1721 - two different maps of Rome - why?

KorbenDallas

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1721 Chatelain Plan or Map of Rome

A highly detailed 1721 map of Rome and a splendid example of Henri Chatelain's magnificent engraving. Covers the walled center of Rome on either side of the Tiber from the Porta del Popolo to the Porta St. Paola. Shows major streets with important buildings, including the Vatican, Coliseum, Pantheon, and numerous other monuments drawn in profile. The lower quadrants of the map are occupied by extensive tabular data relating to various constructions and the history of Rome. There are ten inset views showing important Roman buildings, these include: St. Pierre, St. Paul, St. Sebastian, St. Bastiane, St. Crois de Jerusalem, St. Lorenzo and St. Marie Maggior, the Palaise du Pape, the Palais de St. Pierre, and St. Marie. A further inset map in the upper left quadrant shows Rome's situation relative to nearby cities and the Mediterranean. Engraved by Henri de Chatelain for volume 1 of the 1721 issue of the Atlas Historique .

1721_Chatelain_Plan_or_Map_of_Rome,_Italy_-_Geographicus_-_Rome-chatelain-1720.jpg

1721 Chatelain Plan or Map of Rome

1721 John Senex Map of Rome
A radiant full color example of John Sennex's 1721 map of Rome. Covers the entire and part of the surrouding countryside. Identifies both modern and ancient monuments in profile. Some of these include the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon, and various other monument s, monasteries, and churches. Each corner is decorated with an engraved image of an important Roman monument, including: the Ruins of ye Amphitheater of Vespatian, St. Peter's Church & ye Pope's Pallace, Trajan's Pillar, and the pyramidal Sepulcher of Caijus Cestus. Engraved for John Sennex by John Harris and Samual Parker.

1721_John_Senex_Map_of_Rome_-_Geographicus_-_Rome-sennex-1721.jpg

1721 John Senex Map of Rome

1645 Antonio Tempesta Map of Rome
Plan or aerial view of the city of Rome, taken from the north-west. The map shows Rome in its late sixteenth-century condition. The map was first printed in 1593. This edition with changes dates to 1645.

1645 Antonio Tempesta Map of Rome.jpg

1645 Antonio Tempesta Map of Rome

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KD: Same year 1721, and two different maps. Was Pope planning on leveling the city down, and rebuilding it? We clearly have multiple buildings on the second map in place of the empty lots on the first. Or may be we are looking at the totally different time frames here, which were presented as the same year, for whatever reason.

And how do we factor this 1645 aka 1593 map into the above two?
 
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dreamtime

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When it comes to map making, the squares you see on the first map represent actual buildings. (I have a city planner in the family, and this is still how cities are mapped when you want to highlight other aspects then the houses). The differences on boths maps are minimal. 1721 was the time that travelers from all over Europe went to Rome as tourists. The title of the map reads Nouveau Plan dela Ville de Rome Tire Par Ordre du Pape Par Matteo Gregoria de Romans Tres utille Pour Les Voiageurs which means that it is a map specifically created for travelers looking to see certain buildings.

Both maps are undated and it seems they were only redated according to the books in which they were presumably first published, but it is known that the first one was the official new map commissioned by the Vatican.

It was a massive undertaking to survey Rome, and the reason was probably the massive destruction of around 1690 which led to the state of Rome documented by Piranesi and others in the decades following the catastroph.

Note how the Colosseum and the Baths of Trajan are whole in the John Senex Map. But wait, the same map shows a completely destroyed Colosseum on the top left. This explains the title: "Ancient and present situation", they simply took the old map from whatever time before the decline and added some paintings. Note the destroyed bridge east of the small island. How long do you keep a bridge unrepaired?

The 1645 can be part of the big forgery event of the Vatican, hard to say. On most old maps the Colosseum is in even a worse shape than in the 1721 official Vatican map. Also there is the strange bridge that gets destroyed and rebuilt multiple times when you believe the maps.

