Encyclopedia Ichnographica

eros et thanatos


eros et thanatos

The north boundary of the horti Agrippinae appears to have been the via Cornelia, and from this street east extended the horti Domitiae, which belonged to Domitia, the sister of Nero's father. In 59 AD Nero caused her to be assassinated, and seizing the gardens, united them to the horti Agrippinae.
Samuel Ball Platner, The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1904), p. 490.

hortus, horti : a garden, pleasure-garden, fruit-garden, kitchen-garden, vineyard

Eros et Thanatos Ichnographia Campi Martii

Sitting atop the Vatican Hill is the Nympheum Neronis, a fountain and resting place dedicated to nymphs within the horti Neroniani. This is the far extreme of the axis of life.

At the other end there is also a Nymphaeum.

One is spelled Nympheum and the other is spelled Nymphaeum. Does this matter? Was Piranesi making a point regarding gender? We will never know.

It is clear, however, that the axis of life is embraced by nymphs, the demi-goddesses who inhabit the sea, the river, the fountains, the woods, the trees, and the mountains.




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