The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

30 October 1778   Friday

30 October 1812   Friday

Morning nearly clear. ... I spent the morning at home reading a book by an anonymous author on religious metaphysics in which he thinks he has demonstrated, from reason as well as pagan history and ....... religion that there is in man a principle teaching him the being of a God and the immortality of his own soul. The author severely censures some writers who have deprecated knowledge acquired by human literature, and from an index it appears he had W. Penn and R. Barclay in mind[?], but surely neither of them carried their ideas so far (as he alleges) as to consider knowledge as sinful; now I cannot recollect that either of these great and learned men deprecated learning and knowledge otherwise than as unnecessary qualifications to Christian ministry, ...... they .... to be furnished with all needful information by their inward teaching .. Barclay 10th P.... concerning the ministry and Penn's Works passim, especially his Maxims and Advice to his children. PM I went to the election at Bustleton, the offices to be chosen were the election of the President of the US. There were two tickets -- 1st for D. Clinton & J. Ingersoll printed on a paper about 4 inches broad and for J. Madison & E. Gerry printed about 3 inched broad, the difference was visible at first view. As I sat within the room for half an hour I could perfectly distinguish every ballot as it was delivered and was astonished to observe that my neighbors of the Baptist congregation of Pennypack all voted for the latter the authors of the present war; altho they appear externally the most devoted worshippers of the Prince of Peace -- they hold meetings alternatively at each others homes 3 or 4 times per week, for worship and psalm... at least every second evening. I told Dr. Moore whom I met at the Fox Chase as I returned, that I hopes I should never again hear philosophers deny rattlesnakes the power of enchanting birds into there mouths. I spent some hours this evening in finishing the metaphysical book began this morning. I found it among some books of Genl. Henry Lee in my son’s book store, printed Salisbury England 1776 for the author and sold by Wallis &, Ludgate St. London -- entitled A Theological Survey of the Human understanding intended as an antidote to modern Deism -- there is much learning and good sense displayed in it and I think that altho it contains oblique censures upon some of the ori.... of friends, not well understood by the author, yet it approaches ...... to their ...... than any work not their own which I have met with, of the same date, especially in his explication of the preaching of the Gospel to all people. I intend to have it bound to place in my library.

30 October 2017


30 October 2022   Sunday
Reading Richard Krautheimer's "Mensa-Coemeterium-Martyrium" again.

From Calcographie des Piranesi:

Plans, sections and details of the Basilicas
of Caius and Lucius,
of Trajan,
of Antoninus,
And the principal churches, on the style and form of the Basilicas considered by Constantine, such as Saint-Peter, Saint-Paul, Saint-John, Sainte-Mary Major, Holy Cross of Jerusalem and Holy Mary beyond the Tiber.
The first three with five naves, and the last three with three naves.

It appears that Piranesi was not aware of the full and correct extent to which Christian basilicas were built in Rome under Constantine.

The discovery of Piranesi's final project is happening very much in the neighborhood of Louis I. Kahn's final resting place, and, thanks to Miers Fisher, the discovery of Piranesi's final project is becoming a perpetual motion machine of discoveries and hoaxes.

A future working title: The Bird and the Rattlesnake: a philosopher taking a Caracalla bath, maybe.

There did exist a kind of "conspiracy theory" that John James Audubon was the escaped Dauphin, and there is a strong possibility that Hélène Gregoroffsky Fisher was indeed an illegitimate imperial Grand Duchess.

The list of what I'd like to see in Rome quickly gets interesting, and it just might be that, when it comes to the legacy of Eutropia's illegitimate imperial son, Piranesi, more than likely, didn't have a clue.

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