The Senex Map is the only one showing a complete Colosseum and Bath, when comparing with maps going back to the 17th century even, so it seems to depict the past. The only question is what date exactly and how many fake years did the Vatican put in between the destruction and the remapping project of ca 1700.

But here's a map from 1570 that shows everything still whole: Vol II (49) Romae (Rome) - David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

1588: everything whole: Vol IV (54) Antiquae Urbis Romae (Rome) (upper sheet). - David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

1650 Rome alive and kicking: Roma Antiqua. - David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

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1575: Bridge whole

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1625: Bridge broken

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1650: Bridge whole

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1657: Bridge whole

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1679: bridge broken

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1713: bridge still broken​

1721_Chatelain_Plan_or_Map_of_Rome,_Italy_-_Geographicus_-_Rome-chatelain-1720.jpg
1721: Bridge still broken

1721_John_Senex_Map_of_Rome_-_Geographicus_-_Rome-sennex-1721.jpg
1721 Senex Map: Colosseum and Baths completely new, but bridge still broken​

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1748: Bridge still more or less broken.​

Edit: Here's the story on the bridge:

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the bridge was damaged several times by floods, with each flood taking a greater and greater toll on the overall structure. It was first severely damaged in AD 1230, after which it was rebuilt by Pope Gregory XI. Later, the bridge was more seriously damaged by the flood of 1557, but again was later rebuilt by Pope Gregory XIII; the remnants of the bridge today still bear Latin inscriptions detailing Gregory XIII's renovation of the bridge. Finally, floods in 1575 and 1598 carried the eastern half away, resulting in its abandonment as a functioning bridge for several centuries. For many years, it was used as a fishing pier. In 1853, Pope Pius IX had the remnants of the bridge connected to the mainland via an iron footbridge, but the heavy metal weakened the structural integrity of the stone. The remaining half was demolished in 1887 to make room for the Ponte Palatino, leaving behind only one arch that remains to this day.
Tiber_with_the_Ponte_Rotto_and_the_Aventine_Hill_1690.jpg
Ponte Rotto (1690) by Van Wittel, showing the damage wrought by severe floods. (or maybe just by the 1690 catastrophe?)

1280px-Roma-ponterotto01.jpg
 
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wizz33

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im thinking terror bombings on the bridge and Colosseum with some some powerful bombs.
i also think that Rome / Italy was the first to fall
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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When it comes to map making, the squares you see on the first map represent actual buildings. (I have a city planner in the family, and this is still how cities are mapped when you want to highlight other aspects then the houses)
Thank you, never heard of this with some standing building included in there.

In general, appreciate the post. Was very interesting to compare the maps.

Would be nice to zero in on the exact catastrophe date at some point. Way to many contradictions in the remaining sources.
 

wild heretic

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The thing with maps is, you have to try and find out the date of the source which can be very difficult sometimes. A map made in say 1650 may have a source from 1550, but we have no way of knowing for example. You see this a lot in Atlases of the 1600s. Maps post 1700, and even 1750AD seem to be much more uptodate. They also show the voyage paths and dates etc. so you know the sources for the most part. I think the wars and famine and the late 16th century catastrophy put paid to a lot of potential new map making ventures in the 1600s. There are a few exceptions, and these exceptions show how some of the other maps of the 1600s show an earlier time. Ireland is a great example of this.

I'm not sure about Rome. The earliest date for a ruined coloseum that I found was 1652 I think. If the above 1650 map of an intact Coleseum is accurate (dodgy) then we have a very narrow window indeed. I'd look for a massive earthquake between these two dates to see if we can make any headway.
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Here is something interesting pointing to 1693... again. 1690 was a key date I found (as well as around 1570, but this is early days yet). Note Baroque architecture was rebuilt in southern Italy in 1693. That's a pretty wow statement.

Notable examples of Baroque architecture occur throughout Southern Italy, particularly in the Sicilian cities of Noto, Ragusa, and Modica, rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/09/eusts.html
 
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