the Way making it more ideal to its purpose (marching through the theater district). This will be a condenses version of the full Triumphal Way story. I will show how it (on the Ichnographia at least) ends at the Temple of Janus--a perfect example of inversion--and then demonstrate how following the Triumphal Way in reverse manifests the Christian theme of salvation and redemption, ending at the inverted "basilica"--the upside-down "inverted" crucifixion of St. Peter. At this point I can proclaim that the Ichnographia not only represents the history of ancient pagan city of Rome, but also the Christian city of Rome. This brings in Augustine's The City of God and also Bloomer's notion of the Ichnographia transcending time.
I can conclude with the Scenographia as the stage upon which Piranesi reenacts--this is the first scene and the "play" is about to begin. In the course of the "play" the most egregious "mistake/inversion" is the misplacement and disorientation of the Circus Flaminius and its actual exchange with the Theater of Balba. This "mistake" manifests a composition of inverted theaters--essentially a double inverted theater. This configuration becomes one of the Campo Marzio's final scenes and thus represents the double inverted "theater" of Rome's own history--the narrative of pagan Rome and the narrative of Christian Rome, and in the Ichnographia the one story is indeed a reflection of the other.
Promenade Architecturale Part II
I thought (sometime within the last week) that I could easily put together part 2 of the architectural promenade essay now that the related 1991 analysis pages are part of the Strasbourg exhibit. My feeling is that the body text of the essay would simply hold all the various pieces of the thesis together, and, therefore, I could present new rendered images of Savoye, Strasbourg, and Cologne as white models only (or as color coded model renderings). This way I don't have to work on redoing the Cologne model in particular. Furthermore, I would only have to clearly state the intersection of the architectural promenade with my Stirling analysis--how both topics relate directly to the architectural promenade documentation.
Part II will begin with the Strasbourg-Savoye comparison, which in turn, leads to the recognition of the similar "formula" used to compare both designs. This comparison then also raises the question as to whether this "formula" is intentional and/or even a viable formula capable of being applied as a general guideline for other architects to follow. It is at this juncture that I will then introduce precedents for the "formula" in Le Corbusier's own building designs, and follow up with Stirling's reenactment of the architectural promenade formula at Cologne.
perhaps not OTHERWISE EYES, but promenade architecturale
...believe it would be wiser to take a single topic and develop it to the fullest. The topic I'm thinking of starting with is the "promenade architecturale." The following is an initial outline to proceed with working on the "promenade architecturale" documentation:
1. collect all notes on the subject.
2. collect all web pages on the subject (Not There, letters to India).
3. collect all the CAD graphics and models relative to the subject (Monzie, Savoye, Strasbourg, Danteum, Cologne, Altes Museum, Düsseldorf(?)).
4. collect all material on the Campo Marzio triumphal way.
5. review Plattus' text on the Roman Triumph.
6. working title: from triumphal way to promenade architecturale?.
7. the triumphal way formula nicely matches the promenade architecturale formula.
8. web searches on The Divine Comedy.
9. construct the Altes Museum rotunda, construct the Campo Marzio triumphal way in 3D.
...several further ideas/areas of research to pursue:
1. excerpts from Livy and Plutarch on Romulus.
2. web search Nero and his triumph (in Suetonius).
3. search Eusebius for Constantine's triumph October 29, 312.
4. my triumphal arch as triumph over gravity idea.
5. is Bernini's Scala Regia a transition from triumphal way to promenade architecturale?
6. might there be something in The City of God Against the Pagans that relates to a triumphal way or an ascending promenade?
7. the "Rape of the Sabines" as a prelude?
8. end with the triumphal way of Diana and thereby end with the notion of reenactment.
9. title: Quondam Eventualities: Triumphs, Promenades and Reënactments.
4 September 1997 and today
Architect Aldo Rossi died in a car crash 4 September 1997, exactly at a time when virtually all of the world was very aware of another car crash death, namely the death of the quondam Princess Diana, 31 August 1997. Although I did not learn of Rossi's death until a week or two after it happened, I nonetheless vividly remember something I did 4 September 1997, which was to unexpectedly find the essay "Passage to the City: The Intrepretive Function of the Roman Triumph" by Alan Plattus in Ritual (1983). Given the fact that I was then soon to see an actual reenactment of the ancient Triumphal Way via the televising of Diana's funeral 6 September 1997, this series of events has (for me at least) over time become more and more compounding (hence EPICENTRAL).
Four years ago tomorrow, 5 September 1997, was the death of Mother Teresa, and the present's 6 September will witness the memorial service for Steven Izenour at Irvine Auditorium on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Sometime in 1998 I learned of the Eugene J. Johnson article "What Remains of Man -- Aldo Rossi's Modena Cemetery" in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (March 1982), where Johnson adroitly demonstrates how Rossi's cemetery design closely compares with Piranesi's Bustum Hadriani as delineated within the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio. What Johnson does not point out however, is that Rossi essentially reenacted the Ichnographia's axis of death which actually intersects the Ichnographia's demarcation of ancient Rome's Triumphal Way. [Piranesi's plan delineations of the intersection of the axis of death and the Triumphal Way themselves manifest a reenactment of the ancient Roman camp/urban planed crossing of a cardo and decumanus.] As it happens, Aldo Rossi was born 3 May 1931, and because of a suppressive act of Pope John XXIII in 1960, May 3 is now more correctly the quondam feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross.
