paradigm shifting architectures of closely related imperials


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2005.09.08 11:13
Hadrian was born in Spain
Hadrian is often credited with being the architect of the Pantheon. Should he then be considered a foreign architect as far as Italy is concerned?
Maxentius was perhaps born in Syria, like his mother Eutropia; his father Maximian was born in (today's) Serbia.
Constantine too was born in Serbia, although his mother Helena was born in (today's) Turkey.
The architecture of Eutropia and Helena had an astounding effect on Italy.

2005.11.06 11:12
Re: Ancinet Christian church found at Megiddo
the news report said:
"Joe Zias, an anthropologist and a former curator with the Israeli Antiquities Authorities, said the discovery was significant but unlikely to be the world's oldest church. He said Christianity was outlawed until the time of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, and there were no churches before then."
I ask:
What about the Christian church across the street from the palace (of Diocletian) in Nicomedia which predates the reign of Constantine? Or what about the church at Tyre that was re-dedicated in 315(?), which clearly indicates that a church existed at Tyre before its destruction during the Great Persecution?

2005.12.03 23:12
Remember when I was visiting you 12 November, and that was when we talked about 12 November being Eutropia's death day? And then how you and Eutropia share the same birthday? We also talked about the nice weather we were having for that time of year, and you mentioned how your father mentioned sometime about that what we here call Indian Summer is in Italy called "something Martino" related to St. Martin's feast day. In reviewing my letters of 2004 for QBVS3 I can across the following (sent to design-l 2004.12.07):
For many centuries now, Eutropia celebrates her deathday (12 November) with Pope Martin I (saint and martyr--feastday 12 November). He died in exile because he wouldn't agree with an imperial law of silence which was to shut down all discussion regarding the heresy that denied that Christ had a human will--Monothelism. [Perhaps I will start meditating on Christ as the embodiment of divine and human willfulness.]
A lot of weird coincidences happened that day!
I just checked in Butler's Lives of the Saints and the feast of St. Martin of Tours is 11 November and there's a St. Martin of Vertou on 24 October. It would be interesting to find out from your father as to what date the "something Martino" refers to. It doesn't really matter what the date is though because the coincidences that we manifest on the 12th still very much exist.

2005.12.23 15:24
What are you researching?
An email I received yesterday about sparked an inspiration whereby I now know how to execute all the research I've been doing the past six years on the architecture of the Constantinian reign. Specifically, I will 'write a thesis' at lt-antiq, archinect and quondam on the women, especially mother Helena and mother-in-law Eutropia, closest to Constantine and their effect on the architecture of that time. This will happen starting now and culminate 25 July 2006, the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Constantine in York as emperor.
Constantius I, the father of Constantine died at York 25 July 306, and then Constantine was proclaimed emperor by Constantius' troops.
28 October 306 is the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Maxentius in Rome as emperor. Maxentius died in battle with Constantine at the Milvian Bridge 28 October 312, and on 29 October 312 Constantine marched triumpant into Rome acknowledging Christianity as the "sign" of his victory. Eutropia was the mother of Maxentius.
Between 306 and 312 we see two distinct Roman imperial architectures constructed at Trier (Constantine's capital) and Rome (Maxentius' capital), and it is regarding these two architectures where my thesis will begin.
Reenactment will direct the course of this thesis, for example, 1700 years ago today Contantius and Constantine were already (or very soon to be) together in Britannica primarily in conflict with the Picts.

2006.02.27 14:04
27 February
271, 272 or 273 AD
Constantine born at Naissus (today's Nish, Serbia).
[Virtually all historians believe this is the first and only time Helena gave birth, but another story is told within The Odds of Ottopia.]
Today 1700 years ago, Constantine is celebrating his birthday with his father (and maybe even with his unknown to him half-sister who is presently his father's second wife) somewhere in Britannia, very possibly at today's York.

2006.03.03 12:05
God's will as urban planning?
"God's Will as urban planning?" asked the Roman Senators when they heard of Constantine's intention to found Constantinople as Christian Capital of the Roman Empire.
At least Constantine already had good architectural talent in his blood. With a mother like Helena, and even a mother-in-law like Eutropia, he at least knew what he was doing.
Just for fun, look up the city of "Eutropia" in Calvino's Invisible Cities.

2006.03.03 13:05
God's will as urban planning?
Careful on the pre-existing part. Constantine's Constantinople was very much a newly constructed city, founded 324 and dedicated 330. Yes there was Byzantium there first (which it would be interesting to know the history and urban fabric of), but Constantine did build a whole new city over (or beside?) Byzantium.
I'd also do a lot more research before making claims about Constantine's Constantinople being "inclusive/socioeconomically and culturally varied." My own curiosity asks just how much Latin was excluded in the new Greek capital.

