The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

14 March 1778   Saturday
Vases, Candelabra, Grave Stones, Sarcophagi. Tripods, Lamps and Ancient Ornaments   volume II

To Mr. Francesco Basset, an English Knight and a lover of the fine arts
In deed of respect the Cavalier Gio. Batt(ist)a Piranesi D. D. D.
Tripod, or ancient marble altar found in the year 1775 in the excavations made by Mr. Gavino Hamilton on the site, where it is believed, that it was the ancient city of Ostia. The symbols, which are carved in the three facades of it, they denote having been consecrated to Apollo. It is drawn in two distinct Tables, in order to further highlight the vagueness of its fretworked and well-appropriate Ornaments, which compose it. The Holiness of N. S. Pius Sixtus, happily reigning, wanted to purchase such a noble Monument due to the particular beauty and exquisite execution of its Works, and had it placed among the other numerous singular ancient Rarities, which can be admired in the famous new Museum at the Vatican.
Cav. Piranesi F.

22-23 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1781
Pianta delle Fabriche esistenti nella Villa Adriana

Canopus, or delightful place for the Waters dedicated to the God of this name who was understood by the Egyptians for Neptune. This Vall is art made, and belongs to the Apostolic Chamber. 1. Semicircular temple of Canopus with vault covered with white mosaic, and walls encrusted with marble, and around semicircular and square niches, decorated with statues and fountains. The square waters descended into the floor of the Temple by means of steps covered with white marble. 2. Penetrale partially discovered to introduce the light, and to look from above at the Sources of Water, which flowed under the Statues that were in the Niches. The Statue of the Canopus God was placed in the back one covered with pumice. 3. Parapet, or labro which enclosed all the Waters of the Temple floor forming a large Peschiera. 4. Front of the Temple, which served as a Portico with Ionic Order Columns in Cipollino Marble. From it could be observed the internal delight of the Temipio, and that of the great external Canal, which introduced to the same. 5. Porticoes lateral to the said, but lower, which supported another floor. 6. Stairs, which ascended to the upper floor. 7. Rooms, or Cabinets for entertainment. 8.Side room to the Temple with Vault painted in squares, and wounder in it for the light. It had passage by means of a small bridge on the other side across the Penetral. 9. Conserva d'Acqua hollowed in the Mount. 10. Peschiera in front of the Portico, which from the labro poured water into the underlying Grand Canal. 11. Channel for the Canopic Feasts. 12. Lateral cordons of the communication canal above the paving stones of the Temple, and de Poggi Y.Z. which they served as substructure. Here, having the P.P. The Jesuits found those Egyptian statues which are in the Capitol Museum. 13. Substruction of Poggio Z. which forms two floors of Cubicles with painted vaults, and with Portico on the Canal, from where the Prostitutes who flocked to the Canopic Feasts could observe them. 14. Construction in Poggio Y. which supports the level of the Garden R. It served as an invitation place for Solazzi, and Commissazioni delle Feste. 15. Stairs, which ascended to the aforementioned Garden, from whose Podium above the substructure the Canopic Games were seen. 16. Temple of Hercules. 17. Dwelling for the editor, or sacristan, which likewise serves as a substructure to the Imperial Garden in Poggio R
Academia, or School of Platonic Philosophers, a place planted with trees dedicated to the Muses, now belongs partly to the Chamber, and partly to the Bulgarini. 1. Substruction wall in the ancient road at Poggio Z. 2. Other dividing walls in the aforementioned Poggio per Giardini. 3. Buttresses of the Cordonata on the upper hills. 4. Temple of Minerva, of which only this lower floor remains, which served as a substructure to place it on a par with Poggio A. A. The upper floor is completely ruined, only from fragments of cornices and streaked columns of white marble can be seen, which must have be of the Doric order. This factory is called Rocca Bruna. 5. Porticoes around the lower floor of the Temple obtained from Foundations discovered by Us and from Travertine Modillions existing on the Walls with a portion of the Vault. 6. Entrance from the Cordonata nel Corridore, which goes around Poggio Z. 7. Said Corridore, which serves as a support for the Poggio A.A. artifact to render the Academy site in a continuous plan. 8. Access to the aforementioned Poggio, at the end of the Cordonata 9. Room subjected to the Tribunal Grades, or floor of the Temple, for which salivasi from the Poggio indicated 10. Substruction buttresses of the said Poggio, with Podium looking over the underlying Valley. 11. Staircase, which climbed up to the Poggio from the level of buttresses. 12. Scala a due Ali to go up to the following Oecio. 13. Semicircular fountain in front of the large Viali de Platani. 14. Top podium at the Fountain. 15. Oecio Corintio or large hall of very vague shape with columns, it was used for the disputes of the Platonists or Academicians. Its floor was of antique yellow with an octagonal shape, partitioned by squares of white marble. Here the Basalt Centaurs were found, which are now in the Campidoglio Museum. 16. Vditorj in the form of an centric circle, with yellow mosaic floors, these are lower than the floor of the great hall, which they surround. 17. Degrees, which those who were admitted to hear the disputes descended from the aforementioned Hall. 18. Pulpit with marble podium like the floor of the great hall, and surrounds the directors; its floor was made of square slabs of white marble and Cipollino. On this pulpit stood the disputants. 19. Another Vditorio in square form with a semicircular head on the Sala. 20. Five Stairs, which could be descended from various parts, and have communication with the Great Hall and elsewhere. 21. Semicircular pulpit, or place for the Philosophers. 22. Suggesto Imperiale in said Vditorio. 23. Rooms for different uses, and comfortable, and communicate with the great Hall, and are on the same level as it. 24. Large rooms, lateral to the said Vditorio, to hold the Corteggiani who, following the Emperor, also served as a passage to other parts, and to the large hall described. 25. Peristyle with Pillars with double Portico towards the West. 26. Vestibule of the Sequent Temple. 27. Cubicles lateral to the said Pavimetno of Mosaic in various Colors excavated by Prince Gabrielli, and the antiquarian Orlandi. 28. Atrium of the Temple with Niches for Statues. 29. Temple of Apollo, with mosaic floor divided into bands, which formed squares 30. Penetrale of the Temple where the famous Palombe of very minute mosaic were found, which can be admired in the Campidoglio. 31. Dwelling for the editor, or sacristan. 32. Zoteca, or Shelter for the Victims. 33. Annexed rooms for use of it. 34. Vestibule of the following Habitation. 35. Atrium with wings of Columns. 36. Rooms, or residence for entertaining the Emperor and his Company, if he went to hear the Academics. 37. Noble halls with columns covered with Stucco, here several tables of mosaics were removed by Messrs. de Angelis. 38. Stairs, which went up to the second floors of the Fabbrica. 39. Room with staircase to underground passages made in the mountain, which lead to different parts of the villa. 40. Area in front of the residence of the academicians, building today entirely ruined, but only exposed by cables. 41. Vestibulo to the Atrium of the House. 42. Atrium with wings, in one of which are niches for statues, and could have served as a tablinum. 43. Stairs, which mounted to the seven floors of the Edifice 44. Conclaves with mosaic floors uncovered and excavated by Mr. de Angelis. 45. Substructure porticoes, which covered the mountain to support the hillock of these buildings by the Accademici. 46. ??Staircase, which from the hillock of the Imperial Garden went up to the Abitazione degli Accademici. 47. Perspective with niches decorated with pumice for fountains opposite the described Praetorium, between which flowed the great Imperial Garden. 48. Room with arch covered with Pomici and Tartars for Fontana. 49. Cisterns, or reservoirs of water to distribute it to gardens, dwellings, and other conveniences. 50. Runner with passages in the aforementioned Area.
Odeo, and Theater. The Odeo was a place for rehearsing music, and theater performances, and exercises for poets. This Theater has the shape of the one used by Greeks. The site belongs to the Marquises Origo. 1. Area in the middle of the Odeo, which was covered by curtains like the Praetorian Pavilion, where the Fairy Tales were rehearsed before exhibiting them in the Theatre. 2. Arcades around it. 3. Entrances from Porticos in the Odeo Area. 4. Rooms for commodities and necessary uses. 5. Underground corridor, which from the Odeo via Stairs led to the following Critoporticus. 6. Stairs, which ascended to the upper precenzione of the theatre, from where they descended neither degrees. 7. Preceding above with ordinary white marble mosaic floor. 8. Stairs between Cunei to be distributed in Gradi, or Greek marble plastered seats. 9. Lower precention with marble slab floor, which divided the lower from higher grades. 10. Aedicule of the Genius of the Theater in the plan of this Presentation. The floor of it, and of the area before it, was of gray marble with diamonds, with a band of yellow marble. 11. Stairs, which ascended to the Edicule Area. 12. Plastered steps of large marbles, and Paws of Lions on the edges of the Stairs of the Cunei.

