Here’s something you don’t see everyday.
Today is Rome’s Birthday, 2775nd.
Rome and the sun and time are intertwined.
For example, Augustus set up an Egyptian obelisk as the gnomon of a sundial. The obelisk of St. Peter’s also casts its shadow on an enormous calendar. In the Santa Maria degli Angeli there is a sun calendar on the floor of the basilica, which was used to find solar noon in Rome and, therefore, send up a flag to by spied from the Gianicolo Hill for the firing of the canon that booms across the City, indicating the beginning of contracts and of appointments to offices.
Here’s another Roman Sun story.
Every April 21, at noon, the sun enters the oculus of the Pantheon with such an inclination as to create a beam of light centered perfectly on the entrance portal.
At that exact time, the Emperor would cross the threshold into the then-pagan temple and he would be dramatically bathed in light.
This video from 2020 when everything was shut down due to COVID-1984 Theatre captures the moment.
And I will add that tomorrow, Friday in the Octave of Easter the Roman Station is at Santa Maria ad Martyres…. aka… the Pantheon.
For a description of the exorcism of the pagan Pantheon in AD 608, HERE. Quite a story.
Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away from the Pantheon is the Church of St. Augustine. Within are the body of St. Monica, Augustine’s mother, and a painting by Caravaggio. However, on the Epistle side in the aisle near the door of the sacristy there is a monument to Onofrio Panvinio (1529 Verona – 1568 Palermo), admire his stony countenance captured in cold marble, and say a prayer for the repose of his soul.
Onofrio was an Augustinian and great scholar. He is the author of such page turners as the 1557 work Fasti et triumphi Rom. a Romulo rege vsque ad Carolum V. Caes. Aug.:Sive epitome regum, consulum, dictatorum, magistror. equitum, tribunorum militum consulari potestate, censorum, impp. & aliorum magistratuum Roman. cum orientalium tum occidentalium, ex antiquitatum monumentis maxima cum fide ac diligentia desumpta. A ripping yarn if ever there was one!
This fellow worked out the date of the founding of Rome, the dates we often see with the abbreviation A.U.C. (Ab Urbe Condita).
As you know that condita comes from condo condere cOnditum and not condio condire condItum. If not, we would be saying “From the (year) the City was pickled/flavored” rather than “From the (year) the City was founded”. Yep, in Latin it is good to get the accents right. Condio gives us our English word “condiments”.
Here is his monument inscription. Go ahead and take a crack at it!
F. ONVPHRIO PANVINIO VERONENSI
VIRO AD OMNES ET ROMANAS
ET ECCLESIASTICAS ANTIQVITATES
E TENEBRIS ERVENDAS NATO
QVI ALEXANDR FARN. CARD. VICECAN.
IN SICILIAM PROSEQVVTUS ALIENISSIMO
ET SIBI ET HISTORIÆ TEMPORE
PANORMI OBIIT XVIII KAL. APR. MDLXVIII
PRÆCLARIS MVLTIS ET PERFECTIS
ET INCHOATIS INDVSTRIÆ SVÆ
MONVMENTIS RELICTIS VIX. ANN. XXXIX.
AMICI HONORIS CAVSSA POSVERUNT.
So… Buon Compleanno Roma!
I am pretty excited to be returning to Rome after quite a long Chinese imposed hiatus. Should anyone want to help with my stay… click the flag.
Thanks for using the wavy flag: AS