2006.03.03 14:31
God's will as urban planning?
I'd guess it's fairly certain that any and all paganism was excluded from Constantine's Constantinople.
It's on record that, coinciding with the time Constantinople was being built, Constantine began outlawing certain pagan sects/cults, especially those where the priesthoods engaged in homosexual practices. (--one of my favorite present Roman Catholic, if not also Greek Catholic, ironies.)

2006.03.03 16:29
God's will as urban planning?
Regarding "the continuing discrimination they have against women," you might be interested in Church Fathers, Independent Virgins by Joyce E. Salisbury, which shows how and when a lot of the discrimination started. Ironically, in its early centuries, Christianity very much empowered women; it may well have been one of the first human "institutions" where women had a chance to make a choice about their lives. Granted, their choice was to remain virgins, as opposed to being told who they had to marry, but a choice women never even had before, nonetheless. Plus, as usual I suppose, the more wealth a Christian woman had, the more choices she could make for herself. This female freedom even got the pagan Romans upset, and thus even fueled the Great Persecution of the early 4th century.
In Church Fathers, Independent Virgins we see the lives and choices of some notable Christian women, and we see how some notable Church fathers, in their sermons, letters and writings, very much did not like the independence of these women, and thus laid out a whole new restrictive life for Christian woman.
Personally, I see the women as having made the far better choices. Melania the Younger and her grandmother Melania the Elder are two of my favorites, besides Helena and Eutropia, of course.

2006.03.16 09:57
on Roman bath houses
Check out ancient Rome's Baths of Helena, now gone but Palladio recorded their remains. Helena was born in Drepanum, today's Yalova, Turkey, where there are still some of the best thermal baths of that region. The relation of major fault lines and thermal baths might make an interesting study, (and maybe St. Helena and St. Andreas have already discussed this).
The Imperial Baths at Augusta Treverorum, today's Trier, Germany, were the largest Roman baths outside of Rome, built under Constantine, Helena's son. Augusta Treverorum was Constantine's Imperial capital before Constantinople.
Historians are still not certain whether Constantine's second wife Fausta committed suicide or was kill in the steam room of a bath in Rome. Did this unfortunate event happen in the Baths of Helena? In any case, Constantine never returned to Rome after Fausta's death, although their daughter Constantina for sure did.
Lucian and Helenopolis (or taking an historical bath)

2006.03.16 10:28
Complex Iconography and Contradictory Content in Architecture
Complex Iconography and Contradictory Content in Architecture is the latest addition to The Working Title Museum.
Preface to the online-perhaps-interactive edition:
Helena Augusta began "Pilgrimage, Reenactment and Tourism" at Leaving Obscurity Behind by calling Bethlehem and Jerusalem "Jesus event cities," and related the history of her work there. Then she had Judas, the old Jew who told her where the True Cross was buried, present a little history. (Everyone calls him Judas because he constantly denies that that is his name.) Then she had Julian the Apostate present a history of his attempt to have the Temple of Jerusalem rebuilt. (Everyone still gets a kick out of how Helena is actually one of Julian's great grandmothers.) Then she had Isma'il Raji al-Faruqi, the last Palestinian Governor of Galilee, present a very large history, especially about the Dome of the Rock as marker of dream event.
As somewhat of a surprise ending, Helena had Catherine de Ricci reenact her stigmata and ring, and then had Louis I. Kahn reenact his burying of the New Testament in snow.

2006.03.17 09:22
Complex Iconography and Contradictory Content in Architecture
The kicky part about Helena being Julian's great grandmother is that the first wife of Julian's grandfather, Constantius I, is Julian's great grandmother Helena and then the second wife of Constantius I is Julian's grandmother Theodora. No wonder Julian apostatized.
"Hey Helena, you and Eutropia should co-author The Art of Imperial Wife and Daughter Swapping in Better Late Antiquity Than Never."
"Oh, didn't you know? We already kinda sorta did that when we interventionally inspired Thomas Mann's The Holy Sinner."
"Ah, then that explains why I saw "God's Bricklayer" reading that book while smoking in the Boys Room."
Meanwhile, like a quaestio abstrusa, the gang is looking for all the instances where Koolhaas/OMA use the Ichnographia Campi Martii as floorpaper within the presentations of some of their projects. So far there's: Schiphol S, Extension to the MoMA and CCTV.
"Hey Piranesi, does this mean anything?"
"Not even like using existing iconography to evoke some new and original architectural ideas."
"I'm sorry, but did you just forget who you're talking to?"

2006.03.19 15:28
Complex Iconography and Contradictory Content in Architecture
...the first five chapters are already in the works.
1. Herrenchiemsee
2. From Augusta Treverorum to Constaninople and back again
3. Complex Ichnography and Contradictory Contentment
4. Piranesi takes a vacation
5. Learning from Lacunae



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