Triumph via death is not exactly considered a modern theme, yet it is nonetheless still quite capable of being pervasive in modern times. Without much exaggeration, it is indeed possible to view Diana's funeral as a modern event of very, very late antiquity.
Re: Tampa, Florida
Like you, I desire reenactment to be a more deliberate process, plus I desire a broader understanding of reenactment's workings, both conscious and unconscious.
For me, reenactment has become a powerful learning process. For example, my reenacting Piranesi's drawing of the Ichnographia Campus Martius (albeit with modern technology, i.e. CAD, surely unknown and very likely even unimagined by Piranesi) has taught me much about Late Antiquity, paradigm shifts, that Piranesi's original drawing itself represents a reenactment, that "modern" humanity has for the most part lost touch with reenactment even though it still clearly exists (e.g., the funeral of Diana as a true/real reenactment of ancient Rome's Triumphal Way), and even that a truly innovative understanding of Piranesi's overall work can come from reenactment.
Re: trek trash?
...Diana's funeral, which was indeed "exactly" a reenactment of ancient Rome's Triumphal Way. The 1997 funeral followed step by step the same process that occurred almost 400 times in Rome during its days of empire.
There is a very thorough essay on the Triumphal Way by John Plattus which describes the whole process of Roman Triumph. You can also read an eyewitness account of the Triumph of Titus by Josephus. What I saw via TV on 5 September 1997 (I think the date is correct) was exactly the same thing in every detail that Plattus researched and what Josephus saw.
It is also worth noting that in the times after the Roman Empire, the ritual of the Triumphal Way was 'transformed' into a ritual of burial. What is significant of Diana's funeral is that the entire ritual, meaning every ancient detail, was reenacted. It is because of Diana's funeral that 21st century humanity no longer has to speculate or imagine what Roman Triumphs were actually really like. A whole new population of Triumphal Way eyewitnesses is now in existence.
Re: ancient details?
The detail of Diana's funeral that most reenacted ancient Rome's Triumphal Way was also the detail that could not really be planned, namely the thousands and thousands of Londoners (and the millions worldwide) that lined the streets of the "way" to witness the event.
Re: morbidity of the spectators
The multitude of spectators of Diana's funeral is the most reenactionary (of many reenactionary) details between the funeral and the Triumphal Way. I singled this aspect out because without the crowds Diana's funeral would have just been a very good carrying-out of a centuries old design for a procession. With the crowds, however, Diana's funeral manifested the same magnitude of civic involvement that the ancient Triumphs manifested, thus making Diana's funeral a more real reenactment of the events in ancient times.
Not Tampa, Florida anymore
I'll try to briefly outline (reenact) how I came to see a strong relationship between reenactment and (some but certainly not all aspects of) design.
I began redrawing Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan with CAD in 1987. I've been fascinated with this plan since the late 1970's, and I saw the opportunity to utilize the automated drawing/drafting capabilities of CAD in (re)drawing all the complicated individual plans of the Campo Marzio, which comprise many repetitive units, and manipulating repetitive units is precisely one of the things CAD is very good at facilitating.
In the early 1990s I begin an intensive redrawing of the plan, and at the same time I became reacquainted with Susan Dixon, a friend from my college days who went on to get a PhD in Art History, and her dissertation was on Piranesi's archaeological publications, of which the Il Campo Marzio is one. Together (via phone conversations) Susan and I begin speculating as to what the meaning of the Campo Marzio plan might be. Many theories were speculatively put forth, but reenactment was never one of them.
The second week of August 1997 I split my energies between doing research on the Campo Marzio and research on the philosophy of history as it might relate to my theory of chronosomatics. In Encyclopedia Britannica (edition 1969) under "Philosophy of History" there is a passage explaining Vico which, while reading it, made me think of Piranesi's Campo Marzio. There is also a list of 20th century philosophers of history and the titles of the works. Collingwood's The Idea of History is among these. I go to Barnes and Nobles that same day and buy Vico's New Science and Collingwood's The Idea of History. I read the passages in The Idea of History that deal with reenactment. It dawns on me that I've been doing a kind of reenactment by redrawing Piranesi's plan.
Thursday, September 4, 1997 (coincidentally the day architect Aldo Rossi died) I find Plattus's "Passages to the City: The Interpretive Function of the Roman Triumph" in Ritual (1983). I finish reading the essay Friday night. Saturday morning I watch Diana's funeral, and it quickly hits me that I am watching exactly what I just spent the last two nights reading about. Since Piranesi himself delineated the path of the Triumphal Way through his plan of the Campo Marzio, I begin to wonder whether Piranesi too was playing some kind of reenactment game in his redrawing of the large urban plan.
