paradigm shifting architectures of closely related imperials


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2003.11.21 16:24
Re: Virtual and Real
So what is Quondam going to be like as it travels around the Sun for an eighth time? Well, for sure there will be work done of The Architecture of Maxentius or The Last Great Pagan Architecture of Rome. This is the fist part of "Eutropian Theories" the final chapter of EPICENTRAL. Eutropia was the mother of Maxentius, but soon after his death (28 October 312, the day after the night Constantine said he converted to Christianity--Maxentius died in battle with Constantine), Eutropia confessed that Maxentius was a bastard, thus not the legitimate heir of the Emperor Maximian. [I guess you have to know the whole history to get the joke, but wouldn't be interesting and funny if Maxentius was actually the son of Diocletian?] Anyway, there is no question that the mother of the emperor under whose rule the great dual Temple of Venus and Mars was built in the Roman Forum is the same person who later initiated the building of the first Christian basilica at Hebron.

2004.01.14 14:34
Re: elliptical fluency
Licinius and Constantia are not represented within The Marriage of Constantine and Fausta. Only second-guessing scholarship says so. And the two figures on the left are not oblivious.

Thermantia and Melania
As much as Melania and Maria were (are) best friends, it was Thermatica that actually followed and stayed with Melania and Paulo until her young end. I never expected to see Thermantia come right out of obscurity. All these women were greatly effected by the Empress role model of Helena (and Eutropia). It is easy to imagine their pilgrimages throughout Rome and the Empire.

2004.03.26 16:57
Re: The history of the destruction of architecture
Imagine how different ancient architectural history would be if there were existing records of all the 'Pagan' temples destroyed in the name of Christianity. For example, where exactly in Greece did the spiral columns within the original St. Peter's Basilica (later reenacted via the baldachin by Bernini) come from? It was Eutropia that first told Helena about these columns and their original locations.
Or what would architectural history be like if all the buildings that were ever erected on this planet were a matter of record?

2004.03.26 17:26
Re: NYC Late Antique Exhibit
"A favorite game is to name all the relatives and in-laws killed by Constantine and his sons."
--excerpt from dl 2004.03.07 Repo Man
In my opinion, no history of Constantine is correct and/or complete without mention and analysis of the law of silence he imposed regarding Helena and her finding of the True Cross 25 July 326, just hours after Helena's death at Naples.

2004.03.27 16:38
Re: aesthetic knowledge
My question is not aimed at the history of crosses, rather the history of the cross as a Christian symbol, bearing in mind that a 'fish' symbol and the combined Greek letters --chi-ro-- were already popular symbols of Christ /Christians by the time of Helena and Constantine. I suppose one place to look for early Christian use of the Cross as a symbol would be in the Roman catacombs.
A quick look in Benjamin Scott's The Contents and Teachings of the Catacombs at Rome shows an inscription with a 'cross' at the head: Cross -- Lannus, Christ's Martyr Rests Here. He Suffered Under the Diocletian Persecution. This Grave is for His Posterity. This makes me wonder whether early Christian's used a cross as a specific symbol for martyrs.

2004.03.28 12:28
Re: aestethic knowledge
"The punishment of the cross remained in force throughout the Roman Empire until the first half of the fourth century. In the early part of his reign Constantine continued to inflict the penalty of the cross (affigere patibulo) on slaves guilty of delatio domini, i.e. of denouncing their masters (Cod. Th. ad leg. Jul. magist.)."
--excerpt from "Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908

2004.04.01 12:47
Re: "crossology"
1 April 1999 is when I first learned of St. Helena as the mother of Constantine and of her activity as builder of highly significant/original Christian basilicas. Five years ago it was Holy Thursday, and ten years ago 1 April was Good Friday, when a close friend died right in the middle of the afternoon.
"Calendrical Coincidence"
Interesting how this stuff happened in Philadelphia, where Broad St. and Market St. manifest the largest cardo and decumanus in the world--a planned and then 'concrete' crossing of two main urban street.
Initially, it was data, actually the absence of data within Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius that led me to look for the 'architect' of Rome's Constantinian Basilicas, buildings which should be present within the Ichnographia, but are not--Rome's pagan edifices are present, but not the (contemporaneous) Christian ones.
Much of my focus over the last five years has concentrated on the time between 28 October 312 (when Constantine 'converted' from leading his troops into battle under a pagan guise/symbol to leading his troops into battle under a Christian guise/symbol) to sometime late 328/early 329 (when, I believe, Eutropia died). This period in time is when Christian church building was, as we say now, 'booming' throughout the Roman Empire for the first time, and it was Helena and Eutropia that were mostly responsible for all this (architectural) activity. From the very start, it has intrigued me that women, and not men, played this important historical role--and not just any women, but 'twin basilissas'.
Not too long ago, countable days actually, I first learned of Melania the Younger, and how her (enormously expensive) family estate just outside the walls of Rome at the Salarian Gate, was one of the great properties (along with the Gardens of Sallust) that were plundered when Alaric and his Visigoths broke into (at the Salarian Gate) and sacked Rome for the first time. The Visigoths initially camped for many months outside the walls of Rome (near the Salarian Gate) thereby starving the city by disrupting all deliveries of grain from Africa to the city. The Salarian Gate, the Gardens of Sallust, and the Gardens Valeriani (Melania's inheritance) are all delineated within Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius right where they are supposed to be. Interesting, right next to this complex of buildings/structures, Piranesi also delineates a Porticus Neronianae, a completely fictitious building in the shape of a large cross within a circle (a composition, coincidentally, that follows the circle/square juncture pattern similar to the Timepiece gauge of the theory of chronosomatics). Within a day of assimilating all this new data, I came to see how the inner circle of the Porticus Neronianiae matches the circle of the compass/north arrow that Piranesi also delineated within the Ichnographia, and I came to see how if you rotate the cross of the Porticus Neronianae 45 degrees, its four points then correspond exactly to the four cardinal points of global direction. The Porticus Neronianae of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius is the X that marks the spot where the first attacking Visigoths camped. [There are even more 'symbols' to interpret here, like 'shifting winds' and Nero as anti-Christ precursor, but more on that latter.]

