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Chrystina Häuber (München): Rome: the city of memories. Or, why and how reconstruct and visualize ancient and post-antique Rome using digital technologies? The "AIS ROMA", diachronic and phase maps of (ancient) Rome in the WWW

It is necessary to discuss reconstructions of ancient Rome not only because the buildings of this period have only survived in part but also because there are so many different perspectives on reconstruction. With this as my starting point, my presentation is divided into two parts. Part I deals with a distinct scholarly perspective,

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and part II with a perspective that scholars and tourists share. Part I is dedicated to a special kind of `memory´: the more than 1,000 years of international scholarship on Rome that creates pitfalls for anyone who tries to reconstruct the ancient city today. I discuss the problems involved using first an example from the Palatine, the so-called House of Augustus, which shows that reconstruction begins with ground plans: even by drawing maps of ancient Rome the process of reconstruction is already begun. I intentionally incorporate controversial opinions on my maps, for example the five different locations suggested for the temple of Iuppiter Stator. In my third example I discuss the architectural fragments on display below the `Tabularium´ at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, which have been attributed to five different ancient buildings. Finally, I address the controversy concerning the locations of the Mons Oppius and of the Fagutal.

Tourists and academics share a further perspective on reconstructions of the city. What do the following people, born between the 1st and the 20th century AD, have in common: Roman emperors like the Spaniard Hadrian, the `African´ Septimius Severus, or the Arabian sheik Marcus Iulius Philippus; the (abdicated) Queen Christina of Sweden; the (future) King Ludwig I of Bavaria; the (future) German Reformer Martin Luther; the Popes Alessandro VI, Sixtus V and Urban VIII; the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen; the Florentine sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti; the Florentine goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini; the American artist Hendrik Christian Andersen; the initiator of Photo Parker, the Englishman John Henry Parker ; the French writer Stendhal; the English poet Lord Byron; the German poet and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; the Italian film directors Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini; and the character Floria Tosca from the opera Tosca? Yes, you are right, they lived or worked in Rome, visited the `Eternal City´, or are otherwise connected with it. In addition to the famous sights in Rome, it is people like these who attract visitors to Rome. They want to see the buildings these famous people erected, or stayed and worked in, and the artworks they commissioned or made. Visitors want to experience the cityscape `through their eyes´, or by `following their paths´, or to shoot a movie, create other artworks, organize an exhibition or a catalogue of their works, write a book, or simply want to compare their own feelings about the Rome of today with those of former famous residents and visitors. In my talk, I shall not try to explore the complex reasons for all of these interactions that make Rome so attractive, but will instead focus on the Mausoleum of the emperor Hadrian/ Castel S. Angelo, to which facts and stories about some of the above mentioned people are attached. Stories and facts like these are the reasons for me to draw digital maps of Rome. These maps show both the ancient and the current topography, as well as the buildings of the post-antique phases of the city that have either been renamed, adapted to different uses, or completely disappeared.
These maps, together with texts and a database, are also published free-access in the internet because I aim to provide quick and reliable information for enquiries like those related to the people mentioned above. These maps are based on the photogrammetric data of the Comune di Roma (now: Roma Capitale), that have been generously provided by the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali of the Comune di Roma (now: Roma Capitale). Printouts of these maps can be used on site, or interactively researched on computer. The maps are drawn with the information system "AIS ROMA". This Franz Xaver Schütz and I developed for the purpose ourselves, supported by the many

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cooperation partners in the project, who come from different disciplines and will present their own related research at this Symposium.


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This text was published in: HÄUBER, Chrystina, SCHÜTZ, Franz-Xaver, WINDER, Gordon M. (eds.) 2012, The International Symposium Reconstruction and the Historic City: Rome and Abroad - an interdisciplinary approach. Abstracts, pp. 4-6.

 

© 2012 by Chrystina Häuber

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created: 9-X-2012 - modified: 15-VIII-2013