It is after this point that much of the prior ten year's work begins tightly piecing together, and the notion of reenactment also aids in better understanding what information I collected further in research.
For me reenactment was a learning tool, albeit for the most part a tool I didn't even know I was using. For Piranesi, however, (and this is what I've come to understand) reenactment was a design tool, specifically an urban design tool, whereby he generated an entirely new rendition of Rome. A Rome, moreover, that is essentially a conglomeration of many specifically themed environments, i.e., themed environments that relate exactly the history of the very places where Piranesi positioned his new designs. This is why I say Piranesi's Campo Marzio is not a reconstruction, rather a reenactment. By all indications, Piranesi was very conscious of the play of degrees of separation that reenactments involve.
Piranesi also (re)designed the city of Rome as a double (history) theater, namely the double theater of Rome's Pagan and Christian existence.
Modern architectural historians/theoreticians up to now never figured out the reenactment angle of the Campo Marzio, hence it (the plan) was interpreted as either pure fantasy or some sort of design mish-mash that negates all possible meaning. It is largely because of this prior misinterpretation (and its present widespread acceptance) that makes me so adamant about advancing an understanding of reenactment and design.
Re: agree, but
Regarding civic involvement I'll try to answer this way. When reading about the ancient Roman Triumphs, it is always noted that the whole city shut down, and all the population went to stand along the route of the Triumph parade to watch. I was initially skeptical of this, especially the notion of a whole city shutting down, and everyone going to see a single event. Maybe it did happen then, but it seemed hard to believe that something like that could happen in modern times. Diana's funeral changed my 'perception' of this.
Yes, as I write this, I realize that there are indeed several such occasions to be noted in modern time, the JFK funeral for example.
Quickly, the other details reenacted are:
-- Diana's coffin drove through several arches, one of which was indeed a Triumphal arch.
-- four real Princes accompanied the procession.
-- the 'spoils' of Diana's work were present in all the representatives of her charities that walked in the procession behind the Princes.
-- the route of the coffin passed numerous military monuments, of which at least one represented a tableau of soldiers, much like the battle tableaux that were part of the ancient Triumph parade (the precursor I'm sure of today's parade floats).
-- the procession ended at Westminster Abbey, what one can easily refer to as the most sacred place in London; the ancient Triumph ended at the Temple of Jupiter, the most sacred place in ancient Rome.
As I'm writing this I'm reminded of the movie A Special Day (I think that's the title). It starred M. Mastrioni and S. Loren, and the day was in Rome when Hitler came to visit Mussolini (two grim reenactors if there ever were any). All of Rome went to see the parade, and Mastrioni and Loren found themselves to be the only people in their apartment building, and the story of the movie goes on from there. Maybe when you see something in a movie it still feels just a bit unreal, just a play reenactment. Maybe what struck me so much about Diana's funeral is that it was just like a movie, but indeed real.
Re: (another) map
When Nero reenacted the Triumphal Way, he did it with much apposition, probably even controversial apposition (but I doubt anyone opposed). He changed the traditional route, had elephants breaking down part of the city wall, you know, the basic kinds of stuff that Nero is (in)famous for.
Re: Sentimental Journey
frond asks, "is kitsch always sentimental?" and/or "is kitschy sentiment always not genuine?"
There probably can be (or even already is) some non-sentimental kitsch out there. If I had my way (wink wink), I'd call most of Barnett Newman's art, for example, non-sentimental kitsch, in that it (or at least a lot of it) is excessively devoid except for his signature.
The notion of a 'sentimental journey' brings to mind the notion of reenactment, however, reenactments have the inherent potential to rise far above kitsch, such as the Roman Triumphal Way, which was in 1997 reenacted via Diana's funeral—and granted some may even view Diana's funeral as ultimate kitsch, but what it really turned out to be is a rather ultimate reenactment of something that was done several hundred times in ancient Rome. The uncanniness of Diana's funeral is that it indeed was completely genuine, a real procession through real imperial arches, real princes, real immense crowds, and even a real sacred place for its culmination. The formula of the Triumphal Way was genuinely carried out to the very last detail.
Now compare Diana's funeral with a reenactment of a Civil War battle, and I think the difference between genuine and sentimentality become a little clearer. It all has to do with degrees of separation, either getting as close to the truth as possible, or, at the other extreme, stretching the truth as far as it can go.
cloning architecture - a global search
I (again) read some of Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" yesterday, and it appears that including the notion of reenactment would have aided the essay. Also, the notion that magic is no longer a part of the "human condition" seems more and more to be a modern myth. Modern man has (by training?) become oblivious of where to find the magic, that's all.
Everytime I read of 'aura' I'm more and more reminded of the (now mythological) 'ether' that physicists used to so rely on.
Terragni's Danteum very much reenacts the 'promenade architecturale' forumla, as does Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye and (unexecuted) Palais des Congres.