2004.05.02 14:56
2 May 373
St. Athanasius died in Alexandria on May 2, 373, and his body was subsequently translated first to Constantinople and then to Venice.
In 335, at the summons of Constantine, Athanasius appeared before the Council of Tyre, where various offenses were preferred against him. As he likes to explain these days, among the offenses was his breaking the silence regarding Helena and her finding of the True Cross.

2004.05.14 14:39
bilocation, bilocation, bilocation
Louis I. Kahn, with Helena, Eutropia, and Catherine de Ricci, is visiting Israel today--a modern birthday visit. Melania the Elder and Melania the Younger saw to all the prior arrangements--"They gave up all their Roman wealth to die (there) in poverty, you know." Mamre (near Hebron), specifically the site of Abraham's altar, is their last stop, and they all know that Eutropia is going to get very emotional.
"I consider it necessary to detail the proceedings of Constantine in relation to what is called the oak of Mamre. This place is now called Terebinthus, and is about fifteen stadia distant from Hebron, which lies to the south, but is two hundred and fifty stadia distant from Jerusalem. It is recorded that here the Son of God appeared to Abraham, with two angels, who had been sent against Sodom, and foretold the birth of his son. Here the inhabitants of the country and of the regions round Palestine the Phoenicians, and the Arabians, assemble annually during the summer season to keep a brilliant feast; and many others, both buyers and sellers, resort thither on account of the fair. Indeed, this feast is diligently frequented by all nations: by the Jews, because they boast of their descent from the patriarch Abraham; by the Pagans, because angels there appeared to men; and by Christians, because He who for the salvation of mankind was born of a virgin, afterwards manifested Himself there to a godly man. This place was moreover honored fittingly with religious exercises. Here some prayed to the God of all; some called upon the angels, poured out wine, burnt incense, or offered an ox, or he-goat, a sheep, or a cock. Each one made some beautiful product of his labor, and after carefully husbanding it through the entire year, he offered it according to promise as provision for that feast, both for himself and his dependents. And either from honor to the place, or from fear of Divine wrath, they all abstained from coming near their wives, although during the feast these were more than ordinarily studious of their beauty and adornment. Nor, if they chanced to appear and to take part in the public processions, did they act at all licentiously. Nor did they behave imprudently in any other respect, although the tents were contiguous to each other, and they all lay promiscuously together. The place is open country, and arable, and without houses, with the exception of the buildings around Abraham's old oak and the well he prepared. No one during the time of the feast drew water from that well; for according to Pagan usage, some placed burning lamps near it; some poured out wine, or cast in cakes; and others, coins, myrrh, or incense. Hence, as I suppose, the water was rendered useless by commixture with the things cast into it. Once whilst these customs were being celebrated by the Pagans, after the aforesaid manner, and as was the established usage with hilarity, the mother-in-law of Constantine was present for prayer, and apprised the emperor of what was being done. On receiving this information, he rebuked the bishops of Palestine in no measured terms, because they had neglected their duty, and had permitted a holy place to be defiled by impure libations and sacrifices; and he expressed his godly censure in an epistle which he wrote on the subject to Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, to Eusebius Pamphilus, and to the bishops of Palestine. He commanded these bishops to hold a conference on this subject with the Phoenician bishops, and issue directions for the demolition, from the foundations, of the altar formerly erected there, the destruction of the carved images by fire, and the erection of a church worthy of so ancient and so holy a place. The emperor finally enjoined, that no libations or sacrifices should be offered on the spot, but that it should be exclusively devoted to the worship of God according to the law of the Church; and that if any attempt should be made to restore the former rites, the bishops were to inform against the delinquent, in order that he might be subjected to the greatest punishment. The governors and priests of Christ strictly enforced the injunctions contained in the emperor's letter."
Salminius Hermias Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book II, chapter 1 (circa 443 AD).
Eutropia tells of how the only time she was at the festival at Mamre was when she was still married to her first husband (i.e., before her marriage to Maximian). She was there along with her husband and their "daughter", Theodora. When she wrote to Constantine about the festivals at Mamre, it was via her youthful recollection. She finds it comically tragic how subsequent historians assumed that she wrote to Constantine of Mamre from Mamre itself, and how this misinterpretation engendered a whole series of historical inaccuracies.

2004.05.18 10:26
REPORTAGE- Rhythm & Gender
You know how Eutropia confessed that (her son) Maxentius was a bastard soon after Maxentius died in battle against Constantine? Well, I hear Eutropia recently made another confession as to how Maxentius' real father was Diocletian!

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 subsequent Roman Empresses that reenacted Helena's and Eutropia's holy church architecture both east and west.

Artifact of Ottopia No. 5

Aelia Flaccilla
[first] Wife of Theodosius the Great
image: René Seindal 2002.06.30
This is the quondam So-called Saint Helena still at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Unfortunately the new labeling of this piece is incorrect for this is indeed a portrait of Flavia Julia Helena Augusta.



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