The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf



13 November 1778   Friday

Laura will never etch, or do anything else, on this plate again.


13 November 1812   Friday

Morning clear. ... A hard frost, ice thicker than a dollar. At 9 Lydia went in the carriage to town to accompany her mother home who was left in town Tuesday. They returned just after sunset bringing me a letter from Redwood dated London Sept. 16th informing that he had taken his passage in the Pacific to sail from Liverpool 1st October. The newspapers of yesterday and today brought out by her contain little news, the President's message and the documents accompanying it was in former papers of last week; there are some sharp remarks on these in Gazette U.S. and ......... Journal.


13 November 2001
regarding Eutropia
[The following email was sent to me personally, but I feel it beneficial to post it and my reply at lt-antiq as well.]
Stephen,
I'm a bit puzzled as to why you regard Eutropia as one of C's "dearest friends." It is certainly true that C's letter to Macarius on the Construction of the Mamre church offers high praise for Eutropia and her advice on the Mamre site, but the letter is so larded with imperial rhetoric that it would be foolish to treat it as reflexive of Constantine's personal feelings.
Speaking against any true friendship is of course the fact that Constantine had worked the death of Eutropia's husband, son and daughter. Regardless of how she chose to patch up things with the emperor - and here she would have had little choice as long as she too wished to stay alive - this is hardly the sort of relationship one could characterize as "dear friendship."
Noel Lenski
Re: sketching
Quondam is much more than "an example of draughtsmanly-computerly." It is a true museum of architecture. I don't construct as many cad models as I used to (and no I don't need a manual constantly at hand), but I have worked on two models so far this year, namely the tower of Princeton Memorial Park (1966, unexecuted), perhaps Venturi and Rauch's most Kahnian building, and a reconstruction of the first rendition (c. 327 AD) of what is today Santa Croce in Gerusalemme--this is a large hall from what was once the Sessorian Palace, where Empress Helena lived in Rome between 313 and 326. I'm especially pleased with the quondam Sessorian hall. The model proved most enlightening with regard to beginning to understand what really happened during the paradigm shift in Western culture from Paganism to Christianity. I'd say any "drawing" that can do that goes somewhat beyond just "draughtsmanship".


13 November 2005
Philadelphia
Amman [Jordan] is the site of the biblical Rabbath Ammon, though apart from some tombs excavated in the vicinity there are practically no remains of the ancient town. It was at the gate of Rabbath Ammon that Uriah the Hittite was placed in the forefront of the battle by order of David to meet his death. In Hellenistic times Ptolemy Philadelpus (283-246 B.C.) captured and rebuilt the city, renaming it Philadelphia, by which name it was known in Roman and Byzantine times. It was one of the cities of the Decopolis.
Encyclopedia Britannica


13 November 2008
I Love Architecture
coincidentally read last night...
"Novelists and philosophers are both obsessed with language, and make themselves up out of concepts. Both, in a way, create worlds. Worlds? But the worlds of the novelist, I hear you say, do not exist. As for that--they exist more often than the philosophers'. Then, too--how seldom does it seem to matter. Who honestly cares? They are divine games. Both play at gods..."


13 November 2022   Sunday
Part of finishing Ancient Circuses includes imagining how Piranesi may have continued working on Ancient Circuses if he hadn't died 9 November. With the plans of the Circus Maximus and all the circuses of the Campo Marzio now fixed, Piranesi's attention may then have turned to the Circus of Caracalla, while Francesco etched the Palace of the Caesars plan next to the Circus Maximus, and performed more field survey works at the Circus of Elagabalus. Furthermore, would Piranesi himself have ultimately figured out that the Circus of Caracalla is really the Circus of Maxentius? Who knows?

In reality, Francesco published his large plan of the Circus of Caracalla circa 1786, and his plans of the Palace of the Caesars in 1787.






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