Du Perac’s 1575 picture of the ruins of the Septizodium

I’ve posted before about the Septizodium (or Septizonium), an immense facade which ran across the front of the Palatine hill in Rome, in order to form a gateway for visitors coming up the Appian Way.  It’s all gone now, but parts of it still existed in Renaissance Rome, before being demolished for use as building materials.

Du Perac, in his collection of drawings of Rome in 1575, includes a picture of the remains of the Septizodium as he saw it.  Click on the image for a larger picture.

Septizonium, 1575 (Du Perac)

What makes his image useful is that he gives a panorama — we can see how the monument stood and looked, relative to the road outside the Palatine.  The Circus Maximus is to the left, while the road running right today leads up to the Colloseum.

I think all of us have walked down this road, from the Colloseum on our way to the Circus Maximus and the Baths of Caracalla, so the Septizodium would have been on our right.  I believe the modern pavement has a marking on it to show where it stood.

The image is from Gallica.bnf.fr.  I would hope that one day Du Perac’s book will appear online in a rather better quality image.

UPDATE: I had not realised that Du Perac also includes a view of the remains of the Septizodium from the side/rear, in a view of the Circus Maximus.  But he does!  Here  it is — the Septizodium is on the right of the Palatine.

Circus Maximus, Palatine and Septizodium (Du Perac, 1575)

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