14 March 1812   Saturday

Morning cloudy, wind E Nerly, mist frequently. I dined at JL's, went to R. Summer's, J Dickenson's[?], etc. about rents. My carriage sent home AM. Therm. here 32° to 36°.

14 March 1998
Augustus - India connection
Today, in reading Suetonius' Life of Caesar Augustus, there is mention of envoys from India coming to Rome to pay homage to Augustus Caesar. Coincidentally, I looked through The Story of Architecture (1997) and came across a photograph of the Great Stupa in India dating from the 1st century AD. What is amazing is that the Indian structure is very much like the tomb of Augustus in Rome. I am more or less convinced that the Indian structure was inspired by the Roman tomb [sic it's more likely India inspired Rome via drawings], and indeed the whole use of iconography in the Indian complex relates very much to the use of architectural iconography that Indian envoys would have seen in first century Rome.
The fact that Augustus Caesar was deified soon after his death, I believe, only adds to the historical possibility that 1st century Roman architecture could have made a profound influence on envoys returning to India with knowledge and information regarding the beginning of Imperial Rome.
For me, the major proof of a real connection between the tomb of Augustus and the Great Stupa is there almost unbelievable similarity in size and style. This connection, moreover, could lead to an even further investigation of similarities between Roman architecture and the architecture of the south Asia.
Further along in time, I also came across a photo of a Buddhist temple/shrine in Java (9th century), and it too has a similarity to the tomb of Augustus and the Great Stupa, and the overall elaborateness of the Java shrine also reminded me of the elaborate architectural planning style of Piranesi (esp. in the Campo Marzio). I also see a strong Hindu influence with regard to the many corners of the Java shrine. Although I doubt very much that Piranesi had any great knowledge of Asian architecture, there is, nonetheless, a strong similarity between the planning patterns of Piranesi and the layout of huge Asian religious complexes.

14 March 2003
Now compare the Cremaster characters' genealogy with the genealogy of the Neo-Flavians [gauge/limits: Constantius I to Julian the Apostate], and keep track of how many blood relatives and in-laws Constantine had killed, and then how many blood relatives and in-laws his sons had killed—easily labeled The Imperial Metabolic Cycle. No doubt Minervina remains the most obscure. Nice paradigm shifting architecture!

14 March 2023   Tuesday
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