The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

3 September 1516
letter to Erasmus
"I'm sending you my nowhere, which is nowhere well written" and including a prefatory poem that points out, "The Ancients called me Utopia or Nowhere because of my isolation. . . . Deservedly ought I to be called by the name of Eutopia or Happy Land."

3 September 1777
Louis-Jean Desprez arrived in Rome.

3 September 1778   Thursday
Thursday. Francesco etches the numbers onto the Circus Maximus plan while thinking about how he's eventually going to etch the Palace of the Caesars plan onto the same copper plate. And Piranesi finally gets around to finishing his work on the Naples' arch "view."

Artifacts of the Bianconi vs Piranesi 'Circus of Caracalla' affair   1772-1789

"The Circus of Caracalla being the best preserved, we will give the geometric and perspective details, the various restorations, the bleachers, the enclosure around which the chariot race took place, the boxes intended for the magistrates and the emperors. (The latter often took pleasure in racing themselves, driving a quadriga, four-horse chariot); the enclosure from which the tanks left. Besides the ornaments, etc., the bas-reliefs will also be mentioned, in order to make known more positively the uses and the manners adopted for the race. Curious and interesting work."
Piranesi 1778

"He was also recently doing some research on the ruins of the circus known as Caracalla, which can be seen two miles outside the Porta Capena, ruins all the more worthy of the public, given that this circus is the only one we know of in the whole world, of which sufficient vestiges remain to give us an idea of the circus architecture more composed than hitherto believed. Strange thing, that Vitruvius does not mention circuses. Having some amateurs of the ancient arts and acquaintances of ours also made indefatigable searches on these ruins, we would be happy to do justice to Piranesi's studies here, if there hadn't been a mystery about them."
Bianconi 1779

Bianconi's text here makes two things clear, Bianconi saw Piranesi's 'Circus of Caracalla' text, but he never saw any of Piranesi's final Ancient Circuses work.

48 y.o. Francesco Piranesi 1806
Le Antichità della Magna Grecia   Parte II

View of the Aspect of the Temple of Isis, and of the two Wings of its Peristile; all taken from the front.
Drawn by G.B. Piranesi
Engraved by F. Piranesi Year 1806

3 September 1812   Thursday

Morning clear, light air from N westerly drawing round at 10 NE, temperature about 70°. About 1/2 part 9 this morning walking in front of the bees in the garden, one of them attacked me, I ran but he fixed in my hair under my hat, back of my left ear and stung me. With my hat I flapped at him but he pursued me till I entered the piazza. I applied some vinegar to the wound which was not severe, but the effect began to show itself by a burning itch first in the vicinity of the spot and gradually spreading over my whole surface, with greatly increased action of the arteries and a stricture of mu esophagus. In fact, all my sensations recorded under date April 16th last were repeated exactly excepting only the evacuation of my stomach which not being so full as usual after dinner was not necessary. The duration was about the same and now about 12 I am free of all the symptoms, except a quickness of pulse which I hope will soon pass away. Temperature rose to 80°. The papers for two or 3 days past have been filled with accounts from almost every quarter of the capture of fort Detroit wither the whole American army under the command of General Hull, said to be 2500 men, but a few days before he was said to be carrying everything before him was supposed to be in possession of the British Fort Malden sudden reverse? But there is yet no straight account of the causes leading to it. By Relph's[?] Gazette brought me this evening, it appears that on the 19th ....[?] Capt. Hull of the US frigate Constitution had an engagement with the British frigate Guerriere[?] Capt. Davis[?] in which after about one hour the latter lost all his M....[?] and submitted during the following night. The prisoners being first removed to the Constitution, the Guerriere in a sinking state was set fire to and blew up. Thus if the account from Sackets Harbor on St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario be true, the Navy of the US have in the two first collisions with the British, been more than victorious.

3 September 1977   Saturday

3 September2008
1. working title: All Within Hadrian's Limits. A narrative non-fiction story of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius. The idea is to start writing with all the Hadrian related material: mother/son, Antoninus, Bustum, etc.

3 September 2009
When Is the Talent Portion of the Contest?
I had no idea it took so many to tackle insignificance.

3 September 2022   Saturday

Where I probably walked through the Roman Forum 45 years ago.

3 September 2023   Sunday

Bianconi's Doctoring Piranesi   episode nine: "The Clues of Silence"

That all three remained silent turns out to be a most revealing clue. All three did speak through their drawings, however, hence the rest of the clues. It's the work of all three of them about which all three of them remained purposefully silent. The purpose was to create their own historical mystery.

After hearing Pierre-Adrien's and Francesco's ideas, Piranesi simply said, "What a way to flirt with fate while playing with history."

"Che modo di flirtare con il destino mentre si gioca con la storia."

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