There are more or less equal pros and cons relating to the question of historical accuracy. Perhaps I begin with the (most famous) quote from the Campo Marzio text (compare the two translations I have in both Tafuri and Wilton-Ely).
Perhaps I ask Sue what she knows about the Via Flamina and its odd placement in the Campo Marzio. Fasolo refers to the placement of the Via Flaminia as arbitrary. This then also brings into question the positioning of the Equiria, (which here Fasolo wrongly identified as a waterway) and how the Via Flaminia today is actually the route inscribed by the Equiria of the Campo Marzio, and how the present day Corso, whose name refers to the ancient race course (I actually still have to verify this) is not depicted within Piranesi's Campo Marzio but the "arbitrary" Via Flaminia seems to take its place as the "main street" of the reconstruction.
Make a big case about the Vatican Circus. Find out when the Circus was discovered and whether it was discovered around the time when the Campo Marzio was being drawn. The question seems to be why did Piranesi include the circus seemingly after he had already "reconstructed" that area of the Campo Marzio without it. There is some historical reference to the circus in the Perspecta article about the site of St. Peter's.
I will note the actual locations in the Campo Marzio where Piranesi actually did excavating in the Campo Marzio--this info is available in the new Forma Urbis.
There is also the connection between the big scoop on the Tiber (depicted on the Nolli plan) and the Natatio (beach) at the same location in the Campo Marzio.
I could end this section with a comparison between the Minerva Medici and the Horti Luciliani. Piranesi may be very loose with what he put where and what specific buildings look like, but he is very consistent in terms of finding his inspiration in actual Roman buildings.
Perhaps without going into chronosomatics specifically, I can still make my case here by referring to the following issues:
1. the long span in time with which Roman forms have been alive. I first make note of all the various types of Roman designs made during the Empire. This will be followed by addressing the offshoot of early Christian and Byzintine Architecture (and perhaps even Islamic architecture?), and this is then followed by the Renaiassance, Neo-Classicism, and the Beaux-Arts.
2. I can discuss Piranesi's own ideas of Roman supremacy over the Greeks.
3. I can argue that both Greek and Roman architecture has proven itself to be abundantly fertile.
4. I wonder if I can even make the point that Roman architecture played a part in European colonial architecture, e.g., Lutyen's New Dehli.
I may indeed begin my analysis of the Campo Marzio as fertilized architecture with the Porticus Neroniani. The plan itself is like the proverbial missing link because it has both the traditional and the new geometric state all in one design. I can also bring up the solid/void issue which will lead directly to the intercourse building in terms of inside/outside, figure ground, penis/vagina, male/female.
The rest of my thesis here is already well documented in terms of the hierarchy of plans, except I really still have to collect the actual plan drawings that I believe to exemplify/illustrate my theory.
Besides all the Tafuri references in Architecture and Utopia, there are more references to fecundity in Tafuri II, Wilton-Ely, and Fasolo.
Did Piranesi's own imagination itself reach a new "fertilized" state--a state where creative manifestation began to occur exponentially rather that merely linearly?
I should also look up genetics in the dictionary and EB.
genetic 1 a : relating to or determined by the origin, development, prior history, or causal antecedents of some phenomenon : CAUSAL, HISTORICAL, EVOLUTIONARY b : based on or determined by evolution from a common source -- used esp. of relations among languages or among words and grammatical forms of languages c : concerned with or seeking to explain, interpret, or understand (as a literary or psychological phenomenon) in terms of its origin and development or of its causal antecedents 2 : of or relating to genetics : characterized or produced by processes of genetics
genetic 1 a : a branch of biology that deals with the heredity and variation or organisms and with the mechanisms by which these are effected 3 : GENESIS
If I do incorporate the theory of chronosomatics in this book, (and I could mention it in an introduction and include the theory as a selected text or addendum), then this section can address all the aspects of Piranesi's imagination and make the case that he is operating in all the ways that it is possible for him to do according to the "slice of body/time" within which he exists.
This section will probably function best as an all inclusive capsulating essay of all the various ways that Piranesi's imagination appears to be operating. This section actually has the potential to be heavy and deep, but I will try to keep it as simple as possible by being very direct with the correlations that are able to be made.
I think I will be able to find a number of references that refer to Piranesi's Campo Marzio virtually. Not only is the Campo Marzio an ancient Rome that both is and is not, it is also a disfigured "reflection" of the late Baroque Rome of Piranesi's own time.
See general note 118 - virtuality as a new fork in the road of historiography.
I will also address Fasolo's question of whether Piranesi wanted to be a "real" architect. I can now ask whether Pirenasi is actually the world's premire virtual architect?
Campo Marzio - aerial perspectives and 3d modeling
Yesterday was the first time I generated aerial perspectives of the Campo Marzio plan data. The results were promising, and I see such perspectives being used within the "Campo Marzio today" section of the book. What the perspectives made most clear, however, is that I really should begin a 3-D construction of the plan data. The capability of generating perspectives (of either 2-D or 3-D) is already something that has not been possible before, and thus a new rendition of the Campo Marzio.
I have thought of a system whereby I begin the model constructions. Because of the standard copy mirror and copy rotate commands, I will extrude each building plan as an orthagonal entity. The extrusions will reach a height somewhere between 10 and 20 feet, and will include whatever building base or stairs are part of the individual building design. I will begin with the buildings already in the typology collection, and the 3-D databases will have the same layer structure (I question this now, however). Copies of the 3-D data will then be rotated into a master model database.
