quondam piranesi

Stephen Lauf

Inside the Density of G. B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii

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pagan
1 :
HEATHEN 1; esp : a follower of polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome) 2 : one that has little or no religion and that is marked by a frank delight in and uninhibited seeking after sensual pleasures and material goods : and unrestrained hedonist and materialist

christian
1 a :
one who believes or professes or is assumed to believe in Jesus Christ and the truth as taught by him : an adherent of Christianity : one who has accepted the Christian religious and moral principles of life : one who has faith in and pledged allegiance to God thought of as revealed in Christ : one whose life is conformed to the doctrines of Christ

triumph
1 a :
an ancient Roman ceremonial in honor of a general after his decisive victory over a foreign enemy beginning with his entrance into the city preceded by the senate and magistrates, the spoils, and the captives in chains and followed by his army in marching order and ending with sacrificial offerings and a public feast b : a triumphal procession or stately esp. public show or pageant

pagan - christian - triumphal way 5.0

The viam triumphaiam within the Ichnographia Campi Martii begins in the Area Martis, the forecourt of the Temple of Mars which Piranesi positions within the Vatican valley. Even though there once actually was a Via Triumphalis in this section of ancient Rome, the route of the triumphal way never began here. Nevertheless, Piranesi clearly demonstrates his intentions through planimetric symbolism. The plan of the Templum Martis is clearly derivative of male genitalia, and the dashed line indicating the path of the triumphal way evokes the issuance of sperm, in this case the sperm of Mars which ultimately produced the triumphant Romulus. It can even be said that the surrounded void of the Area Martis represents a womb, and thus it the Arcus Trajani, the Arch of Trajan, which delivers the Triumph on its way.

Piranesi very carefully fused his Triumphal Way with the origins of Rome itself.

the red line indicated the path of the triumphal way
1. Templum Martis
2. Area Martis
3. Arcus Trajani


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