Encyclopedia Ichnographica

Bustum Hadriani


Bustum Hadriani

The place where the bodies of the dead were burned and buried under Hadrian

With the limits and the axis of the Bustum Hadriani fixed, Piranesi then begins to delineate the ancient Roman burial process in an appropriately bombastic way. Entrance to the Bustum is through the Clitoporticus ab Hadriano Dis Manibus dicatae -- porticus of the departed Hadrian, dedicated to Dis, god of the infernal regions, and to deified souls of the departed, the ghosts and shades of the dead, and the gods of the Lower World. A fitting portal for passage from this life to the next.

Beyond the Clitoporticus ab Hadriano Dis Manibus dicatae are a pair of tabulinum and apparatorium ustrinae. This is where family records are kept and where bodies are prepared for cremation. At the head of each apparatorium ustrinae is a coenaculum, dining rooms no doubt for relatives and friends of the departed.

Finally, in the Cavea Bustum, literally cavity of the place of burning, stand three plutei, the boards on which the corspe is place. Here the dead are sacrificially burned, thus completing the journey into the afterlife.

4 September 1997 and today
2001.09.04 11:00

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 planned crossing of a cardo and decumanus.

Piranesi's Continual Double Theaters

Koolhaas versus the Actor
2005.05.06 17:24

Stirling is a consummate reenactionary architect, and he knew it, but he put most of his clues in his architecture only--although his entry for Roma Interrotta is an overt reference to Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan and reenactionary architecturism. Just as Rossi reenacted the Bustum Hadriani with the Modena Cemetery, but it doesn't look like he ever told Tafuri about it.

Bufalini--Nolli--Piranesi 02
2010.09.12 1998.12.01




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