The base of the model will be a separate exercise. I will overlay the Campo Marzio with a new grid (750x810 ft. increments) and I will develop each parcel individually and each parcel will have contours (if applicable), and water depressions, and opaque differentiation of green versus road of paved surfaces. I am hoping that this piecemeal approach makes the work easier and more efficient. (I am also hoping to get into a routine where I finish at least one parcel and perhaps also one building model a day, at least for the month of September.)
As the work progresses, I hope to gain further insight into the design, and I hope to make significant additions to the knowledge of Piranesi's reconstruction. I just realized that I could compare the Philadelphia model with the Campo Marzio model (at least the buildings and the building footprints from the Philadelphia model). I also just thought that I could use Lightscape to attach the Nolli plan to the corresponding grid protions of the Campo Marzio. This will enable a very interesting overlay effect when the plan extrusions and the Nolli map as a base are seen together. This now makes it imperative to correctly coordinate the two plans.
I just thought that I should begin with a full rendition/experiment of a specific section of the Campo Marzio, very likely the upper right corner of the map. By completing this section as completely as possible, I will have a much better idea of the work ultimately involved.
Campo Marzio - contiguous elements
Yesterday I also did my first experimentation of looking at contiguous elements in context. I started with the Horti Neroniani and while the results were interesting, they were not all that easy to achive, nor was the process systematic. Because of this, I have decided to persue the study of contiguous elements on the basis of individual buildings and within an orthagonal orientation. From there I will copy and rotate the new results into context.
As per my note from 6.2/3.96, I will breakdown each building in stages and the final "plan" with contiguous elements and geometric outlines is the drawing that will be put into the overall context. (8.20.97: I just realized that the aim of my contiguous element map is not so much to look like a ruin, but to actually be the record of each distinct piece with the Ichnographia. That this map may also resemble a map of ruins will be of prime interest but that is not exactly what I will be trying to produce. The final map may actually become a real sign of the kernels of Piranesi's creativity and therefore may also reveal some of the plans overall mystery. We shall see.) Rather than being a random breakdown (like actual ruins), it will be a very methodical dissemination, and perhaps evocative of the idea of a "modern" ruin.
Again, I will begin the study/analysis of the contiguous elements using the typology databases. I am not sure, however, what the final database structure will be in terms of layers and buildings per database.
(8.20.97: I am beginning to see that I should always prepare contiguous elements before I create model extrusions, and somehow it seems that the two databases will actually perform best as one database, both as orthagonal and as master databases of the context (and I can always separate the databases as the get larger).
archiving the Campo Marzio notes and data
I am beginning to realize that many of my organizational worries pertaining to the Campo Marzio would be solved if I continually archived the data via html files. I just realized that what I want is documentation on every building within the plan.
Campo Marzio - much research accomplished
I went to Paley yesterday and found many new resources:
1. There is first of all a book (Plattner, 1904) which aptly describes every building from ancient Rome, with a whole chapter on the Campo Marzio. Since this book is now copyright free, I plan to use the text within my "archeological accuracy" section (which I will now entitle "Archeological Mask or Reconstructive Surgery"). I am thinking that I will use citings from Plattner's text the same way I used definitions and quotes in the Timepiece. These notes will be along my own text, which I now see as having the theme of degrees of veracity. I will call out what is right and what is wrong (or actually just moved or renamed). This whole exercise will play up the notion that Piranesi was perhaps giving the Campo Marzio a "face-lift," a second chance where the "faults" have been eliminated and the dormant potential fulfilled. Of course, this is very much the metabolic process, especially when you remember Piranesi was working on ruins.
I will write this section on a building by building basis, and I pretty much know what buildings and complexs I will address:
a. the stadium in the Horti Neroniani
b. the story of the whole Vatican district--a strong contrast to the present Vatican
c. the Horti Salustiani
d. the Horti Luciliani
e. the obelisks
f. the pryramid south of Hadrian's Tomb
g. gate to the underworld
h. Nero's gymnasium
i. Agrippa's Bath and Stagnum
j. the theater district - Forma Urbis - inspirational plan motifs
k. zodiac signs on the meridian
So far, these are the examples of what is correct on the Ichnographia, here the following is what is not correct (i.e., surgically reconstructed):
a. the Via Flaminia - and there is no sign of the Corso
b. the Via Triumphant - re-routed
c. no Bath of Nero present [sic]
d. renaming the circus of Domitian [sic]
This is probably only a partial list of all the sites I will call out in my text, but it is enough for me to start with. I will have to go through both the Plattner text and the Pictorial Dictionary to make this list complete.
To continue with my research, I have found the Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome and it lists all the significant ancient remains. It has tracings of the forma urbis that I want to scan and I will copy whatever information there is on the relevant sites.
There is also the citing of the Campo Marzio that I photocopied from the Lexicon.... I just reread it and it kind of overwhelms me a bit because there is so much to consider and so much that is known through texts but not known through archeological remains. I have to probably limit what areas I refer to in my "accuracy" section because there is just too much to cover if I consider every possible detail.
In any case, I have a whole new approach to the "accuracy" section and it is inspired by M. Yourcenar's essay "Faces of History in the Historia Augusta." The main inspiration comes from the line, "Authenticity is one thing, veracity another." I will be taking my lead from her notions that "sometimes a sense of poetry rises out of this mass of grim details."