Church of the Holy Sepulcher

325 Church of the Holy Sepulcher
326 Santa Croce in Gersalemme
415 Santa Croce at Ravenna
1230 St. Stephen's at Bologna

2001.12.04 11:36
Piranesi Prison dates, etc.
I don't like having to do this (because it implies that some editor is not really doing their job), but it must be pointed out that Joseph Rykwert made (at least) one factual mistake within The Seduction of Place (2000). On page 150, Rykwert states:
"The attempt to provide a mimetic "condensation" of another place and time is not new. Centuries ago pilgrimages to remote and sacred places were replicated for those who could not afford to leave home. The fourteen [S]tations of the [C]ross, which you may find in any Roman Catholic church, are a miniaturized and atrophied version of the pilgrimage around holy places in Jerusalem."
The above is complete disinformation. The Stations of the Cross do not represent a "pilgrimage around holy places in Jerusalem." The Stations of the Cross are a ritual reenactment of what Christ experienced on the day of His crucifixion.
Interestingly, the example that Rykwert should have put forth is that of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the church in Rome built within the Sessorian Palace, the imperial home of Helena Augusta, which today houses Christianity's most valuable relics (of the "Stations of the Cross"). Additionally, Santa Croce (which means Holy Cross) is built upon ground brought back by Helena from Golgotha, site of Christ's crucifixion. Santa Croce is indeed one of Rome's primal pilgrimage churches.

2001.12.05 20:03
virtual Gerusalemme
Images derived from a 3d computer model of the Basilica Hierusalem, the original Santa Croce in Gerusalemme are now available at... The model is based on a plan of the basilica as featured in the Corpus basilicarum Christianarum Romae, and on a schematic reconstruction featured in Krautheimer's Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture.
You will note that I have dated the Basilica Hierusalem as circa late 326. This indicates my contention that the basilica came into being after Helena's death (circa 1 August 326), and that the basilica was constructed (perhaps under the guidance of Eutropia) to both honor Helena as well as the relics she (Helena) had just brought to Rome. This thinking coincides with what happened at the "the house of Crispus" in Trier after his murder/death. The Imperial house at Trier was demolished, and an enormous double basilica was erected in its place (and there are still today two churches at Trier on the double basilica site).
In terms of design, the double columns of the Basilica Hierusalem seem to have been "reenacted" at the mausoleum of Constantina (today's Santa Costanza, Rome). Constantina was one of the daughters of Constantine, and the grand-daughter of both Helena and Eutropia. Continuing with the double theme, the typology of double basilicas in Christian architecture is extremely rare, and those that exist(ed) appear to have been first constructed within the decade or so before and after 326.

2002.02.23 12:38
Re: stageset Enronomics
And meanwhile Theodosius is still laying in state at Milan. Scholars assume that along with Honorius, Theodosius' son and the new (eleven year old) Emperor of the West, Galla Placidia, Theodosius' younger daughter and half-sister to Arcadius and Honorius, was also present when Ambrose delivered Theodosius' obituary 25 February 395. And even if Galla Placidia was not there to hear Ambrose breaking the silence about Helena and the finding of the True Cross, there is no doubt that Galla Placidia went on to reenact Helena in the building of many churches, for example Santa Croce at Ravenna. Beyond that, Galla Placidia's whole life was a East-West Roman-Barbarian double theater itself.

2003.08.03 12:37
from Vico to Piranesi OR again taking a bath
When it comes to relating Vico and Piranesi, see R. James Aitken, Piranesi-Vico-Il Campo Marzio: Foundations and the Eternal City (Montreal: McGill University, 1995).
When is comes to the inversion of Pagan to Christian Rome, see how Stephen Lauf continues Piranesi's "methods" via a new legend of St. Helena written collectively so far within...
3 August 326 is when Constantine the Great left Rome for the last time. He had just buried Helena, his mother, and Fausta, his (second) wife. Helena was buried within the mausoleum attached to (the now non-existent) basilica of Sts. Peter and Marcellius. Fausta, it can be speculated, was buried at the basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Walls, perhaps just underneath where (at least one of) Constantine and Fausta's daughters, Constantina, was subsequently buried (at today's Santa Costanza, which was a mausoleum originally attached to the original Basilica of St. Agnes, as rendered by Piranesi within Le Antichita Romane, book II, plates 21-25. Piranesi also rendered the "Mausoleo di Sant' Elena" within Le Antichita Romane, book III, plates 14-17.)
The last year of Helena's life coincides almost exactly with Constantine's Vicennalia (25 July 325 to 25 July 326). It is within this year that planning and construction (under Helena's supervision) of the Basilica of the Nativity, the Basilica of the Ascension, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was begun. The legend of St. Helena according to St. Ambrose declares that Helena (also) discovered the True Cross, which, if this event did indeed occur, then likewise happened in the last year of Helena's life.
Eusebius tells us Helena was close to eighty years old when she died. Last week I wondered if Helena received renewed strength via taking thermal baths in her hometown, something she is likely to have done prior to her (thereafter innumerably reenacted) "pilgrimage" to the Holy Land.

2003.09.28 16:55
Re: Quite a reenactor!!!
I see the possibility of Seroux's work being enhanced via HTML in that throughout the text that accompanies each engraved plate there are references from an image or set of images on one engraved plate to other images on another or even several other engraved plates--hyperlinkage could be of benefit here. Moreover, I found that aspects/details of many buildings are distributed throughout the whole set of engravings. For example, a plan of a church may be displayed with other church plans of the same era, but a column from this church is depicted on another engraving that presents a vast variety of columns all arranged in chronological order. The same disbursement goes for details of arches, walls, and domes. In redoing the work utilizing HTML, not only can the work be recreated as originally published albeit with hyperlinks, but whole new 'plates' of drawings can be composed where (for the first time) all aspects of an individual building are displayed together, and these new displays can then be further worked via hyperlinks into the historical outline Seroux already established. I'd also like to add some new text to the Histoire.
Interestingly enough, the drawings (by many top-notch French architectural apprentices that Seroux hired) on which the engravings are based are now at the Vatican Library. And, according to Vidler, the original drawings far surpass the engraved drawings, mostly because the engraved drawings are much reduced from the original size.
My favorite 'discovery' to come out of this exercise so far is learning about the Basilica of St. Stefano, Bologna, thirteenth century, a religious compound where the Court of Pilate and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem were/are specifically reenacted.

2004.06.16 11:51
cloning architecture - a global search
...to St. Helena and Eutropia, the great architects of the Christian Jerusalem and the Christian Holy Land. [Six of the pink columns picked by Helena are still at the Church of the Nativity. What's left of Helena's palace in Rome is now Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the first Calvary reenactment.
...to the many subsequent Roman Empresses that reenacted Helena's and Eutropia's holy church architecture both east and west.

continued work on The Odds of Ottopia
Note the addition of Helena's paper "Pilgrimage, Reenactment and Tourism" for THTAFCC.

2009.04.13 14:38
Re: Relics of the "true" cross?
I wasn't sure how much you were already into the subject, but your questions do aim at the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, there are no precise historical answers to most of your questions. Jacobs' reply provides a clear synopsis of what is known for sure. Cyril's letter to Constantius is the earliest reference to the discovery of the Cross.
I have my own theories as to "what happened" back then, and it involves Ambrose breaking a law of silence, instituted by Constantine, regarding Helena and the Cross. The main reason for the law of silence was to deprive the Church hierarchy of the "power" of the True Cross, a power that would be greater than the Emperor himself. Basically, all the Church Fathers (from c.326 to 386) knew of Helena and the Cross, but they weren't allowed to say anything about it (at least not without then being exiled).
I see Santa Croce at Ravenna as a reenactment of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme--essentially Galla Placidia reenacting Helena Augusta, a later Christian Empress reenacting the 'original' Christian Empress. Helena was a "church builder" and Galla Placidia continued the tradition. In a sense, Santa Croce at Ravenna provides evidence for the prior existence of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and its own 'legend'.
Anyway, I haven't focused on any of this stuff in a number of years, and my recollection of it all is starting to get sketchy. I am planning to work on it all again soon, so if you have any other questions I'd be happy to entertain them.

c. 1150-

San Stefano   Bologna

The evolution from the Early Christian "martyrium group" to the medieval "compound martyrium" has run as a leading theme through our discussion. We return to it once more with two monuments marking this evolution in a curious contrast of medieval possibilities. At the twelfth-century complex in Bologna known as S. Stefano the whole range of buildings at the side of the Holy Sepulchre was reproduced in a famous medieval "Jerusalem." The layout is much older, but the present structures (much restored) date from about 1150. Anastasis, Golgotha, and Martyrion face each other across an arcaded courtyard. A few characteristic elements of the original were selected and combined freely, as is usual in medieval "copies," but the source is unmistakable. At almost the same time the original complex at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem itself--or what remained of it--was "medievalized." The Anastasis rotunda, Golgotha, and Martyrion and all surrounding sites were enveloped within the fabric of the "Crusader's Church," dedicated in 1149. The marturium group par excellence had become a compound martyrium.
Howard Saalman, Medieval Architecture: European Architecture 600-1200 (1962), p. 41.

...the Basilica of St. Stefano, Bologna, thirteenth century, a religious compound where the Court of Pilate and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem were/are specifically reenacted.
The six churches of which the plans are here given, nos. 1 to 6, are thus grouped at Bologna, under the title St. Stephen, the church no. 1, however, being more particularly dedicated to the saint.
2. Subterranean Church of S. Lorenzo, beneath that of St. Stephen, and serving as the Confession.
3. Church of the Holy Sepulchre; according to tradition the baptistery of St. Peter and St. Paul, no. 6, the first cathedral built at Bologna.
4. Another church, called the Court of Pilate.
5. Church of the Trinity.
6. Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.

atypical/content of a museum [of] otherness
collage architecture




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